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

SirDarth did his drake-levelling through the night pretty well; towards the end someone did come along and kill his Berserker, but it wasn't very long before I was able to get him back into action.  SirPerivale joined in before breakfast, and the pair of them had pretty much an uninterrupted run until after lunch, as I was busy downstairs getting things ready for tomorrow.

Moving on from getting the +10 armour sets, my other priority at the moment is to get MistressDomina, my wizard, or my main wizard I should say as MistressBlaze is set up similarly, but without the reserves of skill points, up a level.  At 38 she is now too high to get any useful amount of experience from the Orc Sergeants in Prokion Temple, so it was definitely time to turn my attention to the level 39 Poison Mists down south of the Temple, preferably including the Elite Poison Mist, which gives three times as much experience as its neighbours, a little bit more skill experience, and sometimes even drops ready-plussed items.

A knight called augustus was there when I teleported in, using my memory scroll, but didn't stay long.  After a while xXArcheonXx got in touch, the founder (under his xXAcheronXx name) of the guild that Rage is in, NefariousShadows.  He had hoped to find the guild's current GM online, but she wasn't around; I think he had some skill points going spare, and intended to upgrade the guild by a level.

Sadly, Arch seems to have fallen out of love with Last Chaos at the moment, so we won't be seeing much of him for a while.  The lure of a sunny summer, and playing another of Aeria's games, 12 Sky 2, is taking him away from us.  Which is a shame, as he's always been a fun person to be around...

A rogue called "cursed" arrived at the Poison Mists later in the afternoon; I got the impression she wasn't very high-level, but she was doing okay killing the Poison Mists.  It was the Myst Eyes she was after, as she is attempting to do the quest to get one of the "human tribe" type new pets, Ichi or Scra-Chi, but they are a fairly infrequent drop, and I don't think she had got many by the time she left, which was only just before I started my food break.  The session had added 32.50% experience, 118 skill points, and 2071 pet points..

The evening session was pretty similar; no sign, again, of the raid boss Kamira, and a single glimpse of the knight augustus in the distance, so it was just me and the Poison Mists.  Ratel's mage Athema found a couple of new players for Norcaine; at the moment MistressDomina is actually the guild master, so I just needed to make Athema a guild adviser so that she could do the actual recruiting.  Athema was hard at work in Prokion Temple, in the party with MD and SirPerivale for the "solo party" benefit.  She had a bad disconnection, though, and had to restart the computer - and found when she got back that, while the game had had her still standing there helpless surrounded by Orcs, her pet had been killed.

Still, Athema, after her return, managed to reach level 25, which means that she can start to use her level 29 +13 weapon, which ought to be a great help in her battles.  New skills become available, too.  Whether she can reach level 31 while the "Player Appreciation Event" is still going on, or not, depends on how much longer the event runs.  I'm hoping for at least one more week after Tuesday night's maintenance, which might give Chuck the chance to get to level 60, but who can tell?

By the end of my playing time for the evening, MistressDomina had added a further 35.51%, plus 124 skill points and 2263 pet points, so the evening session was only slightly longer than the afternoon one.  Still, adding in total 68.03% means that MD is well on the way to gaining her next level and getting within fifteen levels of MrChuckNorris himself, and having the 50% bonus to skill exp gain was useful, so that her unused skill point total now isn't very far below what it was before the level 38 skills were acquired.

SirPerivale, meanwhile, had got the pale blue horse up to level 33.  SirDarth was able to log back in, once MD had logged out, and it didn't take him long to get his drake to level 22.  It would be tempting for him to try another overnight levelling session, but I'd have to end it rather early tomorrow, so I think I'll just save a bit more electricity instead.  The drake ought to be just about the right level for Galahad by now anyway, so soon it will be time to start another pet.

Today the Elite Poison Mist did manage to drop a few ready-plussed items, most notably a +4 pair of titan level 36 shorts, along with a couple each of +3 and +2 items, so that's only about one such item per hour.  Still, I did get a fair number of moonstone boxes, and some Myst Eyes, plus hands of bravery, protection, and the guard, and even a hand of the warrior, the one that, along with three potions of haste, gives a heaven stone.

Tomorrow is one of my out-all-day "busy" Sundays, so I will miss out on the "Sunday teatime" two hours, which is again the ever-popular 50% extra skill exp.  All I can hope for is about an hour out with the Poison Mists again before the Quiz, so MistressDomina is unlikely to reach level 39 before Monday.  I just hope that they leave the doors open for us to get back into the Quiz again, I can't remember which was the right answer to the question I got kicked out on last time...in fact I can't even remember what the question was...

The Mists Have a Visitor -  August 2nd

Not a lot of playing got done today; the computers didn't even get switched on until six in the evening, with SirDarth and SirPerivale going down to Merac for some pet-levelling, and it must have been approaching seven when, after getting something to eat, I was able to log Darth out, and log MistressDomina in.

The experience and skill exp were down to the normal rates by then, so it was a pretty steady slog for an hour or so, without any particularly good drops...and then it all came to an abrupt end.

There was a time when the arrival of Kamira, Dratan's raid boss monster, would have meant almost instant death, as she was aggressive and would attack immediately, so that if you were close to her arrival point, down you went.  Luckily, when the Dratan map was changed, Kamira's behaviour changed too, and all the raid bosses are now passive - if you don't attack them, they won't attack you.

So, the abrupt end was just MistressDomina logging out - so that my level 70 rogue Rage could log in.  Rage doesn't have the Poison Mist location on her memory scroll now, as there is only room for five locations on it, but it didn't take long to ride down from Prokion Temple...there would probably have been time to ride all the way from Dratan City, in fact.

Anyway, Rage arrived, and Kamira was still innocently floating there, so I triggered the last of Rage's level twelve magical defence crystals, plus a lucky scroll and an item drop booster, and attacked.  Snare worked a few times, I think, and I used a few pretty big health potions - Kamira's health gradually declined, and, ignoring the Death Goddesses she spawned, I kept attacking until she slumped to the ground, dead, and then easily despatched the Death Goddesses.

There wasn't a rare drop this time, just the usual items, but as that included five lucky scrolls, and five moonstones, plus other minor items, I still came out ahead.  I'd much rather fight Kamira with Rage, both at level 70, than try with Chuck, at level 54, to kill the equivalent Merac raid boss, the Grand Red Dragon, who is level 50.

As there was still some time left on the lucky scroll and the magical defence mineral, I teleported to the Forgotten Temple and, remembering this time to re-apply the horse buffs before entering, killed a few Legendary Slayers and their spiders, and Curd Hadians, but the lucky scroll didn't get me any good drops, just slightly more gold.  Still, it would have been a pity to waste its remaining time, they are expensive.

Once the boosts wore off, and Rage had gained in all 0.41%, 2 skill points, and 15 pet points, it was time for another quick log-out - as it was time for the Sunday Quiz.

Rage and Kaerella were the ones to attend, as usual.  On the guild chat channel Rage was able to check the intended time for some NefariousShadows guild "monster combo" parties, it seems that the announced "9:00pm GMT" is in fact  9:00pm British Summer Time, so I'll have to try to be around on Tuesday then to see what happens.  If Rage is too high-level for the intended party, well, maybe another character would be useful.

The Quiz itself ran smoothly, without any of the harder questions, so both Rage and Kae got all the prizes.  Ratel wasn't online, though, despite having intended to be along..

After that I quickly switched back to MistressDomina and went off to kill some more Poison Mists, with SirPerivale levelling his horse and providing the solo party again... but after a rather long day, I didn't feel I could stay quite long enough to reach the next level, which remains 2% away.  MD in total added 19.86% experience, 47 skill points, and 1287 pet points.

And then it was time for Peri to be joined by Darth, fo a bit more pet-levelling.  Peri should end the day with his horse a little over 80% of the way through level 33, while Darth's drake will have reached level 23 by then.

To the Sphinx Fighters - and Beyond! -  August 3rd

SirDarth and SirPerivale started their pet-levelling work suitably early, and then after coffee it was time for MistressDomina to head back to the Poison Mists, to get that last 2% and reach level 39.  This didn't take long, so there was time for a fairly short team-up between MD and MrChuckNorris over in Sphinx Fighter territory before lunch.

This was a little disappointing for MD, as even though she is 25 levels below a Sphinx Fighter, and Chuck is 10 levels below them, the amount of experience per kill is less than earth-shattering, so my vague hopes that MD would quickly zoom up through a few levels were dashed.  Chuck would have to kill around 400 of the Sphinx types to get MistressDomina to level 40, and more for each subsequent level.

The fighting was, however, enlivened by the arrival of Kamira; so Chuck logged out, and Rage, who does still have the location on her memory scroll, teleported in.  Luckily I'd taken the precaution earlier of replenishing Rage's stock of level 12 magical defence minerals, moving some across from my merchant MistressDomino, so horse buffs were applied, the mineral, a lucky scroll and an item drop booster were triggered, and Rage began the attack.

It's lucky that a ranger uses a bow, and doesn't have to get too near the target, as Kamira was pretty close to Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, but as it was, with the use of some large health potions, Rage prevailed.  To begin with I just saw the usual drops, the medal of honour, the lucky scrolls, moonstones, tool aids, and so on, but then I spotted some yellow lettering - Kamira had dropped an Origin of Land.  It's not the most valuable rare accessory, but it offers six to constitution, 12 to all types of physical defence, and a boost of 100 to health points, so either Chuck or perhaps a pet-leveller is going to find it very useful.

Once again, Rage used the remaining time on the lucky scroll to kill some Curd Hadians and Legendary Slayers in the Forgotten Temple, and this time at least a level 62 piece of armour, a hood, was dropped - no boots though.

Chuck returned after that, teaming up with MistressDomina again, until it was time to finish the session.  In all Chuck went up 3.68%, and added 2 skill points and a few pet points as well.  Including the time with the Poison Mists, MD added 21.57%, 7 skill points, and 119 pet points.  The mage Wortex put in an appearance, she is level 53 now; a rogue called Sayno wanted to party with Chuck, but when she was let into the team, I discovered that she was only level 28, so didn't, I think, get much experience over the following few kills.  When a Sphinx type spawned too close to her while we were attacking another one, she got killed, and wisely didn't return from town.  Really, at level 28 people will get more experience from Prokion Temple, and skill exp too of course.

While SirDarth was pet-levelling for the lunch break alongside SirPerivale, Stavanic got in touch; he had found a platinum pet experience pill on sale for nine million in gold, which does seem cheap by recent standards, and kindly passed it over to Darth, either in thanks for past pet-levelling, or for pet-levelling work yet to come.

For the afternoon, MistressDomina and MrChuckNorris teamed up again - but this time we headed for Egeha, paying our 800,000 gold each to get there.  We headed west out of town, killing Bogles as we went, and after less than a dozen kills, the Grand Gold Dragon, the local raid boss, appeared, which just shows how quiet Egeha is these days if nobody else's activities had lured it.  At level 90 she was out of Chuck's class, so we just moved on, and, after killing a couple of the Dark Bogles too, settled in on my favourite hill. The path doesn't actually lead anywhere, but you get a good view of parts of Egeha from the top.

Bogles are unaggressive, just slouching about and then, for no particular reason, breaking into a little dance.  They tend to drop level 65/67 armour, and level 65 weapons; at the end of the day I moved all the armour over to one of my mule characters, a knight called EarlGrey, and he looks rather impressive in the complete "Valiant" set, including the shield, though the effect is slightly let down by his level 1 sword.

Kirimin got in touch, the only person on Chuck's Friends List who was online.  That's a character I know very little about, I think it is one of Greengem's. I mentioned the GGD, and she was interested - I said I was on Auzura-4, but that the GGD's appearance was by then a few minutes back, so it would probably be best to wait until it was lured by my Bogle-killing again, but she didn't wait, and a few minutes later was asking which path out of town I'd taken.

Her fight with the GGD took a while - especially as the GGD's health reset to 100% once.  What had happened was that it had attacked Kirimin's pet - and when the GGD killed it, the aggro was over as far as the raid boss was concerned, so its health was reset.  Still, Kirimin is level 93, and prevailed in the end, easily killing the level 88 Cursed Weavers with around three hits each.  She didn't get a rare drop, but the lucky scrolls and other routine items will have more than paid for the cost of the trip to Egeha, and the cost of getting her pet unsealed.

The afternoon session for MD and Chuck ended with MD up 39.40% and Chuck up 8.93%, plus 2 skill points each and 679 pet points for Chuck's drake.  As Egeha is a bit expensive to reach, they both stayed there over my food break, and then resumed the fight for a full evening session too; there was always the likelihood that the older computer would "run out of memory", but surprisingly it lasted through to my normal log-out time.  By then MistressDomina's immediate objective of reaching level 40 had been achieved, with a further 97.93% experience gain; Chuck added 19.60%, they each gained 5 more skill points, and Chuck's drake added another 1711 pet points.

It was lucky that both Chuck and MistressDomina had plenty of the medium-size mana potions, as Chuck had to use one for just about every kill, as the titan stun skill Smite does use a lot of mana.  When his supply of 250 was running out, MD was able to trade another 200 or so across.  You can only buy those in Strayana; the medium size health potions weren't a problem, Chuck just quickly returned to Egeha village to buy some more when he was running low.  After the party finished, Chuck did make a quick trip to Strayana to buy 600 more medium mana potions.

Athema, Ratel's mage, had joined the party for the evening; her absence yesterday had been caused by a disconnection in the afternoon, after which the internet service provider had just gone into maintenance mode.  Athema and her pet had both died, she discovered when she logged on today, and of course the blessed iris she'd used less than a third of had run out, as they count down in real time, even when one isn't connected to the game.  Add the loss of the chance to get 15 heaven stones from the Quiz last night, and that must have been extremely annoying.

Still, Athema settled in in Prokion, using a new blessed iris to double her experience gain for three hours, and reached level 30... and then, before the BI expired, reached level 31 too and gained her +10 armour set and two +10 weapons, the witch wand and the wizard staff.  She has also chosen to become a witch; she managed to upgrade her level 33 wand from +10 to +12 without breaking it, my advice was to buy an extreme stone if she wishes to get it to +13, rather than risk breaking such a now-valuable item.

Peri and Darth went back into action to finish the day, with Peri getting his pale blue horse to about 40% of the way through level 34, and Darth getting his drake past the halfway mark in level 24, so that it is just about ready to be returned to Galahad now.

Levelling Up In Egeha -  August 4th

This may well have been the last morning on which SirPerivale and SirDarth went out to the Berserkers together, as the morning session was a time of changes.  The drake that Darth had been raising for Galahad was comfortably into level 25 by mid-morning, so it was time to trade it back across to Galahad, who is now fully equipped with a mount and the drake.  Darth went off to exchange a drake egg for a new hatchling - but in the end, it may not be him who levels it up.

It was time to get CaptainScarlet his red name, so he and SirPerivale switched across to the Player versus Player enabled Auzura-6 sub-server, and headed for Prokion Temple.  It's not a matter of heading for that back room I go to, rather Peri just went a few feet into the corridor leading off the entrance hall, and removed his armour.  Then Cap just had to switch to PvP mode, and kill him, repeatedly.  Peri respawned in the hall each time he got killed and ran back, and we took Cap all the way to -155 on the Good/Evil scale.

How would this modify the power of his bare-handed hitting?  Back on Auzura-4 he got a drake egg from MistressDomina, and took it to Lorraine in Randol and then on to archaeologist Jajan in Dratan, receiving his hatchling, and then he headed for the Berserkers.  27 is just about the maximum hit they can handle without eventually dying; at level 22 Peri hits for 26, while Darth at level 23 used to hit for 27, though with his slight red name at present he hits for 25.  Captain Scarlet at the moment hits for a mere 17, so has no problems there at all.

SirDarth handed over his upgraded armour set to SirPerivale, who already has been using the +13 shield, and then Cap and Peri exchanged pets.  With that armour set and shield Peri would have no trouble starting a drake from level 1, even though that means no Armour Increase buff from his pet.  His physical defence is 1048, which is at least 60 more than the minimum required.  With the +10 30/32 armour set and level 33 shield from the "Player Appreciation" event, CaptainScarlet's physical defence is 1011, which is also quite enough to be going on with.  It may get to slightly more than that when all the pieces are bloodsealed, too, though that may take some time.

Moving the level 34 pale blue horse across from Peri to Cap means that instead of being 12 levels above its owner, and getting through 7 food points every 5 minutes (1 hour 11 minutes to use all 100 points), the horse is now only 3 levels above, and that means 2 food points per 5 minutes (4 hours 10 minutes to use the 100).  So, an awful lot of quality stones are going to be saved with this system.

It looks as if SirDarth will get to level up at last.  For the first few levels, he will probably be teamed with one of my other characters in Prokion Temple, one that's passed level 30 and thus needs a lower-level companion to continue to get a useful amount of experience and skill points there.  That ought to work well, particularly as mages do seem to kill rather more quickly than knights.  When he does need to fight on his own behalf, well, he'll need to borrow that good armour set back.

There seem to be rather less Pandora's Boxes around lately, but they do still appear; one last thing last night gave Peri five moonstones, and one this morning actually released a level 50 Blood Frenzy type Pandora's Beast.  It seemed a while since Chuck rode down to deal with one of those, but all went smoothly, and the Beast dropped a useful 92,800 gold.

MistressDomina got the level 45 +15 titan sword that Chuck used to use from him, and converted it, courtesy of Collector Ryu, into a mage staff, for 340,000 gold, and bought some bloodseal gems, so that the next time she levelled up, she would be able to start using that, which is a big step up from the level 29 staff she has been using.  Chuck also had his old 45/47 armour set in storage, but more of that later.

The afternoon session was, as yesterday, a team-up of MistressDomina and MrChuckNorris in Egeha, fighting the level 65 Bogles, plus the occasional level 67 Dark Bogle.  Chuck opened some skill boxes before we set off, but only got one Blessed Iris from them - he got three Platinum Blessed Irises though, which give triple experience for one hour, which will come in handy later!  He traded the blessed iris over to MD, and as soon as they reached the Bogles, she started it, for three hours of double experience - Chuck had a three-hour "medium experience elixir", giving a 30% boost to his experience gain, so he used that.

Things would have run pretty smoothly, except for that dratted Grand Golden Dragon, who "arrived" every 14 or 15 minutes six times in a row.  Nobody on my Friends List seemed able to deal with it, so I just moved between the hill and the area at the foot of the hill, so that when the GGD "arrived" at one spot, I'd just head for the other.  In the three-hour session Chuck added 25.81%, and MD added 165.63%, which got her a third of the way into level 42.  Chuck added 5 skill points, and 1567 pet points, and MD added 4 skill points.

They just stayed in Egeha village through my food break, and then had another three-hour session; MD had a 30% boost potion this time, while Chuck started a 24-hour one.  This time the GGD only teleported in on top of us once; there were other people active in Egeha, a couple of people passed by where Chuck was fighting, probably the GGD got lured and killed somewhere safely away from where I was.

When the three hours on MistressDomina's potion ran out, she headed back to town, having added another 86.95%, taking her into level 43, and 5 skill points; Chuck was less than 3% short of gaining his level, so stayed out until he did in fact reach level 55, just as he ran out of the medium mana potions he'd brought with him - 650 of them, I think it was.  He had gained another 28.51% experience, 6 skill points, and 1825 pet points.

Back in Randol afterwards, Chuck traded across that level 45/47 armour set to MD, and she spent 708,600 gold converting it from titan armour to the mage equivalent.  Putting it on, I found that even though it isn't as highly upgraded as the 30/32 set, it does increase her physical defence stat - from 1104 to 1105!  Chuck didn't have any new skills to learn, just stat points to allocate to Strength; MD allocated her new stat points to Intelligence, and was able to learn the available five levels of Flame Field, an "area of effect" skill which apparently links well with Flame Storm, and the sixth level of Transformation, which converts health into mana.  So that was 493 skill points spent... but plenty more left for future use.

After that it was time to send SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet out to do some late evening pet-levelling.  That pale blue horse should reach level 35 before Cap logs out, while Peri's dragon hatchling should be level 5 by then.  Apparently there won't be the usual server maintenance tonight, "though we may have a possible server reset to help with latency" - the actual maintenance close-down will come along later this week.  Let us hope that they don't decide to have it at a peak European playing time, and that the "Player Appreciation" event, with its free armour and weapons, continues.

Back to the Bogles -  August 5th

The indestructible CaptainScarlet and SirPerivale headed out for the Berserkers in Merac suitably early this morning; that was about all the action that the morning saw, except for some moving of items around, so that MistressSabina now has the 30/32 high-defence 30/32 armour set, and most of the other mage armour sets have been passed into the keeping of FoxChaser.  EarlGrey now has custody of a lot of "Bogle Drops" too, not a cough lozenge, but the general term for the level 65/67 armour pieces, and level 65 weapons, that the Bogles tend to drop as loot.  For some reason they most commonly drop knight armour, followed by healer and titan pieces, though the weapons tend to be from the other three classes.

After lunch MistressDomina opened some more experience-type boxes, and got one more blessed iris - and a couple of the platinum blessed irises too, as well as various potions.  MrChuckNorris still had his 24-hour +30% "small experience potion" active, so spending the afternoon with them in Egeha seemed the best idea.  Once we got there, and Chuck started to battle a Bogle, MD started the three-hour, double experience blessed iris.

The Grand Gold Dragon waited almost an hour before appearing, but then appeared five times, just going elsewhere for one 14-minute period, so I had to alternate between the hillside and the road at the foot of the hill, which is marginally trickier as one can never be quite sure where the aggressive Dark Bogles will respawn.  MistressDomina kept safely out of the way of them, however.

By the time the three hours were over MistressDomina had gone up 115.61%, taking her into level 44; Chuck had added 21.70%, and 1450 pet points, while Chuck gained 6 skill points and MD gained 5.  Two skill points per hour certainly makes a change from Prokion Temple!

This was scheduled to be one of my "early finish" Wednesday evenings, but there was time to continue the session for a while first, and I decided to be a bit of a spendthrift and let MD use a platinum blessed iris, for an hour's worth of triple experience.  This didn't quite get her to level 45, another 8% was needed - so I kept going, and she reached the new level before the log-out time.  MistressDomina had added another 66.08% by then. Chuck's 30% boost ran out about halfway through, but he managed to add another 9.70%, as well as 862 pet points; they each added 3 more skill points.

SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet were able to fit in a little more pet levelling, before Cap had to yield the main computer to other things.  Once again there is no chance of Peri levelling the dragon hatchling overnight, as the delayed server maintenance is scheduled now for 3:00am UK time.  Will the "Player Appreciation" event come to an end then?  Let's hope there is at least another week of it to come - they do say that no new content is being added, just "some minor server tweaks", so that sounds promising.  It has been very useful while it has lasted, allowing CaptainScarlet to get a good enough armour set for pet levelling, but there is more that one can do, given the time.

Now that MistressDomina has safely reached level 45, that would allow a Combat type party with Chuck, to give him a small boost to his experience gain... but, more importantly, Chuck getting to level 55 yesterday does get him to within 15 levels of Rage.  I think the first thing to try will be a Rage-led party of the pair of them in the Forgotten Temple, since the critters there are a few levels above the Bogles generally, but a joint trip to the Tomb of Theos is also a possibility.  Chuck can give Rage a couple of useful buffs, after all.  With MD on level 45, there's nothing to stop Chuck doing some levelling, and indeed reaching level 60, at which point he should be gifted with a +5 level 60/62 armour set and sword.  And MD can still make an Equal party with any of my characters that are level 30 or over, though up to about 35 they are more interested in skill points than experience gain.

Talking of experience gain, I see that Friday's "Happy Hour" will be 50% extra experience gain again, so that afternoon should be Chuck and either MD or Rage.  But we've Thursday to get through first...

Like Old Times -  August 6th

It wasn't a particularly early pet-levelling start this morning, but SirPerivale's dragon hatchling had reached level 13 by coffee time, and CaptainScarlet's pale blue horse was around two-thirds of the way through level 35 by then.  It's very nice not to be getting through the quality stones as quickly as before, so that one's visits to keep the pets well-fed don't have to be as frequent as they used to be.

One thing I was able to do in the morning was log in as MrChuckNorris, the World of Iris's manliest titan, and ride down through the Dratan desert to the entrance to the Forgotten Temple, sometimes known as the Temple of Forgetfulness.  It's a lot further following the roads than an "as the crow flies" route would be, passing by Prokion Temple on the way, but that is the way one has to go.  It was an uneventful ride, except when Chuck encountered a level 50 Pandora's Beast.  Dratan ones are ghostly Larva types, and give only small cash drops, maybe 300 gold, unlike the more generous Merac ones.

Back in Randol, Chuck was able to trade across some of the healer armour that the Bogles dropped for him recently to Kaerella, so that she is now once again colour-coordinated at least in the "Serenity" armour set. Some heaven stones and moonstones were traded across to MistressDomino, and, seeing that MistressDomino (my merchant, and not to be confused with my wizard, MistressDomina) did have three extreme stones in storage, I traded those and a pair of chaos smelting stones across to Rage, and upgraded her armour a bit - her hood was already +12, and her shirt and pants +11, so now all three pieces are +13, though the gloves and boots remain at +8.  That is the highest-level set which Collector Ryu can convert between classes, so in due course Kae, Chuck, and MD will also feel the benefit.

For the afternoon session, MistressSabina headed out to Prokion Temple.  The Auzura-4 back room was in use, so I had to switch Sabina, and CaptainScarlet as he was providing the solo party, over to Auzura-3, where we settled in, and got down to work using a platinum super skill pill for triple skill exp.  The first hour went well, adding 420 skill points, but early on in the second hour both Sabina and Cap had a disconnection, so Sabina didn't get full value from that pssp, having to hurry back from Randol - 366 skill points was all we got that time.  The full session added 788 skill points, 36.07% experience, and 1734 pet points.

As I do want to get as many skill points as possible before MistressSabina levels up, I didn't continue beyond the end of the second pssp, so there was time for MistressDomino, since she has most of my gold reserves, to do a little shopping in Auzura-1's Randol.  I didn't see any rogue armour of a suitable level for Rage's next set; as usual prices varied widely, but in the end I did buy one necklace accessory, with 5% suction of life, 58 hit points, increased critical hit chance 30%, and physical defence 6, which I thought Sabina might find useful.  It was a rogue called MinimalTech that I bought it from, for 100 million gold; she also had a twice 5% suction of life necklace for 80 million, it was hard to choose between them.

CaptainScarlet had, meanwhile, got the pale blue horse into level 36, so that pet is now on its final level before it becomes a mount.

The evening session had its ups and downs.  Rage was in charge, with Chuck along with her, and first of all they went to the Forgotten Temple.  The good news was that, with horse buffs, they were both able to run to the far end, the room with the level 75 Blood Terrain boss monster, where there is a handy little area to one side where nothing aggressive spawns, so Chuck could stand there without any problems.  The bad news was that that room made the older computer's innards bleep incessantly, something it does sometimes, though it can usually be cured just by shifting the viewpoint around.  I think that the Boucu Demon spot in Egeha may have that problem too, though as it is outdoors, it may be possible to swing the camera round into a non-bleeping position.

So, Rage and Chuck went back to town, and teleported to the Sphinx Fighters, and Sphinx Speer Men, instead - our "plan B".  It was like old times, really, with Chuck standing at the side, and applying his buffs when they ran out, and Rage fighting the sphinx types - though rather more speedily than when she was at a lower level.  Now that she is five levels above the Speer Men, they are blue-named for her, and wouldn't be worth fighting...if she wasn't conveniently teamed with Chuck, who is lower than them.  So, good experience, and some useful skill exp too.

In all, the evening session gave Rage 10.67% experience, and Chuck 37.45% - and that was without any kind of boost.  Rage got 46 skill points, which was a useful addition to her total, and Chuck got 43... since the critters were blue-named, Rage didn't get any pet points, though she did have her drake equipped to pick up loot, and give the additional attack and defence buffs.

So, Chuck is two-thirds of the way through level 55 now - though if he is going to reach level sixty in a reasonable amount of time, it does rather look as if trips to the Tomb of Theos will be needed.

Anyway, the evening wound down with SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet back at work, while Stavanic rushed around killing the other Berserkers and Bandits, hoping to lure the Grand Red Dragon.  Peri will soon be loaning his hatchling to one of Ratel's characters, Thabitha, while Peri boosts her existing pony a bit - it looks as if it will have reached level 16 at least by then, and become a drake,  Cap's blue horse has a way to go before level 36 is finished, but is at least a quarter of the way in now.

Chuck Goes Up -  August 7th

SirPerivale did attempt to level his hatchling overnight, but a little darling came along and killed his Berserker at some point, leaving him just standing there for a while; still, the hatchling did manage a couple of levels, and was a full-grown drake at level 18 by lunchtime.  CaptainScarlet resumed his pet-levelling fairly early, to continue the long march through level 36.

Straight after coffee, however, Peri took a break while MistressSabina took over.  The first order of business was to transfer MistressDomino's last ten skill boxes across to her, which Sabina opened, getting three more platinum skill pills, three more platinum super skill pills, two five-packs of skill point boosters, and two of the 15% "training spell" skill pills.  The pssps and xpbs were traded back to my merchant mage, the other two items can't be traded, and are just what Sabina needs if she's going to build up her supply of skill points a bit more.

After sorting that out, MistressSabina headed for Prokion Temple, this time trying the Auzura-3 sub-server first.  My favourite back room was free, so I settled in, using a psp and an sp for a 115% boost to skill exp gain, so that, at level 31, the Orc Sergeants gave 9460 skill exp instead of 4400, and the Orc Axemen gave 7095 instead of 3300.  All went well until about ten minutes before the end, when a sorcerer called MrBean123 barged in and started to fight the Orcs I was targeting ("ks-ing"), and generally get in the way.  I hadn't intended to stay for a second hour anyway, as traditionally around half past eleven on a Friday morning, UK time, has more than its fair share of disconnections.  Sabina added 18.66% experience and 294 skill points in the hour, the equivalent of 410 with a pssp.

After the lunchtime pet-levelling, it was time for a big afternoon session, with MrChuckNorris and Rage heading for the Auzura-4 Tomb of Theos.  For the first hour, Chuck started a platinum blessed iris, for triple experience - and Rage started a crit potion, an adrenaline, and a power potion, all lasting an hour, plus one of the week-long health and mana boosts that came with the now-expired Party Recall card.

It wasn't a matter of Chuck just wall-hugging or keeping out of trouble, it had to be a true team-up, with Chuck attacking the Screaming Zombie Rage had lured too, and using Smite if Rage's Snare had failed, so things were rather hectic on this side of the two keyboards.   My efforts were rewarded, though, and by the end of the hour Chuck had gone up from level 55 to 57, adding 192.64% experience.

Luckily a level 56 ranger-rogue called BeachNutt, from the WritersGuild, had arrived just before the hour ended, and asked if there was a party to join - she kindly waited until the pbi was over, and then we teamed up, just as the two-hour "Happy Hour" of 50% extra experience began.  And we stayed partied for the whole of the two hours, except when she had a disconnection; I'd lure, she'd Snare, and if her Snare didn't work she'd quickly use Poison to show that it hadn't worked, and Chuck would use Smite.

Early on for a while a player called "ghor", a knight I think, was mobbing the Zombies, but doing it very considerately, leaving enough for me at my end of the room; later "THEonekiller" was less thoughtful, and for a time it was hard to attack a Zombie that he hadn't already got tightly clustered around him, but we persevered.

A fairly low-level rogue called m1tch3ll did want to join the party, but I had to explain that while she might only get about 20k experience from that, we would lose a whole quarter of the experience.  She did change over to her titan, MITCHELL, for a while, who was I think level 49, though even that was too low to party with us.  Still, I never object to ks-ers in that part of the Tomb, and we seemed to acquire a few, with Rogue4, plus fairly briefly a specialist sorcerer, and an archer called odearduzdathurt.

For the second and third hours Rage just used crit potions, which are the most useful kinds of pot there as they do greatly increase one's attack, as critical attacks don't seem to be scaled back against high-level foes the way normal attacks are.  By the end, Rage too had levelled up, reaching level 71, and adding 62.88% experience in all, with her drake gaining 2172 pet points.  With only 1 skill exp per kill, there weren't any skill points gained at all.

Chuck levelled up again, so that he had zoomed up to level 58, adding a further 122.02%, making 314.66% in all from the session,  So, another trip to the Tomb ought to get him safely to level 60... but playing two characters there is a bit tiring, I must admit.  I'm glad I boosted Rage's physical defence recently, she was always the target of the Zombie's ire, and used a lot of health potions.

After the "Happy Hour" ended, along with Rage's third crit potion, it was a matter of getting some belated food - slightly delayed first when SirPerivale, logging in, encountered Ratel in town, and was thus able to exchange his level 18 drake (2654/2830) for the level 11 white pony (734/1548) that Ratel's healer, Thabitha, had wanted boosted a bit.  And then Stavanic wanted help trading some items between his account and hercules2's, but I did finally manage to get downstairs for something to eat.

I wanted something rather less hectic for the evening session, so I moved my best 30/32 mage armour set, and the new necklace with the 5% suction of life and +30% chance of a critical hit, across from Sabina to MistressBlaze.  At level 35 she needs to team with someone a bit lower in level - so, who better to team with in Prokion Temple than Thabitha?

So, that's where we spent the next few hours.  Thabitha went up to level 25 - and then up to level 26, too, so she can now wear most of the 30/32 armour, and use the +13 level 29 healer wand she has on loan.  As she had already started when I got there, she added exactly 250 skill points in the session, while MB added 201, and went up 34.45%.  As yet she doesn't have a pet to acquire pet points, though as the Orcs are blue-named for her, a pet of hers wouldn't gain anything in the Temple.

After that it was just a matter of getting CaptainScarlet back in action alongside SirPerivale.  Peri had got the white pony into level 14 when a two-hour "double pet experience event" started - it had been mentioned on the website, but as being on "Friday 8th August", so we didn't really know if they meant today or tomorrow. 

Just before the double pet experience started, CaptainScarlet was ks'd by a sorcerer called JebediahJones - and a couple of minutes later he came back and did it again. then killed the local Berserkers as they respawned.  The first time, he in fact lured three more Berserkers up to me, and teleported out, in an attempt to set them on me.  It turned out, however, that he wasn't the sort of person who does that for fun, like the darling last night - he had been pet levelling further back, and come back to the keyboard to find himself (well, you know what I mean) dead, and as Cap was the nearest person he saw, he thought I was responsible.  Apparently he often uses the same spot, but goes far back into the cove, so that I'd never even known he was there.

The pale blue horse reached level 37, so Cap hurried back to Randol, got it made into a mount, and then took a pan flute to Lorraine, and then on to Jajan, where he exchanged it for a brand-new pony.  Then he quickly got back to Merac to start levelling it - one has to make full use of the two hours of double pet experience, after all...

Back in the Tomb of Theos -  August 8th

The two hours of double pet experience lasted until after midnight last night, as far as UK players were concerned; I managed to keep CaptainScarlet levelling his pony until the event had finished, and SirPerivale, on the newer computer, was able to keep going with Thabitha's white pony through the night, meaning that by the time Saturday had dawned, it was a tall, handsome white horse.

There was time after coffee to take MistressSabina back to Prokion Temple, after she had reclaimed my best 30/32 armour set, and the newly-bought necklace, from MistressBlaze.  For a change the Auzura-4 version of my favourite back room was available, so Sabina settled in there for an hour, using another super skill pill, and the last of the 15% skill pills.  The experience gain was 19.01%, along with 817 pet points and 299 skill points, so that was very slightly better than yesterday, and shows that the appearance then of MrBean123 didn't make much difference.

Sabina will level up, reaching level 32, before the next hour in Prokion Temple has reached its halfway point, so the skill points gain will go down, especially as we will just be using a psp then, for 100% extra skill exp; she will be able to learn the first witch-type skills after that, which will be interesting.

After lunch, both Peri and Cap had to make way for MrChuckNorris and Rage, for another three-hour trip to the Tomb of Theos.  As using a double-experience Blessed Iris for three hours gets as much experience gain as using two of the rather more valuable triple-experience Platinum Blessed Irises for an hour each, I decided to go for that - for both Chuck and Rage.  Rage used crit potions and adrenaline as well, and still of course had the week-long extra health and mana booster active.

All went well; before very long a knight called BOLDWYN arrived and asked to be allowed to "ks", and he stayed for the rest of the afternoon, which, since he could give the Divine Shield and Concentration buffs, increasing my armour and the chance of success of both Rage's Snare and Chuck's Smite.  Like BeachNutt yesterday, he was a member of WritersGuild; it was only when another member of that guild, a lower level archer called LilTang, briefly appeared and asked to ks, that I realised that Boldwyn was actually level 61, and so could have been inside the party all along.  So I quickly invited him in.

Boldwyn has, he told me, reached the venerable old age of sixty, and apologised if he didn't reapply buffs quickly every time, but the meds he has to take do make him a little light-headed.  He has tried to interest his grandchildren in playing Last Chaos, but I guess that something GrandPa does wouldn't seem cool...

Anyway, Chuck easily reached level sixty, and received the +5 armour and weapons - by the end he had reached level sixty-one too, after going up 222.29%.  His drake added 1194 pet points, while Rage's added 2131 - a ranger's crossbow scores hits more often than a warmaster's sword!  Rage's drake reached level 37 during the afternoon, and Rage herself, in the course of reaching level 72, added 80.24%.  There weren't any skill points to be had, though.

That leaves MistressDomina out of party range with Chuck, 16 levels behind, so something will need to be done about that.  Anyway, Chuck seems to have spent a lot of skill points now, including 889 on the five available levels of Magical Counterforce.  As this skill increases his attack speed by 12% and increases his magical defence by 50, the investment seems worthwhile.  The new +5 armour would give him 83% of the defence his current more highly-plussed set gives, and the +5 sword would give 67% of the attack his current +15 sword gives, but heck, you can't argue with "free"...

The evening session was a little less hectic.  MistressDomina will have to do a bit of solo adventuring for at least a little while, and started off with a trip to Merac, to see what new quests had come up - and, as expected, these mainly took her to Maargadum jail.  Getting five skins from the spike canines didn't take long, but obtaining ten beast hearts from the beast archers, beast scythes, and beast flyers took quite a while.  Still, the beast scythes were MD's own level, so did at least give 1100 skill exp. 

After finishing the quests and getting the rewards, which included some moonstones and physical attack potions, MistressDomina went back to the Jail for a few more minutes, but progress there was pretty slow - so it seemed like a good idea to head to Dratan, and go west out of the city to visit the Giants, which are level 52.  It helps that they are outdoors, so that horse buffs can be applied and re-applied, and really they seemed no more difficult to kill than beast scythes. so MD may do a bit of slogging there.  The whole session, including quest rewards, had only added 8.59%, along with 43 skill points.

Thabitha, Ratel's healer, has, it seems, decided that she doesn't just want her white horse boosted a bit, she wants it made into a level 37 mount - so full marks for forward planning there.  CaptainScarlet's first reaction was that some substantial bribery would be needed, we are after all talking of a mount that could easily sell for 500 million gold or more, and, after some thought, Thabs decided to offer me a platinum blessed iris, and even had Ratel bring it down to Cap in Merac as payment in advance.  He traded it across to Cap, and an ordinary blessed iris too, which seemed like a nice bonus - only afterwards saying that the BI was for passing on to Thabitha.

So, Thabs came down and took the BI, and headed for Prokion Temple, where she hoped three hours of double experience would get her close to level 31, and the free +10 armour and weapons set.  She reached level 29 before too long, but decided that she wasn't going to make it to 31 while it lasted, and, as she wasn't going to have much playing time tomorrow, needed to use that platinum blessed iris, for an hour's triple experience, as well.

So, rather than have her waste valuable BI time, Cap chivalrously volunteered to visit her in Prokion Temple to pass the PBI over...easy come, easy go.  Cap stayed around and fought alongside Thabs for a while, in the hopes that that would increase the speed at which she gained experience - and the Divine Shield buff would have helped a little too, she does get hurt pretty quickly by the Orcs.

Thabitha wasn't in the back room, which was probably wise, but in what I call the corridor room; I think having Cap there for perhaps twenty minutes did help a little, but Cap's red name does cut back the power of his attack, which when pet-levelling is the idea, but, with the +10 single sword, he was only hitting the Orcs for about 180 per hit.  Galahad would have been a better choice, but CaptainScarlet is the one who had to go there to pass the PBI over.

So, Cap added around 10% experience I think, and 33 skill points; as his experience gain is set to 50%, the Discipline guild gained 63 guild points, which puts him in second place for guild point donation there, behind MistressSabina's 11,439, and ahead of LordElpus's 2.  But then, LordElpus, "Token Sorc", is only level eight...

In the end, Thabitha got to 46% of the way through level 29 before the blessed iris ended, but by then it was gone 10:00pm UK time, and the decision was made not to use the PBI then, as there was a danger of some degree of falling asleep, and a keyboard doesn't make a very good pillow.  Can Thabitha get to level 31 before maintenance time on Tuesday evening - and if she doesn't, will there be another week of the "Player Appreciation" event, so that she still gets that armour?  We will all find out together, I guess.

Galahad to the Rescue -  August 9th

For the second night running, double pet experience was promised for two hours starting at 10:00pm UK time, and once again it was rather late starting, possibly half an hour late in fact, but one can forgive such doziness by the Aeria people, if they also forget to turn the bonus off at the end!  I'd got SirPerivale on the older computer and CaptainScarlet on the more modern one, which itself will celebrate its first birthday before too long, and, as things were getting late, I left both of them at work.  I managed to check after a few hours, and, seeing that the older computer had, not unexpectedly, run out of memory, just switched that one off, and fed Cap's horse some quality stones before returning to bed.

CaptainScarlet was still bravely pet-levelling when I checked at a more reasonable time for a Sunday morning - and, noticing that the pet experience was still going up two points at a time, I quickly got the older computer back in action too, and SirPerivale was soon out in Merac again.

Thabitha was online fairly early, working to get to level 31, and used that platinum blessed iris for triple experience for an hour - but after coffee she reported that that still left her with more than half a level to go.  So I volunteered to log Galahad in (that's "GALAHAD", should you wish to send any Item Mall gifts to him), my level 31 royal knight, and join her in Prokion Temple, an offer that Thabs quickly accepted.

Galahad certainly hits harder than CaptainScarlet, who continued levelling that white horse meanwhile.  Thabitha was in the "corridor room", where the mobs of Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen aren't as large, and, after checking and finding that the back room was already occupied, Galahad settled in there too, with his +10 twin blades carving their way through the Orcs at a good speed...faster at killing than Thabs, who does have to spend part of her time healing herself, even though she gets through the small healing potions quite quickly too.  So, by noon we got her to level 31, and she was able to put on her new +10 armour, adding about 100 to her physical defence stat.  She decided to continue for a few more minutes to get enough skill points for a particular skill.

It is always suspicious when I get a disconnection exactly on the hour or half-hour, and it was exactly noon when I stopped doing damage; before long the "disconnected" window came up, both for Galahad and for Cap.  Unfortunately Thabitha was away-from-keyboard at the time, and thus unable to try to defend Gal's level 25 drake as, in-game, Gal just stood there helpless.  When I logged back in, it cost 105,000 gold to get the dead drake "unsealed", sigh... but otherwise it was a useful session, Galahad added 39.29% experience and 108 skill points, plus some useful pet experience.  It left him on 99.05% of the way through level 31, so he would very soon be able to learn the level 32 Royal Knight skills.

Thabitha had got the 151 skill points she needed, anyway, and back in Randol took the plunge and became a cleric.  Not as easy a healer-type character to solo as an archer, but now that she has that armour, there's no further rush, so she can take her time and farm the skill points she needs.

With the double pet experience there was no huge incentive to hurry back from lunch, since Cap and Peri were taking full advantage of it; the white horse had reached level 28 by then, and Peri's horse was on level 18.  I assumed that the double pet experience would get turned off when the Sunday afternoon "TeaTime" bonus, 50% extra skill exp, started, at approximately 3pm - but it actually continued for another seventy minutes after that.

MistressSabina, guild master of Discipline, quickly logged in to set Galahad's experience gain to 50%.  Galahad then logged in, and easily got up to level 32 by claiming a quest reward from Healer Yabo; getting all five available levels of Concentration, which improves the chance of the player it is cast on's skill, such as Smite or Snare, actually working successfully, and the first three levels of the passive skill Two Weapon Fighting, quickly got through his skill point reserve.  So, off he went to Prokion Temple, where the back room was now free.  he stayed there for about half an hour before the 50% skill exp bonus started, and for the two hours as well; at level 32 the Orc Sergeants gave 7117 experience and 3850 (going up to 5775 for the two hours) skill exp, and the Orc Axemen gave 2888 experience and 2750 (going up to 4125) skill exp, so for the whole session Galahad added 28.50%, and 344 skill points.

I logged Galahad out, and was just getting SirPerivale ready for some pet-levelling while I had my food break, when a knight in the guild CaZadores, "CRisTi", came along and killed CaptainScarlet's Berserker, and JebediahJones's, nearby, too.  And he did it a couple more times... and then had the nerve to say "pls 1 mil", presumably so that he'd go away and stop bothering us.  He killed the Berserkers of SirPerivale when he'd arrived, and the other two regulars at that spot, Koolyo and lololol123, but eventually gave up and went away.

The evening session as usual had the Quiz right in the middle, not allowing anything particularly lengthy or ambitious, so MistressDomina went out to the level 52 Giants and level 53 Akane Giants in the Dratan desert , and then across to Maargadum Jail again.  After a while I decided to go down to level five there, where I fought the level 44 Death Mask Lancers (passive but protective of each other) and level 47 Death Mask Soldiers (aggressive), taking care not to annoy any level 48 Beast Crawlers, with their strong magical attacks and protective nature.  I did get a pair of +2 level 42 boots, but I think it is the level 47 and 52 ones that are rare, these are just "uncommon".

But soon it was time for the Quiz, so MD logged out, having only gained 5.65% experience, 31 skill points, and 660 pet points - and Kaerella and Rage joined Ratel's sorcerer, Elvastar, in the Auzura-2 Quiz Room.

The quiz went well for us, with very few people getting kicked out along the way, so that the ten tool aids, ten moonstones, and five plus ten heaven stones were safely acquired.  I must remember that teleporter Nadil is in Lust Trum tower, and that the cost of renting a certain weapon is the higher of the two options - and hope that they don't start thinking up any new questions to ask us...

When the Quiz was over, they announced a sudden hour of double experience and skill exp, so MistressDomina hurried back to level five of the Jail and continued there.  One player was in such a hurry that they didn't pick up the loot from killing a Death Mask Soldier... so my drake tidied the place up, and I gained another heaven stone.  As it happens, only minutes later one dropped for me in almost exactly the same place.  The Soldiers and Lancers also dropped a couple of level 41 weapons, both sorcerer scythes, one +3 and the other +4, and by the time the announcement came up that the hour was over, MD only had three inventory slots empty. 

A further 7.67% experience had been gained, plus 48 skill points and 498 pet points - I think I must have been using Terra Spear for a quick kill more, which would tend to cut down on the pet experience gain.  If MistressDomina can only manage about 4% experience per hour there, well, it will take another nineteen hours to reach level 46, which seems a bit slow...

Well, after that it was time for SirPerivale to get some more pet-levelling done.  His horse did reach level nineteen before logging out time, while CaptainScarlet's (or Thabitha's) white horse was moving through level twenty-nine by then.

A MIxed Blessing -  August 10th

CaptainScarlet pet-levelled through the night for one final time before the white horse gets too high-level and hungry for that sort of thing, and SirPerivale joined him fairly early in the morning - before breakfast time, anyway.  It was lucky that an archer called CrystalClearr didn't visit Merac until later, as she was the type who doesn't just "ks" the Berserker that a pet-leveller is using, she sticks around and does the same to the next one, and the next - but eventually she tired of her mischief and moved on.

After coffee MistressSabina headed for Prokion Temple; the Auzura-4 back room was in use again, so Sabina and Cap had to move across to Auzura-3.  Luckily the only couple of visitors showed the same consideration that Sabina had shown for the Auzura-4 occupant and quickly moved on, so that as expected level 32 was reached, and the hour, using just a double skill exp psp, added 260 skill points, as well as 15.27% experience and 900 pet points, which were enough to get Sabina's drake into level thirty.

Back in Randol, MistressSabina spent 865 skill points on the new level 32 skills Astral Energy (200 more health, when a wand is equipped), Mana Barrier (25 more physical evasion) and Stone (turning the target to stone for ten seconds, and removing all buffs/debuffs - or, at least, an 80% chance of so doing), a witch's main attack skill.

After lunch, while CaptainScarlet continued work on the white horse, which apparently is now going to be given to the archer Jacqueline rather than the cleric Thabitha, MistressDomina headed down to level five of Maargadum Jail again.  There wasn't time to use a three-hour boost, but MD did at least use a one-hour 30% extra experience potion, which presumably added about 1% to her total - which came in at 9.43%, plus 49 skill points and 1184 pet points.  The good news was that MD did pick up a level 47 boots manual, which is a pretty rare and desirable drop, as well as two more heaven stones; the bad news was that a resurrection scroll did have to be used at the end, when a mis-click targeted a Beast Crawler, bringing swift magical attacks from all of those nearby and a speedy death.  Ah well, it was about time for the session to end, anyway.

For the evening session, the plan was to go across to the Cariae server, and finish the job of getting that new healer LadyAuzura up to level 31, so my level 100 archer Barbarienne logged in on Cariae-3, and teamed up with LadyA, who was already in charge of my Scra-Chi pet SkrappY.  We headed for the Tomb of Theos, and, once LadyA was safely close to the wall, she started one of the "beginner" + 150% platinum blessed irises, and Barb began shooting Screaming Zombies.

It all went smoothly, though there was only "4 hours" left of a second pbi when LadyAuzura finally reached level 31, meaning that even with the platinum blessed irises it had taken almost three hours for Barb to get LadyA there - which would have been just about seven hours without their use!  On level thirty, each Zombie kill had added just under 2.5% experience.  Still, while Barbarienne must have gone up less than 1% overall, both SkrappY and Barb's reindeer-horse pet got useful experience.

Our old guildie Limey got in touch almost as soon as Barb had arrived on Cariae, eager to hear how I was getting on - and before I'd reached the Tomb Astarael messaged me as well.  The plan there is to at least reach level 109 before September, apparently, when the Katar guild he's in has plans for a mass migration to the new mmorpg Aion.  Paying a £8 monthly fee ought to work out cheaper than buying lots or aeria points, the theory goes...

Back on Auzura after our excursion, CaptainScarlet was soon back in action pet-levelling, while there was just about time for Galahad to head for Prokion Temple.  Before heading for Merac Cap passed over the last ten of Chuck's stash of skill boxes, out of which Galahad got a couple of the 15% training spells and three pssps, plus scrolls and skill point boosters, so, once he reached the Prokion Temple back room, Gal started a pssp and a 15% red-and-white pill, so that at level 32 the Orc Axemen gave 5162 skill exp and the Orc Sergeants gave 12127, and settled in.

Unfortunately, when there was a little under "10 hours" left on the pills, or 25 minutes in real time, the announcement came up that the servers were going to have to be shut down for a reset in five minutes - so both Cap and Gal had to log out.  It's best not to wait for the actual disconnection, as you can lose recent experience and skill exp gains that way, not to mention recent loot.  The servers didn't stay down for long, so I was soon able to log Cap back in and send him back to Merac, and then rush Galahad back to the Temple, to finish what was left of the skill pills - which was now reset to about "20 hours", which was a bit useful.

What wasn't useful was an announcement that there was to be an hour's worth of double experience and skill exp, as the skill exp wouldn't "stack" with the 215% extra I was already getting, while double experience just meant that there'd be less time in Gal's current level for sp-farming... he has his experience gain reduced to 50% for a reason, after all.  Still, it all meant that during his rather extended "hour" Galahad added 448 skill points, as well as 23.34% experience and 1349 pet points.

Ratel had visited CaptainScarlet soon after our return from Cariae, and passed over the replacement platinum blessed iris, as well as 150 quality stones towards the pet-levelling involved.  Cap had been ignoring a nearby Pandora's Box, as I was focussing on Galahad's sp farming, but Ratel opened it - and I was right to ignore it, as it unleashed a level 50 Pandora's Beast.  That of course was no problem for Ratty, who has killed the Grand Red Dragon before now, and he quickly despatched it.  A little later, he reported that he had been down to the far end of Maargadum Jail, and fought its level 52 boss, the Death Knight of Iris - which had killed him with two hits.  He plans on getting a few more levels before going back and teaching the big guy the error of his ways, the way he did with "the fat spider" Baal.

The white horse had just reached level 32 by then, so Ratel was suitably impressed with the progress.  My own horse, being raised by SirPerivale, is going through level 21 now, so it won't be long before both those pets start to get hungrier.  perhaps in a level or two I should stop Peri levelling that horse, and wait until Cap is ready to take it on.  Peri could start on a new drake, perhaps, I'm sure I still have characters who need one.

A Mad Monster Spawn -  August 11th

I can't claim that this was my busiest day ever in Last Chaos.  CaptainScarlet and SirPerivale did begin their pet levelling before breakfast, true, but I wasn't able to do any active playing in the morning.  This at least meant that the two horse pets got plenty of time to acquire more pet points, so that the white horse which will go to Jacqueline soon reached level 33, with Peri's horse hanging in there ten levels behind.

After lunch, MistressSabina went off to Prokion Temple on Auzura-3, and popped one of her remaining super skill pills, for double skill exp for an hour... but after a while I felt so tired I could hardly keep going.  I guess these early morning starts, and late night finishes, are getting to me.  I did just about keep on fighting the Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen until the pill ran out, gaining 196 skill points and 10.27% experience, but then I had to tuck Sabina in a corner, and go and lie down for half an hour.

After that, with the help of a relatively interesting pair of radio shows, I did manage to do a second hour, which added 198 skill points and another 10.45% experience, making the totals for the afternoon 20.72% and 394 skill points, plus 1927 pet points, but that was enough for me on the action side.

So, for the few minutes remaining before my food break, I decided to go shopping in Auzura-1's Randol.  I didn't find any useful armour, either a 75/77 rogue set for Rage to level up towards or a reasonably plussed level 70/72 set which, while it would duplicate what Rage is currently wearing, would allow Kaerella to get back into action.

What I did find were a couple of cheap monster combo type necklaces, both with 5% suction of life and some defence - SirShadow charged 15.3 million for his, and HARDCORE only charged 10 million for one with slightly less defence.  I also found HOTSHOP selling six extreme stones at 15 million each, so bought those as well.

I had hoped to be able to upgrade MistressDomina's armour with a couple of the extreme stones, but both the shirt and skirt of her current set, I discovered, had had an ES used on them before I bought them, so I wasn't able to take them beyond +12.  Still, exchanging her 5% suction of life necklace for the better of the two new ones did increase her defence by 12, and moving the two armour pieces from +11 to +12 added another 12 each to defence.  Chuck's current armour hadn't had any extreme stones used, so taking the shirt and pants from +11 to +13 added another 76 to his physical defence... and will also benefit MistressDomina when she inherits that set of course.

The regular Tuesday "Mad Monster Spawn" was due at five o'clock, UK time, on the Auzura server, so, having missed it in recent weeks, I took MistressBlaze along.  Nothing actually happened until gone 5:15 - well, for GM Stratos on America's west coast it is still fairly early in the morning, he deserves a cup of coffee first.  But things did get rolling, and, with the high-level people doing most of the work, we did manage to get through the waves of monsters gradually.

TinySickNinja was there - since she reached a high level I'd not seen her around, so it was good to know she was still active.  Since at level 35 MistressBlaze is a bit vulnerable, even in that free +10 armour set, my policy was to only attack monsters that were already being attacked by high-level people; I debuffed the monsters with Curse and Sloth, and tried to give the Haste and Chakra Shield buffs to suitable people.

MistressBlaze did get killed three times, which is a bit below average for a MMS; but she had the "beginner" resurrection scrolls, which are likely to vanish when she levels up anyway, so didn't lose anything.  There were a couple of other occasions when her health got awfully low, too, I think one of the Spirit Cave archers used a skill that takes health down to 1... but by the end, she had added 9.80% experience.

That isn't a lot of experience, considering that the "MMS" lasted about two hours - but then, when you are fighting Patriarch Botis monsters 100 levels above you, or Flutons a level higher at 136, you do tend to miss a lot.   But it was fun, and it makes a change to be part of a great mob of players, even if it can be hard to target the monster in the middle sometimes. I'd cast Curse on a Patriarch Botis, and it had started to follow me before the rather higher-level rogues around had managed to use Snare on it successfully, and I said, "He wants to follow me home - can I keep him...?"

As well as health and mana recovery potions, and tool aids, I did manage to pick up 3 skill point boosters, 5 item drop boosters, 6 large defence potions, and 10 large attack potions from the "hands" spawned as rewards for us between the waves.  We took so long on the boss wave that we were nowhere near the speed needed to qualify for a round of loot-spawning that would include heaven stones, so GM Stratos just briefly spawned a rather large mob of Flutons, leading to some carnage in that part of the field, before they, and he, vanished.

After that, well, I started work on the blog early, in the hopes of getting an early night, since I was still feeling tired.  Peri and Cap were busy pet-levelling, at least, but I put aside tentative plans to either take Galahad back to the Temple for an hour, or for MistressDomina to go to the Dratan desert or Maargadum Jail again.

Ratel reported that he had managed to get a level 49 weapon manual, so he had probably been out fighting the Giants.  He has already made himself a level 49 shield, but is still unable to get very far with getting a 50/52 armour set together, with only two of the five pieces.  As Ratty is unlikely to reach level sixty for a while, he had paid 110 million for one of the "Player Appreciation" sets of 60/62 armour.  Not a bad price - in fact, as its previous owner had upgraded it from +5 to +6, a bit of a bargain. He will be able to use all of it from level 57, and most of it from level 56, so buying a set makes sense.  If the event was still running then, he could always sell the newly-arriving set when it came.

But at the moment we don't even know if the "Player Appreciation" event will still be going tomorrow, after tonight's maintenance.  Time will tell!

An Unexpected Visitor -  August 12th

In the end they didn't run the maintenance shut-down at the usual time last night, instead it was rescheduled for 7:00pm this evening, which rather cut down on my possible playing time today.  As presumably a lot of people make other arrangements for the Tuesday shut-down, it all seems a bit counter-productive.

Still, the pet-levelling started before breakfast today, with, first of all, SirPerivale trading his level 23 horse across to SirDarth, in exchange for the level 1 dragon hatchling that Darth had got from Jajan a few days ago.  Then Peri headed for Merac, where he was soon joined by CaptainScarlet, who quickly got the white horse up to level 34.

Someone did "ks" Cap during the morning, so that his Berserker was killed and he just stood there for a while; it was probably the same person who opened a Pandora's Box, releasing a level 50 Beast which was prowling nearby when I checked on Cap...luckily, not too close by, though they do move around so that both Cap and Peri were in danger.

So, Cap logged out briefly to allow Chuck to ride down and deal with it.  Now that Chuck is level 61 the Beasts are blue-named to him, so it's not surprising that no gold was dropped.  I suppose in future MistressDomina will have to take over the Beast-killing duties.

SirPerivale got the new hatchling moving along nicely, except for one hiatus when the crafty Berserker managed to get a tree between it and Peri, so that the "attack blocked" message came up, and aggro was lost until I noticed the lack of activity and restarted the fight.  As usual it took most of the morning to get the new pet's Sympathy up from 50% to 100%; by that time it had reached level five, so was ready to start contributing a useful Armour Increase buff.

For the afternoon session, a trip to Prokion Temple was required - and this time I went for the team of my level 35 back-up wizard MistressBlaze and my level 31 pet-leveller CaptainScarlet.  Well, it makes a change, yes?  MistressBlaze really won't get much in the way of skill exp there unless she has a lower-level party member within range, and Cap, well, I would like to get him up to level 32 so that he can learn Wall of Belief, a passive skill which will increase his physical defence.

The back room on Auzura-3 was in use when I arrived, so I retraced my steps to the corridor room - it's lucky I wasn't using any skill pills, as the respawns there are a bit sparse, and one can't really get a big mob together to use Flame Storm on.  Before very long, leaving Cap there, MB headed along to check on the back room.  The good news was that the previous player had left - the bad news was that a level 82 SkinWalker, a rather tough boss monster, was there instead!

I knew that SkinWalkers were passive, so MB killed a few Orcs there, but it would just need the SkinWalker to wander within range of Flame Storm for MistressBlaze to be suddenly dead, so I logged her out - and logged in my level 72 rogue Rage instead.

Rage hurried to Prokion Temple, which luckily she still has on her memory scroll, and rushed to the back room.  A SkinWalker is no pushover even for her, and it took quite a while, and a lot of Snare usage, plus quite a few great health potions, but finally the SkinWalker died.  It dropped a heaven stone, which Rage couldn't pick up for a while, I assume because loot from specially summoned monsters like that is specifically for whoever used the summoning scroll, but eventually, as with all loot, it became available, so Rage grabbed it.  Rage gained 4,130,724 experience and 550 skill exp - and, after waiting to make sure that another monster wasn't going to appear, logged out.

CaptainScarlet hurried along to occupy the room, while MistressBlaze logged back in and returned.  And so the pair of them settled in, and spent the rest of the afternoon with MB happily roasting Orcs, and Cap picking stuff up, occasionally fighting an Orc, and generally giving moral support.

The Orc Axemen tended to give around 1100-1200 skill exp each to both MB and Cap, and the Orc Sergeants about 1600-1800, so fighting them was better than going out into Merac or to the Poison Mists for MB, with Cap's share as a bonus, but it not as much as a player would get when closer to their level.  In total MistressBlaze added 13.35% experience and 121 skill points; Cap must have gained a similar amount of sp, and is now almost a quarter of the way through level 31.  He can now afford the first four levels of Wall of Belief, which just cost 111 skill points, and will increase his physical defence by 105, which can't be bad; for level five, and adding another 50 to his physical defence stat, 216 skill points will be needed, so some more sp farming, on the way to level 32, must be in Cap's future.  My hope is that, when his defence has been increased, he will be able to pet-level on Gnolls or Gnoll Lancers which, being right down to the south of Merac, are less likely to attract passing ks-ers.

Cap teleported back to town, and resumed his pet-levelling over the food break, joined by SirPerivale.  Well, not exactly "joined", as Cap was still on Auzura-3, and Peri as usual was on Auzura-4, along with Koolyo and a couple of others.  Cap did have a visitor, a fairly low-level mage called CasCas, who was trying to do some pet-levelling herself by attacking, without a weapon, Cap's Berserker.  It probably wouldn't have worked with Peri, as he hits for 26 at a time, but with Cap's red-name reduction to his hitting power he only hits for 17, so the Berserker's health was holding up pretty well.

However, I did warn CasCas to be ready to run, as a Berserker will change its aggro-target after a while in circumstances like that - and before long, she did get killed.  She returned once, but after another attack, I think wisely decided that the risk wasn't worth it.

The evening session was always going to be a short one, but there seemed to be time to send MistressDomina out to the Giants and Akane Giants for a while, so that is what I did, though a bit half-heartedly, tending to retreat to a safe place and allow my health and mana to regenerate every few minutes. I was chatting to Ratel, who was saying how much he'd like to get up to level sixty, even if the "Player Appreciation" armour deal ends.  I had to say that Chuck wasn't currently available for a teaming, as MD has to get back within range of him, so if Chuck levelled up again at the moment that would be a big problem. We were just arranging for a Ratty/MD team-up, at least for the half hour or so remaining before the maintenance, when I noticed that my last message hadn't appeared in the chat window.

It was a disconnection - a mass disconnection, with CaptainScarlet too getting that window, and "account already logged in" when one attempted to log back in, or "failed to connect to server" with a different account.   On the Last Chaos ShoutBox the gamesage Dinosue2 was insisting that it was a server crash, not a deliberate no-warning early start to the maintenance - until the game master GM Kali appeared and said that it was a deliberate action, and apologised for the lack of warning.

Well, the estimated time for the maintenance was around three hours, so that was going to take me up to my usual log-out time anyway.  It's possible I guess that there may be time for some late night pet levelling, but, that's the end of the excitements for today.

A Welcome Boost -  August 13th

Yesterday evening's "server maintenance", starting before 6:30pm UK time, went on and on, with talk of "two hours" turning to "three hours", and then "done when it's done" - it was still going on after five hours when I logged out, so there wasn't any opportunity for late night pet levelling, or for SirPerivale to level his dragon hatchling overnight.  So, for European players the whole evening session was lost, no wonder the forum ShoutBox kept getting messages from unhappy would-be players.

However, this morning things were back in action, without any new patch; all the work was apparently working on the "back end" of the servers, attempting to make them more reliable.  So, there was no return yet of the merchant house system, and no rebalancing of the skill exp to be gained from mid-level monsters... but on the other hand, the "Player Appreciation" event is still rolling, so maybe Ratel will have a chance to get to level sixty before it ends.

I had to go off to the supermarket for a "big shop", so SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet were left pet-levelling, which went smoothly - Cap had been ks'd a little earlier, but wasn't out of action for long.  When I returned after a couple of hours a level fifty Pandora's Beast was prowling on the far side of the clearing, so Cap logged out and MistressDomina rode down on her snow-white charger to deal with it - it dropped 63,200 gold, which made her trip worthwhile.

Cap's white horse reached level 35 just before lunch, and Peri's hatchling reached level 12 soon after, making four levels in the morning session for it. But after lunch, the pet-levelling was suspended, as Cap had an important date - to meet up with MistressBlaze again in Prokion Temple.

The Auzura-3 Temple seemed pretty busy as MB and Cap hurried towards the back room, but thankfully my favourite room was free, so we settled in as usual - and it soon became apparent that, after treating us so badly last night, the game was making amends with some nice double experience and skill exp.

So, even with taking a few minutes off mid-way, MistressBlaze reached level 36 in the course of adding 23.40% experience, and a very handy 231 skill points; CaptainScarlet got almost as many skill points, there was one restart and hurry-back, so that he does now have enough sp for all five levels of the passive skill Wall of Belief which come available when he reaches level 32, and 48 to spare.  He is almost halfway through level 31 now.  I assume his bare-fisted hitting power is likely to go up slightly when he reaches the new level, but I'm sure that he will still be hitting Berserkers a lot more lightly than the white-named SirPerivale.

Cap teleported back to town, and then on to Merac, while MistressBlaze logged out, and Peri logged in for some pet-levelling over the food break.  I noticed that Cap was in theory still in a party with MB, probably because she logged out while he was teleporting.

The evening session began with MistressDomina heading west out of Dratan city, fighting Giants.  I was teamed, for the solo party boost, with CaptainScarlet, who was still with his Berserker, and Ratel, who had recently logged on.  He was busy making a level 49 sword, collecting the raw materials needed and having them processed - but then he rode out, after successfully making the sword, riding past me in fact to the Akane Giants I was heading towards.

We teamed up to fight the Akane Giants, and indeed the Elite Akane Giant and even a few Masters of Secret Technique, which are close by.  I had mentioned to Ratel earlier that double experience and skill exp was running, but I guess he'd been too busy preparing to make that sword to notice, and he was suitably impressed with the amount of experience he was getting.  After a while though he needed to go off and solo some Elite Goblins, which were closer to his level, to finish getting enough skill points, 250, to at last be able to get level six of Wall of Belief, which comes available at level 47.

Ratel wasn't over-impressed with the increase to his defence stat, 60, those skill points got him, but hey, it all helps.  And it inspired him to suggest that we could try teaming up over at the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, to see how we fared against monsters at that kind of level (63 and 64), before we decided whether we could handle a trip to Egeha to fight the Bogles (level 65).

Cap logged out, and Galahad logged in, and used his memory scroll to teleport to the Sphinx spot.  While he could have joined our party, being only 15 levels below Ratty, I didn't want to dilute the experience gain we'd get - and Galahad doesn't really want experience without skill exp anyway.  So Gal buffed Ratel and MD, when she arrived from the Akane Giants, with Concentration, to increase the likelihood of their skills succeeding, and just stood and watched.

It wasn't without its risks, but Ratel and MD did okay.  Pretty soon we were joined by Stavanic, who had been chatting with Ratel, but after a few minutes his contribution rather fizzled out, with him concentrating more on a chat window than on fighting.  We gave him as long as we could, but just staying in range and getting a share of the experience without actually fighting is called "leaching", so eventually I had to kick him from the party.  I thought perhaps he was lagging out, as he vanished moments after that, but apparently Ratel had advised him to return to town, for his own safety - with respawning sphinx types, he could have got into trouble without knowing about it.

It wasn't a hugely long session out there, but it certainly boosted our experience nicely.  Up until the move to the Sphinx types MistressDomina had added perhaps 15%, which by recent standards was pretty good - but the total evening session zoomed up to 55.32%, plus 34 skill points and 1030 pet points... enough to get MD's drake into level 36. 

After Ratel logged out, I didn't stick around, and CaptainScarlet and SirPerivale were soon back in Merac with the Berserkers.  There was a brief interruption when Peri opened a Pandora's Box and released a level fifty Pandora's Beast, so that MistressDomina had to ride down and deal with it; this one dropped 112,800 gold, which must be about the maximum possible amount. By the end of the evening the white horse was approaching the halfway mark in level 35, and Peri's hatchling was well into level 13.

A New Armour Set -  August 14th

Well, yesterday was the thirteenth, and SirPerivale's dragon hatchling had reached level thirteen yesterday evening, but Peri bravely continued his pet-levelling through the night.  There was one disconnection eventually, but not before three levels had been gained, and Peri was soon back in action - joined before breakfast by CaptainScarlet, as the white horse that Jacqueline is looking forward to mounting continued its lengthy journey through level 35.

Just before breakfast I sighted a Pandora's Beast across on the far side of the clearing, so SirPerivale briefly made way for MistressDomina, who rode down and dealt with it, getting a 52,000 gold drop as a reward.  But then it was back to the regular pair of pet-levellers - until after coffee.

For a change, it was the back room in Prokion Temple on Auzura-3 that was in use, and the Auzura-4 sub-server's version that was free, so that is where MistressBlaze and CaptainScarlet ended up for an hour or so.  Now that MB is level 36 progress is fairly slow, but the experience and skill exp, at least from the Orc Sergeants, is still better than anything the Poison Mists would supply, or the mid-thirties monsters in Merac.  MB added 7.51% and 77 skill points, while Cap, five levels lower, who has his experience gain half-frozen, went up by 8.22%, and added a similar number of skill points.

MistressFelicia had been taking care of my 50/52 armour set, which Rage had used but Chuck had skipped entirely; she traded the set across to MistressDomina, who paid Collector Ryu just under a million gold to transform it from rogue armour into the mage equivalent.  MD could already wear the gloves, and it was useful to be prepared for levelling up.

By the way, out of curiosity I did a Google search for "SirPerivale", and while my mentions of him in this blog are the top results, I also found pictures of a (retired) Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel apparently of that name, which was a bit of a surprise, as I thought that using the name of a less-than-sparkling London suburb, knighted, was a one-off idea of mine, and indeed the Google results page did ask if I really wanted "SirPercivale".  I suspect that somebody didn't spell the name of the ship correctly. There were a couple of other results for knightly fiction, too.

After lunch Stavanic got in touch with SirPerivale, since they are both in the DeathBringers guild, and I mentioned that it had been a shame he'd got too busy to continue with us at the Sphinx types last night, as they gave good experience.  Another guild member, Lylja, a level 53 archer, volunteered to team up with us there, so I switched to MistressDomina and headed out to the usual spot.  Steve soon arrived, and said he would lead me to the location where Lylja did her fighting - which turned out just to be on the corner, mere yards away.

It wasn't a long session, but it gave MD the experience she needed to reach level 46, and be able to put on the level 51 "Bluses" shirt and skirt from the new armour set - just the level 52 "Maerys" circlet and "Shenimas" boots to go.  Stavanic needed to level up too, and left the party for a few minutes to use boosters to do that more quickly.

Before long Stavanic had to go - as he is on US time, probably for breakfast, while Lylja too couldn't stay much longer, as she had to go to work.  MD stayed for a few more minutes; basically there are one Sphinx Fighter and one Sphinx Speer Man who spawn close enough to the "safe" end, and if MD uses Curse to slow one of them down, then uses Terra Spear and retreats before using it again, and perhaps a third time, she can take them without any great risk, though the "lag" effect where the target seems to stop at a safe distance, and then suddenly is right on top and attacking, can be off-putting.

MistressDomina had added 19.67% by the time she left the Sphinx types - the "Happy Hour" had just started, about twenty minutes late, and it seemed a good idea to switch to a character, or two characters, who would benefit from the 50% extra skill exp.

So, MistressBlaze headed back to Prokion Temple.  For the first time for a while both the Auzura-3 and Auzura-4 room I wanted was in use, so MB ended up on Auzura-5, a PvP-enabled sub-server.  This time it wasn't CaptainScarlet who joined her, after all his wish to level up is scarcely very urgent - it was SirDarth, who hasn't been playing much recently, so may as well make an attempt to earn that +10 armour set and weapons.

At present Darth just has the 25/27 +4 armour that Peri used to have, and not even the +13 shield, so, once MB was settled in the room, he just applied horse buffs outside the Temple, ran to the room, and took refuge in the corner.  MB got to work, and, while the end of the "Happy Hour" wasn't actually announced, I suppose they switched it off after two hours or so.  By then MB had gained 25.40% experience and 220 skill points; I don't think the skill exp was increased much by Darth, a few levels lower than Cap, taking over as MB's companion, but the experience certainly was.

SirDarth himself levelled up, reaching level 24, and gained almost as many skill points, since he missed out on the first couple of minutes.  But finally it was time for my food break - at least an hour later than usual, as I'd not wanted to miss any of the "Happy Hour" boost.  And it was at that point that Ratel logged on, so I had to apologise, and say I was vanishing for my food break, but would be back as soon as I could.

The plan was for Ratel and MistressDomina to go to Egeha, accompanied by Galahad, who would be outside the party and just supply the Concentration buff to increase the chance of Ratty's Shield Stun and Teleportation skills working - MD's Terra Spear too, I think.  So, off we set, starting three-hour Blessed Irises for double experience, killing Bogles reasonably easily though MD did often have to run for it.  We headed for the hill that I tend to use there, but before long the Grand Red Dragon turned up, so we headed down to the road below - and then back up when it "arrived" again.  Not long after its third "arrival", however, Ratel got an abrupt disconnection.  He had been having lag problems, and decided that we might do better to continue in Dratan with the Sphinx types.

So, we met up again there, and continued the session.  A sorcerer called VinDiesel was teamed with a lower-level friend, and we left the two easiest-to-access Sphinx types to them, with Ratel concentrating on the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and the others nearby it.

And so the time passed, with Ratel usually starting with a stun, and me adding Curse when it was about to run out, so that, if, as usually happened, the foe turned on me, it would move fairly slowly.  I was getting through a lot of mana pots, and health pots too, and so was Ratty.  After a while we were teamed with Stavanic again, but just for solo party purposes as he was fighting in Maargadum Jail.  Later he did come out to us, intending just to give us the Concentration buff, not realising that Galahad had that side of things covered.

VinDiesel asked to team up with us towards the end, and with the sorcerer stun and other skills he was handy to have around, leading Ratel to think of possible Tomb parties.  I did finally level up again, reaching level 47 so that MistressDomina could wear the whole 50/52 armour set, just as the Blessed Iris was running out.  Vin had one running too, but it had eight "hours" left (20 minutes), so we continued a little longer, but unfortunately, due in part to lag, and in part to Ratty's habit of attacking the Elite even if that was sure to bring two or three more Speer Men rushing in, he did die, losing 2.5% experience... though after getting that Wall of Belief sixth level he didn't have many unused skill points, so didn't lose any of them.   As it was now late he didn't come back from town, and, although I fought a few more Sphinx Fighters, Vin decided that, even if his BI hadn't quite finished, he was done for the night too.

In all over the three hours or so MistressDomina had gone up another 94.28%, plus 966 pet points and 3 skill points - which may not seem much, but that's what you get when you fight monsters that are approaching twenty levels above you.  And it did get MD's cache of unused skill points back over the 27k mark...

CaptainScarlet had got the white horse up to level 36 over the early evening food break, but that final level is likely to last a day or two.  SirPerivale's pet is now, on level 18, a drake rather than a hatchling, so should soon be ready to be passed over to a suitable character, since some of my squad don't as yet have a pet to pick up stuff and give a buff, which generally is a good idea.

Two Blessed Irises   -  August 15th

SirPerivale tirelessly levelled his drake through the night, gaining three levels, and was joined in Merac bright and early by CaptainScarlet, so that all went pretty smoothly.  I did give them a little time off before coffee, to move some items around, including getting MrChuckNorris the 65/67 armour set and level 65 +15 weapon, which he converted from rogue equipment to titan for a little under two million gold.  And very smart he looked in the new armour, too.  Old sets were transferred by Chuck and MistressDomina across to MistressFelicia, who looks after those types of thing.

While she was online, MD, as acting Norcaine guild master, unfroze SirDarth's experience gain, so that after coffee, the plan was to team him up again with MistressBlaze in Prokion Temple.  MB tried the Auzura-3 sub-server first, and luck was with us, the room we needed was empty, so SirDarth hurried to join her.  With a "solo party", with Darth out of range, at level 36 MistressBlaze gets 550 skill exp from an Orc Axeman, and three times that from an Orc Sergeant - it's significantly more when he is in the room, and the experience gain is greatly increased, perhaps by a factor of five.

We must have managed to fit in over two hours of Orc-flaming, and only had one visitor, a rogue called Come2Me, who when she saw how well MB was dominating the room, kindly left to farm her sp elsewhere.  MistressBlaze added 25.71% experience, and 166 skill points; his late arrival meant SirDarth got one skill point less, but added 170.57% to his experience, getting him comfortably into level 26.  Once they had logged out, Discipline's guild master, MistressSabina, logged in briefly to set MB's experience gain to 50%, since her current level seems rather handy for teaming with Darth - and besides, Discipline needs the guild points.

For the afternoon, I had decided to do what we had done before - team MistressDomina, now that she is back within fifteen levels of him, with Chuck, and take them both to Egeha, and farm the Bogles.  MD used a Blessed Iris for three hours of double experience, and Chuck used a 30% experience boosting elixir for the same period.

I have long suspected that titans aren't the brightest of people, and I'm afraid Chuck rather proved that.  He was wearing his new armour, and had handed the previous set over to MistressFelicia - but he is only level 61, so wearing the new boots and headgear gave him a 50% penalty to his total defence stat, since they are level 67 and you can only wear, without penalty, armour five levels above your own level!  I was wondering why, when his stun skill, Smite, failed, he was taking so much damage, sigh.  So MD logged out, and Felicia logged back in, borrowed some gold from CaptainScarlet, who luckily had enough for the "ticket" to Egeha, and met Chuck in town, trading across his old headgear and boots.  Then MD had to log back in and travel to Egeha again, so at 800,000 gold a time it was getting a bit expensive.

MistressDomina herself almost got killed when she clicked on a Bogle and attacked it by mistake - I think her health went down to 18, in fact.  Luckily nobody clicked on the Grand Gold Dragon, which put in regular "arrivals" every thirteen of fourteen minutes, from 1:25pm, UK time, up to 4:24 - thirteen in all, for some reason she must have gone elsewhere in Egeha at 2:20!  It just shows how quiet that map is, these days.  Even with that 30% boost, Chuck only gained 12.25% for the session, and 14 skill points; again, MD was one behind on the skill point front, but added a more substantial 74.27% experience.  And Chuck's drake got 1188 pet points.

SirPerivale's drake reached level 22 during the early evening food break - and at about the same time CaptainScarlet reached the halfway point in the white horse's 36th and final level.

Ratel had come online just as I was about to vanish to get some food, so I stayed around long enough to help him transfer some items between characters.  Once I was back, though, we decided to team up against the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men again, for the three hours a Blessed Iris would last.  Once we were out in the Dratan grasslands I looked to see if he'd started his BI, and noticed that he was using a 30% boost experience potion as well, so I used one too.

We had the place to ourselves, basically; later on a rogue called Flashpoint asked to join the party, but was just too low a level and was "capped" by Ratty being level 49.  After a minute of fighting with us from outside the party, she decided to leave.  Generally Ratel would either teleport a Sphinx type to him to fight, or just attack; I'd normally use Curse, so that if, as seemed likely, it turned its attention to me, it would at least move slowly, giving time for Terra Spear etc, and Ratel's continuing attacks.  His shield-using stun was very handy, as was his ability sometimes to teleport the monster away if it had been chasing after me.

One later visitor was the raid boss Kamira, who doesn't often get lured to that spot, usually people are busy with Harpies or Sand Golems or Poison Mists, etc, and they get the "arrival".  Knowing our limitations, it seemed a good idea for me to change to Rage and kill her, just to get her out of the way.  So, MD logged out, and Rage logged in and teleported across.  Kamira went down pretty easily - she didn't drop any rare item, but there were the usual moonstones, lucky scrolls, medal of honour, crystal or experience (greater), and so on.

MistressDomina hurried back, by which time Ratel had soloed the Elite Sphinx Speer Man a couple of times, using rather a lot of pots, and we continued for the final 15 minutes.  Ratel ended up with still 20% or so to go for his next level - and mentioned that he had hoped to reach level 50 on his birthday.  Nice that he should choose to spend time on such a day teamed up with me... Anyway, MistressDomina added 112.70%, getting well into level 48, plus 4 skill points and 1150 pet points.  Ratel is certainly a quicker attacker than Chuck, as Chuck generally had to wait for his Smite skill to recharge - and of course MD didn't help him in the way she assisted Ratel.

Back in town, there were skills to learn - 820 skill points got invested, in all.  The passive skill Mage Armour 2 (a single level) increased MD's mana regeneration rate by 2 per 2.5 seconds, while the attack skills Fear and Freeze Arrow had five levels each to learn - Fear causes nearby monsters to turn and flee for 5 seconds (with a 90% success rate apparently), while Freeze Arrow, with a power of 260% of a normal hit, slows down one's foe by 30% for ten seconds.  That doesn't seem as useful as Curse for the slowing-down part, as Curse lasts substantially longer - they are difficult to compare as Curse slows movement by a specific amount, rather than by a percentage.  Still, Freeze Arrow is a useful skill, which is more than can be said for Fear usually, I think.

About the last thing Ratel said before logging out was an enquiry about the white horse for Jacqueline, and its progress - to which I could reply that it should be ready tomorrow.  It's lucky that Ratel decided we didn't need Galahad along with us at the Sphinx types, as that meant CaptainScarlet could continue the pet-levelling for that three hours or so.  It will be a bit of a slightly belated birthday present.  And SirPerivale's drake is well into level 22 now.

Two Kamiras   -  August 16th

SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet were in action fairly early this Sunday morning, but Argoth, Ratel's titan, was already in Randol.  He'd recruited a new level 13 rogue MissElegant into the Norcaine guild, so, after Cap had taken a drake egg to Lorraine, and then gone to Jajan in Dratan to get it exchanged for a brand-new dragon hatchling, MistressDomina logged in briefly to put the newcomer on a 50% experience gain freeze as requested.

It only took about an hour to finish getting the white horse to level 37, and after that Cap switched over to starting to level the new hatchling.  Then a little later after coffee SirDarth logged in, and passed the level 24 horse he'd been holding over to Cap, in exchange for the hatchling, and then traded the hatchling across to SirPerivale in exchange for the level 23 drake - so that's Darth equipped with a useful-level pet, as well as his mount.

MistressBlaze teamed up with Darth then, and headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-4, where we were lucky enough to find the back room free.  I noticed two visitors over the couple of hours or so MD and Darth were there, but they left before I could even note down their names, to try another room or a different sub-server.

With her experience gain now on the 50% freeze, MistressBlaze added 13.03% during the morning, and 172 skill points.  I noticed that before Darth arrived she got 642 experience & 550 skill exp from an Orc Axeman, and 948 & 1650 from an Orc Sergeant; the first two kills after Darth got into compass range gave her 3022 & 1725 from an Axeman, and 6698 & 2139 from a Sergeant, though the figures do vary from one kill to the next.

SirDarth reached level 27 during the session, so will now be able to borrow one of the 30/32 +10 knight armour sets; in all he added 128.18%, and 171 skill points.

Before the usual lunchtime pet-levelling, I was able to trade the level 37 white horse across to Ratel's healer Jacqueline, and assist with some transfers of pets between her and Athema and Thabitha, ending with me getting the drake I'd loaned out back.  Then, after lunch, Ratel sent a call that Kamira was back, and could Rage please come and get rid of her?

Rage was able to use the same Lucky Scroll as last time as she hadn't logged in between the two Kamira battles; the magical defence mineral doesn't last that long though, so it and the item drop booster were new.  Despite attacks from the Sphinx types, Rage brought down Kammy fairly easily, but again there were no rare drops - well, they wouldn't be rare if they dropped all the time - just the usual moonstones etc.

MistressDomina logged in and headed out that way, but Ratel had to leave for a time, so some cautious soloing of the regular Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men was the order of the day, until before too long Ratel was able to return.

The sorcerer VinDiesel was there too, but was just sitting at the side, afk, all afternoon; the rogue Flashpoint turned up right at the end.  After a while Ratel was able to persuade a level 43 archer called Chelsea to join us.  Ratty called her "Chelsea the Healer", but she wasn't actually the same player as the "chelseathehealer" Cariae character we have mentioned a few times round about last September (a quick Google search confirms), though she did say she had used a "Sky" name over there.

We worked pretty well as a team, except that on two occasions poor Chelsea got killed - healer armour just isn't very good defence-wise, and she is one armour set level below Ratel and me, so a full-on hit or two from a Speer Man is all it takes.  The only time I got "frozen" by casting a skill just as Ratty used Teleport on the Elite Sphinx Speer Man I luckily was safely off to the side, and was quickly able to use a self-buff to free myself.

Ratel had to log out at around four o'clock UK time; Chelsea and I continued, ignoring the Elite, for a few minutes until her experience scroll was over, and the one hour + 30% experience potion I'd belatedly triggered was ending.  MistressDomina had added 27.58% experience, which included reaching level 49, and added 3 skill points - it would probably only have been 2 if the "Sunday Teatime" bonus hadn't been a 50% skill exp boost.   Oh, and MD's drake added 646 pet points.

Over the early evening food break CaptainScarlet's current horse went up from level 24 to 25, and SirPerivale's new hatchling reached level 6, and 98% Sympathy.

MistressDomina headed back out to the Sphinx types afterwards; as Ratel had remained in a party with CaptainScarlet, MD was able to rejoin, so finding Ratel already back fighting the Sphinx Speer Men and their friends was rather convenient, and we settled back into our routine - I started another hour-long 30% experience boosting potion.  Before long VinDiesel arrived, with a level 37 elementalist sorcerer friend Blazersn, and they joined our party for a while - having Vin's sorcerer stun was useful, though he did sometimes head for a different target to the one Ratel was attacking.

The two sorcerers left us for a bit, to attempt to level Blazersn using experience boosters, but, except when Vin died, they couldn't get them to work, and so rejoined us for a bit.  And then Kamira showed up again, so MD had to log out, and Rage teleported in.  This time was slightly more perilous than the previous one, Rage's health did seem to dip a bit more, but soon Kammy slumped to the ground, again just dropping the moonstones, tool aids, lucky scrolls, and other oddments.

When MD got back, Ratel was thinking of leaving the party, as he was finding the two sorcerers rather impetuous - but as it happened they had to leave then, so Ratel and MistressDomina continued for a little longer, until Ratel got some very bad lag, a couple of episodes lasting about 20 seconds each.  Luckily we had just retreated to the corner to re-apply buffs, so he didn't get into any trouble, but he sensibly decided that it was too risky to continue fighting then, and logged out.  So, I continued solo for a little while, until it was time to get ready for the Quiz.  In all, MistressDomina added 20.29%, 2 skill points, and 459 pet points.

As Rage was again halfway through a lucky scroll, Kaerella was joined in the Auzura-2 Quiz Room by my level 10 healer Barbarienne - and also Ratel, back online, and Stavanic.  The questions were generally the usual ones, but with a couple that may have been new - 18 and 19 were actually repeats of earlier questions, but, sadly, question 20 wasn't, it was asking whether or not GM Krash does the "Old Skool Treasure Hunt".  Most people stayed on the "yes" side - I've been caught out by that one before, though, and just in time dashed over to the "no" side, as GM JediMike does that one, Krash does "Pharaoh's Treasure", which is similar but involves Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men at the non-treasure locations.

Barbarienne followed, and Stavanic, but Ratel wasn't quick enough, he told me afterwards that he hadn't been concentrating.  Still, his five heaven stones was enough to take his new weapon from +4 to +8, which can't be bad.  I'd say 75% of the people in the Auzura-2 Quiz Room were booted out on that one, and so only got the five heaven stones for 18 correct answers, missing out on the extra ten for getting all 20 answers right.

Ratel also mentioned that he had bought a 65/67 knight armour set for, I think, 35 million - three pieces were +5, and two just +3, which with heaven stones and a pair of lucky smelting stones he got up to +5 as well, so, once he reaches the appropriate level, he is well provided for.  The 30/32 +10 armour sets are apparently selling for as little as five million now, there are so many around, but that can't last long.

After Kaerella had put her heaven stones into storage, she used some of her tool aids on a little mining, after buying twenty healer-type hammers from Geres, and then delivered them to CaptainScarlet in Merac - which reminded me that, when MistressDomina had rode down earlier to kill a Pandora's Beast, the border guard captain had the "Q" over her head for a new quest.  So MistressDomina logged back in, and found two quests in Merac Caron - a delivery to Rau at the pillar of magic, and a quest to kill thirty Beast Flyers.  The ride across to Rau didn't take long - and then MD rode down to Maargadum Jail, ran down to level three, and killed the required number of Beast Flyers in a side room, four at a time. On the run back out, I noticed VinDiesel had arrived, and was busy fighting the canines on level one - we did say "hi" to each other, but it's not a spot to stop and chat in.

All this activity gave MD another 1.09% experience, mainly in quest rewards, plus 3 skill points and 67 pet points.  Doing the Beast Flyer quest means that MD now has the quest to kill "Beast Leaders", so a trip back to level five will be needed, to kill those two Beast Crawlers (which is what one is actually meant to fight) at the far end, out of range of any others that might want to get involved, until enough of their rings are dropped.

But that is something to do tomorrow.  It was time to send SirPerivale down to join Cap at their pet-levelling spot in Merac.  Peri's hatchling finally reached 100% Sympathy, and will be in level 7 by log-out time, while Cap's horse should reach level 26 by then.