Kaerella's Blog - stardate October 2009 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the month begins here at the top!
A Few Levels for LadyJane - October 1st

Today was scheduled to be one of those days when I'm busy downstairs, but at least that gives my hard-working pet-levellers plenty of time to fight their Berserkers.  SirPerivale took the overnight slot, so that by breakfast time that new pale blue pony had reached level 10, and 100% Sympathy.  I saw that Lylja's cleric, FemeiaVraci, had been in touch, probably a little before 6:00am by UK time.  "I can't stay now, maybe I'll log in later, I don't know"...

RedRackham rejoined the battle before breakfast, moving Kaerella's drake, SirFrancis (a name he shares with his Cariae counterpart), through the early part of level 35.  CaptainScarlet was having a well-deserved rest; normally he would be online rather than Peri, but Peri is the one that Lylja and Samael can contact, since he is in their guild, and I would rather have liked to be able to trade their mounts to them.

Having SirPerivale online did pay off, in that Samael came on a little before eleven, UK time, with a change of plan.  It seemed that a friend had given him a handsome grey horse called XxEmOxX, at level 32, and he was asking if Peri could get it up to level 37 for him.  So, on CaptainScarlet I traded across the level 33 horse for him to use for buffs meanwhile (with a request not to mount it), and took the level 32 in its place.  Cap then headed to Merac to start this new task; XxEmOxX was already about 5700/9457 of the way through the current level, so not far from level 33, at least.

The pet-levelling continued throughout the day, with SirFrancis moving slowly through level 35, and CaptainScarlet working on XxEmOxX - it has been ages since I pet-levelled a pet with a name, I'm sure, and suddenly I'm working on two of them.  EmO got up to level 33 easily enough, but of course each new level is longer than the one before.  A level 28 pet isn't halfway to level 37, I see, as far as acquired pet points go.

After the early evening food break, though, I was able to get a bit more hands-on, and logged LadyJane on, so that she could move up a few more levels and thus be a useful party member in Prokion Temple.  SirPerivale could have continued where he left off, but at level 17 LJ was high enough in level to team with Memree, who is level 31 - so it was a two-healer team that set out for Prokion Temple.

As a healer, even with +10 armour Memree doesn't do too well in my favourite back room, so we settled for the "corridor room", since its Orc Sergeants are a bit more widely spread out, and there are less Orc Axemen.  Since she now has a level 33 drake with all 30 levels of Armour Increase, though, with it equipped and giving her an extra 250 physical defence she didn't have to use Self Heal very often.

We'd managed to get there safely, with Memree using party heal a time or two, but unfortunately parking LadyJane against the wall in the main room didn't work.  The Orcs ignored her for a while, but then they attacked, and before Memree could heal her, she slumped to the ground, lifeless.  Still, experience is gained quickly there, at her level, and she wasn't then carrying many unused skill points, so it didn't seem worth using one of her "beginner" resurrection scrolls.  The run back from the Temple's lobby was a bit tricky, but with a few stops to Self Heal and a single health potion, LJ made it back, and found a safer bit of wall in the narrow bit of corridor before the place widens out.

It didn't take very long to take LadyJane up two levels, during which Memree added 18.29% and 29 skill points.  Once LJ was level 19, our options were a bit wider, though as she is on the same account as both JohnWellington and SirDarth she can't team with them.  Galahad (on Auzura we're talking GALAHAD without any extras) however, at level 33, was now in range, so Memree helped LadyJane to get to our favourite back room, and left her safely there, logging out so that Galahad could log in, make a new party with LadyJane, and hurry to join her.

So, the rest of the evening was spent in getting LadyJane up a further four levels, so that her total experience gain for the evening was 595.64% - plus a less-than-stellar 166 skill points.  Once we were finished she spent her skill points in Randol, did a few message-carrying quests, was recruited into the Discipline guild by MistressSabina, who also cut her experience gain to 50%, and logged out.  She had got her "event weapon" bow for successfully reaching level 20 in the Guardian system, and now stands ready, like RedRider, to assist my early to mid thirties characters in their endeavours.

Galahad himself added 15.56%, and another 154 skill points, a figure that was slightly helped by the use of the one remaining red-and-white training spell type skill pill he had in his inventory, adding 15% to his skill exp gain for an hour.  The more skill points he has, the better his future potential, not that I have any great plans to take him far.  There are occasions when a Royal Knight, with his Concentration buff, can be useful, though.

RedRackham was able to head back to Merac after that, followed soon after by CaptainScarlet, who actually encountered Ratel at the warehouse chest, and complimented him on his fine-looking shield... which, come to think of it, is kind of scarlet.  SirFrancis should reach level 36 before log-out time tonight, though XxEmOxX will still be at least six hours away from level 34.

So, the pet-levelling for Samael didn't quite end up as planned, but I had started working on that horse which is currently on level 33 anyway - I can always use another mount.  There was no further sign of Lylja or FemeiaVraci when I was able to log SirPerivale on briefly, the DeathBringers guild continues to be very quiet.  I suspect that GuildHealer, alias Steve, is being kept away from us by his parents at the moment, but no doubt he'll bounce back.

Into the Canyon of Death  - October 2nd

I don't like to keep the older computer running overnight, as it can start to get a bit whirry if it's in action too long, but last night I was tempted to keep both RedRackham and CaptainScarlet pet-levelling from evening through until the morning, and all went well, so that Samael's XxEmOxX moved smoothly into level 34, and Kaerella's SirFrancis moved along nicely too.  I did restart Last Chaos on both computers after breakfast, to avoid any "run out of memory" crashes, and they kept going safely until after coffee.

After the break, I logged in over on the Cariae server.  I'd managed to buy a couple of platinum skill pills (the blue-and-white ones that add 50% skill exp, and stack with a pssp) yesterday, and passed them across to Enchantrella; I'd already got one psp in the account's records section, so she was able to receive three of them - and I found that I had a package there to download as well, which had two more as well as some skill point boosters, and another package with three pssps... so it's stacking up to be a busy and sp-productive level 29 for Enchantrella, when she gets there.

XxGALAHADxX and Enchantrella headed out to Prokion Temple on Cariae-3, and went to my favourite back room.  It all went smoothly enough, and Gal added 14.94% and 82 skill points, while Enchie, in the Combat party grouping, got 4.53% and 81 skill points.  They got 168 and 28 guild points for ForceWithin and Norcaine respectively.  The only visitor I had was a rogue called BlueFire00, who just asked if I was having "good hunting", mentioning that it was a very hard room at her level.  I commented that one really needed the +10 armour there; if one attacked a single Orc, suddenly one would be surrounded by six of them...

One old tradition which I thought had been discontinued reared its ugly head - at 11:30am, UK time, Gal found himself unable to pick up the latest gold dropped by an Orc.  yes, it was a mass disconnection, and the type where you are unable to get back in because "account is already logged in".  So, CaptainScarlet started his lunchtime pet-levelling stint a bit early; RedRackham couldn't, as he is on the same account as XxGALAHADxX, so SirPerivale had about 45 minutes with his pale blue pony before I was able to successfully log Red on.

So, it was a slightly extended pet-levelling lunch break.  After that, Galahad and Enchantrella returned to Cariae-3's Prokion Temple for the main afternoon session.  Galahad reached level 32, going up by 17.89% and adding 75 skill points and 232 guild points - it looks, unsurprisingly, as if moving  up a level has cut his skill exp gain per kill a bit.  Enchie added another 6.13% experience, the same 75 skill points, and 37 guild points.  A couple more sessions like that and she will reach level 29, and be ready for her main skill point farming period in a solo party.

One other thing I fitted in was a reconnaissance trip to Misty Canyon, as that was where the evening's "Epic Event" with GM Beatrice was due to take place.  On Auzura, my most likely candidate to attend was Memree, so she it was who rode down through Merac to Teleporter Sellma, after carefully spending all 29 skill points she had on some low levels of useful skills. 

It was easy enough to ride past the elite type Bandits, Blood Frenzies and Highlanders that one encounters along the way, and then, after dismounting, Memree was able to sneak past the Elite Cerberii, which unlike the normal ones are aggressive, and reach the teleporter, Sellma.

Inside, Misty Canyon is a re-use of the map of the third "personal dungeon", Ajaka Canyon, but with different monsters - not foes for a level thirty-something fighter, in there the monsters start at level 124 with the Introducer Camio, followed by the level 127 Punisher Mahlax, the level 130 Performer Bereed, the level 133 Commander Agaress, the level 136 Judge Barack, and the level 139 Chaser Chroshel.  They are all aggressive, and have various nasty skills to stun, make dizzy, slow attack, silence - or the one I encountered, a very speedy "bleed" effect reducing my health to 1.  And that was before the special high-level stuff was added for the Event!

There were certainly a lot of the monsters around, as Memree carefully moved forward to investigate - unlike in Ajaka Canyon, they started right away, and were all along the paths, standing there or drifting around.  Nevertheless, I was able to thread my way between them, their aggro range generally seeming pretty short.  Thankfully, the gates that in Ajaka Canyon won't swing back until you've killed everything here were already open, so I was able to make my way down through the open first stage, and then into the tunnel leading to the first large room, which was pretty much full of those large, high-level types.

I did take a hit or two as I passed, there wasn't enough room to stay clear entirely, but I got through the room, and whatever had hit me wasn't interested enough to follow me.  So I went down the next passageway - and actually emerged into the approach to the final area, before the monsters were too close together to pass, and I finally got killed.

Back by the entrance, I then got myself killed a few more times, as I needed to take Memree down to only 0.00% of the way into level 31, so that she can farm some much-needed skill points soon - once she inherits the +13 armour set, and the +15 level 33 weapon.  But it was a scary place.

Towards the end of a rather extended early evening food break, I noticed that a post I'd made on the Last Chaos forums about the current pet-levelling knight build had received a response, giving details of what was needed to pet-level on the Spike Canines just inside the entrance to Maargadum Jail, so since RedRackham, fighting his Berserker, was fairly near there, I took him over to check things out - and found that yes, with his current 1301 physical defence (not counting any Armour Increase buff), a level 42 Spike Canine would be just about okay for pet-levelling.  The couple of people there doing that didn't need to have red names, I noticed...

Once the break was over, the time for the Auzura "Epic Event" was getting close, so I logged Memree in again, and teleported to the appropriate spot in Merac.  Unfortunately a friend (in real life) who'd said they would drop in rather earlier had got delayed, so that I didn't get to see all that much of the adventure, as they arrived just as things were starting.  The old "I must just check on my computer" excuse will only work for so many times, I find...

Still, Memree did manage to make it just as far as she had previously, and saw the added monsters in action, all scary stuff.  I was in two minds about whether or not to take Barbarienne to the Cariae version of the Event, since her level 100 would be substantially below all the monsters... but I didn't have to make an immediate decision.

What I did do was go shopping on Cariae.  The item I was mainly looking for was a +15 level 33 weapon for Enchantrella to use once she reaches level 29, and just as I was about to give up, I found one, for 149,999,999 gold, which didn't seem too unreasonable.  I imagine that the influx of all the freebie +10 level 33 weapons would inspire some people to try their luck at getting their spare one to +15.  MistressDomina, my Cariae merchant, hasn't got anything like the amount of gold that her Auzura equivalent, MistressDomino with an "O", has, but she had enough for that, so I bought it, and traded it across to Enchantrella, in exchange for recent loot-drops like moonstone boxes and large attack potions.  I also passed 25 million across, which meant that Enchantrella was able to buy a Stone of Shadows accessory, which someone was selling for 20 million.  It cost another million to identify it, but with her improved evasion, and that +15 weapon ready for use when she gets to level 29, her future is looking good.

Barbarienne logged in for the Cariae "Epic Event" in good time.  It turned out that we didn't have to ride down through Merac to get to Misty Canyon; instead everyone met up just outside Randol's north gate, and when the hour was reached, doppelgangers of Teleporter Sellma appeared, who were able to take us straight to the start of the action.

It was all very hectic, I must say.  Zenderfly had recruited me to her party again, arriving with a few minutes to spare, and this time had brought a level 113 cleric, the highest-rated one on Cariae she told me: DJeemzz.  Zen managed to recruit GM Beatrice, the heroine of the tale, into our party as well; we had a fifth member too, but I have no idea even what class they were, though of course they were a good few levels above me.

The whole Cariae contingent set off down Misty Canyon, killing the local monsters, and the special additions, like Cube Guards, Patriarch Botis, Futons, and Reinforced Troll Kings.  The good thing about the extra ones was that they didn't respawn - the bad thing about the Performer Bereeds etc was that they did respawn.  The large room inside the mountain was incredibly hectic, but it was on the corridors after that that I couldn't avoid getting killed.  The first time I used a resurrection scroll to respawn there, and quickly triggered a second one and used Self Heal - but it was only a minute before I died again, and this time, while I used the scroll, I opted to respawn back at the start, for a quieter resurrection.  The run back was fraught with danger, though of course plenty of other people were running down too.  I got back to the main, if depleted, group safely, and returned to the shooting of arrows at the bad guys, and also doing as much party healing as I could, and some individual healing too..

I assume DJeemzz was doing a lot more healing than I was, though it seemed to me at the time that it was just me, and an archer's healing is nowhere near as good as a cleric's - particularly a level 112 cleric's, in one of the impressive high-level armours.  I tried to use Party Heal when I could and when people were within range, even though it can attract monster attention - Heal too, though even repeating it as quickly as it recharged did very little for GM Beatrice's health bar, since at level 145 she has rather a lot of health.  DJ did thank me at the end for helping her out on the healing, which was thoughtful.

As usual Beatrice was throwing herself enthusiastically into the fight, exhorting us to forge onwards - she had health and mana stealer potions active, but even so her health often got dangerously low.  We'd run on, fight, run some more, and at last we reached the castle-type final room, which was crawling with the local monsters, and plenty of blue dragons and other big, mean stuff - and, leading from the front as always, Beatrice went down!   It fell to me to, well, first of all locate the corpse, and get close, and then use Resurrection on her to bring her back into the fight.  She was the heroine of the adventure of course, but I guess that makes me at least a useful companion, yes?

There weren't any Hands spawned as rewards at the end, but I did pick up a gold drop or two along the way, and earned a level 86 armour drop - just a sorcerer chestpiece, so probably something best just sold to Geres, rather than me spending a million to identify it, and then try to sell it in merchant mode.  Beatrice had to move on to the next server's Event, Zen left fairly promptly - apparently the main bad guy managed to escape, so we all vacated the premises, and DJeemzz and I were among those who, entering into the spirit of things, ran back to the start, though I had to use a few more great healing potions to avoid getting killed along the way.  What will the next "Epic Event" be?  Hopefully next week we will find out.  I did take a few screenies, even before Zen reminded me too, and hopefully will have the time to post a few tomorrow in the Kaerella.com screenshot gallery.

Kaerella has been reunited with her drake SirFrancis now, usefully into level 37, and CaptainScarlet finished the evening working on the one she had borrowed in his stead, which is nearing the top of level 27.  RedRackham has taken over responsibility for Samael's horse XxEmOxX, which is at present getting towards the top of level 34, so was starting to get a bit hungry under Cap's stewardship.

Two Mad Monster Spawns - October 3rd

Yesterday's entry must have been about the longest I've ever made.  And I didn't even mention that Ratel came along to where RedRackham was faithfully pet-levelling, while Barbarienne was at the Epic Event, and was able to pay off all the remainder of the loan.  He said that being able to have three computers online at once, with his new router, made things a lot easier, I imagine he was keeping at least one character in merchant mode most of the time.  With Barb's deadly-dangerous surroundings in Misty Canyon I couldn't manage much more than a "ty" in response.

RedRackham kept pet-levelling overnight, and was joined for a time in the morning by SirPerivale, but still nobody else in the DeathBringers guild was online.  And after coffee I switched across from Auzura-4 to Cariae-3, to give XxGALAHADxX and Enchantrella another trip to Prokion Temple, and my favourite back room.

This was to be a short visit, however, as a special "night-time" (as far as the US was concerned) series of Mad Monster Spawns had been announced, and the Cariae one was, we were told, due to start at around eleven o'clock, UK time.  So, Galahad logged out, leaving Enchantrella in Prokion in case there would still be some pre-lunch time for further grinding.  By then he had added just 4.62%, 32 skill points, and 63 guild points, while Enchie had gained 1.54%, 27 skill points (as usual she arrived a little after him, once we knew the room was clear), and a mere 10 guild points.

Barbarienne logged in, and rode out to the usual spot in Juno for the MMS, which was to be conducted by Aeria's new "night shift" GM, Xandermere.  There was a surprisingly large turn-out, with some rather tired US types as well as the European contingent, and no doubt people from other parts of the world as well.

Unfortunately, when the first Hands of loot were spawned, after wave one, I found myself unable to equip my pet horse, and then unable to pick up anything, though other people still seemed to be running around.  Before long it became clear, though, that it was a mass "server crash" disconnection - and any attempt to log back in got the "account ID already in use" window.

It probably was about twenty minutes before the problems were fixed - Enchantrella finally got the "disconnection" pop-up, so instead I logged RedRackham in to start his lunchtime pet-levelling early, while, once Barbarienne got back in, I headed back out to the MMS location, where GM Xandamere restarted the event.

I did have to use one more resurrection scroll, as I foolishly targeted one of the "cave spirits" that wasn't already in combat with someone, and suddenly had a whole bunch doing something immediately fatal.  But apart from that, things went well, and the GM was generous with the Hands spawned.  We managed to kill off the final Boss wave in fine style... and the GM went on to Katar, while I went off to a slightly delayed lunch.

The timing was pretty good, as when I got back the announcements for the Auzura version of the MMS were up, so it was Memree's turn to go out to the appropriate location in Juno.  This time, we didn't have any crashes, the GM had assured us that he didn't think the MMS itself had had anything directly to do with the problem, and the Katar event had run smoothly.  Memree did die once, but that was just a matter of respawning back in town, using Self Heal a bit, reapplying horse buffs, and using a memory scroll to teleport back.  My offers to resurrect people got the level 11 mage NatashaFinn into a precedence-type party with me (so that we both kept what we picked up, rather than sharing it), and I must have resurrected her at least three or four times.

By the end, Memree had picked up 3 item drop boosters, 10 large defence and 12 large attack potions, 9 skill point boosters, and lots of tool aids and small HP and MP recovery potions.  Some people may aim to pick up the best items they can see, but I just keep my finger on the "pick" key, and pick up whatever is nearest at top speed.

Then it was time to get back to Enchantrella and Galahad over on Cariae-3, to make up for the abrupt end to their earlier session.  By the time I took my early evening food break  Gal was up another 9.07% in that Prokion Temple back room, plus 61 skill points and 124 guild points, and Enchie had added 3.18%, 58 skill points, and 20 more guild points.  It was a short break, so they stayed in the back room, and then continued; I had a visit from a level 51 royal knight, pknubbb, who had a red name, so it was just as well Cariae-3 isn't PvP-enabled.  I'm really not sure why he visited, but he was friendly, said "Hi", killed a few Orcs, and gave Gal the Divine Shield and Concentration buffs.  He'd asked what my level was... I was surprised when he said "Hi" again, but then saw that he was talking to Enchantrella now, who was able to say she was level 28 and in a Combat type party.  He was rather disconcerted when she mentioned that SkrappY, the cat-like "human tribe" pet she had equipped, was also level 51, and left soon after.

Eventually, Enchantrella reached level 29, after adding another 6.94%, 128 more skill points, and 42 guild points.  So she immediately logged out, and my level 25 rogue Karella logged in in her stead, and, after signing up for the Combat style party, hurried to join Gal in Prokion.  She was actually the first character I ever made in Last Chaos, but lost out to Kaerella and Keerella for attention.  The session didn't continue for a very long time after her arrival; she only needed 0.02% to level up, as when last played we had been able to rely on a 100% experience freeze to keep her at that level as long as we wished.  In all she added 4.61%, 58 skill points, and 18 guild points, while Galahad added another 8.80%, 60 skill points, and 120 guild points.

Karella had brought some more food for SkrappY, who gets hungry very quickly when equipped by a lower-level character.  With Enchantrella at level 28 and him at 51 it was 13 hunger points per five minutes, and then when Karella took over, at level 26 it moved on to 14 hunger points per five minutes.  The Ichi and Scra-Chi "new" pets are expensive beasties to run, but at least they look cute.

Back in Randol afterwards assorted loot was passed across to my merchant, MistressDomina, including Barbarienne's spoils from the Mad Monster Spawn and the recent Events.  Karella was able to get Lorraine to open her level 26 "treasure chest", and got 30 Candies, which were also passed to MD.  And Galahad spent 550 skill points on upgrading the ForceWithin guild; that left him enough for the first four levels of Wall of Belief, but he will need to get 138 more before he can get level five.  It doesn't effect his work in Prokion Temple, as that passive skill only works when a shield is equipped, and against the Orcs he doesn't need to use one.  It will be nice if he can farm enough skill points for Divine Shield too, as it is handy to be able to give people an armour buff.

After that it was time to move back to Auzura-4 for the pet-levellers.  SirPerivale did log on briefly to see if Lylja, or anyone else, was online in DeathBringers, but it was CaptainScarlet and RedRackham who headed for the Berserkers.  Cap should get his drake a third of the way through level 28 by log-out time, while Red's horse, for Lylja's cleric FemeiaVraci, may well just reach level 36 by then.  Just that one final level to go, there.

Three Zombie Invasions - October 4th

RedRackham managed another successful overnight session, which meant good progress for Samael's horse XxEmOxX through level 36.  The horse finally reached level 37 at around lunchtime - the next thing to do will of course be to actually manage to contact Samael to hand it over.  CaptainScarlet restarted his endeavours at what, technically speaking, could be termed breakfast time, if one was in the habit of having a breakfast on Sundays, and his drake got to level 29 just before noon.

There wasn't any expedition to Prokion Temple, either on the Cariae or Auzura servers, in the morning, as I was expecting a couple of my favourite cousins to visit me for lunch - so that meant less playing, and more pet-levelling.  They left before the middle of the afternoon, though, so I was able to take full advantage of the "Sunday teatime" bonus, which was going to be two hours of 50% extra skill experience.

So, which character should benefit from this?  I opted for giving JohnWellington, my level 33 sorcerer, an all-expenses-paid trip to Prokion Temple, accompanied by, on level 24, my rogue RedRider, in the usual Combat party combination.  I'm not sure what time the bonus actually started, there weren't any announcements at all (I may have benefitted from a similar event on Friday and just not noticed it), but it did get turned on at some stage, and ran for a nice long time, ending at 6:24pm UK time.  I did take a little time out before that to eat, but not very long as I was still feeling rather full from lunch.

JohnWellington and RedRider kept going for a while after that, but there was some serious lag at 7:17, and John disconnected - Red, as she wasn't doing anything at the time, survived it, and so did the rogue Sunnychild who had recently joined me there, coming in at a time when John was briefly taking a rest.  RedRider left then; it had been a marathon session, and John had added 36.13% experience, 277 skill points, and 591 guild points, while Red had gained 33.91%, 272 skill points, and 85 guild points.

After that JohnWellington did some minor quests; these included killing ten Pilferers and ten Bandits in Merac, which did actually attract the Grand Red Dragon, but there didn't seem to be anyone online who would be interested in it.  And, after visiting Rau at the Column of Magic, John logged out, having added another 5.01% experience, partially in quest rewards, plus 2 skill points and 7 guild points.

After MistressDomino had a little browse round the shops in Auzura-1, it was time to head for the Sunday Quiz, so Rage joined Kaerella there, on Auzura-2 as usual.  Before long Ratel arrived too, along with, thanks to that new router of his, Liezl and Leopardknight.  He had a slightly close shave on one of the tricksier questions, "which item can you not feed a horse", but we made it safely through to the end, which meant that Ratel and family were better off by 45 heaven stones, the biggest stash of them he has ever had, it seems, so he was rather happy about that, estimating that he ought to be able to sell them for three million each.

The "Zombie Invasion", run by GM Kali, was next - it was announced initially as taking place on Auzura-1, so Memree headed out to Berbank Mill there - at which point the announcements changed to the usual Auzura-2, so everyone had to log out and move over.  That was a bit of a bad start, and, frankly, when the spawns of the various kinds of zombie began, plus not just Apes but the level 115 Cube Guards, those of us who were there got just a bit overwhelmed.  Not that Memree makes a huge contribution, damage-wise, though I noticed that on one particular kill I got 222,637 experience, so I must have been doing something right.

This event is a short one, and we only had 15 minutes to kill all the invading monsters... not only did we not manage that, it took us almost twice that time before the area was clear.  So, no drops for Auzura... Memree did get killed once, but that doesn't really matter, which is why she is the one who goes on such adventures.

By then, GM Kali had already moved across to Katar; my archer Kaerella is only level 10 there, but she bravely sallied forth on Katar-2, and, well, made even less impression on the monsters, I guess.  Still, it was exciting stuff, and the Katar players were just able to meet the deadline - I think Kali may have stretched it by a minute or two to be nice, but hands of loot were spawned, and everyone went away happy.

It was ten o'clock for me now, but Cariae was next, so I logged Barbarienne in on Cariae-2.  Level 100 makes more of an impact than level 10, so I made a full contribution there.  To my surprise Zenderfly wasn't able to turn up, I'd avoided joining a party in the hope that she'd be along, but the Cariae people were equal to the task set them.  There did seem a number of people in PvP mode, and in fact one rogue did briefly attack me, but swiftly apologised, I think she had mis-clicked and had meant to go for a zombie.

I generally tried to be a powerful back-up, but I did get one Ancient Screaming Zombie targeting me, and while I did pretty well to begin with, eventually it used its poisoning skill on me successfully, and my health drained away at a frightening speed, so I had to run for it - it's annoying when that happens, as if one has to run to a safe distance, the monster's health tends to return to 100%..

Cariae did better than Katar, anyway; GM Kali spawned the first hands of loot while we were still fighting, which was mildly annoying, I was going one-on-one with a (regular-type) Screaming Zombie, and suddenly loot spawned around us.  I ended up stopping attacking so that I could pick up some items before they all vanished, then finishing off the zombie.  For some reason we got two more spawnings of hands, though I didn't seem to do very well on getting any of the good stuff, it was mainly the small recovery potions that ended up in my inventory.  We also got a high-level monster or two spawned, including one of Egeha's gigantic Blue Dragons.

So despite attending three Zombie Invasions, I don't think I managed to pick up very much loot; just minor amounts of gold on Auzura, not a lot on Cariae, and on Katar too only two or three good items, like large attack and defence potions and an item drop booster.  Though with a level 10 character, those small HP and MP recovery potions will probably be useful if I play her some more.

CaptainScarlet had been working on his drake meanwhile, getting it most of the way through level 29, and it was now time for SirPerivale to join him.  His pony soon levelled up to 15, so there is now just one more level to go before it becomes a stylish looking horse rather than a cute, if chubby, little pony.  They grow up so fast...

A Long Evening in the Temple - October 5th

There was another overnight pet-levelling session, this time with SirPerivale working on that new blue horse, and when I checked before breakfast, Samael was on, and had asked me how his horse was getting on - so I was able to tell him that it had reached level 37, and log RedRackham on, once I'd got the older computer going, so that he could take it, and trade back the level 33 one I'd loaned him.  Sadly, he was broke, so was only able to pass across five moonstones as well, as a small thank you for the effort, and tool aids, involved.  He did ask a little later if anyone could help him with new armour, especially boots, and a +10 weapon, but I was away from the keyboard by then, and when I did get back, he had logged off.

I had to head for Watford for some shopping in the morning, so left Peri and Red at work - Red with that level 33 horse, and Peri with the rare blue one.  One thing I needed to buy was some sort of "wipe" for the computer screen, which had managed to get some dirt stuck to it.  These of course were only available as a tub of a hundred, so it looks as if I have a lifetime supply of those.  But at least the screen is clean again!

When I got back to the computer after lunch, there were some announcements of an Auzura "Mad Monster Spawn", but going by the last time, that had probably taken place soon after I'd gone downstairs, so if I'd teleported Memree to the location, it would probably have been ovre.  There were no announcements of further MMS events on other servers, probably GM Xandamere was only letting the specific server know.  There had been some sort of monster-spawning in the Arena in Randol area too apparently.  It would help if such things were done at a pre-arranged time, with announcements in the website's Events section, so that one could plan accordingly.

Anyway, for an hour or so MistressDomina teamed up with MistressBlaze out at the Sphinx types, just as a change from Prokion Temple team-ups.  The routine was to kill the elite, then a couple of Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, by which time the elite would have respawned, and things went okay, though progress was rather slow.  MistressDomina just added 3.46% - really, to make any progress there she needs to be solo, with a platinum blessed iris, and maybe experience boosters for each elite if I'm feeling rich.  6 skill points got added, though, and 362 pet points.  MistressBlaze added a more useful 11.07%, but only 4 skill points, which is slightly strange.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in checking what various characters over on Cariae had got, and moving appropriate loot over to that server's MistressDomina, my merchant.  I do seem to be better off for armour sets on Auzura, most of the Cariae ones I had in stock are just +4 or +6, which modern monsters would easily overcome.  I suppose back in the old days before various changes, the monsters may have been less fierce, and there was less of a necessity to fight ones well above your own level. Still, there are some +15 and +14 weapons, and the sets that Barbarienne, Keerella, and indeed Kaerella are wearing are pretty good, even if Barb and Kee's are not actually the highest-level sets they could wear, now.

Over the food break CaptainScarlet got his drake up to level 30, while RedRackham continued to work on the level 33 horse.  After that, for the evening, it seemed like a good idea to work on Cariae's future pet leveller, XxGALAHADxX, teamed up with Karella again.  The back room was already being used by another knight, so I went to what I call the "corridor room", which was free, though the trouble is that, as it is part of a route through the Temple some people take, you do get people passing through, and sometimes they stop and start fighting "your" Orcs. 

A rogue called Nijntj politely asked how long I was going to be, and left when I said I intended to be there for a while - but unfortunately an archer called Muts was a shameless room-stealer, and just stayed and targeted all the Orcs she could.  I outlasted her, though my experience gain was probably slowed down a little while she was there, as there were moments when nothing had respawned. 

It didn't take me long after I had got there to notice that we were getting the benefit of 50% extra skill exp; I don't know when it started, but apparently Katar and Cariae had had disconnection problems in the morning, while I was innocently pet-levelling on the Auzura server, so this could have been compensation for that - or, more likely, as does often happen on a Monday, the US "Sunday Teatime" bonus had just been left running.  This went on until about 9:15pm, UK time, and then was silently switched off. 

That meant Galahad was able to get not just 35.54% experience and 484 guild points, but a very useful 208 skill points, meaning that he now has enough sp for the fifth level of Wall of Belief, plus enough left over for the early levels of Uncanny Movement (for extra running speed) and Divine Shield.  In the Combat party, Karella got 18.74% further into level 26, plus 75 guild points and 205 skill points.

I must remember to check on Mondays to see if the "Sunday teatime" bonus, whatever it was, has been left running, though to make use of 50% extra skill exp does mean mainly slogging away in Prokion Temple, and one can't really do that all day.  Another hour or so ought to get Galahad to level 33, at which point he could actually team up with Kaerella, my Cariae cleric, since she is level 48 at the moment.  It might be worth checking if Gal would get good experience from a team-up fighting the Beast Flyers on level three of Maargadum Jail, though it would be useful for him to get a few more skill points first, to maximise Divine Shield and Uncanny Movement and have 60 left over for Canid Fence 2 when he does reach his target level of 35... Beast Flyers are nicely unaggressive, so if he can get down there safely, he ought to be okay.

After that expedition, it was time to get back to Auzura and put RedRackham and CaptainScarlet to work again.  Cap's drake is still in the early stages of level 30, but Red's horse is at last close to reaching the top of level 33.  And so the evening drew to its traditional close.

Femeia Gets her Mount - October 6th

RedRackham had a disconnection just about halfway through the night, but he had still managed to get his horse comfortably into level 34 before that happened.  He bounced back before breakfast, swiftly followed by CaptainScarlet, who was still working on his drake.  At the moment, I'm not sure who's going to end up with that drake, though it is already at a higher level than JohnWellington's, Galahad's (that's the Auzura-based knight, not the Cariae one with the "Xx" framing), or SirDarth's, so a little moving around may be called for.  First in line for the horse would be JohnWellington, who would then become my eleventh Auzura character to have a level 37 mount, which can't be bad, or the twelfth if you include the level 37 dragon that MistressFelicia looks after.

I started a new knight character on Cariae in a spare slot, mainly to get another set of level 30/32 +10 armour, and weapons; I was slightly surprised that the name "SirLancelittle" hadn't been taken.  I'd got him up to level five, but there was a disconnection at 9:45 UK time, which would be 1:45am on Aeria's PST, so went back to pet-levelling; RedRackham got back on almost straight away after a single "logged into Randol, but the teleporter NPC wasn't there and dc'd again" thing.  And after coffee, well, moving Cariae's XxGALAHADxX on to level 33 seemed like a priority, so he and Karella headed for Prokion Temple on Cariae-3.

Galahad got to his new level, and I was continuing on for a little while, since there wasn't really time for any other expedition in the morning - and then at 11:20 UK time there was a server crash, which as usual kept the forum Shoutbox busy.  Gal suddenly couldn't pick up the latest gold drop, and, while the Orcs could hit him, he couldn't do them any damage.  It's strange, normally he can just stand there and take anything they can inflict, but in the limbo of disconnection, over five minutes or so he lost 111 health points.

By then Galahad had gained 10.88%, plus 48 skill points and 152 guild points, while Karella had added 5.83%, the same number of skill points, and 23 guild points.  Once I was finally able to log back in, Gal spent most of his skill points, so that Wall of Belief is now maximised for his level, and he has the first four levels each of Divine Shield and Uncanny Movement.  SirLancelittle spent what skill points he had on the first three levels of Canid Fence, and was accepted as Keerella's apprentice, as she is the character with the "Reputation" to enhance.  Kee is currently listed as #26 in the Reputation rankings on Cariae, and that ought to take her up to #25. Lance also took charge of SkrappY, my level 51 Scra-Chi pet, after Karella had replenished his supply of fresh bread.

Over the lunch break SirPerivale joined RedRackham out in Merac with the Berserkers.  After lunch, SirLancelittle teamed up with Barbarienne, and accepted a Summoning to the entrance to the Tomb of Theos.  It would have been possible to take him straight to Barb after she had gone in, but, in case we had any disconnections, or return visits became necessary, it was safest to let him get the entrance's location onto his memory scroll, and then pay his admission fee.

Once inside, SirLancelittle took up a position not too close to the action, with SkrappY equipped, and started the first of his (150% extra experience) "beginner" platinum blessed irises.  Barbarienne started to target the local Screaming Zombies, and off we went, with the very first kill levelling Lance up, probably by more than one level.

The mage GingerBeer, now level 95, was there, and we chatted a bit, it was a while since we'd seen each other.  She too hasn't bothered to go beyond the old 85/87 armour set, but then, hers is all +15 apparently.  It wasn't long before the titan Krodan arrived, and other people did come and go, including the rogue iLoveRangers, who I've seen in Prokion temple lately - which is more her level I think.  Another rogue xXxLitaxXx didn't have much luck, she tended to die a bit and after an hour declared that she was down to 0.00% of the way into her current level, partly due to lag problems.

SirLancelittle got to level 27 at the end of the first hour-long pbi; it hadn't take him very long at all to reach level 20 and complete his apprenticeship. I did get a disconnection for Barb during the second hour, but can't have lost more than five minutes use of the second pbi (not to mention a second admission fee of 300,000 gold)...at the end of the second hour Lance was still a little way short of 29, but it only took 35 minutes of the third pbi for Lance to get to 31, and receive the 30/32 armour set, along with both level 33 weapons and the shield.

Back in town Lance was able to get his six treasure chests opened by Lorraine, getting a good number of Candies and a level 21 +4 sword, which itself isn't as good as the "event weapon" sword he got for completing the Apprentice/Guardian system; he kept the one-handed sword and the shield, but traded the armour and the dual swords across to Karella, so that she can convert them into their rogue equivalents and, once she reaches level 27 be suitably well armoured - though if she is going to go some serious skill point farming then she will need a better weapon than she has at the moment.

For the early evening food break, RedRackham continued to work on getting his horse up through level 34, while SirPerivale worked on his level 20 rare blue horse - and at last FemeiaVraci, Lylja's cleric, got in touch, to take back her horse, which Peri, and Red, had levelled up to 37.  The trade-across did take a while, as Femeia had forgotten that as well as a new level 2 pony, she was holding a level 24 horse for Steve, and two pets, other than the "new" types like SkrappY, is the maximum one can carry, but finally she remembered that Steve's horse was in her inventory, and traded it across in exchange for her level 37-er.  She was suitably grateful, and I must say with its dark grey colouring the horse, now changed into a mount, looks good.  The reason she hasn't been on much lately is that she has lost her home internet connection, and can only get online at work.

I had some work to do, so the break continued for an extra hour or so, which gave Peri the chance to get his blue horse up to level 21.  Elvastar got in touch, he had heard about the recent "hacking" of a number of accounts, and had also heard advice to change all LC passwords.  I'd come across this too, as it had been a topic in the forum Shoutbox - it looks as if well-known high-level players have been targeted.  It doesn't seem to be a security fault with Aeria, though, checking the BBC News website it seems that a lot of Gmail and Hotmail accounts have fallen victim to "phishing" attacks, and had dodgy websites installing key loggers, so Last Chaos account details would be among the information that hackers would be offering for sale on dodgy websites.  I can't really see the point of that, as the victims are going to report hacked accounts, and the GMs will be able to freeze them and return them eventually, and hopefully replace lost items - and items stolen and transferred to other accounts can be traced, surely?

Elvastar had headed for Prokion Temple; he's a level 31 sorcerer at present, so it seemed a nice idea to take JohnWellington, level 33 now, there to team up with him, secure in the knowledge that the Orcs would respawn faster than the pair of us could kill them.  Elva was having problems with lag, so that text he typed would take half a minute or longer to actually appear.  After a while he decided that it would be a good idea to restart the game, so he logged out, and came back into Last Chaos - but didn't actually manage to get back to me before lagging out again terminally.

I teamed up John with RedRackham, who had kept on pet-levelling, for a little while, and then when it became obvious that Elva wasn't going to get back any time soon, brought RedRider in instead, and got her to the Prokion Temple back room for the usual Combat party arrangement.  And so that went on until the usual time to settle down, and put the pet-levellers up.  RedRider added 12.93%, 72 skill points, and 32 guild points, while in all JohnWellington had added 17.69%, 120 skill points, and 289 guild points.

The servers will be coming down for their weekly maintenance at 1:00am UK time, so RedRackham won't be able to keep working overnight.  For some reason the usual "Mad Monster Spawns" weren't run tonight, replaced by a more PvP-oriented thing involving protecting GM Kali from attacks by the other games masters - if a group of level 145 players is going to be player-killing, include me out, on any server!

Fighting the Screaming Zombies - October 7th

Last night's server maintenance break didn't bring any new patch, as the return of the merchant House Agent, Roy, to even the test server has been delayed, apparently due to the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.  We are promised that our annual Halloween celebrations will start in a fortnight, however, so hopefully there'll be pumpkin-type headgear, and the hunting, or indeed farming, of ghostly pumpkins.  I remember that last year Karella was just about the right level for that, and this year she's pretty much the same, while her Auzura equivalent RedRider could try a bit of that too.

RedRackham and CaptainScarlet reported for pet-levelling duties at breakfast time; Red's horse was level 35 now, while Cap's drake reached level 31 before coffee.  Aftre coffee, though, I hopped across to the Cariae server, and as an experiment teamed up Kaerella and XxGALAHADxX, and took them to Merac.

Galahad had a quest or two popping up there, so after running a message or two across town he began by killing ten each of the Pilferers and the Bandits, before running on to the entrance to Maargadum Jail, and waiting for Kaerella to ride down and join him.  She supplied the horse buffs, and he was easily able to run down to the third level of the Jail, and stand in the central area, ignored by the local Beast Flyers and Beast Archers.

Kaerella, 15 levels above him, ran down and joined him, and began to fight the Flyers, as she has done for quite a while solo.  They are two levels below her now, but still white-named, so she ought to be able to continue there through her current level; it's a good place to level one's pet, though the amount of mobbing that goes on would mean that it wouldn't be much good for serious afk pet-levelling; SirFrancis is level 46, so can give her pretty good buffs.

While the Beast Flyers do die quickly, unfortunately they didn't seem to give Galahad as much experience per kill as he can get from Orc Sergeants in Prokion Temple, at least when he has a Combat-type party arrangement with Karella or some other character at a suitable level, and a heck of a lot less skill exp, so it doesn't look as if he will need to go there again.  But as an outing it made a change!  Gal added 5.71% experience, 1.62% of it in quest rewards, plus just 10 skill points and 71 guild points - Kaerella got rather less experience, though the same skill points, and of course a few pet points for SirFrancis.

After that rather short outing, it was time to go back to the Auzura-based pet-levellers for the lunch break.  Once I was back, the new project was to make another knight on the Cariae server, in one of two spaces I made a couple of days ago by deleting a pair of old characters.  With the current "player appreciation event" supplying new characters with beginner-type resurrection scrolls, platinum blessed irises and platinum super skill pills, I'm sure that it is easier to get a brand-new level 1 character to 31 than to try with an existing character at about level 20 - and of course this way I get the chance to go through the Guardian system again, to get a new event weapon and another 10 Reputation points for Keerella.

I got the new Cariae version of RedRackham to level six killing mainly foxes, plus enough wolves and deer to complete the Healer Yabo quests involving them.  There was a Pandora's Box, which Red opened - it released a level 30 Beast so I kept well clear of that, but the boxes themselves must be "bosses" of some sort, they are labelled as level 1 but I'm sure he got around 30% experience from "killing" that one.

Once Red was set up, it was time for Galahad to go back to Prokion Temple, teamed with Karella, who is now wearing the +10 gloves, shirt and leggings, passed over from SirLancelittle and changed into rogue-type armour by Collector Ryu, though she needs to reach level 27 before she can wear the hood and boots.  Gal started fighting there, and Karella teleported from Dratan City to join him... I then noticed that there was a mage already in the room, perhaps she had been by the far wall, but she didn't stay, she fled at top speed for the corridor, pursued by a mob of angry Orcs - I am not entirely sure whether or not she managed to make it to safety.

It seemed like a good idea to "unfreeze" Galahad's experience gain, so I did that after a few minutes, after he had gained a final 11 guild points.  He ought to get enough skill points for the skills he needs, and then some, if he goes all the way through levels 33 and 34 in Prokion Temple at the regular speed, or even using his "beginner" pbis along the way.

By the time I switched to the pet-levellers again for the food break, Galahad was up by 27.84%, and had gained 74 skill points, so he can afford the final level of Divine Shield now.  Karella had gone up by 8.85%, the same 74 skill points, and 36 guild points.

Although tonight was one of my "early finish" LC evenings, I reckoned that there ought to be just enough time for Barbarienne to level RedRackham up to 31 in the Tomb of Theos - and so it proved.  The very first Screaming Zombie that Barb killed got him from level 6 to level 9, and that was before I started the first pbi, to add 150% extra experience for an hour.  The levels do get substantially longer as one goes along, so reaching level 20 took no more than 20 minutes, by the end of the first hour's pbi Red was halfway through level 27, an hour later he'd moved on to 21% of the way into level 30 - and getting the rest of that level took another 25 minutes.  So even using a pbi or three, trying the same system to get Galahad through his final level or so on the way to level 35 would be intolerably slow.

When I started, I had the Tomb of Theos to myself, or at least the first area with its Screaming Zombies.  However, things did get busier after that, and I acquired the usual dedicated band of helpers - or "ks-ers", if you will, though generally they did ask before attacking the Zombies I targeted.  xxASSASSINxx and rougemom were both sensible rogues, and good company, but another rogue, cashdestroyer1, was only level 26, and tended to "ks" other people too, I think one titan there got so annoyed that he contacted her guild master about it.  xxASSASSINxx levelled up towards the end, as did a knight called xXKillingSpreeXx.

Barbarienne did stay on a little while after RedRackham reached level 31, and got his shiny new armour set, shield, and weapons, though Red left the area immediately, since he'll need to slog his way through level 31 in Prokion Temple to get the skill points for the skills he'll need - the idea is to make him a level 32 pet-leveller, so that he can get to work before Galahad, who is aiming for level 35.  As my logging-out time was approaching, there wasn't time to do anything else.  Red logged out after a few minutes - and his Auzura equivalent logged in for a little pet-levelling.  By the time Barb logged out, she had gone up in experience by 1.01%, after about three hours of zombie-slaying - level 100 is a long one!  2723 pet points were also gained for her pet reindeer, and 14 skill points, while, hosted by Red, SkrappY is moving through level 51 quite well.

Back on Auzura, RedRackham continues to move his horse through level 35; if he stays on overnight, the horse should be usefully into level 36 by the morning, but that depends on various outside factors of course.

The Temple on Cariae - October 8th

RedRackham managed an overnight pet levelling session safely, on the Auzura server as usual, so that his horse was now well into its final level, 36, before it can become transformed into JohnWellington's mount.  It's great to switch on the monitor in the morning and find that the fight with the Berserker has continued safely for the last few hours.  CaptainScarlet went to join Red in Merac at breakfast time, to move his drake further on through level 31; I guess we are aiming for the top of level 33 with that one, since that's as far as Cap's pets can go before they start getting twice as hungry, at which point SirDarth would be in line to have his current drake replaced.

Talking of RedRackham, his new Cariae equivalent was the focus of the morning's activities.  He put on his brand-new +10 armour set, and equipped the sword and shield, and then went to Lorraine to get his treasure chests opened, which gave us some useful Candies and large attack potions, and did some minor local quests, mainly for a reward of a potion of haste or three.  XxGALAHADxX recruited him into the ForceWithin guild, and set his experience gain to 50%; he spent what few skill points he had on the first two or three levels of Uncanny Movement, and then traded SkrappY across to Karella, who gave him enough Orc Ornaments for the quest that requires them.

Red and Karella teamed up; they both had some quests in Dratan, which gave them a few percent more experience - in Red's case, 3.40% more.  Red then had to run out to Prokion Temple to get the location onto his memory scroll, with Karella teleporting there.  The back room was free, so they settled in there, though there was by then less than an hour left of the moring session.

With RedRackham on level 31, teaming up with Karella, on level 26, didn't really help him skill exp-wise, though it meant he added more experience per kill.  When Karella moved out of compass map range he got 4400 skill exp per Orc Sergeant, and 8536 experience (with the 50% freeze), and 3300/3851 per Orc Axeman...with her present the figures varied, but a typical Orc Sergeant gave 2894/11461, and an Orc Axeman gave 2613/6699.  Of course Karella then got the same amount of skill experience plus 1817 experience from the Sergeant and 1062 from the Axeman, so between them they got more skill experience, but the focus at the moment is on RedRackham.  By the end of the short session Red had moved up from his overnight totals by 13.83%, 41 skill points, and 117 guild points, while Karella had added 18.94%, 43 skill points, and 25 guild points.  Red had to use a few small HP recovery potions, as his physical defence and health regeneration were not yet quite good enough to keep his health bar full.

The lunchtime pet-levelling was back on Auzura, and when I returned to the computer, there were some GM announcements about an attack on Auzura-3 Randol by the forces of darkness.  I assumed that things had probably already finished, but then another message came up, saying that there were still some Flutons at the west gate, so, as I was about to change characters anyway, I logged Memree in and hurried to investigate.  I was very nearly too late, but did manage to land a few hits on the last Fluton of all before it expired... and was thus on the spot when the GM, presumably Xandamere at that time of day, spawned some Hands as a reward to the defenders of the city.  I managed to grab four tool aids, plus an item drop booster, a skill point booster, and a large defence potion, which was pretty good wages for my tiny contribution to the defence, though if I'd been there for half an hour or so I might have considered the pickings slightly meagre.

Anyway, just as I was ready to get back over to Cariae, a level 32 rogue called TuIAMordEWkA ks'd CaptainScarlet, who was still levelling his drake, ie killed his Berserker, and my "Please don't ks" led to a discussion about pet-levelling.  She was actually using a platinum pet experience potion for triple pet experience for an hour, to move a newly-acquired horse along.  She was using her weapon instead of fighting bare-handed, so she killed the Berserkers and Bandits fairly quickly.  And after a few minutes this attracted the Grand Red Dragon.

I didn't think we would stand a chance if we fought him, but she was adamant that we should try.  So I suggested she waited until her pet pill expired, as we had plenty of time, and logged in Galahad as my character for the fight, who is at least a couple of levels higher than Cap, hits harder as he isn't red-named, and, as a royal knight, can give a Concentration buff to increase the chance that a rogue's Snare skill will work.

Things didn't work well, though I guess if any team-up at around that level, without +15 armour and high-level attack and defence minerals, is going to manage a kill, then a Snare-happy rogue and a royal knight would be the types to go for.  I didn't greatly worry about Gal being killed as he has the "beginner" resurrection scrolls to use up, but he managed to stay alive - though he used all ten of the greater health potions he happened to be carrying.  Tula did die, and must have used a resurrection scroll as she was back in action very quickly, but we must have pulled the GRD too far from its spawning spot, or something, as, after we'd got its health down to less than 50%, its health suddenly reset to full.  Ah well, at least we'd not been set upon by the horde of angry Cerebrii it spawns if its health gets low!

So, the return to Cariae was delayed a little, but RedRackham headed back to Prokion Temple finally on Cariae-3, this time just in a solo party - Enchantrella provided that, buying herself a hammer from merchant Geres and going out to mine some stones.  I just needed to restart her activities every ten minutes when the mine she was working vanished and then respawned, and over the next couple of hours she got a good selection of quality, imperfect, and flawed stones, before at the end using a tool aid on the hammer to get a final 27 quality stones.  The only incident was when a healer called "chobits" did the old practical joke of using a tool aid-boosted hammer on the mine I was using, to make it vanish prematurely.  "Funny haha", I commented, sarcastically.

RedRackham had a rather busier time, of course.  He did have one strange visitor briefly, I think with a name like "KingSmart", with a dark blue school uniform cover on his knight armour, and the fish skeleton type cover on his dual swords.  He just stood near the middle of the room for a while, ignoring the attacks of the Orcs.  I was going to say something along the lines of there being plenty of Orcs for two, but suddenly he killed the whole mob of Orcs that had surrounded him, and then vanished.  He must have been pretty high level, I suppose, so what he was doing in Prokion Temple on a non-PvP sub-server I can't imagine.

Red kept going for two hours, using the first two of his five "beginner" platinum super skill pills; the first one brought him in 136 skill points (as opposed to 54 without the pssp), and the second added another 132; as well as the 268 skill points, he added 14.30% experience and 162 guild points.

I'd been able to get the first three levels of Vitality Control before moving to Prokion Temple this time, which meant I didn't have to use any more small HP recovery potions, so the fighting was nice and simple.  And afterwards I had enough skill points to maximise the level 30 skill Mana Break, which a knight has to get before he can choose to become a temple or royal knight, and get the fifth level of Canid Fence; that just left the last two levels of Vitality Control to get before points can start to be saved up for Wall of Belief, which comes available to a temple knight when he reaches level 32, adding 155 to his physical defence.

It's a shame that Wall of Belief isn't available earlier; as it is, Red has to be equipped with a sword and shield, and thus doesn't kill as fast as he would if he wasn't using a shield, but dual swords instead.  Though he might be okay if he had a good Armour Increase buff from a pet, I suppose...

After a pet-levelling food break again, RedRackham returned to Prokion Temple, and Enchantrella returned to the mine.  The first hour saw Red gain another 136 skill points, and the second hour's pssp brought in 133.  I kept on going for a while after that, and ended up with a total gain of 320 skill points - which, with the 7 left over from earlier, is handy, as it means that Red currently has exactly the right number for the five levels of Wall of Belief he can learn at level 32.  Of course, despite adding 20.66% in the session, and 233 guild points, he is still half a level away from that, so it ought to be possible to get Divine Shield too, especially if we keep that 50% freeze on.

Apart from a sorcerer who ran into the room with his spirits, and then quickly ran out again, my only visitor was a level 29 mage called daarld, who stayed a while, but when she realised that I was running a pssp, and that there really weren't enough Orcs there to keep both of us busy, quickly left.  She did return to the doorway briefly to ask if I was well off enough to want to buy something to make me gain sp more quickly, possibly a platinum adrenaline, which was thoughtful, but I had to say that I only had just over a million.

I'd seen Ratel log on earlier, but he didn't reply to Enchantrella's "hi there", so was probably in gold-spammer territory.  He did get in touch though towards the end of the evening, saying that Shawshankz was online, and wanted me to register to join their party.  So Enchantrella left RedRackham's party, which may well mean he had to kill a couple more Orcs to reach his target, before logging off and letting his Auzura equivalent set up for some pet-levelling, and registered for the party.

So, Shawshankz is still playing, and has reached level 105 now; he mentioned that Astarael and some others are currently trying out the new NCSoft mmorpg Aion, I wonder if that is why Zenderfly hasn't been at the last few MMS-type events? Shaw is saving up for some platinum blessed irises so that he can add another level or so, he already has the skill point boosters needed.

Anyway, Shaw vanished from the conversation, and it was time for me to leave Cariae too; I logged in SirPerivale and his pale blue horse, now level 21, for a little pet-levelling session alongside Red.  By log-out time Red's horse should only be about an hour away from level 37, so he won't be doing an overnight session.  It should be a restful night for both of them.  I ignored the GM announcements for "Stone Statue Defence", the latest PvP event that is being tried out this week.   The two teams on Auzura were split between knights, titans, & healers, and the other three classes, but the announcement later for Sarissa divided them up as knights, titans & sorcerers versus the rest - just checking out how different team-ups work, I suppose.  The event known only as "TBA" listed for tomorrow may be more interesting, though.

The Non-Event - October 9th

While I did say that RedRackham and SirPerivale would have a "restful night", I didn't mention the indestructible CaptainScarlet, who did attempt to work on his drake overnight.  There was a disconnection, but we only lost a little over an hour to that, by my reckoning, so that Cap's drake did reach level 33 soon after breakfast.  By then of course RedRackham was back in Berserker-bashing action too, and, while it did take longer than an hour, by coffee time he had at last got his horse up to level 37.

The first thing to do after coffee was to get the Cariae version of RedRackham over to Prokion Temple, to use his fifth and last "beginner" pssp; I wanted to get him there as quickly as possible, as Friday at 11:30am, UK time, is rather often a time when the servers get rebooted without warning, and it would be a bit of a waste if one got disconnected while one had a pssp running at that time.  I'd got Enchantrella set up mining on Cariae-3 before coffee, ready to provide his solo party - but when Red got to the back room on that sub-server, it was occupied, so he had to move across to Cariae-4.

Since a while ago both C-1 and C-3 went through a period when they were unstable, it's C-4, the second non-PvP sub-server. that is the busiest one, and boy is Randol full of merchants, the air is just about solid with their signs.  Red managed to thread his way through to the teleporter, and got to the Temple safely, which seemed emptier than the C-3 version.  The back room was free, thankfully, so Red began to fight, while Enchantrella logged out of C-3, logged into C-4, rejoined the solo party, and headed back to the mine.

RedRackham had remembered to get the highest two levels of Vitality Control, to increase his health regeneration, in Dratan city, and I was happy to find that this meant he could ditch the single sword and shield in favour of using the dual swords to attack the Orcs, without losing health, and when it comes to swords, two is definitely better than one.  For the pssp hour, instead of the previous 130-140 skill points, Red this time got 168; as the game didn't kick everyone out at 3:30am PST after all, I continued on until lunch was approaching, and by the end Red had gone up by 14.28%, 208 skill points and 161 guild points.  His drake had gone up from level 2 to 4, with its Sympathy increasing from 59% to 75%, too - and Enchantrella had added usefully to her supply of pet-feeding stones.

The horse that Auzura's version of RedRackham had got to level 37 needed to be traded across to JohnWellington, my only main Auzura server based character not to have his own level 37 mount; and then SirPerivale traded across to RedRackham the level 24 horse from Steve that FemeiaVraci had passed across.  That meant that Red and CaptainScarlet needed to exchange pets, as Cap should have the lower-level one as he is three levels lower than Red - so over lunch Red was able to work on the level 33 drake, and Cap was able to move the horse further on through level 24.  For a change this horse is its natural chestnut colour, so substitutions can be made later if necessary, MistressDomino does currently have charge of a level 25 one.

Lan Hoang of Aeria Games is in one of his generous moods today, and has, I found after lunch, been sending out emails letting us know that a little bonus is on its way.  "We like to reward our old, loyal gamers with a little treat: $10 in Free Aeria Points. Check your account (the one linked to this email address) after October 17th and you will find a beautifully wrapped present of 1,000 Aeria Points.  Enjoy!"  So that is a nice gesture.  The email also mentions the upcoming additions to Last Chaos, including the new class and the "raid system" as well as a Spanish-language server.  The other main Aeria Games fantasy mmorpg Shaiya is also mentioned, as "our biggest game", which slightly surprises me, but I guess its graphics at least are slicker than LC's.

This afternoon's Friday "Happy Hour" bonus was scheduled to be 50% extra experience, which would be mildly useful for some characters, though not the ones who are more interested in farming skill points at the moment - which means most of them.  In the end, I decided that MistressBlaze and MistressSabina ought to have a session out with the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men.

The only problem was that there didn't seem to be a 50% increase in my mages' experience per kill, at three or any time after that - I checked with Ratel, who came online and Iook Athema out to Prokion Temple, I assume, with Leopardknight left outside there to do some pet-levelling on the desert spiders, and he confirmed my suspicions. 

Our old friend Kamira dropped by a little before four o'clock, so MistressBlaze logged out and my level 72 rogue Rage logged in, and hurried out to say hello.  This time I did remember the item drop booster as well as the horse buffs, lucky scroll, and magical defence mineral, but I didn't get any rare items, just the usual drops of lucky scrolls, moonstones and so on - enough to make Rage's visit profitable, anyway.  She logged out pretty quickly, the idea being to save the second half of the lucky scroll, hopefully, for Kamira's next visit, and MB returned for a little more fighting of the local Sphinx types, before it was time to log out for some food.

MistressBlaze added 14.30% experience, while MistressSabina, seven levels her junior, added 33.23%, getting her past the halfway mark in level 40, so that was useful progress, though if I'd known there wasn't going to be an extra 50% bonus, I might well have used some sort of potion to move things along a bit.

CaptainScarlet got his horse up to level 25 during the food break. After that, well, Cap continued for a while, but Red bowed out to let MistressSabina have a brief solo exploration, to see if she had any quests to pick up, at level 40; there wasn't anything, but she went down to level two of Maargadum Jail for a little while, to kill some spike canines and dire spike canines, which are easier to handle there than on the ground floor.  3.07% experience and 9 skill points got added, but I didn't stay long.

The evening was always likely to be bitty.  Next Galahad (who like Rage is actually all-capitals) checked on his quests, and found that he had ten Pilferers, ten Bandits, and twenty Berserkers to kill, so he did that, ending up with 4.78% and just 4 skill points more.  Then SirDarth found that he still had the two quests that involved killing desert spiders to do, even though they are now blue-named for him.  He got the ten each of the strong spider thread and spider poison, and then looked in on Prokion Temple since he was near.  The back room was free, so he started fighting the Orcs there. At level 35, he is one level too far above RedRider at the moment for a Combat party arrangement, so instead my level 31 titan Cyborg came along to team up with him.  It increased the experience he got from killing Orc Sergeants, at least, though the skill exp was slightly down for him... though Cyborg got the same amount of skill exp too.

It was lucky that I was playing on SirDarth, since more of my characters are in Discipline than Norcaine these days, as it meant that Zenderfly was able to get in touch with me fairly easily.  The first question was one I'd just been asking in the Shoutbox - what was happening about the mysterious "TBA" event which had been scheduled to begin at 8:00pm, UK time?  As Auzura tends to have the events first, to be more in touch with the European time zones, it was logical to come over here to check.  Intriguingly, the picture to illustrate the event showed GM Beatrice, in the middle of Merac village.  However, nothing was announced, and checking the "Events" calendar half an hour later, Zen saw that the event had been put back to next Friday.  All in all, a bit of a GM non-event, they really ought to have put out an announcement about it, after building it up mysteriously on the website.  Still, it is understandable, the recent "account hacks" mean a lot of work for the GMs and others, as they strive to repair the damage.

Zenderfly asked for my assistance over on Cariae with some guild changing-around, so Barbarienne briefly became guild master of the original Norcaine there, kicking Taldea, a minor Zen character who had previously held the post.  I then had to kick SirDarth from Norcaine, and he was then enrolled in the guild Ancients, which Damor had been the guild master of - the sole member, in fact, but she wanted to keep the name.  He kicked Damor, and recruited Taldea and made her GM of Ancients; Barbarienne recruited Damor into Norcaine, and made her GM...and Damor made Barb a guild adviser.  I think that was about all...

Zen was suggesting that, when the "Episode Two" of Last Chaos comes out, with the new "Night Shadow" class, we could both make new phoenix characters, and level up together, which sounds like a great idea to me, I've missed our team-ups.  I can't say that I'm sure that my character would be a Night Shadow, I'd need to try one out on a different account before committing my phoenix slot (which one receives for getting a character to level 100, like Barbarienne - a special "phoenix ticket" is also needed, but Zen says she can supply those)... the Cariae version of MrChuckNorris, who has never gone beyond level 20, will need to be deleted, but then, the phoenix can rise. It's the sort of thing where it is incredibly useful and morale-building to be teamed with someone who knows what to do.

Zenderfly was also suggesting that tomorrow evening's event, "Rescue the Fallen GM", would, like the recent "Epic Events", be worth teaming up for.  The Cariae one is scheduled for ten in the evening, which is just about do-able, but Zen was also suggesting checking out the Auzura version too, due to start five hours earlier, so see how it actually worked, and what perils would be faced.  A severely weakened Games Master has to be escorted from Merac Castle to safety, and if they die more than three times, presumably with high-level stuff magically appearing around us, the event is over.

For this, Zenderfly wants to make an Auzura-based healer, perhaps level 15, though I should think it would be worth getting to level 20 for the "event weapon".  Unfortunately she had to go incredibly abruptly, so plans to power-level her new character were left a bit unfinished, particularly as to the timing involved.  Zen is in favour of my level 72 rogue fighting the level 64 Elite Sphinx Speer Man  while her healer is ks-ing from outside the party, after receiving horse buffs... personally I'd think applying horse buffs and maybe a titan's Battle Roar buff and letting a new character fight elder werewolves, drakes, or perhaps Merac's butchers would be just as speedy, and wouldn't need the teleport scroll from the Item Mall.

If she has access to an extra computer or two, it being the weekend, she could just set her character, at level 7 or so, to wall-hug in Prokion Temple while SirPerivale did some fighting, to get some levels and the skill points she'd need to be able to do Heal... ah well, we will see what she has in mind tomorrow, maybe from around 1:30 my time, 2:30pm for her?  I must be sure to have a Norcaine member online then so that her member of the guild, our local Zenderfly, can get in touch.

SirDarth's endeavours, on Auzura, had earned him 2.94% experience and 30 skill points apparently; after he logged out, so that Barbarienne and his namesake could appear on Cariae, Cyborg did continue in the Temple's back room for a while, and I was surprised that, despite having a mixture of +6 and lower armour, he didn't take much damage.  He actually managed to add 33.10%, since he doesn't have his experience half-frozen, along with 113 skill points in all, which can't be bad.  It's a shame he reached level 31 before they started giving away the +10 armour sets.

By logging out time CaptainScarlet had got Steve's horse more than halfway through level 25, while RedRackham had got our drake past the halfway mark in level 33.  Pet-levelling makes a nice, and simple, way to end the evening...

The Fallen GM - October 10th

My daily posts are getting too long and rambling, so I am resolved to cut them back to a more reasonable length.  Let's see how we do today, shall we?

I did attempt to leave RedRackham pet-levelling overnight, but when I checked, he had had a disconnection, and a couple of attempts to reconnect just timed out, so I switched the game, and the computer, off.  Looking at the forums today, it looks as if Aeria had a short-notice 1:00am UK time "maintenance", to allow them to roll back the accounts of the many people who had been hacked, which would explain things.  The shoutbox today was still pretty busy with people who'd had their accounts stolen, and people who had had their accounts frozen so that they couldn't be stolen now wanting access again, but the Aeria team do seem to be on top of things.

After the usual bit of morning pet-levelling, the new Cariae incarnation of RedRackham headed for Prokion Temple again, after Galahad had unfrozen his experience gain.  To supply the solo party, Enchantrella went out mining once more.  The back room was free and clear, so Red started the fourth of his +150% experience gain "beginner" platinum blessed irises (three got used in the Tomb of Theos), and settled in for an hour.  At level 31 he was getting 19255 experience and 3300 skill exp from each Orc Axeman, and 42680/4400 from each Orc Sergeant, so things moved along nicely, until at 11:10am UK time there was one of those oh-so-annoying unscheduled "server resets", kicking everyone out and giving the "account ID already in use" error when one attempted to get back in.  I thought twenty minutes later on a Friday was the time for that particular mess-up.  Enchantrella did actually manage to stay connected, but it was an anxious ten minutes before I could get Red back in, and discover that his pet dragon hatchling, last seen losing health at an alarming rate, was in fact still alive.

So, a little bit of the pbi's hour was lost while Red hurried back, though it didn't seem to have counted down during the ten minutes I was out of the game.  By the time the pbi expired he had gained 41.10%, which was enough to get him into level 32; the delay from the disconnection meant I didn't have enough time before lunch for a second hour's pbi, but I kept going for as long as I could, and in all went up by 47.26%, adding 93 skill points too - and the hatchling levelled up a couple of times.

Zenderfly had been in touch, and we'd agreed to meet up on Auzura-3 after lunch, so I logged in at 1:15 as SirDarth, and was able to do those Pilferer, Bandit and Berserker killing quests, before switching to Kaerella and enrolling Zen's new healer, Taldea, as my Guardian-system apprentice.  My level 10 healer Barbarienne (not to be confused with the Cariae one of the same name with the extra zero on the level) loaned her some armour and weapons, and then Rage logged in, and headed for the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and his friends.  We made a party, and CaptainScarlet also joined, to give Taldea the solo party boost.  Taldea used a teleport scroll to move to Rage, accepted the horse buffs, and kicked Rage from the party; Rage attacked the Elite, and Taldea also attacked it, in a ks-ing way.  It didn't take Rage long, attacking the elite and two or three regular types while it respawned, and rejoining the party and giving horse buffs, to help Taldea to reach level 10.

Back in Dratan City, with the horse buffs still on and a potion of haste I'd passed over ready to use, Tal set off to add Prokion Temple to her memory scroll, while Rage logged off and SirPerivale logged on.  Then it was a matter of Taldea keeping by the wall in the corridor there, and Peri fighting the Orc Soldiers etc in the octagonal room, to get Tal not just more experience, but some skill points too so that she would at least be able to do some useful healing.  She had started a "beginner" pbi and pssp out with the Sphinx types, and before the end of the second of each, she had reached level 20, completing the Guardian system and earning the event weapon.  Peri was up to almost 90% of the way through level 22 by then, so, after Taldea gave back the borrowed items to Barbarienne, and Peri had spent the skill points he had gained, he went back to Prokion Temple and died thirty times to get back to 0.00%.

After a slightly early food break, Memree, my level 31 cleric, logged in, and headed for Merac Castle, where at 5:00pm UK time the "Rescue the Fallen GM" was supposed to start.  Taldea and some others arrived almost immediately, but when the announcement of the event came, about fifteen minutes later, we were told that the errant GM was "somewhere in Merac", so had to all go off in search of him.  Luckily he was found before too long, and I came across the then-small party that was escorting him back towards the village.  Taldea joined us, and along the way the party got bigger, thankfully, with some pretty high level people included, as monsters like "Black Puddings" and a blue dragon tended to spawn occasionally.

I concentrated on using Heal on GM Stratos, mainly, and a little bow-firing at the monsters.  I did die once when something spawned right on top of me, but we were near the village by then, so I quickly ran back. CaptainScarlet, meanwhile, had had a bit of bad luck - he had been pet-levelling on Auzura-3, and a wandering level 50 Pandora's Beast had killed him, though luckily not hurt his horse.  Cap used the first of his "beginner" resurrection scrolls to spring back to life in Merac village - by which time the Stratos-protecting party was getting close to there. So he joined them, providing some Divine Shield buffs and actually daring to attack a monster or two.

After a final Fluton, some Hands were spawned as a reward, and the GM promised to be more careful when experimenting with dark magic, which was apparently how he came to be wandering, lost and de-powered, deep in the woods.  It wasn't a huge reward, just two or three goodies each I guess, but it had been a fun outing.

There was a gap of some hours until it was Cariae's turn for the event, so I was able to send Cariae's version of RedRackham back to Prokion Temple.  This time Karella, my level 26 rogue, was in a Combat-type party with him, which decreased his skill exp gain a little but just about doubled the experience per Axeman, and gave about 50% more per Sergeant.  The hour using Red's final pbi brought in 51.78%. And as Karella still had SkrappY along, he got some experience too.  By 8:30pm Red was around 85% of the way through level 32, so it seemed a good idea to get up-to-date on his outstanding quests, so I left the Temple, and Karella logged out, so that Enchantrella could log back in for a solo party and some mining.  Karella had added 10.49%, 85 skill points, and 41 guild points.

RedRackham killed desert spiders and death goddesses in Dratan's desert, and then went to Merac, where the pilferer & bandit quest was available, plus an errand to Rau at the Column of Magic.  Killing a few of elite Merac monsters there finally got him up to level 33; in all he had added 92.20% experience, plus 117 skill points, and got his drake up to level 8 and 100% Sympathy.

And then it was time for the Cariae version of "Rescue the Fallen GM".  He took a while to find this time, and clues had to be given - he was right in the south-east corner, somewhere I don't think I'd ever been.  Zen managed to get a GM into the party - but it was the wrong GM, it was GM Moose, who was also there for some reason.  Once that was sorted out, we all set off back across Merac, but Zenderfly decided before long that, since the rewards were fairly minor, and the risk of death, particularly for a mage, was a bit high, she would leave us to it. The journey was long and with plenty of incidents - we were a larger and more high-powered group that the Auzura one, and the monsters we fought reflected that, particularly a mass attack of zombies and skeletons as we passed through a graveyard.  The "HitConfirmFkers" guild, who currently own one of the castles, were much in evidence. I got caught by a Fluton's stun towards the end, and my health drained away at an alarming rate, but I managed to trigger a health potion, and run clear, and frantically use Self Heal until I was safely healthy again.

At the end the Hands were spawned, as GM Stratos had only died two-and-a-bit times or something, so we had just managed to win, despite all those Flutons when we were just outside the village.  It was a fun event - Stratos dropped some blue dragons on us as a parting gift, and headed off to his next server.  After which, well, Enchantrella continued her mining for a little while before logging out, and RedRackham, over on Auzura-4, was able to do a little work on his drake, which was now comfortably into level 34.

Darn, another rather long account, but then, it was an incident-packed day...

Mad Monster Spawns and Zombie Invasions   - October 11th

There's nothing like switching the monitor on in the morning and finding one's pet-leveller still faithfully toiling away, to get the day off to a good start, and so it was this morning.  After coffee, it seemed like a good idea to work on one of my soon-to-be pet-levellers over on the Cariae server, so XxGALAHADxX logged in over there, and finding a back room he could call his own, was soon joined by Karella for a Combat party.  Like RedRackham, he had two of the "beginner" platinum blessed irises left, so I triggered the first of those, and off we went - with Karella also bringing out SkrappY, my level 51 Scra-Chi type pet, so that some pet experience would be gained.

Yet again the Cariae server had a breakdown at just after 11:10am UK time - the Orc Sergeant that Gal was fighting was down to 10% health, but suddenly stopped taking damage, and indeed its health began to regenerate.  It was the usual "account ID already in use" error when I tried to log him back in, but after ten minutes or so things got back to normal.

Karella, just standing in the corner, wasn't affected, so was waiting when Gal got back.  His pbi had been within a minute of running out anyway - it had given him a 45.79% experience gain.  I continued there until lunchtime, and in all Gal added 56.44%, along with 88 skill points, while Karella got 10.49% and 85 skill points since she arrived a little later.

I had a slightly early lunch, which was lucky as GM Xandamere announced one of his "night-time" Mad Monster Spawn sequences, which started with Auzura at 1:00pm UK time.  So, Memree, who is my regular character at such things until it's her turn to farm skill points (she is at the bottom of level 31, with only one or two skill points unused), used her memory scroll to go out there - and used three more of them to return after getting killed.  But it was fun, and the loot was relatively generous, so more skill point boosters, item drop boosters, large attack and defence potions, tool aids, and the small HP and MP recovery pots, got picked up safely.  I had asked the GM in the shoutbox to include start times in his announcements, and he did, which was nice; he also told me that he couldn't spawn heaven stones, the advice he'd been given was just to spawn the usual "Prize hands", the Protection, Bravery, and Of The Guard types.

Cariae was at the end of his sequence, and as it seems generally you only get the MMS announcements on the appropriate server, it seemed best to take Galahad and Karella back to Prokion Temple, where Gal used his last beginner pbi, which gave 37.09%, a bit less than before as the majority of it was in level 34.  The whole afternoon session gave him 49.49%, and 75 skill points, while Karella got 18.68% and the same sp.

The Cariae MMS started at 4:20pm UK time, and Xandamere was suitably impressed by the fine style with which Barbarienne and the other Cariae players despatched the monsters - it only took 27 minutes.  There was just one time when Barb got poisoned and had to run for safety, otherwise it was pretty much plain sailing.  And then it was time for food, and a little bit of Auzura pet-levelling.

Instead of my Cariae dual sword-wielding (now) level 34 knight XxGALAHADxX, fighting the Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen in my favourite back room in a Combat party with my level 26 rogue Karella, I switched across to Auzura-3 - and it was my level 34, dual sword wielding knight GALAHAD, in a Combat party with my level 24 rogue RedRider, who did the business.  Well it makes a change!  RedRider went up by 23.76%, so is pretty close to level 25 now. and got 139 skill points, helped along by the tale-end of the Sunday "teatime", which had started at least an hour late because only Last Chaos GMs can switch it on, and they hadn't arrived in the office on time.  As GM Xandamere is a more general GM, he wasn't allowed to start things.  Galahad added 21.58% and 142 skill points.

Gal did have a visitor, a knight called daAragon, who brought a lower-level titan friend, Steevo5, with him, and stayed for a while - we had just about enough Orcs to go around.  He returned later, but when he saw Galahad still there, he decided not to encroach on my territory, probably because his companion this time, an archer, was a higher-level player than Steevo5.  I was able to tell him that the Auzura-4 room was also in use, as I'd been chatting with Elvastar, Ratel's sorcerer, and knew he was there.  Ratty himself has reached level 73, and abandoned Norcaine, or at least passed its Guild Master position back to his titan Argoth, joining a more active guild called HonourBound.

Ratel was thus in Auzura-5 for the Quiz, with his new guildies; I assume he did okay, as we didn't have any problems on Auzura-2, and Kaerella and Rage both got the full set of prizes.  After that it was almost time for the Zombie Invasion, hosted by GM Kali.

Memree went out to Berbank Mill for that, and did die once - a player-killer rogue called SchmuseLady was the culprit.  I did take a screenshot a little later of us fighting side by side, with her no longer in "pk" mode, but still with the skull & crossbones sign alongside her name to denote the kill.  There were way too many zombies for us, both Screaming and Ancient Screaming, and Apes, so we didn't manage to kill everything inside the deadline.  Kali did spawn some Hands, but as there were still zombies on the loose, it wasn't possible to pick up very much.  Still, we kept going, and managed to clear the infestation out.

Katar didn't manage to do as well as Auzura, which did at least manage to get rid of the final zombies about five minutes after the deadline.  My level 10 Kaerella there got up to level 11, which is a slight shame as it rules out the Guardian system for her, but I'm unlikely to play there enough to get her to level 20 inside the system's allowed time anyway.  I may well have picked up enough gold now to be able to get a level 13 bow next time.  There was terrible lag there, I had to relog once, as well as getting killed a time or two.  This time when the consolation Hands were spawned there were way too many Screaming Zombies still around, poor Kaerella couldn't get near the goodies without dying.

The Cariae version was also a failure, though Barbarienne got a little gold and went up about 0.04%, which for her at an event is pretty good.  I tanked quite a few Apes and Screaming Zombies, though with the Ancient Screaming Zombies, and their poisoning skill, I tended to let a close-up player keep their attention, while I acted as artillery from a safer distance.  This time I didn't see any Hands at all, though I may well have been fighting slightly too far away to see them spawned.

And that ended the evening, except for a little pet-levelling - not an overnight deal, though, it's time the computer, and the modem, had a little bit of rest.  CaptainScarlet's horse is level 28 now, and RedRackham's drake is level 35.

A Pet Leveller is Born - October 12th

The computers hummed into life at breakfast time; I'd done a virus scan on the main one last night, using the "switch off computer after complete" option, and having the machine switched off, rather than hibernating, certainly seemed to make things quicker initially.  CaptainScarlet and RedRackham went out pet-levelling as usual, though Red did get a disconnection fairly early on, but was soon back in action.

Over on Cariae-3 after coffee, Galahad and Karella headed for Prokion Temple again.  I was resolved to be clever, and at 11:09, UK time, unequipped SkrappY from Karella, and put Galahad into a quiet corner too, while I went off and did some household chores.  The forum shoutbox soon confirmed that there had been the usual Cariae server breakdown, with people disconnected and unable to log back in - ten minutes or so later, however, both my computers here finally brought up the "disconnected" window, so on this occasion even doing nothing didn't save me.

Still, that had been about all the time I had for playing anyway, so the pet-levellers got logged back on for a slightly extended lunchtime, finding that Ratel's pet-leveller Leopardknight had decided to join them down in their particular corner of Merac, instead of using the desert spiders near the Temple in Dratan.  Galahad had managed to add 15.29% before the disconnection, and 32 skill points. while Karella, as usual arriving only after Gal had checked that the room was clear, gained 5.45% and 30 skill points.

The afternoon session was a bit of a change of pace, as it involved the Katar server, and, mainly, the junior version of Kaerella, who after yesterday's Zombie Invasion there was level 11.  It made a strange change to not only go out and fight berserk wolves and jaguars and sasquatches, but for every gold coin dropped to be precious, as I had hardly any money there.  Kaerella couldn't afford new armour, and was still in the starter set to begin with, though there was just enough gold, after a few drops at the fringes of the Zombie Invasion, to get her a level 13 bow to replace the level 1 one. 

Eventually a level 6 skirt got picked up, and then a Pandora's Box came into sight - when I opened it it disgorged a level 20 Pandora's Beast, the ghostly Sasquatch-type.  By running, turning and firing, running some more, self-healing, running, and firing some more, eventually I managed to kill it - and it dropped 4,400 gold, almost doubling my cash reserves.

Level 12 got reached at last, after fighting wandering zombies in Velpist Temple, and Kae had enough money to buy the 15/17 armour set, though for a while she had to make do with the picked-up old skirt.  Kae finally had enough cash to buy a bloodseal gem, which at 1000 gold is rather expensive early on, and used it on the bow, being rewarded by the seal adding an extra 18 to her hit rate.

Hunter Dranore had a quest for Kae, the map showed, so I went down to his encampment south-east of Randol; he wanted some sasquatch fur, and as he was giving a little experience, and 700 gold for each batch of ten furs, that was useful.  Like Merchant Geres wanting jaguar teeth for necklaces, it is a repeatable quest, so rather handy if one needs to get a little cash together.

Kae also ran down to Prokion Temple in Dratan, so that location is on her scroll now.  For the last part of the afternoon I checked all my accounts, as a while ago there was a "tiered spender event" where one got rewarded on every server, and moved the packages across to Kaerella.  She may not have any gold, but she has plenty of lucky smelting stones, berserker, power, crit, and adrenaline potions, and even some heaven stones.  I think one package which was a freebie for buying something else got delivered to Katar in error, which means that she even has five chaos smelting stones.  All those items are getting a bit heavy, but poor Kae doesn't have enough gold to be able to afford to put them into storage...one account puzzles me by having a couple of three-hour Party Recall cards in its records section, I have no idea where they came from.

For the evening, well, since we were getting within sight of the finishing line for Galahad on Cariae in his quest to become a top-rank pet leveller, he headed out to Prokion Temple again.  Cariae-3's Temple was busy, including the back room, but Cariae-4's version was generally quieter, and I was able to get the back room to myself.  So, Karella moved across and joined me for the Combat party, and over the next few hours Galahad gained the 44.16% he needed, along with another 95 skill points.  Karella added 14.94%, which was enough to take her into level 27, and 93 skill points.

Since Karella was now level 27, and Galahad was level 35, we were able to test out the idea for sp-farming a level 35 phoenix character.  Karella, now able to wear the whole of the +10 30/32 armour set, killed a sample Orc Sergeant, and, as the non-fighter in a Combat party, Gal got 3569 experience and 2507 skill exp.  Karella then killed an Orc Axeman, and Gal got 1660 experience from that, along with 1639 skill exp.  The exact figure will vary from one kill to the next, but after Gal's experience gain was set to 50%, as level 35 needs in total 23,223,182 experience, my calculator tells me that 28,000 Orc Axemen could be killed before level 36 was attained, yielding over 4,500 skill points.  Use enough platinum super skill pills and you could triple that, even. 

However, that does sound like a rather long slog, with poor Karella having to go downstairs to die a lot of times to avoid levelling up, so I'm not quite convinced how practical the idea is.  The theory sounds good though...

As Karella was online, Zenderfly, or Damor, was able to get in touch pretty easily.  Her kindly intention to treat me to a free Phoenix Ticket has hit a setback, in that she is suddenly extremely poor - somebody was selling experience point boosters at 125,000 gold each, I'm not too up to date on Cariae prices but that has got to be less than a tenth of the usual price, so they must have been feeling remarkably generous.  Zen bought every last one she could, since they are a vital part of levelling up at her level, about 1,500 I think she said.

Zen has "a good feeling" about this coming Wednesday, hoping that the update that introduces the new Night Shadow class will appear - "Twilight of the Night Shadow is almost upon us", as the website says.  Well, my feeling is they may wait a bit longer, though the 50% extra skill exp and experience scheduled to begin next Monday would make a fine start to making new characters.  It ramps up to double for both types from that Friday to Sunday, before moving to 75% extra from Monday 26th until the 29th, and then the last two days go back to double, with double pet experience thrown in for good measure.  There's also talk of a "special bonus" on the weekends, as well.

When the Night Shadows are available, the thing we'll both need to do is make one, and try him out - if he is an effective fighter and fun to play, well, then we can make our Phoenix characters.  If Zen isn't too keen on him, she probably won't bother with a Phoenix at all, but has offered to help Barbarienne get back in range of Zenderfly's current level, after which team-ups, perhaps exploring the promised new high-level content, would be something to look forward to.

Once XxGALAHADxX had reached level 35, and, back in town, got the Canid Fence 2 skill and a few other odd skills to use up his skill points, it was time to get him his red name.  I don't think he would be allowed to attack a fellow guild member like RedRackham, so it was SirCumference, of a minor guild of mine called TheCircle, at level 20, who I took to join Gal in Prokion Temple on Cariae-5, a "PvP-enabled" sub-server. Gal stopped off in Dratan to visit Jajan, to get a new pony.  Cumfy took off his armour and stepped out of Prokion's lobby area, then Gal switched on "pk mode", and struck him down.  Cumfy had to return from the lobby, mere feet away, so the deaths needed to get Gal to a -140 good/evil rating didn't take long.  Seeing Gal's red name a nearby archer tried to kill him, but her efforts were rather in the "it tickles" class, and he lost less than 10% of his health to her attacks before his time there was over.

So, Galahad headed for Merac's Berserkers, and added the location to his memory scroll - he equipped his pony, took off his sword, and attacked a Berserker bare-handed.  The damage he did per hit was 20, which is fine for Berserkers, so all is well.  I had a slight worry a few minutes in when I saw that the Berserker was dead, but that was just one of those darn ks-ers.  It didn't take long after that for the pony to gain its first couple of levels - and over on Auzura-4, CaptainScarlet set to work on his horse too, which is now getting towards the top of level 29.

Zombie Time - October 13th

While CaptainScarlet on Auzura-4 did a full overnight pet-levelling stint, XxGALAHADxX, on Cariae-3 and on the older computer, did a kind of compromise half-night, which gave that machine some down-time, which I'm sure it appreciates.

I didn't have coffee as early as sometimes, so it didn't seem worth taking a couple of characters to Cariae-3's Prokion Temple, given that the Cariae server was highly likely to fall over at about 11:10 UK time.  So, for part of the time SirDarth did some mining, getting through 36 tool aids and knight pickaxes; he then visited Galahad, who was still busy levelling his pony down in Merac, and traded him across a thousand quality stones.  As Darth used to do some pet-levelling himself, he also had a good supply of the imperfect and flawed stones, so Galahad got a thousand imperfect and five hundred flawed stones too.

Galahad continued with his pet-levelling, while the newer computer was used to do for the Hatzring server what I did yesterday for the Katar one, though I didn't find any big surprises in the records section of the item mall this time, just the tier one and tier two packages from the old "tiered spender" thing, in most of the accounts.  I gifted the packages across to Barbarienne, who for some reason is a level 10 mage there. Some of the accounts didn't have a character ready made, so I did a few "tutorial dungeon" battles along the way.

Back on Cariae-3, Galahad did get the usual disconnection at around 11:10 UK time; people are getting so used to this that the reaction in the forum shoutbox was pretty much resigned to it.  A few minutes later Gal was able to log back in and continue, while over lunch CaptainScarlet joined him - at least, they were in the same bit of Merac, just on different servers.

For the afternoon, now that I've got Gal set up as a pet-leveller, he can supply a solo party for another character, a bit more productively low-maintenance than having Enchantrella or someone mining.  So it seemed like a good idea to take Barbarienne down into the Tomb of Theos to fight the Screaming Zombies for around two and a half hours, just to see what that got us.  The drops were okay, gold-wise, and more than made up for the 300,000 gold entrance cost; Barb's reindeer pet got 2375 pet points, which must be almost as speedy as Gal, but 0,95% experience gain is a bit minor, and 25 skill points, or around ten per hour, isn't too thrilling either.  That would mean killing a zombie around every forty seconds, which I suppose would be about right.

The Tomb entrance area started off fairly quiet, but got busy as time went by, and I had some occasional ks-ers, who usually asked permission first.  The rogue cashdestroyer1 was there again, as well as another low-level rogue, Chamanas.  The mage GingerBeer had been levelling on the Spear Men further in; I remember her from the old Merac days...

The food break was very slightly early, as the Auzura Mad Monster Spawn was scheduled for five o'clock, as far as the United Kingdom is concerned.  As usual recently it was Memree who went along, my level 31 healer - she is actually a cleric, but is using a bow generally at present.  GM Stratos was in charge, with two of his giant statues, and the monsters were much as usual, though he must have got distracted, or had a disconnection, as there was a rather long wait after one wave.  We had been expecting a spawning of prizes, but when he did get back it was a new wave of monsters  he conjured up.  Later the website mentioned that a local storm had been interfering with their internet, that probably explains the delay.

Memree died, I think, four times, but still ended up with 4% or so experience in her level, after slipping back to zero.  There was a kind of "bonus wave" at the end as a farewell present, with lots of Screaming Zombies, which at level 100 are a bit out of Mem's class, though not as much as the level 130-plus cave spirits etc.  She actually got a drop of 15.730 gold from one zombie.  The Hands that did get spawned were in quite generous numbers, so as usual Memree managed to grab a few skill point boosters, item drop boosters, large attack and defence potions, tool aids, and of course plenty of the small MP and HP recovery pots.

Using the Cariae Norcaine guild's pop-up guild message that one gets when logging on, Zenderfly had asked me to meet her at five on Cariae, so my mage Keerella was in town over there; at about a quarter past, a new message popped up that she had been delayed by a couple of hours, so Galahad got back to working on his pony.

I had a little bit of work to do when the MMS was over, and then when I was ready to plunge back in, the GM-style message came up that GS Airadella was just about to start one of her word-unscrambling quiz-type events in Merac on Auzura-2, so Barbarienne, out of curiosity, went to see what that was about.  There were ten scrambled words or phrases, and the first person to unscramble one, and type it correctly, won a prize.   They were surprisingly difficult to work out, but I did manage to win a prize for "bloodsealing" - five large chocolate bars, which boost attack for five minutes apparently.  Other answers included "mercenary certificate", "Punisher Mahlax", and "Speedhacking".

It was during that time that Zen did get in touch, commenting that she was surprised by the figures I quoted for the experience and skill exp gain of a level 35 character Combat-teamed with a level 27 one, the skill exp was more than she expected - and could I check up what figures one would get with a level 20 teamed with the level 35 character, in an Equal party?

I said that I could do that, as on Cariae I have quite a few level 20 types, and once Airadella's quiz was over, I had a look to see what I could do.  A level 20 knight, I thought, for the best armour rating - but the only ones I checked had no decent armour for their levels, just higher-level sets they were storing.  So in the end it was the mage EnchantrA I picked, as she at least had a +3 armour set of the right level.

As her previous levelling had been in the Tomb of Theos, I had to run her out to Prokion Temple to get that location on her memory scroll.  Galahad accompanied her for the first part, and found a level 40 spider-ghost Pandora's Beast to kill - it dropped 37.800 gold for them.  Gal then gave EnchantrA the Divine Shield buff, and she triggered a potion of haste, and ran on to the Temple, not taking much damage from the foxes, even though they are still red-named for her.

My favourite back room  was being used by a titan called xGhostRiderx, using a pssp, but he didn't mind me doing my experiment when I explained it.  Gal killed two Orc Axemen, and got 3985/3948 experience from the kills (with his experience gain 50% frozen) - EnchantrA got 5263/5214, with no experience freeze. They both got 1831/2093 skill exp.

xGhostRiderx was happy for me to take Orc Sergeants off his back, I guess he was level 27 and thus concentrating on the Axemen.  The two I killed gave 7321/7114 experience to Gal, half-frozen, and 9669/9395 to EnchantrA, unfrozen, and 2406/2536 skill exp to each of them.

So, about 2k skill exp from an Axeman, or 2.5k from a Sergeant, which isn't bad, but quite a lot of experience, so that level 35 wouldn't last all that terribly long for the Phoenix character...well, maybe 5800 Axemen, for around 1160 skill points?  The level 20 type would tend to want to level up a bit before that, I suspect, though multiple suicides would be an option there.

There was time for a visit to the Katar server after that, where my healer Kaerella reached level 13, and indeed got to halfway through it.  After killing some jaguars for Geres, she managed to get to the Mad Monster Spawn location and get that onto her memory scroll, and then moved on to Velpist Temple, with its wandering, ancient and berserk zombies.  There was no getting away from zombies today.

At ten, the Mad Monster Spawn on Cariae-3 was scheduled to start, so Barbarienne, in a solo party with Galahad, rode over to the MMS location, and had the usual enjoyable half hour or so - there was one moment when I suddenly noticed that Barb's health wasn't around 3200, it was 8 and falling, but I managed to survive that, though for an archer it takes an awful lot of Self Heal to get back to full health.  GM Kali ensured that all the usual prize Hands appeared, and we all lived happily ever after, though as Kali seemed to be handling four Mad Monster Spawns on different servers at once, there was no final group of monsters after the last official wave.

By the end of the evening Galahad's pony had become a big strong level 16 horse, but of course there is a long way to go before this one reaches level 37.

Barren Eises and Flutons - October 14th

Well I can't play morning, noon and night every day, as today, and tomorrow, demonstrate, but at least that gives the chance for some pet-levelling, with Cariae's Galahad getting his horse to level 19 over the early evening food break - SirPerivale had a chance for an hour or so then too, with his smart level 21 pale blue horse, though in the morning it was CaptainScarlet who was at work.  If I'd thought ahead a bit more, I probably wouldn't have had Cariae's and Auzura's level 35 pet-levellers, Galahad and RedRackham, on the same account...

There was the usual maintenance last night, but despite Zenderfly's state of eager anticipation, there doesn't seem to have been any patch at all - no return of Roy and the Merchant House system, and definitely no "Episode Two" and the new character, the Night Shadow.  The forum had nothing in the "patch notes" section at all... I guess beta testing continues, assuming that the South Korean developers have recovered from their local equivalent of Thanksgiving now.

There did seem to be a disconnection for Galahad at about the usual time in the morning - CaptainScarlet over on Auzura got disconnected around then too, which may or may not have been a coincidence.

There was a full afternoon session, anyway, featuring Barbarienne over on Cariae-3.  It seemed to me that it would be a good idea to get one further set of the +10 30/32 armour, plus the pair of level 33 +10 weapons, so, finding that I did have a spare slot, I made a new knight, a Cariae incarnation of SirPerivale.  I still think it's a good knightly name, though a Google search won't bring up more than mentions in this blog and people who can't spell Sir Percivale...

Anyway, this new Peri ran through the tutorial dungeon, and then enlisted Keerella as his Guardian.  I was a bit tempted to have Kee do the actual work in the Tomb of Theos, but Barbarienne is eight levels higher and probably does the levelling job a bit more quickly.  Perhaps if I do need to do this again, Kee can have a go, after all Barb has run out of the Summon books now, while Kee still has some.

Karella passed my "human tribe" cartoon cat pet SkrappY across to SirPerivale, plus a couple of memory scrolls, SkrappY's supplies of bandages and freshly baked bread, and 100,000 gold.  Then Barb logged in, and used a memory scroll to get to the entrance to the Tomb, then Summoned Peri to join her, so that he could get the location onto his scroll, just in case of a disconnection later.  It only cost him 3,000 gold to get in, it cost Barb a hundred times that.

Peri triggered his first "beginner" platinum blessed iris, and the first Screaming Zombie that Barb killed moved him from level 1 to level 11.  The second got him to level 13, the third to level 14, the fourth to level 15, and the fifth to level 16, but it took the seventh to get him to level 17, and the ninth to get him up to 18. Things do slow down a bit after that of course; it took only slightly over ten minutes to reach level 20 and complete the Guardian system, but at the end of the first hour Peri was at 46% of the way through level 27, and an hour later he was at 31% of the way through level 30.  So as usual a third pbi was needed to complete his rise to level 31, though only about a third of its time was used.

I did have a few assistants on the ks-ing front, who all asked nicely first.  TheLastRogue was a sensible level 50, who managed by the end to reach 51.  GingerBeer did drop by briefly on her way back from deeper down, while TitussWarMaster was helping a guildie and one or two others.  Having Peri in my party did mean less experience, and a lot less skill exp, but Barb still managed to add 1.03% and 13 skill points, plus 2456 pet points... and picked up some useful cash, as well as a heaven stone and a moonstone box or two, which is about all one can expect from the Tomb.

Towards the end, Zenderfly's cleric Itura got in touch via Norcaine guild chat, to say that my blog entry for yesterday hadn't appeared on kaerella.com's front page, which was a bit strange - I was able to direct her to the October archive page, though.  She is glad to know that using a level 20 character with a level 35 one can be useful, and I've promised to get a few more of my level 20 types out to Prokion Temple, to get the location of its entrance onto their memory scrolls.

Zen seems to feel that she is in a bit of a limbo until the Night Shadow arrives.  She could use her large supply of experience boosters on Zenderfly - but if the Night Shadow is going to be fun to play, then she ought to keep them for him.  Is there any point in grinding with her mage, if she will be switching over to a brand-new phoenix character in a week or two?

I don't really have the same problem as I spread myself around between characters.  It's difficult to guess when the Night Shadow will be released, but at least I can get a horse ready, and line up some level 20 prospective party members.  And I ought to try and get Barb up a level or two, to get her within range of Zenderfly for an Equal party, so that I can go to interesting places and gain some more experience relatively painlessly.  If Barb does get a few levels, then she as well as Zen might be able to power-level our pair of new Night Shadows...

There was just over an hour available before I had to log out, so Cariae's RedRackham went to Prokion Temple, found the room available, and invited Karella to join him for a Combat party.  Before I had to leave, Red added 21.29% experience and 57 skill points, while Karella got 5.47% and 55 skill points.  Red is about a quarter of the way into level 33 now, the idea is to take him to level 35 as a second pet-leveller.

I was able to log back on at about ten, so decided that Memree ought to check out the "Storm the Castle" event on Auzura-3 in Merac, something I've never been to before.  By the time I rode down to Merac Castle things had begun, but, while it only lasted ten minutes, it was fun, and the rewards spawned outside the Castle afterwards seemed generous, given the number of people involved.

Cariae's "Storm the Castle" was scheduled for half past ten, so Barbarienne went to that one, getting there in good time, and was of rather more assistance than Memree, being able to handle the Tomb's Sphinx Spear Men and Strayana's Dark Harpies.  Ater the victory and the prizes, GM Kali spawned dozens and dozens of Barren Eises, whirling and coruscating, and some Flutons too - it took a while, but we managed to get rid of them too.

So, while Cariae's Galahad had kept busy pet-levelling for the second half of the evening, getting his horse into level 20, back on Auzura CaptainScarlet had very little time left to work on his horse, before my time to log out arrived.

A Quieter Day - October 15th

I was only able to play for an evening session today, which meant at least that my pet-levellers could keep busy, I just needed to check every half hour or so that the horses weren't too hungry, that nobody had come along and ks'd, killing my Berserker, and that there hadn't been the inevitable "run out of memory" error, which continues to baffle the finest brains at Microsoft, very possibly. 

The only pet-levelling excitement involved XxGALAHADxX, just before I was due to log him out in Karella's favour for the evening - on the screen I could see not only the Grand Red Dragon, but also a number of Cerebrii right up close to him, the creatures that the GRD spawns when its health gets a bit low.  Luckily they are not aggressive, they're only protective of one another and of the raid boss itself, so Gal was in no danger from them.  He could have been hit by the GRD's fiery breath when someone was actually fighting it, I suppose, but hopefully they were being considerate enough not to fight too close to Gal. 

Whether the GRD-battler came back and finished the task I don't know...these days if you let the Cerebrii chase you too far away before fighting them, the GRD itself will return to full health, meaning that you are back to the start.  I wonder if it would spawn a new set of Cerebrii when its health reached the appropriate percentage again?

The evening session was nothing very exciting, for the main part my level 33 knight RedRackham just went out to Prokion Temple again.  Cariae-3's back room was in use, though when Ratel, level 31 on Cariae, came along a little later he was able to settle in there, and got enough skill points to get all his available skills maximised before he logged out... so Red hopped over to Cariae-4, where the room was available, and Karella logged on to join him for the Combat party.

Zenderfly, or Damor, has started to use the Norcaine guild message system to communicate with me, and in today's message was asking what other characters, outside Norcaine, I am currently playing, presumably so that she can more easily get in touch with me.  She did say she hoped to be logging on at around seven o'clock in the evening my time, but she didn't actually show up.  If it's a matter of there being space on Zen's Friends list these days for a few more of my characters, then I guess on Auzura CaptainScarlet, as a pet-leveller, would be useful to add, for a start, while as a pet-leveller on Cariae XxGALAHADxX is likely to be on.  Both servers' versions of RedRackham, too...  There are plenty more Auzura characters of course, and no doubt plenty of room on Taldea's Friends list.

Anyway, I chatted with Ratel while RedRackham was fighting the Cariae Orcs, and he was saying that he had actually bought some aeria points not long ago, which explained how he'd managed to get the Auzura version of the character boosted up to level 73 - and he'd sold enough item mall stuff to be able to afford a rather good set of 70/72 armour too.  The guild he has joined isn't big, but it is active, which is the main thing.

I did have one visitor in the Prokion Temple back room, a rogue called Cromanijak; I gave the usual warning to be careful as it was a dangerous room, but, even though she was only level 24, she did okay, though she was using a good number of health and mana pots.  I gave the Divine Shield buff, and helped out a couple of times, by request, when she got mobbed by Axemen.  She didn't stay all that long, as she ran out of physical defence minerals, but she must have gained a useful chunk of experience, even if her skill exp gain was a bit lower than it would have been fighting the Orc Soldiers and Orc Fighters around her own level.

By the end of the session RedRackham had added 52.38% and 137 skill points, while Karella had gained 13.36% and two skill points less.  Red really only needs 60 skill points for when he reaches level 35, for the Canid Fence 2 skill - it would be useful if he got enough spare sp to upgrade the Cariae version of Discipline, which is currently only level 1. 

I was reminded about that when I logged in my level 20 mage Memree, who is currently its guild master; one other member was online, the mage TuffLove, one of Ratel's characters, I imagine she must have been in merchant mode for a while.  Leopardknight, his pet-leveller on the same account, was fighting a Berserker alongside CaptainScarlet later.

Memree was online to make the run out to Prokion Temple, to get that location onto her memory scroll.  I logged SirDarth on on the older computer, and they made a rendezvous in Dratan City.  They made a party, so that SirDarth could supply horse buffs and Divine Shield, to help her get past the cunning foxes and sand golems, and Memree made the run successfully.  I repeated the procedure with my knight SirKit and another level 20 mage Emraine, who was in the starter armour so might well have had a problem without those buffs, plus Protection.  EnchantrA already had the Prokion Temple entrance on her scroll, so that makes four level 20 characters who are ready to team up with a level 35 phoenix character, should circumstances demand it.

By the end of the evening CaptainScarlet (an Auzura-only name, on Cariae it was already taken)  had moved his horse up to within an hour or so of level 34, while over on Cariae-3 Galahad got his horse into level 24, so we are making good progress.  The pet-levellers should have a fair amount of time tomorrow, too, as I still have plenty of work to do downstairs to keep me out of mischief.

The Crashing Tide - October 16th

Again I could only leave it to the pet-levellers in the morning, while I worked hard downstairs, which meant steady progress, with Galahad's Cariae-based horse reaching level 26 in the early evening.  I had a little more work to do after a rather large lunch before I could sneak off, but it wasn't too long before RedRackham and Karella were busy in Cariae-3's Prokion Temple.

The session didn't last the whole afternoon, but Red went up by 20.20% and 82 skill points, while Karella added 5.09% and 77 skill points, as well as 22 guild points.  A rogue called Moguri came in to share the room for part of the afternoon, and must have got a pretty powerful weapon as there were only just enough Orcs to go round while she was there.

Zenderfly got in touch, however - well, through the magic of the Norcaine guild chat channel it was Damor talking to Karella.  And the suggestion was that Barbarienne should have a three-hour power levelling session with Zen in the end room, the grave room, of the Tomb of Theos, fighting the Sphinx Commanders.

This was quite a complicated thing to arrange, but Barb did have enough experience boosters and platinum blessed irises, plus mana stealers, health stealers, crit potions, adrenaline... and Keerella was able to find a couple of platinum refining stones, so that Zen could boost her +15 weapon to +16 for a day.

At level 113, it made sense that Zenderfly should be the one to run down through the Tomb - she must know the route rather better than me, too!  Keerella then used a Teleport scroll to join her, and then used a Summon scroll to bring in Damor; I was going to buy a three-hour Party Recall card, but they seem to have been discontinued, so I paid out 109 aeria points for a one-day one, which took the urgency off things.  I then sent it as a gift to Damor, and she Recalled Barb in.

All Keerella had to do was stand by the wall, with SkrappY equipped, in a Combat party with Barbarienne, to give that slight boost to Barb's experience gain, which would be multiplied twelve-fold by the combination of the pbi (times three) and the experience booster (times four).  Zenderfly partied with her other mage Damor, and attacked a Sphinx Commander, taking Recall to lose aggro (and entitlement to a share of the experience from the kill) when its health was low, allowing Barb to finish it off.

So, I had the easier role, though over three hours things got pretty intense, and while usually a Sphinx Commander didn't do me much damage, occasionally I'd be hit hard - in the first hour I was down to 275/3283 at one point.  Barb does have a "5% suction of life" Necklace of Wind, which also gives 32 dexterity and adds12 to her physical defence, but 5% was sometimes not enough, so in the second and third hours (with brief gaps between them) I used a health stealer, as well as a crit potion and the pbi of course.  Zen used a mana stealer and an adrenaline potion, which I provided, each time.  I did pass her crit potions too, but I think she decided they weren't useful for her, so she'll be passing those back.

The first hour added 18.30% for Barb; there were quite naturally a very few times when Zen didn't take Recall in time so that the "xpb" remained unused, but as usual as we got into the swing of things, the action smoothed out, though there were times when other people in the room made things a bit awkward.  Each successful kill added about 0.27% experience for Barb.  It was sometimes hard to see where Zen had gone to fight the next Sphinx Commander - Kee I could see as she was in my party, and Damor showed up on the compass-map too as she is in the Norcaine guild now, but Zenderfly, well, sometimes it took a while, particularly when other people were also fighting the Commanders.

The second hour was our best, adding 21.40%, but things slowed down in hour three, because Damor and Zenderfly both got disconnected.  Zen had had a dc earlier, but Damor, with Recall, had survived, so that was over before I really noticed.  This time Damor's figure remained in the game for some time, so we had to wait before she could be logged in again, and another Summon scroll used to bring her back.  I did manage to kill two or three Sphinx Commanders on my own, but a lot more slowly than a level 113 mage with a +16 staff using terra spear and chaos nova. 

Just before the disconnection Zen had had a bit of an altercation with a couple of other players, who had come into the room and, unlike previous people who had politely asked if there were enough targets for them as well as us, just set to fighting.  This was a bit annoying, and Zen did go so far as to round up a few Sphinx Commanders as a mob, to keep them for us rather than share them out.

The gamesage ADISA also came in around then, but didn't stay long.  I imagine she is a little high level for that room, like Zen.  But anyway, despite the interruptions and disconnection another 15.37% got added, so that the whole session had got Barbarienne up 55.07% - and over half a level in one session at level 100 is pretty darn good.  And 7 skill points too, which Keerella also got, along with a few percent.  SkrappY actually levelled up, and is now level 52. 

The idea is to get a bit more value from the Party Recall card, and Zen's platinum refining stone, by having another session tomorrow morning, probably starting at around ten.  So, perhaps I'll be having a late lunch tomorrow.  It was just as well today that I'd had an unusually large lunch, it meant that I was still feeling fairly full at my usual early evening log-out time... in fact, two hours or so later when the session was over, I still wasn't hungry, and just had a glass of milk and a couple of biscuits, after washing the day's dishes.

And that was just as well, because the "Epic Event" for Auzura, entitled "The Crashing Tide", which had been scheduled for eight in the evening, UK time, actually began half an hour earlier than that, which was a shame as Zen had hoped to come along as an observer, presumably as her Auzura healer Taldea.

I'd decided to risk attending as my level 72 rogue Rage, since the event was going to take place in the Temple of Forgetfulness (alias Forgotten Temple), where the usual local monsters are just about her level, so when I saw the announcements, I quickly logged her in, and went to Randol's north gate on Auzura-3.  Just outside there were multiple teleporter npcs, ready to take everyone to the start of the Temple; most people had already gone through by then, so Rage hurried to follow.

I did actually meet Ratel there, towards the end, we both were fighting an Alma, whose health refused to go down, we just didn't have enough high-level folk on it.  Ratel is level 77 now, so he is doing well.  He told me a bit later that he had died once, which isn't surprising considering the level of most of the monsters we fought.

The vanguard of our people surged onwards, but it was the high-level people who led, so I didn't really see the actual showdown in the final room, though one could read the dialogue.  Things seemed to take an ominous turn, with the brave, valiant GM Beatrice sounding a bit sinister towards the end - could it be that she has been affected by these encounters with evil, in ways we cannot yet tell?

Some hands of protection, bravery and the guard did get spawned at the end, once we'd cleared out the Flutons, various varieties of Cube Guard, and so on, so Rage was able to grab some goodies - mainly the small HP and MP recovery pots of course, but a couple of item drop boosters, skill point boosters, and large attack and defence potions.

Katar's event came next, so there was an hour to spare before the Cariae event - to which Barbarienne was keen to go, of course.  Zen had only mentioned the Auzura event, so I wasn't sure that she'd be able to get to this one, starting at 9:30 UK time but an hour later for her - and she didn't turn up, so Barb had to do this one solo.  I did actually die and have to use a resurrection scroll once, but the goodies at the end just about compensated for that, I guess, and these events are fun.

I just wish that the people who kept asking to be resurrected actually took the trouble to register for a party, as they were asked, and not just asked by me - instead they just kept on asking.  A healer can only resurrect party members, and a dead body can't be clicked on - only if the player has registered as wanting to join a party can they be picked up.  Otherwise, they'll just have to respawn back at the start, and run back.

Well, it was an eventful and intense day, and tomorrow may well be more of the same, at least while that one-day Recall card lasts.  It's nice to wind down with a little pet-levelling; Galahad should get his horse up to level 27 before the end of the evening, so we continue to make progress.