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

Both Galahad and RedRackham pet-levelled through the night - Gal's new pony gained ten levels, reaching 17, so became a horse, though not of course a mount yet, in record time, with the double pet experience still working.  And at approaching half past six in the morning, I had to shut off both computers, and head out into London for the day.

As expected it was a little after seven in the evening when I logged in again; RedRackham returned to the Berserkers with his drake on Cariae, while over on Katar Kaerella logged in, and managed to spend an hour over in Prokion Temple.  After starting with a few Orc Fighters and Orc Soldiers, I moved to the spot next to the "corridor room" which has three Orc Axemen at the top of a short ramp, and proceeded to keep them respawning.  As they were a level above Kae, they did drop a few empty baskets, to add to her stock of those - and by the time the Quiz was getting close, Kae had added 41.20% and 137 skill points.  So, back in town, she was able to get the top level of Cure Poison and a few other minor things.

On the feeling that I do have lots and lots of heaven stones on Auzura and Cariae, it was Katar's Kaerella who went to the Quiz, along with my level 17 knight there ColonelScarlet.  I joined the rest of the online DarkzerRoughneks in Katar-2, and I think most of us survived to the end.  It seemed to me that the questions were coming more swiftly than usual, with shorter breaks between them, but there were none of the really difficult ones, and Kae and the Colonel both got their full rewards of tool aids, moonstones and heaven stones.

There was scheduled, going by the Events page, to be the usual "Zombie Invasion" on Auzura-2, so my local rogue Rage headed out that way, only to find nothing at all happening.  I think it must have happened on Auzura-3 instead, but any announcements made were either before I logged in to that server, or drowned out by gold-spammers in Randol.

So, Katar-Kae had a few minutes to check out a special PvP event at the Dratan arena, watching from the spectator area.  It was total chaos, badly organised and ineffectually run, with people above the level 16-38 range (you had to be within that range to participate) rushing around killing people.  The people in the event were supposed to be sitting down, but some just didn't, while the higher level people just shouldn't have been there - what happened later I can't begin to speculate, as the announcement for the Katar "Zombie Invasion" came up, to be held on Katar-5 - and not Katar-2 as the website said.

A group of us, led by LordDarkzer, headed off there.  It certainly made a pleasant change not to be vulnerable to pk-ers.  By exercising her natural caution Kae avoided being killed, and went up by just 4.18%.  It was a bit laggy; LordDarkzer got poisoned, and ran for safety, with me following to try to heal her - she then lagged, or logged, out, which would be sensible with the sort of poison effect the Ancient Screaming Zombies give. Afterwards just about everyone seemed to wait around, expecting drops, but I learned later that the drops had been made mid-fight, out of range of where we were fighting.  Even if we'd known about them it would have been too dangerous to go to that area.

The Cariae version came next, so Barbarienne hurried out on Cariae-3, very happy not to be vulnerable to pk-ing this time.  I got invited to a party eventually, as did a level 90 cleric, DutchAngel, who did very useful work, keeping me alive when I found myself tanking an Ancient Screaming Zombie a couple of times.  We had a level 3 titan, titandude11111, in the party too, and he ended up on level 16, which was pretty good going, though I don't know what he'll do about skill points.

Once we'd finished the third wave we stood around for five minutes at least, before Kali gave us a bonus wave of zombies - and the Hands at the same time.  So I was fighting a Screaming Zombie, while my reindeer-horse pet was grabbing the loot.  There was still some loot left when the Zombie was dead, so I grabbed what I could, but I don't think I got a huge amount of good stuff.  After the last of the zombies were killed, it was just about 10:30, so the event was over - GM Kali would have moved on to the next server.

After that, Galahad and his horse moved across to the newer computer, and RedRackham and his drake logged onto the older one.  The double pet experience was still running, though tomorrow we should go down to just 50% extra experience and skill exp, which will seem a bit mundane after our recent bonuses.  Red's drake is nearing the top of level 36 now, so that is very nearly enough; Gal's horse soon went up another level, and by log-out time was well into level 19, which can't be bad.

ColonelScarlet Takes Over  - November 2nd

Galahad was able to pet-level overnight with a Gnoll Lancer, again taking advantage of the double pet experience - by mid-morning his horse had added another seven levels, reaching level 25.  RedRackham logged back in at breakfast time, and his drake soon reached level 37.  Unlike a horse, that isn't a reason to stop the levelling, it just means the pet starts to get hungrier, so he kept going for a couple of hours.

Later in the morning there was time for Katar's Kaerella to head for Prokion Temple, but the session ended rather abruptly at eleven with a disconnection, so only 32.24% experience and 93 skill points were gained, and about half a level for her hatchling.  Back in town though I had a look through Trader Roy's weapons for sale.  I rather wish I'd snapped up a level 33 +15 rogue weapon for 30 million, but that would almost have cleaned me out, cash-wise.  I might have been able to resell it for rather more, I suspect.  But what I did find and buy were a couple of event weapons - a knight one, the Light of Odin, for just 10,000 gold, and a mage one, the Rhine Order, for 25,000 - a lot less than I had to pay to get Kae the healer one.

After the lunch break, with both Cariae-based pet-levellers in action of course, it was time for the original Kae, Cariae's Kaerella, to have an outing to Maargadum Jail.  We had been told today would be 50% extra experience and skill exp, but luckily, and making up for the late start of the bonus on some previous days, the weekend's 100% extra experience, skill exp and pet points "event" was still running, so I wanted to make the most of it while I could.

Kaerella had level three of the Jail to herself all afternoon, until just a few minutes before the early evening food break, when the titan sultanuae appeared, and asked to be added to the party.  He was, it turned out, level 24 now, so it wasn't surprising that he didn't actually last very long fighting the level 46 Beast Flyers, but full marks for managing to get down that far in the Jail.

Kae added 18.20%, which by her standards was pretty massive, and 161 skill points - and her drake, SirFrancis, levelled up, reaching level 47.  5136 pet points in one session can't be bad, even two at a time.

For the evening, first of all Kaerella's Katar incarnation went and had a session with her Orc Axeman chums again.  For much of the time the main "corridor room" was being used by a rogue called xXxManGaxXx, who would kindly sometimes use Snare on my current Axeman, careful not to actually hit it so that I got my full experience and skill exp.  She then asked if I wanted a +10 level 29 weapon for 20 million.  I said that I did want such a thing, but perhaps 15 million was what I could afford.  She agreed, asked me to wait there, and very soon returned with the weapon, and traded it across for the 15 million.  Unless it had happened to be like that, she had very kindly gone to Collector Ryl and turned it into a healer's bow, so that I could start using it right away.  It had already had an extreme stone used on it, something that can be done only once, but it was still well worth the money.

I got another disconnection at 7:30, just after I'd headed back to town; I don't think the Aeria servers were to blame this time, I think the problem was somewhere along the internet superhighway, probably fairly close to home here, though I don't think my modem was to blame.  When these things happen on the hour, or half hour, one is always suspicious!  But Kae was safe by then, and had gone up 74.03%, plus 314 skill points, which were enough to let her "max out" all her currently available general and passive skills, and invest some points in "special" skills, like mining, herb farming, and armour crafting.

The plan will be for Kae to suicide her way back down to the start of level 27 - at 3% per death, that will take 25 runs,  Then she can move up through the level again, aided by that new weapon, hopefully getting another 300 or so skill points to be invested in more special skills.

For the second half of the evening, I transferred that Light of Odin sword across to ColonelScarlet, and bought him a new helmet and shield, level 22 and 21 respectively.  At level 18 he was ready to use all three of those, so I bought a few bloodseals, and off he went to Prokion Temple, to fight the Ghouls and Mummies.

That took up the last part of the evening; even with generally un-plussed armour, the Colonel didn't have any problems, it just shows how easy knights have it - unless there is magic about!  He gained 237.64%, so went up from 18 to 20, plus 152 skill points, so was able afterwards to get the fifth level of Divine Shield, wrap up Uncanny Movement, and start on Vitality Control.

I must do some experimenting on having ColonelScarlet and Kaerella in a Combat party - preferably with the Colonel doing the fighting.  Unfortunately he isn't ready for my favourite back room yet, though it ought to be fun when he is ready for that.

After that, well, it was time for RedRackham to join Galahad at pet-levelling.  Earlier Gal had had one ks-er, a knight called Oberline, who insisted that he was just "respawning" the Gnoll Lancers.  No problem for me, as I wasn't away from the keyboard at the time, but annoying for any other pet-levellers around. 

Still, all that double pet points has moved things on nicely, so that RedRackham's drake is getting towards the top of level 37 now, while Galahad's horse has already reached level 29.  Let us hope they leave the full-strength event running all the time tomorrow until maintenance.

Mad Monsters - November 3rd

The double pet experience continued overnight, which was good news for Galahad, who kept going, down with the Gnoll Lancers, and by mid-morning had got his horse up to level 32.  RedRackham joined in before breakfast, and continued through the morning, getting his drake on through level 38.

Galahad on the Cariae server gave way to ColonelScarlet over on Katar-5 after coffee, who bought new level 25 Radiant gauntlets and a supply of bloodseals, before heading out to Prokion Temple.  He had already got the level 26 pieces of the armour set, plate mail and leggings - and luckily during the session he picked up the level 27 boots to complete the set.

The Colonel started at level 20, and went up by, in all, 191.85%, getting 198 skill points as well.  This meant that he could get the remaining levels of Vitality Control, to increase the rate at which his health regenerates, so that the Orc Soldiers became easier to deal with, if they insisted on coming in three at a time.  Getting some loot transmuted into smelting stones, and buying a couple of level 25 weapons for that purpose too, means that his armour was now all +1, at least, while a newly-bought level 25 shield, and his Light of Odin sword, are both +3.  Completing a few minor quests got him another 5.48% experience, too.

After lunch ColonelScarlet continued where he'd left off, starting halfway through level 22 and adding another 303.01%, so that by the time I logged out he was halfway through level 25.  His pony had gone up to level 8, too.  Oh, and 277 skill points came in, though at the moment, since the Colonel doesn't really need attack skills, he didn't spend any of them.  Another knight was a neighbour, WrathMaster, and, seeing how poor the Colonel was (well, he picks up all the gold that is dropped), he very kindly gave me a few of his drops, an assortment of accessories - and 200,000 gold, which made a big difference to my knight's finances.  I was in the same general solo party as him later, by which time he was level 29

For the evening session, Katar's Kaerella logged in for a little while.  As she and the Colonel really do need a bit more cash, I tried putting an adrenaline potion into the merchant house, and a single heaven stone.  Once the event bonuses end I'll have to set up in merchant mode, and try to sell the various Hallowe'en candies and other useful drops - maybe some heaven stones too.  I also need to do some mining, my pet-levellers are getting really low on quality stones.

The main part of the evening saw ColonelScarlet back in Prokion Temple.  The Orc Fighters were his level now, so the most convenient place was the corridor outside my favourite back room, so that's where I fought, generally.  Once I'd levelled up again I did venture into the back room cautiously a few times, just to attack a single Orc Axeman, retreat a bit, and fight the three or four others that had joined him, but it did nibble away at the Colonel's health a bit, so I generally returned to the Orc Soldiers and Orc Fighters in the corridor, who might not give as much experience per kill, but did tend to die a bit more quickly.

By the end of that session ColonelScarlet had added 134.26% more, so was getting towards the top of level 26; his pony had added three more levels, and he had another 214 skill points in the kitty.  I should think that, as a pet-leveller, he probably has almost all the skill points he will ever need, so probably he will be able to create and level up a local branch of the Discipline guild before too long.

I took a few minutes off for blog-writing, and then headed for Cariae, logging in my level 101 archer Barbarienne for the local "Mad Monster Spawn" at ten o'clock, UK time.  I got there early - perhaps a bit too early, as I got recruited into a less than satisfactory party, if I'd been a bit later I would probably have teamed with ChefDuPain, though she was there as a different Chef.

GM Kali arrived in good time, and the MMS began.  The usual waves followed, and Barb managed to do her bit, though after wave one it's best if she waits for someone else to attract a monster's attention, and acts as long-range artillery.  I did "tank" one Sphinx Commander, it's very strange how much more powerful they seem there than they do in the Tomb of Theos - a number of Great Healing Potions had to be used, and I was very glad when some other people started to help me towards the end.

I did feel the effect of the Fluton "Flame Thrower" a couple of times, to just stand there stunned and losing health, but luckily, when I was being chased by a Fluton and not wanting to get too far ahead in case its health reset to 100%, just as I was standing there helpless a rogue managed to land a Snare on it, and other people piled onto it.

The final wave was despatched with perhaps two or three minutes to spare, and our final drop of the Hands soon got snapped up.  Generally I did pretty well for the goodies this time -  I got17 small MP and 35 small HP recovery pots, 12 tool aids, 13 large defence and 11 large attack potions, but just 3 item drop boosters and 5 skill point boosters.

After that, Galahad logged in to get some of the last double pet experience before the server maintenance.  By then RedRackham had got his drake up to lhe top of level 39, so that the drake should reach level 40 before log-out time; Galahad should just about get his horse up to 33 by then too.

I was distracted from my blog-typing by the site of a Cerebril and the Grand Red Dragon zooming past where Galahad was fighting his Gnoll Lancer, and went out onto the main path to see what was going on - a mage was fighting them, having presumably run for her life after the Cerebril spawned.  She managed to kill the Cerebril, but not the GRD - its health reset to 100%, and when she vanished, it popped out of sight, resetting its location too.  So Gal was able to pick up 540 gold, a reasonably good Hero's Necklace (4 strength, 11 evasion, 22 close range evasion), a "Torn Book of Life Chapter 2", and an Empty Basket, which would otherwise just have stayed on the ground until they vanished.

Storming the Castles - November 4th

There was quite a large patch to download after the overnight maintenance, though it didn't actually do much - it mainly added back the "search" function to Trader Roy's merchant house, though when I typed in "booster" all I got was a job lot of damage boosters, no item drop boosters, skill point boosters, or experience boosters.  The Hallowe'en event goes into its second week - we are promised at least three weeks of pumpkin fun, which must mean that they don't expect "Episode 2" to go live until after that.

It was in some ways a relief that the double experience, skill exp, and pet experience was over, it meant that there was no urgent rush to do anything.  My pet-levellers on Cariae, Galahad (or XxGALAHADxX, I suppose I should mention occasionally) and RedRackham got into action before breakfast safely; Red did continue after coffee, while Galahad, as he was carrying 39 tool aids, was able to purchase the required number of knight Pickaxes, and head out of Randol's north gate to the mine, where he got through all the tools and their aids, gaining 1053 quality stones.  That sets him up for a while - and then Kaerella used the 8 tool aids she was carrying to top up her own stocks.  A lot of my Cariae characters seem to have really full inventories, which cuts down their use for mining as the pickaxes and hammers don't "stack", but SirDarth had room for 31 pickaxes, so picked up the extra tool aids he needed from storage, and went out to boost his stock up to 1308 quality stones, before riding down to RedRackham in Merac to pass over a thousand of them.

So, that was one thing to cross off the "to do list".  The next thing was to try to get a +10 set of armour over on Katar for ColonelScarlet, since he was approaching level 27 - and having a 30/32 +10 armour set right from then, rather than having to wait until he was awarded a free set at level 31, had to be a good idea.

I had managed to sell a second platinum adrenaline for 8.5 million, thanks to Roy - he took his 5% commission of course, but that still gave me over 8 million, so that in all I had a little under 29 million in gold to play with.  So, if I was to get a +10 level 33 weapon as well, items would need to be under 5 million each...

It did take a while, as Roy had literally hundreds of pages of armour to wade through, and they do take a few seconds each time to load.  I started very well, with a healer's circlet for 1 million, and kept on browsing.  And then I came across a rogue's shirt +13 for 14 million, and pants +12 for 12 million... I just didn't have enough cash for both of them, but I did buy the +13 shirt.  Most other bits were 3 million or less, including a single knight sword - I could have had a double sword for 4 million, but Collector Ryl could easily change the one into the other for a small fee.  In the end I still had a little over a million, and had the full armour set and weapon, with the chest piece at +13, so I reckon I didn't do badly at all.

Kaerella changed the pieces that weren't already in knight form across, courtesy of Ryl - and also, since the Colonel won't be able to use the level 33 swords until he is level 29, Kae unequipped that level 29 +10 bow of hers, to go back to the +6 event weapon temporarily, and had that transformed into dual swords too.

That was after the lunch break; my shopping went across that time, slightly slowed by a kindly mage called DarkDoomxx who wanted to give me 3400 free aeria points.  The only down side was what she needed my password to do that, which rather suggested she was a heartless scammer, but I kept her talking for a while, and took screenshots of the conversation so that I could later post them in the "report behaviour" section of the forum.

I traded the armour and weapons over to ColonelScarlet - and then he and Kaerella both headed for Prokion Temple.  Kae needed to lose her 76.51% experience in level 27, so started off by letting the Orcs kill her 26 times, but after that, well, my favourite back room was clear, and even before he could wear all of his new armour, the Orcs didn't give him any great trouble.  And when, before long, he was able to equip the helmet and boots, things got pretty straightforward, with the ability to use a bloodseal gem popping up now and then to keep things interesting.

The nice thing with a Combat party is that the fighting member gets almost all the experience, probably slightly more than he would get in a solo party, while the skill exp is equally shared - so while the Colonel added 121.62% during the afternoon, plus 102 skill points, and got one more level for his pony, Kaerella just added 10.19% and 97 skill points.

An archer called MissSupplies came and shared the room, which was fine with me, there were enough Orcs for both of us, especially as she would only stay as long as her horse buffs lasted, and would then run back outside, re-apply the buffs, and run back.  I kept her supplied with the Divine Shield buff, which tended to mean that any Orc Soldiers that followed her from her run back would head for me, but that was no problem.

There were some disconnections today, starting with the traditional 11-ish one, UK time, on Katar rather than Cariae, which took a few minutes for the techies to sort out.  Cariae-5 and Cariae-6 had problems later, apparently, though my pet-levelling tends to be on Cariae-3 so that didn't effect me.  The afternoon problems I had on Katar were of the lag-out type. the first of those happened when Kae was (on purpose) dead on the floor, her respawning was much delayed and followed by the "disconnected" pop-up.  ColonelScarlet got disconnected at precisely 3:00pm and 3:45pm, UK time, which comes under the heading of "suspicious activity" somewhere on the interweb, but the Orcs couldn't hurt him, and didn't do too much damage to his pony in the time available.  Kae stayed online though, which saved a couple of memory scrolls.  Katar did have some problems in the early evening, too, but I wasn't over there at the time.

The "Storm the Castle" event was due on Auzura at 6:00pm, so I planned to do a little blog work after I'd finished eating - but uploading the DarkDoomxx screenshots to PhotoBucket, and making the forum post about the scam, including a transcript of the conversation, took longer than I expected, so Rage, my Auzura rogue, was only just in time to ride down to Merac Castle.  Except that when I got there, only about six others had arrived, including DianaPrince.

There had been no announcement in-game, which explained the lack of people, but a number of us posted in the shoutbox, and the gamesage there, Dietzman, did manage to remind the Aeria office that something should be happening - so at a quarter past the hour, the message went up that the "Storm the Castle" Auzura event was to start in five minutes.

I was doing a tiny bit of blog-typing when I noticed something unusual in the bit of the LC window that wasn't covered up - it was, I discovered when I got that window on top, the tail of a Scorpionmantis!  So I made a quick retreat from where I'd been standing, applied horse buffs, and joined in the monster massacre.  Despite our still fairly low numbers, we managed to work our way through the Anubis Spear Men and Archers, Hell-Otuu, Dark Harpies, and so on, with reinforcements arriving as we fought. At the end there were a couple of Egeha's raid boss dragons - but they are only visible, or attackable, with either a special item mall potion, or a jack-o-lantern pumpkin helm, which Rage didn't have, so she could only watch arrows landing on nothing.  And at last the message of congratulations came up - we'd done it, and our prizes would be spawned back outside.

There was actually a short delay before the prizes appeared, but it was all very generous, so that, with our low numbers, everyone was able to fill their pockets.  And then Rage logged out.  Catching up on the blog seemed to take a while after that, but Galahad and RedRackham made good use of the time, and despite the occasional ks-er, the horse moved on strongly through level 33, and the drake passed the halfway mark in level 40.

Katar was having problems, the shoutbox warned me, so it was the Cariae version of Kaerella who logged in eventually for an hour of Beast Flyer fighting in Maargadum Jail.  The 50% extra experience and skill exp had been switched on by now, and that helped Kae to add 6.57%, 63 skill points, and 1103 pet points.  That stint gets Kae up to the 7,500 unused skill point mark.

The Cariae "Storm the Castle" event was scheduled for ten, UK time, and Barbarienne only just got there in time, as it looked as if I needed to get her a pumpkin helm.  Karella got the six different candies out of storage, and passed them across, and Barb was then able to get the helm from a convenient scarecrow.  The event started promptly, and went smoothly, with me losing a bit of health only a couple of times.  There weren't any invisible, or with the special helm non-invisible, dragons, though...

I had one of the spawnings of loot almost to myself until the very end, and was thus able to pick up a further 15 small HP and 14 small MP recovery pots, plus 10 tool aids, 6 item drop boosters, 5 large defence and 2 large attack potions, and 6 skill point boosters, so my trip had been worthwhile - and it's always fun to be part of a successful group activity like that.

There was a little time for pet-levelling afterwards, and with any luck Galahad's horse will reach level 34 by the end of the evening.  There will still be quite a way to go before Red's drake reaches 41 though, and with its current appetite that isn't something we can do overnight.

Levelling Up - November 5th

I didn't try any overnight pet-levelling; both computers wanted to download vital updates and then shut down, so I left them to it.  Both Galahad and RedRackham started up at breakfast time, though; progress seemed slow, but that isn't surprising when the horse is level 34, and the drake is level 40.  A whole level gets to be a lot of pet points.

After coffee, it was time for ColonelScarlet to head for Prokion Temple on Katar-5; unfortunately there was already a knight in residence in my favourite back room, so a switch across to Katar-6 was needed, where the Colonel was able to settle in, and send for Kaerella.  The Combat party continued until lunch was due, taking advantage of the continuing 50% extra experience and skill exp, by which time the Colonel had gone up to level 29, so that he was able to start using the level 33 +10 dual swords.  In all he added 126.25% and 147 skill points, with his pony levelling up too, reaching level 13.  Kae added 13.88% and 137 skill points, meaning that she was able to learn a new level of Expert Armorsmith when she was back in Randol.

For the afternoon, ColonelScarlet tried Katar-6 first, but the back room was occupied; in Katar-5 the same knight was still in action, so he and Kae ended up in one of the square "statue rooms" close to the central staircases, which have plenty of Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen, but do tend to get more visitors, some of whom tend to stick around and take more than their fair share of the Orcs.  After an hour or so the Colonel ran back to check on the back room, and, as it was by then empty, we moved on there.

The afternoon session went on ten minutes or so longer than usual, so that I could get ColonelScarlet to level 31 - the free 30/32 armour set, and the two types of level 33 swords and the shield, all +10, arrived safely.  That session added another 160.59% for him, and 232 skill points, along with 2558 pet points, moving the pony on into level 14.  Kaerella got 22.19% experience and 217 skill points, which meant that the next level of Expert Armorsmith was now available.

Zenderfly had left a message that she would be around for a chat at 6:00pm UK time, so while I logged Kaerella in again after the food break, this time it was the original one over on Cariae-3, who headed out into Merac, first of all to rendezvous with Galahad to pass some minor accessories, and Jail-drop armour pieces, across for him to store.  He moved up from the Gnoll Lancers to the Berserkers, to be easier to get to.  A nearby Pandora's Box was opened by Kae, who was easily able to kill the level 50 Beast that sprang out - and as she was leaving, I spotted another Box nearby, and that one also released a Beast.  They dropped 93,600 and 84,000 gold, respectively, which was useful.

After that Kaerella went down into level three of Maargadum Jail, with the hope of finally reaching level 49.  It did take a while, but finally Kae made it, and was able to equip her shiny new wand, a level 53 +15 one.  The Beast Flyers were now green-named for her - so perhaps it is time for her to investigate the level 49 Elite Goblins out in the Dratan desert, where at least she will be able to use horse buffs.  They give a bit more experience, though I fear that it won't be possible to kill them as quickly, and the description "aggressive, protective, pet-eater" doesn't sound very friendly.  Maybe the level 52 Giants would be a better bet, since they at least aren't protective of each other?

Kaerella had gone up by 18.00%, and added 160 more skill points, so she is doing pretty well there, for someone who didn't have the chance to farm sp in Prokion Temple, as the Orcs hadn't had their skill exp boosted back when she was the right level for that sort of thing.  SirFrancis, her drake, added 3154 pet points.

Zenderfly was actually about 80 minutes late, but eventually whispered me, mentioning that the German Last Chaos had had problems today, with a bug meaning that hour-long potions were lasting for 1.5 years instead - in-game time, I hope!  A "maintenance" to fix that took many hours.  Apparently they, like Aeria's version, are expanding, intending to add Turkish and Italian servers.  Zen hadn't heard about the "free" spin of the Loot Wheel on offer today, one per account with a 100 ap rebate after the usual short delay, so eventually rushed off to take advantage of that.

Once my Cariae cleric Kaerella logged out, along with Galahad who had been pet-levelling and providing the solo party, my Katar archer Kaerella was able to log back in.  Another platinum adrenaline potion had sold, so Kae started with a look through Roy's merchant house listings, and found the rogue +12 level 31 leggings which she'd not previously been able to afford; she paid the ten million for them.  ColonelScarlet logged in too, and transferred the new armour set to Kae, except for the plate mail shirt - he equipped the new +10 one, and passed the +13 one he had been wearing across.  He also passed across the new dual swords, and the old level 29 ones he had used.

Kaerella transformed all the relevant pieces into their healer equivalents, for a total of 259,000 gold, and is now a lot better armoured than before - still, her physical defence is only 645, as opposed to the Colonel's 799, so Orc Sergeants won't be a pushover.  Healer armour just isn't as effective as most other types. One other purchase from Roy today should help, though, a Necklace of Wind which adds 58 health/hit points and 5% suction of life.  It only cost 4.5 million, which seemed pretty good to me.

Kae also used all 54 tool aids that she and the Colonel had collected to mine quality stones, buying the necessary healer-type hammers from Geres.  Some of the quality stones she traded across to the Colonel, and others she kept, either for her own use or to sell.  And then she settled down into merchant mode, attempting to sell an assortment of Halloween candies and other items at 100,000 gold each.  And Galahad, over on Cariae-3, went back to the Gnoll Lancers.

The Two Faces of Prokion Temple - November 6th

Galahad got a disconnection fairly late in the night, but still managed to get his horse up to level 35, and indeed halfway through that level.  Katar's Kaerella did attempt to sell things overnight, but at 100k each only managed to shift seven candies, so that was hardly worth doing.

Unlike Katar's Kaerella, who was begun before the "player appreciation event" started to put the "beginner" items into new characters' inventories, ColonelScarlet did have the beginner platinum blessed irises, platinum super skill pills, and resurrection scrolls to use, so it seemed about time that he got some use out of the pssps.  That meant that he went to Prokion Temple alone this morning on Katar-5; instead of joining him, Kaerella bought a couple of mining hammers, and went out to mine some quality, imperfect and flawed stones, while also providing the Colonel with a solo party boost.

I just managed to squeeze in two hours before lunch, during which ColonelScarlet added 70.05%, helped along by the continuing 50% extra experience gain; sadly the 50% extra skill exp gain didn't stack with the pssps, but at least it meant that with him at level 31, Orc Sergeants, instead of giving the normal 4400 skill exp, or the 6600 with the 50% boost, gave 1100 skill exp each.  The first hour added 208 skill points, the second hour, which did have to include a couple of quick trips downstairs to the kitchen, added 207 more, and the morning's total was 419.  2069 pet points were earned as well, taking the pony close to the top of level 15.

After the pet-levelling over lunch, both Kaerella and the Colonel logged back in.  The Colonel first of all went to the Master Knight and became a temple knight, which increased his health a bit.  Then  he went off to Prokion Temple again, and once he was safely settled, Kae logged in too and went back to her mining.  The first pssp's hour saw another 214 skill points gained, but just before that hour ended the Colonel levelled up, so the next hour just brought in 183 skill points.  Still, there was time to continue beyond that, and as there wasn't a pssp running, Kaerella teleported over to join him in that back room.

A level 22 knight called FuEnTe1 asked  if he could join our party, which, as it was the Combat type, was fine with me, it might have decreased our skill exp gain a little, but it would have boosted the general experience.  Kae was able to heal him a bit when needed - now that she is wearing her new armour, standing near the doorway isn't any problem, if an occasional Orc Axeman attacks her she can easily kill it, though she was tending not to do more than necessary, to avoid the older computer running out of memory.  A rogue called nomaster also came into the room, but didn't say anything.

By the time I had to log out for my early evening food break, ColonelScarlet had gone up by 81.68% and 457 skill points, and the pony had become a horse, going all the way through level 16 and getting to the start of level 17.  FuEnTe1 had levelled up, too.  Kaerella's time there had gained her 4.77% and 40 skill points.

After the break I returned, but the knight Arvenia had taken up residence in the Katar-5 back room, so I moved across to Katar-6, and settled in there, with Kaerella joining the Colonel.  FuEnTe1 did get in touch, but he didn't seem to understand the idea of me being on a different sub-server, perhaps his English isn't too good... though I may have been more than level 23 on my first character on Last Chaos before I realised that one's character could log in on any of the sub-servers of one particular group.

The session wasn't a long one, as at 7:45pm the announcement came up that the Epic Event was going to start on Katar in 15 minutes; I just had time to get Kae the last of the 179 skill points she needed to complete Expert Armorsmith before logging out.  ColonelScarlet had added another 37.82%, 88 skill points, and 828 pet points, while Kaerella had gained 9.27% and 84 skill points.

Galahad logged back in for some pet-levelling, and Kaerella switched to the main machine, and logged in on Katar-5 for the Epic Event, joining up with LordDarkzer and a knight guildie after spending those skill points.  After a minute or two a dozen or so clones of the teleporter NPC from outside Prokion Temple were spawned outside Randol's north gate, and everyone piled through into Prokion's lobby.

Our task this time was to save Beatrice, and capture three stolen pieces of her soul, by clearing out the monsters from three specified locations.  While I repeated the event on Cariae an hour later with Barbarienne, it was my Katar level 27 archer Kaerella who seemed to have a better time of it, and saw more of the action.  Since I'd spent that 179 skill points, Kae had nothing to lose, and will indeed have to return to Prokion to die 33 times to get back to the start of level 27 once more before the next Combat party with the Colonel.  Kae did die once, due to a random blow from some passing Cube Guard - and again after the end, just as a quick way to get back to the start.

Kaerella rushed about Prokion Temple, joining in to help kill lots of extremely high-level monsters, and even got to the final room where Beatrice had been discovered; we had enough high level people there for the odd Patriarch Botis to go down pretty fast, and soon the event was concluded, and we were victorious.  Some generous hands of loot were spawned right there in the chamber, followed once we'd picked everything up by a second wave.  Loot drops were also announced back at the start, so I used the express method to get back to the lobby by annoying a nearby monster, and was able to pick up a bit more loot.  So, a satisfactory outing, with some reasonably useful screenshots to add to the appropriate forum thread. Kae actually added 9.11% experience, and, as she killed quite a few of the regular local monsters to stop them distracting the top-level types, 25 skill points. 

In contrast, Barbarienne didn't have that inspiring an event.  It started a few minutes late, for some reason, and generally the press of the monsters was such that she didn't get very far from the starting area at all.  That was helpful in that it meant that when she took damage, it was easy to run back to safety and do some self-healing, but it did mean that she never got near any of the announced locations, or the room where Beatrice was returned to us.  There may well have been loot spawned in that room, but I didn't see any announcement of any loot Hands back at the start, and a few people who'd used potions and resurrection scrolls seemed a bit put out that they had done all their hard work for nothing.

Zenderfly got in touch, and seemed surprised that a level 101 archer shoudl be in Prokion Temple.  "What are you doing there?"  I replied that I was "Fighting a level 119 Cube Guard", and paused briefly before explaining that I was at this week's Epic Event. She asked me to trade her Scra-Chi pet AutumStorm back to her, so I returned to Randol while other people were still mopping up the last of the high-level monsters.  It was just as well I did, as I was hit by some monster of other and given a debuff just as I logged out, and when I respawned Barb's health was at about 30%, so I had to check her skill point total to reassure myself that no last-second death had been involved.

Zen mentioned that there is a minor "bug" with the pumpkin ghosts; if while wearing the jack-o-lantern helm you see one, and then mount your horse and take the helm off, then dismount, you can still see the ghost, and attack it - but not do it any damage.  In theory that could be good for pet-levelling, but I'm sure someone else would come along and kill the pumpkin before long

After that, it was time to send RedRackham out to do a little more pet-levelling with the Gnoll Lancers, alongside Galahad.  Galahad's horse was safely into level 36 by then, while Red's hungry drake is starting to make inroads into level 41 now.  For some strange reason Auzura is scheduled to have its Epic Event last, at 11;00pm UK time, or midnight for our Continental friends - if I'm awake enough, I might go along, and report back tomorrow.

A New Merchant - November 7th

I did manage to take my level 31 archer Memree along to the Auzura version of the Epic Event chapter, "Soul Snatchers", though what they were thinking of, putting the European-centric server last so that it was scheduled to begin at eleven for the UK, or midnight for mainland Europe, I can't imagine.  GM Krash did actually postpone the start by five minutes or so because the turn-out was initially a bit low.

Without the pressure to avoid getting killed that Barbarienne had had, Memree was able to have an enjoyable time, and was, like Kaerella on Katar earlier, able to get to the final room where Beatrice was being restored to her full self, and our top-level people were battling the Flutons.  She did have a death or two there, but luckily the location wasn't far from the central staircases, so it didn't take long to run back.  Goodies were spawned, and a few picked up - on the way back to the lobby there was another spawning of Hands, but I think that was Krash being humorous, as there were still some pretty deadly monsters in that room, so Memree did tend to die when attempting to pick stuff up.  But hey, she needs to get down to 0% before, one day, she does some skill point farming.

Galahad worked on the horse overnight on Cariae-3, while over on Katar-5 Kaerella made another attempt to sell some Hallowe'en candies and other stuff, doing rather better than last time in that she did take in 8,435,000 gold, mainly from moonstones and empty baskets.  Given that I was selling the baskets at the same price as the candies, and all you can do with a basket is exchange it for a random candy, that seemed a little strange, but it cuts down on the number of them I need to exchange before the event ends.

With that extra cash, I looked through Roy's stock of accessories - and found a Pierce of Wind, for increased dexterity and close-range evasion, on sale for 8 million.  That seemed like a bargain to me, even though it still needed another million spent on a "golden magnifying glass" to "identify" it and make it work properly, so its seller, Brutalhealer, is now 8 million richer, less Roy's 5%.

The older computer had an hour or so off before RedRackham joined Galahad down at the Gnoll Lancers.  With the drake six levels ahead of Gal now, on level 41, it seems to get hungry four times faster than lower level pets.  Galahad finished levelling the horse to level 37 just before coffee, and took a well-earned rest.

The after-coffee playing session involved ColonelScarlet on Katar-5 going to that favourite Prokion Temple back room, followed by Kaerella when he reported that the coast was clear.  Kae again stood reasonably near the doorway, and was only occasionally attacked - sometimes she fought back, which meant that she did get a couple more bloodseals onto her armour, but mainly the Colonel handled the fighting.

A rogue called SilentFright came in and shared the room for a while; she was friendly enough, and there were enough Orcs to go round, but we did have a problem when a lower-level mage called Freonos, and a mage friend, also came in - they did a bit of kill-stealing too, but as usual didn't stay too long, that room is a bit fierce for those of us who don't have +10 armour.

I logged my pair out slightly early before the lunch break; ColonelScarlet had got nicely into level 33, adding 51.40% and 137 skill points, plus just 442 pet points (when he levelled up, the Orc Axemen went blue-named, so don't give pet experience, so I took off the horse after a while), while Kaerella had gained 15.38% and 130 skill points.

Back in Randol, I spent 250 aeria points on a card to return a mount to trainable pet status, and then Barbarienne, on Cariae, used it on her level 33 purple knight mare mount.  Then I traded that one across to Galahad, in exchange for the new level 37 horse, and Barbarienne changed that into her new mount.  One strange thing was that, when Galahad went out to train the purple horse up, it was no longer purple, just the standard untreated chestnut brown.  After lunch I asked irene_tas, the gamesage on duty in the shoutbox, if a retrained horse was meant to lose its colour, and it appears not, though maybe a few loggings-on will cure that - though switching Galahad between computers hasn't made any change.

The afternoon session involved Kaerella, after spending her latest set of skill points, going solo in Prokion Temple on Katar-5, which generally meant keeping to the corridor outside the back room, though with a few brief venturings in there.  First there was the little matter of getting killed 29 times to get the experience in level 27 back down to 0.00%; I did find that taking off her accessories, which boosted defence and evasion, as well as her armour helped to speed that up, but some runs got me far enough into the interior to pick up a bit of unwanted loot.

I'd made a note of how many skill points some next levels of special skills would cost, so kept going until Kae had acquired 187 skill points, enough for the last level of Advanced Mining, and the second level of Advanced Weaponsmith; by then she had added 41.83%, which means that 447 skill points would be the absolute maximum she could earn without levelling up - unless she concentrated on slightly lower level monsters, which tend to give a better ratio of skill exp to experience.  Kae also got 314 pet points for her drake, which wasn't equipped for much of the time.

Galahad did some work on the non-purple level 33 horse back on Cariae while that was going on, and over the early evening food break was joined by RedRackham and his level 41 drake.  The main evening session reunited ColonelScarlet and Kaerella, and indeed the knight FuEnTe1, who had reached level 24 now.  A knight called Nakir11 was in the back room on Katar-5, but didn't mind us joining him, as he wasn't using the whole range of Orcs...and he didn't stay with us all that long.  The mage Freonos also put in an appearance, but was on her best behaviour and didn't do any ks-ing that I saw.

Kae, the Colonel and Fuente1 were in a Combat party, which was convenient as it meant Fuente1 could take little rests between fighting periods to recover his mana without "leaching".  He got a full share of the skill exp, but only the experience he earned from fighting, plus a little bonus from the Colonel's kills.  Kaerella killed a few Orcs too when attacked, but her main contribution was keeping Fuente1 alive, which wasn't always easy.  He reached level 25 before the end of the session; ColonelScarlet reached level 34, so has just one last level to go through before he becomes a pet-leveller.  He added 61.89% and 135 skill points, while Kae got 16.66% and 123 skill points, enough for the final level of Advanced Weaponsmith plus level one of Advanced Herbalism.

It was time for a change after that, so with the 75% extra experience and skill exp running it seemed a useful time to get myself a specialist merchant on Katar, so my level 2 mage MistressDomino joined a solo party, and headed out to kill deer, foxes, wolves, berserk wolves, jaguars, and finally some sasquatches.  She "killed" or opened a Pandora's Box, which released a level 20 Beast she carefully avoided - and instantly another Box appeared, which she also opened, and which also released that kind of Beast.  This boosted her experience so much that she went up by two levels, and thus missed out on the chance of a free memorising scroll, as the quest to get it from Lorraine is available for a single level only.

A rogue called Cordnia asked MD's level, just as she reached level 6, and traded across a level 9 wand and level 16 mage shirt she happened to have, which was very kind; equipping the new wand certainly increased MD's attack power very usefully.  And there was a knight back in town standing near Lorraine who dropped pan flutes, a drake egg and a few empty baskets, which MD was able to pick up.  Once she reached level 10, which is the minimum level to go into "merchant mode", she headed for Dratan to get the egg exchanged for a hatchling, and while she was there, I decided that she might as well add Prokion Temple to the memory scroll that I had, by then, got enough money to buy.

By looping around more to the north, MistressDomino was able to take a less dangerous route to Shuraine's oasis than my usual one - there were still clever foxes around, and Sand Golems, but they were spread more thinly.  So, MD didn't have to use one of the two small healing potions she had picked up, or a potion of haste.  The run on to the Temple from there was uneventful, and the location of its entrance was duly added to the scroll.  MD went inside, and, while she didn't try any fighting, did get to pick up a little loot close to the lobby.  The "mercenary" sphinx fighters put there for the Epic Event yesterday, presumably on our side since they didn't fight and couldn't be attacked, were still in place, I noticed.

And then it was time to turn both computers over to a bit of pet-levelling.  RedRackham got the drake past the 60% mark in level 41, with the Berserkers, while over at Cariae-3's Gnoll Lancers Galahad got his newly-acquired horse past 70% of the way through level 33.  I think I've got at least one more mount on Cariae that needs to be worked on further once this one gets to 37, I must check up tomorrow...

A Spending Spree - November 8th

Galahad took his horse through the night safely, and RedRackham and his drake joined in at what would be breakfast time, if I tended to get up for breakfast on a Sunday, so they were both in action until coffee time, with steady progress being made through the 20,541 points needed to complete the drake's level 41.

After coffee, it seemed a good idea for ColonelScarlet to head for Prokion Temple on Katar-5; there was a rogue already in the back room, though, who seemed to be managing to keep the Orc population down single-handed, so I moved across to Katar-6, the other non-PvP sub-server, where I had better luck - so Kaerella came out to join the Colonel, and took up her position near the doorway, where not too many Orc Axemen spawn.

Before long FuEnTe1 got in touch with ColonelScarlet, and moved over to Katar-6 to join us; I really don't know why, but he asked the Colonel to go back to the teleporter to meet and escort him, perhaps he isn't sure of the route to take yet.  He had reached level 26 now, and was wearing the plate mail and leggings from the 30/32 Steel armour set, though he still seemed to take damage rather easily.

Luckily he settled down in a corner before very long, so that Kaerella didn't have to keep healing him, and I could concentrate on the Colonel's fighting.  Morning sessions aren't too long, but ColonelScarlet added 39.84% and 103 skill points, while Kaerella got 14.57% and 99 skill points.  We would probably have got slightly more skill exp without Fuente1 along, but his presence in the Combat party will have boosted our experience gain.

For the afternoon session I decided that the original Cariae-based Kaerella, my cleric, ought to make a first trip out into the Dratan desert to fight the Giants; they are three levels above her, but the Beast Flyers in Maargadum Jail are now three levels below her, so it was definitely time to move on.

With horse buffs, fighting the Giants was no problem.  I did have to use Self Heal very occasionally, and had to keep moving to get to the next one all the time, but they dropped a good number of empty baskets.  I had been keeping an eye on the forum shoutbox, and occasionally contributing a few words, so when Roadboss Kamira the Monster made her appearance over my head, I asked there if anyone on Cariae would care to come along and kill her.  Someone there did say they'd message their guildies; I don't know if it was that, or just reading it in the shoutbox, but before long the rogue Elphy rode up, and started her attack - inviting me to join in too, though I would have said that that would have hurt the chances of a good drop.

Anyway, I gave her the Mana Shield buff, and started attacking Kamira too; luckily her Snare skill was working nicely, and Kamira went down with no problem - just ahead of another would-be Kamira-slayer, FiTnEssE, arriving.  Kamira dropped a Pierce of Wind, which Elphy was happy to get - and she let me pick up the rest of the stuff, such as moonstones, lucky scrolls, a crystal of experience (greater), tool aids, and health and mana potions.  I got about three times the experience from her that I got from a Giant, but only the single skill exp.

So, that brightened up the afternoon.  With the extra 75% experience and skill exp, Kae gained 14.45% and 90 skill points.  The Akane Giants next door, one level higher, would have given about 2% more experience each, but less skill exp, so it wasn't really worth fighting them, even though they are more conveniently grouped across an open area, rather than being strung out along the path like the Giants.

By the end of the early evening food break, Galahad had got the non-purple horse a quarter of the way through level 35, while RedRackham had got the drake to within 90 minutes of the end of level 42.

The next session didn't involve any fighting, though it was still fun enough at the time, and pretty engrossing - it was shopping.  MistressDomino over on Auzura had got a fair amount of cash, so what I wanted to do was return my level 67 archer there to action - I did have one set of 70/72 armour, but my level 72 rogue Rage had been using that for ages.  So, rather than use item mall stuff to get a set of armour up to a good level, using lots of runes of protection, lucky smelting stones, chaos smelting stones, and extreme stones - what could I get from Trader Roy with a thousand million in gold?

The first item I found was the best, and also the most expensive - a healer shirt that was +15, for 300 million.  That price didn't really seem out of line to me, so I bought it, and then, looking through the pages of pants, skirts, and leggings, found knight leggings +14 for 200 million, titan gloves +14 for 185 million, +14 rogue boots for a bargain price of 110 million...and the best headgear I could find was +13, a healer's circlet for 190 million.  So, 985  million had been spent, plus a little under 1.5 million to get Collector Ryl to convert the three non-healer pieces. 

So, my archer, who goes by the rather familiar name of Kaerella on Auzura, has pretty good armour now, rather better than any other set of mine; it is the highest-level set that can be converted by Ryl, so MrChuckNorris and MistressDomina will be able to take advantage of it in turn.  But what about a good weapon to go with it?

That is where I hit a problem, as a level 69 +15 weapon proved hard to find - the only one I saw was overpriced at 520 million, which I didn't have, anyway, even after Kae and Rage had both traded their cash reserves across.  But Rage is level 72, and the first non-convertible weapon, which can't be equipped before its actual level (as opposed to four levels before, previously), comes at level 73.  The best level 73 crossbow on sale on Auzura was just a +13 one, but that does give one the option to increase it to +15 for 24 hours by the use of a +2 platinum refining stone, when necessary - so, I bought it for 175,417,616 gold.  This means that I need to level Rage up by around 84% so that she can move on to that crossbow's level, and at that point, she can pass the level 69 +15 weapon she has been using across to Kae, who can convert it into an archer-type bow.  After all, having two +69 weapons would have been a bit over the top...

By the time all that was sorted out, there was just time for ColonelScarlet to start the Discipline guild on Katar, spending 220 skill points to get it to level 3; level four costs 240 more sp, which is no problem for the Colonel, but also a million in gold, and on Katar that still seems a lot of money, so a bit of selling of items will be needed first.  MistressDomino, on level 10, was the first recruit for the new guild; as it will be helpful to get her up to level 20 or so, to assist Katar's Kaerella when she gets up to level 33 or thereabouts; she will need to enter the Guardian system soon.

And then it was Quiz time.  Katar is where I need more cash, so that's where I went - to Katar-5 in fact, since that was where Kae's guild leader, LordDarkzer, was, and another guildie or two.  Unfortunately, the usual confusion over which GM does which treasure hunt event cropped up early, and Kaerella and MistressDomino were among the brave few who defied the majority and voted that Krash did indeed host the "Pharaoh's Treasure" events.  The other guildies vanished, and there must have been less than twenty of us left in the Quiz room.  We managed to get through to the finish, though, and get our goodies - the usual tool aids, moonstones and heaven stones.

After the Quiz, on Sunday as usual came the zombie invasions of the poor defenceless hamlet of Berbank Mill, starting with Auzura.  The website said Auzura-2 was the sub-server in question, but when Memree got out there and found the place almost deserted, an announcement came up that it was about to start on Auzura-3, a non PvP sub-server, so I quickly switched across.  The battle, hosted by GM Kali, was as fierce as ever, but judging by the generous amount of Hands spawned at the end, we just made it - every Ape, Screaming Zombie, and Ancient Screaming Zombie had been despatched.  There was lots of loot to pick up, though I expect Memree mainly got the small HP and MP recovery potions - but with a few item drop boosters, skill point boosters, tool aids, and large attack and defence potions thrown in, hopefully.

Katar came second, at 9:30 UK time, and didn't do as well - there were still quite a few zombies "alive" when the deadline was reached.  LordDarkzer hadn't joined us there, and put the failure down to that - but was suitably envious when I looked in my inventory and found, despite the comparatively meager consolation-prize hands spawned, that I'd got a couple of both types of booster, and large attack and defence potions too.  Picking up such items is always tricky when there are still fighting-mad zombies in the immediate area.

Curiously, unlike Auzura the Katar event was on a PvP-enabled sub-server, but there didn't seem to be all that much player-killing going on, and I wasn't a victim of it.  Kaerella did die a few times - and twice there was a kind of "bug" I had recently encountered in Prokion Temple too, in that she died, respawned back where she was supposed to respawn...but was suddenly back where she died.  The second time, Randol was deserted, with no NPCs even, so I thought I'd disconnected, until I was suddenly back at the zombie fight.  It's possible that I didn't get the death penalty then.  Lord Darkzer did mention that something similar had happened to her recently too.

Cariae's zombie invasion was also on a PvP-enabled sub-server, but Barbarienne braved it anyway.  I think there was a fair amount of player-killing action, a titan called MIKE16 in particular wasn't fighting zombies, he was prowling around the edges of the group, and ended up with a red name.  As usual Barb tanked Apes and Screaming Zombies, using quite a few great healing potions, but tried generally to support other people with the Ancient Screaming Zombies - I did end up face-to-face with one of those, and got poisoned, but luckily it was almost dead by then.

Cariae's event ended in success, and we were able to pick up our loot - and after that it was time for a little bit more pet-levelling, before a rather late finish to the day.  I moved the horse across to RedRackham, as Galahad does come on the same account as Katar's MistressDomina, and by closing time the horse was approaching two-thirds of the way through level 35.

In the Arena - November 9th

Poor RedRackham got ks'd twice overnight, leaving him and his horse standing around uselessly, but he did manage to get the horse up to level 36 by morning.  Logging on at breakfast time, Galahad did a little work on the drake too, which is consequently nicely into level 42 now.  At that level the pet is no greedier than it was at 41, so I guess we can continue a little while before it gets moved across to Barbarienne.

One thing I did after coffee was update the Last Chaos forum's thread about "Epic Events" with some of the screenshots I took last Friday - mainly from the Katar run, though with an Auzura shot slipped in.  As MistressDomino sold out of quality stones at 3,950 gold each rather quickly last night, the next step was for her and Kaerella both to buy some herb-gathering knives and stone-mining hammers, and go out and use all the tool aids they had got to amass further supplies.  It's a shame a bulk purchase I made yesterday of perfect stones (from item mall packages - they satisfy 9 points of hunger, as opposed to a quality stone's 5 points) at 2,000 gold each was on another server.

After Kae had transferred her new green leaves and quality stones across to MD, in exchange for most of the profits from MD's overnight selling, ColonelScarlet logged on, and, after he too got some of MD's gold, he went to upgrade the Discipline guild, which is now level six, and thus can freeze its members' experience gain.  MD was his first recruit, and is now a guild adviser.

Since some guild points are needed for any further progress, the Colonel set his experience gain to 50% before heading for Prokion Temple for a shorter-than-average session.  Kaerella joined him once he had found the back room available - he went up  8.44% and 60 skill points, while Kae, who'd gone up almost 6% at the zombie invasion last night, got her total gain up to 13.95% and added 57 skill points.

The afternoon session was more of the same, though FuEnTe1 asked to join us after a while, and moved on from level 26 to level 27.  He then asked if he could change over to his rogue, RoGuE10, who needed some more skill points, so I agreed, although at level 35 she did bring the experience gain per kill down a bit.  She has an "Ichi" type new pet called sir-fuzzy, which joined in on the action, though I don't know if it would gain much experience from the Orcs, especially the blue-named Axemen.

Even with his experience gain on 50%, ColonelScarlet added another 32.12%, so that was a fairly productive afternoon.  He got 204 skill points as well, and gave the Discipline guild its first 452 guild points.  Kaerella added 29.14%, and 192 skill points - she arrived a little later, and the older computer did freeze up once, running out of memory - well, at least, the game froze up, and needed to be restarted.

After the early evening food break, I got MistressDomino signed up as an apprentice in the Guardian system - Kaerella kindly agreed to act as her mentor.  I did do some browsing through Trader Roy's stock, and saw that I could afford to get Kae a second Pierce of Wind accessory... but I decided to wait until I could afford a Stone of Shadow.  It may give slightly less dexterity, but it improves on the short range evasion, and adds some long range evasion too, which does come in handy sometimes.  Those Beast Archers in Maargadum jail, for example.

Staying with the Katar server, the idea was for MistressDomino to go out to Velpist Temple in Juno, while Kaerella did a little more mining and provided the solo party.  So, MD headed out there, and, as she was level 10, started to kill the wandering zombies.  Before long though RoGuE10 got in touch, and asked Kae to join her in the Prokion Temple back room, this time on Katar-1.  It was only after Kae had respawned on Katar-1 that she said that she wanted Kae to do her share of the fighting.  Anyway, I got there, formed a Combat party... and literally within a minute Rogue10 said that she had to log out, and vanished.

So, Kae returned to her mining on Katar-5, and MD carried on with the zombie-killing, moving on from the right-hand corridor and its level 10 wandering zombies to what I guess counts as my favourite upstairs room there, at least I've spent quite a few sessions in it, either attacking the level 12 ancient zombies and the level 14 berserk zombies, and carefully giving the level 21 skeleton soldiers a wide berth (as I did today), or killing the level 21 types.

By the end of the session MistressDomino had gone up from level 10 to 14, and her dragon hatchling had gone from level 1 to 3 - 399.15% experience gain, I made it, plus 164 skill points.  The weekend's extra experience and skill exp had been switched off by then, so that was pretty good going - it puts MD within range of Kae for an Equal-type party if I need to zoom her up quickly in Prokion Temple.  And Kaerella had got some more quality, imperfect and flawed stones...

The evening's event was called an "Arena Prize Drop", and started at the Randol arena on Auzura-3 at nine o'clock, UK time, followed 45 minutes later by Katar-5, and then Cariae-3.  Generally it meant that GMs Kali and Krash turned up there, and spawned masses of Flutons and other monsters, so that people died a lot - but death in the arena carries no penalty, people just need to run back from the respawning area.  Krash, and sometimes Kali, ran around at a suspiciously high speed killing people...and then at the end nice tight piles of the usual Hands-type prizes were spawned.

As low level people can't either attack or be attacked, and given that people were sure to be killed when the prizes were spawned, I went along to both Auzura and Katar as a level 2 healer, Barbarella.  I got killed pretty often by Flutons, but just respawned, used Self Heal, and ran back, and was ready to leap into action when the drops were finally spawned.  With the 132 level difference, I was entirely unable to hit a Fluton, so my experience remained unchanged.  On Cariae, though, my level 1 healer FoxChaser must have actually connected with one of her attempts - when that particular Fluton died, she went up three levels!  Luckily she was still low enough, at level 4, to avoid the PvP side.

The drops were pretty good, and I was helped on at least one server by Kali running around killing the other people close by who were attempting to grab loot.  My haul varied between 4 and 7 large defence and 2 and 3 large attack potions, 9 and 14 tool aids, 3 and 6 item drop boosters, and 2 and 5 skill point boosters, plus of course a dozen each or more of the small HP and MP recovery pots.  And it was a very colourful spectacle to end the evening on...

In the Dark - November 10th

MistressDomino managed to sell 9.5 million's worth of items overnight, which gave my gold balance on the Katar server a very useful boost - later I was able to search through the available accessories that Roy had, and find a Stone of Shadow for 18 million, already identified, which is a couple of million below the next-best price - so Kaerella now has that equipped, along with her Pierce of Wind and the necklace giving 5% suction of life.

Galahad and RedRackham got moving with their pets from breakfast time, but as nine o'clock approached, suddenly the older computer monitor just went black.  I had to head out shopping minutes after that, the main monthly, or thereabouts, "big shop", so all I could do was leave things as they were, and hope it was just a fuse in the plug.  RedRackham was set up for pet-levelling on that computer, and ought to be okay until later, I decided, even without me being able to see what he was doing.

Galahad had charge of the level 42 drake, which wouldn't stay fed long enough for a full-morning shopping trip, so he had logged off, and Kaerella, back on Katar, settled in to do some low-impact mining while I was out.

Sadly all changing the plug's 5 amp fuse achieved was to get a small green light flashing on the front of the monitor, so in the end I had to switch off the older computer and take off its monitor, bringing in the one from my previous machine, which is a couple of inches smaller, but seems to be working okay.  The picture was a bit dark to begin with, but I increased the brightness and it looks fine now.

One other disappointment followed, when, after picking up a pair of free red-and-blue 3D glasses in town, I found that the double-image effect I'm getting on the newer computer for Guild Wars is not a clever 3D thing - the picture is no better with the glasses on.  So, I'll need to look for new drivers for the graphics card again I guess.

The afternoon session, however, was more productive, with ColonelScarlet making his final trips to Prokion Temple.  Getting the last 17% experience he needed to reach level 35 went a bit slowly, as we don't have any "event bonus" running now, but I used one of his "beginner" platinum blessed irises, and we got there - he added 16.82% in all, along with 65 skill points - and then back in town he was able to spend just 60 of them to learn Canid Fence 2, increasing his physical defence by a further 120.

Kaerella added 8.08% and 53 skill points, which brought her up to just enough to get the final level of herb trunk processing.  And then once that had been learned, both Kae and the Colonel headed across to Katar-4, a PvP-enabled sub-server, and, in Prokion Temple, Kae removed her armour, and let the Colonel kill her 8 times.  That took him to -155 on the good/evil scale, reducing his attack power, so that, back over on Katar-5, he was able to run down to the Berserker spot, add it to his memory scroll, and start pet-levelling.  His horse levelled up, to level 18, before long, and he kept going over the early evening food break.  RoGuE10 did get in touch, inviting him to join her on a trip to Maargadum Jail, but he had to decline: "This character will just be pet-levelling now."

I had to be fairly prompt with my time off, as Auzura's "Mad Monster Spawn" is now back to its regular five o'clock, UK time, schedule.  My level 31 archer Memree, still with nothing to lose, went to that; I saw ex-guildie JadaMarie there, and I also saw the now high-level and well-armoured knight Ratel too.  I saw them both die, come to that, while Memree herself took three or four unplanned free trips back to town too.

Still, the loot drops that GM Stratos gave us were good, there seemed plenty to pick up.  I thought we had gone over the time limit on the "boss wave" with its Flutons and Patriarch Botises, but we got a generous final spawning of the Hands of Bravery, Protection, and The Guard, and he even produced a few further Darkmind Terrains for us to finish on.

The main evening session starred MistressDomino, who took another trip out to Velpist Temple, and headed off to the left this time, to the room before the final hall where the "torn book of life" quests get advanced, and fought the berserk zombies and corpse rangers - and even the occasional red-named skeleton soldier, if they happened to get attracted to the action.  There were a number of ready-plussed armour drops, but nothing for a mage.  Still, MD went up 201.83%, to reach level 16, and got 69 skill points; her dragon hatchling reached level four, too.

After a trip back to Randol, MD followed a minor quest down to Hunter Dranore, and as she was wearing the jack-o-lantern pumpkin helm, saw that there were pumpkin ghosts around.  So, as well as doing a minor repeatable quest for Dranore by killing the baby treants, she killed some pumpkin ghosts - which isn't too easy at level 16, as they are level 20, and can hit fairly hard.  That little session added another 53.67% and 10 skill points...well, the ghosts aren't augmented boss-types like the Temple inhabitants!

The US servers have their "Mad Monster Spawn" at ten in the evening, UK time, and for a change, and to get some more loot on Katar, I didn't go over to Barbarienne on Cariae, I stayed on Katar with Kaerella.  Before the start I had time to use Kae's existing supply of tool aids to do a little mining; I transferred the resulting quality stones across to MistressDomino, who went into merchant mode in town. I only died once at the MMS, though had to do some speedy retreating when a cave spirit type knight or two started chasing me.  Krash was in charge, and the Katar people generally handled things pretty well.  I ended up with more loot than I'm used to on Auzura or Cariae I think - 7 item drop boosters, 4 skill point boosters, no less than 14 large defence and 11 large attack potions, and 24 tool aids...so more mining will probably get done tomorrow.

There was just time for ColonelScarlet to do a little more pet-levelling before log-out time; by then the horse should just have reached level 20. He couldn't stay up all night, as the server maintenance is due at 1:00am UK time, with no great changes promised, just a glitch or two fixed, the chat filter made a bit less ludicrous, and "some extra anti-hacking/cheating security" - will it let us log on tomorrow, I wonder?  MistressDomino managed to sell her supply of empty baskets and ten heaven stones, so it looks as if I should be able to afford to browse Roy's wares a bit more.

The Big Parade - November 11th

The new patch's extra security features, thankfully, didn't stop me logging in before breakfast today; over on Cariae-3 Galahad did a little work on the drake, while on Katar-5 ColonelScarlet got on with levelling the horse for Kaerella.

After coffee I was able to take MistressDomino down to Velpist Temple again, to the berserk zombies, the corpse rangers and the skeleton soldiers - and by lunchtime she had reached level 17, and so was able to equip her "event weapon", which even without any plussing increased her attack power nicely.  I had checked Roy's stock, and there were no mage event weapons in his lists at all except unplussed ones, varying in price from around 700,000 to 2,000,000 gold.

MistressDomino had gone up by 97.84% by the time the session ended, and added 47 skill points, while her dragon hatchling reached level 5, adding 771 pet points - and Colonel Scarlet had got the horse to level 21.

For the afternoon, I tried teaming up Kaerella and MistressDomina in Prokion Temple - since they were now ten levels apart, a Combat party was now possible.  After Kae had died enough times to get her experience down to 0% of level 27, she went to my favourite back room, and while she didn't exactly dominate it, staying back near the entrance and just attacking one Orc Axeman or Orc Sergeant at a time worked okay, even if the Orc in question did often bring two or three of his colleagues along.

MistressDomina was able to run to join her there easily enough, but, just as a character who is really too high-level for that room is given more experience and skill exp by teaming with a lower-level character, Kae, who solo is just right for the Axemen, got dragged down by MD's presence, so that they each got about a third of the skill exp that Kae would have got without MD being in range.

So, once MistressDomina had reached level 18, she ran back to the start, and did some fighting for herself, while Kae continued in the back room.  So on the newer computer Kaerella was fighting Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants, and on the older machine MistressDomina was fighting Ghouls and Mummies.  Neither of them was going flat out, and for safety I didn't equip MD's hatchling, as Ghouls in particular can be notoriously peckish when it comes to pet-nibbling.  Still, by the end of the session Kae had got 126 new skill points, so that she could use 125 of them to get all but the final level of Absorption, for energy-farming, and gone up by 39.32% experience again.  MistressDomino had gone up 158.24%, getting into level 19, and earned 93 skill points.

After the usual food break, the first of the parades through Randol, to mark "Veterans Day" in the USA, was scheduled for 5:00pm UK time on Auzura-3, so Kaerella went along to that, in her sturdy new armour, and joined the march around town, grabbing plenty of the firecrackers that were dropped by GMs Kali and Krash.  The changes to the chat filter mean that one can actually type in "firecrackers" now and not have it banned as awfully rude.

The parade was certainly colourful, with firecrackers going off all the time - and ended at the Arena, with a mini Mad Monster Spawn.  Kae did die once, but there's no penalty for a death in the arena, and she got a little experience from the kills she was associated with, though found it wisest to stay outside most of the time, especially when the limited space there filled up with cave spirits.  The "flamethrower" debuff/hex from a Fluton does actually effect people standing outside the arena, but alone it doesn't actually kill you.  Flutons and purple dragons and various cube guards, it was quite a busy few minutes - a pity that Kae doesn't yet have a good weapon to go with the armour...

After that, for the main evening session MistressDomina took the starring role, while ColonelScarlet continued work levelling the horse.  At level 19, MD seemed ideally placed to do some "pumpkin farming", since the pumpkin ghosts are level 20, and would thus give reasonable experience and skill exp, and also have a chance of dropping the Empty Baskets that are another part of the Hallowe'en event.

The location I chose was just by Hunter Dranore, and things went pretty smoothly, though an unofficial team-up with a 13-year-old Croatian boy, XKiLlErX, cut down on my exp gain for a while.  MD reached level 20, and killed three Pandora's Beasts, one at her level and two at level 30 - and her drake levelled up to 6.  In all MistressDomina added 113.74% experience, but just 26 skill points.

The announcement that Katar's own Parade was about to start called me back to town, where I found that not only was an old quest that ColonelScarlet had "failed", "The Bow of Yabo", still glitched, the two quests that come in at level 20 that have never worked at all now at least get you to a reward dialogue and, again, a glitched "quest failed".... and as well as that, while GM Krash was dropping firecrackers, and transformation scrolls this time, my "pick" hotkey didn't work, so I didn't get a thing, until right at the end I managed to grab a Sasquatch transformation scroll.  Some other people mentioned the same problem.

While the parade around town was similar to the Auzura one, this time there was no mini-MMS, we didn't end up in the Arena - instead, Krash led us out through the north gate into the Juno countryside, where there was much transforming, and even more firecrackers let off.  And then Krash bade us farewell, as he needed to move on to the Cariae parade - leaving us with a Patriarch Botis as a leaving present.

Deaths out in Juno from a monster do give a death penalty, but luckily our rogues kept applying Snare, and, although we were an ill-prepared group, we gradually wore the Patriarch's health down.  I missed most of the time, and when I did hit only did 44 damage, but I still got just over 11,000 experience - not a lot, but more than a Pumpkin Ghost's 4,400, though the Ghosts at least give 1650 skill exp rather than just 1.

After that, MistressDomina switched over to merchant mode on Katar-1, hoping to sell some quality stones and heaven stones, etc, while ColonelScarlet continued his pet-levelling, getting the horse up usefully into level 23 before log-out time.

A Town Defended, A Castle Stormed - November 12th

ColonelScarlet managed some pet-levelling overnight, and MistressDomino did some useful selling, but at some point both computers decided to restart, which leads me to suspect that Microsoft probably delivered some "critical update" and arbitrarily did an install and restart.  Still, the Colonel got back into action before breakfast, and before coffee the horse in his charge reached level 25.  Galahad over on Cariae-3 joined in, too, and by coffee time his drake was just past halfway through level 42, munching quality stones with alarming rapidity.

What with one thing and another, I didn't have much playing time in the morning; over on Katar-5 Kaerella managed to get her level 27 experience back down to zero again, but only had time to get about 16 skill points.  I was late restarting after lunch too, but Kae went back to the Temple, in a solo party with the Colonel as he continued his pet-levelling.  The target was to get up to the 162 skill point mark, as that would let me get the final level of advanced absorption, and the first level of advanced herbalism, and I managed that before the late afternoon food break, along with 40.22% experience and 1464 pet points.  For much of the time I was out in the corridor next to my favourite back room, but when it became free I moved in there for a while.

Having those Veterans Day Parades yesterday meant that the usual Wednesday "Storm the Castle" events were delayed until today, with the Auzura version scheduled for 6:00pm UK time, and Cariae and Katar's stormings both set for ten.  The Auzura one seemed just right for Rage to contribute to again, but, after Kae had again got rid of her experience, and had a mini-session of 8.77% experience, 37 skill points and 351 pet points, when I logged in over on Auzura as Rage, it wasn't a "Storm the Castle" event that was announced, instead it was a defence of Dratan from invading monsters over on Auzura-1.

So, Memree, my "nothing to lose" level 31 archer, logged in on that sub-server.  I did ask GM Stratos if it was instead of the scheduled Castle Storming, and he said that it wasn't, it was an extra thing for Auzura - but what happened to the Storming, I don't know. 

Defending Dratan is a little bit different from defending Randol, as the boundary between the peaceful town and the main PvE fighting area isn't right up by the gate, it is perhaps 15 yards further out, and rather difficult to know - if you're firing at a monster and you don't see the damage number float up, or "miss", you are probably still in the peaceful part!   Monsters attacked all the gates in turn, but our massed forces managed to defeat them, and then Stratos summoned us to the south gate - where we had to answer a question correctly.  Get it right and we'd get Hands of loot dropped - get it wrong and there would suddenly be rather a lot of Flutons among us.  It was only the Quiz stand-by about GMs not asking for personal information, so almost everyone typed "2", and the Hands duly appeared.  And then some purple dragons appeared too...

This came as a slight surprise, as, to avoid lag while picking up the loot, I'd gone to pretty much a zoomed-in overhead view of Memree.  Two or three Flutons did also appear after that - and I managed to get myself killed by typing instead of seeing that one was heading in my direction.  But hey, Memree needs to lose experience anyway, and the loot I picked up wasn't bad.

The main evening session featured Kaerella in Prokion Temple on Katar-5 again.  When I reached the back room a rogue called gexdeshadows was in the middle, surrounded by all the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants, who were attacking her.  She was just standing there, so I thought I might as well start fighting; it was quite a while before she returned. in fact.  I politely asked if there was room for me too, and she said yes, and we did chat a bit, though she didn't seem much in favour of the way I was banking skill points in the special skills, staying in level 27 by getting killed by the monsters.

By the end of the session Kae had got the 174 skill points she needed to finish the advanced herbalism skill, and even get the first level of epsilon wave processing.  She had gone up by 49.33%, and earned 1891 pet points, which had taken her drake into level 18.  Quite a few more empty baskets had been picked up, too, which were then, back in town, transferred across to MistressDomino, along with a few moonstone boxes and a heaven stone.

Someone discarded a knight's jack-o-lantern helm in Randol, so that got transferred across from Kae, who picked it up, to ColonelScarlet.  MistressDomino got set up in merchant mode, selling a few Hallowe'en candies fairly quickly - but the time was fast approaching for the Cariae version of "Storm the Castle".

So, while ColonelScarlet had a few minutes off, Barbarienne logged on to Cariae-3, teleported to Merac, and used a memory scroll to reach Merac Castle.  There weren't many people there; the gamesage ADISA was in "death motion" pose, being an assassin-type rogue; the knight Krokignon was there, and said hi, he still has resisted all attempts to get him to join a guild.

Luckily more people had arrived by the time ten o'clock was reached, UK time, and the actual storming went pretty smoothly.  I was partied with the level 41 knight XxSPIKExX and the level 103 rogue Vimto, who I've seen at other events.  It wasn't long before the "you've done it!" message came up, and everyone rushed back outside to get ready for the loot, which as usual appeared in tight little heaps.  There was plenty of it, I think Barb got 4 skill point boosters, and no doubt the other items in proportion. 

GM Kali was also handling the event on Katar-5 at the same time, so didn't really interact much - we didn't get any extra monsters spawned, as sometimes happens.  Since Barb had acquired her own jack-o-lantern pumpkin helm for last week in case of invisible (unless wearing such a helm or using an item mall potion) dragons, she was able to kill three pumpkin ghosts while we were waiting around to see if anything else would happen - each dropped a pumpkin, and she got five lucky scrolls and ten effort scrolls, which was a useful bonus.

After that, ColonelScarlet returned, to do a bit more pet-levelling.  The horse had reached level 27 by then, so is making pretty good progress still.

Friday the Thirteenth - November 13th

MistressDomino did some fine selling work overnight, earning almost fifty million in gold, and ColonelScarlet got the horse he is preparing for Kaerella up another level, but both computers had a disconnection about halfway through the night.  Still, the Colonel was able to resume before breakfast, and as lunchtime approached his horse reached level 29.

It was pouring with rain, so I managed a (relatively short) session for MistressDomino before coffee; she went out to Hunter Dranore's territory, and farmed the two ghost pumpkin spawning spots there.  She has had her experience gain frozen on 50% now, so just added 11.51% experience and a mere 6 skill points, but grabbed 20 pumpkins, and 5 empty baskets.

After coffee the rain stopped for a while, so I went out for some shopping then, and luckily got back before the rain set in again; so there was only time for another relatively brief adventure before lunch, this time with Kaerella taking a trip out to Prokion Temple, again on Katar-5.  Kae started by losing her level 27 experience, and then settled in in the back room; by lunchtime she was back up to 29.61%, and had got 106 skill points, 86 of which she then used to learn the first two levels of one of the advanced gathering skills, plus 1145 pet points.

After the break, Kaerella continued her work in the Temple's back room, where she has no trouble at all, thanks to the rather good armour and accessories - no Self Heal at all is needed.  The Friday "happy hour" was apparently 50% extra experience, which would have been more of a hindrance, but I can't say I noticed it particularly.  Probably Kae ought to have added less than 46.54% more experience while adding 167 more skill points, and 1829 pet points, getting her drake up to level 19 - who can tell? 

At that point Kaerella went back to Randol and spent all her skill points -  and then she returned to the Temple and died 26 times, to get rid of the recent experience.  And after that before the food break there was still time to notch up 34 skill points, 384 pet points, and 9.34% experience.

The evening's "Epic Event" was scheduled, according to the website announcement, to begin on Auzura at eight o'clock UK time, so I logged in over there for a while to be able to see in-game announcements.  Rage went out to the Forgotten Temple, in fact, and spent a little while fighting Jumping Devils and so on, though at level 72 she only added 2.17%, 10 skill points, and 508 pet points.  However, the hour arrived, and there were no in-game announcements at all... and then a few minutes later announcements did start, but for a radically different kind of deal.

Checking the forum, it seemed that leaders of parties would have to register there, server by server, for the Event; they would be Summoned to the Tomb of Theos themselves, but would have to recall their party members.  Eventually we worked out that this didn't mean separately instanced party quests or anything, it just meant that by registering, anyone could get a "free ride" to the Tomb... so Kaerella registered for the Katar extravaganza, which was scheduled for 9:00pm.

In the meantime, Kae headed back to the Katar-5 Prokion Temple, and its back room, and returned to the Orc-bashing.  I worked out that I might just have time to get to a total of 117 skill points, for the last two levels of epsilon wave processing, and at ten minutes to the hour I was on 115, and just thinking that I had just enough time to get the last two points and return to Randol to learn the skills before things started...when suddenly, the Tomb of Theos was loading for me.

Things had already started, I found, as I ran around the corner towards the usual starting place with its room of Screaming Zonbies - there were Nivas and Wraiths and Arch Liches there, and the battle had commenced.

Kaerella may only be level 27, but she joined in the fighting, even if she does only do 62 damage at a time.  The intrepid band of adventurers surged onwards, discovering and despatching Almas and Reinforced Troll Berserkers, and then Chasers, Swamp Trolls and Barren Eises.  I did get hit by a local Zombie, and found myself back at the start, but quickly ran back.  The usual zombies and mummies respawned, of course, so things got pretty difficult pretty quickly - there were many different varieties of Cube Guard around, but we moved on, discovering more Nivas and even some cave spirits.  But my next death took me out of the running, as this time it just wasn't possible to run back through the respawned local inhabitants.

Still, being given a free trip to the Tomb had its advantages.  I'd respawned by the teleporter NPC inside after my last attempt to run back down, so I used her to take me outside, and added the location of the entrance to my memory scroll.  I then ran off towards where those level 63 and 64 sphinx fighters and "speer" men hang out, since that is a useful location for levelling once Kae has got all her skill points.  The various kinds of Wafe were no problem, as they aren't aggressive, but the sphinx fighters were a different matter, I had to look for gaps, and used a potion of haste.  I did attempt to use the Sand Golem transformation scroll I had, but sadly I am not high enough level for that yet.  I did get chased a little, but I made it through to the old familiar tents and campfire - and added that location to my memory scroll too.

So, that was useful, and more than made up for losing 10 skill points there.  I just hope that the high-level people managed to get to the end of the Tomb, and reunite GM Beatrice's spirit with her body.  I reluctantly decided that the Cariae version of the event, starting at ten o'clock, my time, would just go on too late, and that anyway even level 101 was a bit low for the monsters and dangers involved.  The Auzura version will actually be at breakfast time tomorrow morning for me - or midnight PST, since there is an eight hour difference.  All in all, I think eating breakfast would be a healthier start to Saturday.

ColonelScarlet had been faithfully working on the horse all through this, and by log-out time should have got the animal halfway through level 30.  He had a bit of a scare shortly before lunch - I looked across at his screen, and he wasn't just fighting his gnoll lancer, some sweetheart had lured at least four aggressive, pet-eating gnoll soldiers onto him too!  Luckily they hadn't attacked the horse at that stage, and the Colonel's armour was up to the challenge, but I quickly unequipped the horse, and ran far enough away for the soldiers to give up and reset to their normal positions, before returning and continuing where I left off.  So for the afternoon and evening, ColonelScarlet moved across to the Berserkers.

Egeha and Prokion - November 14th

MistressDomino did some more selling for the first few hours of the night, and sold out of her heaven stones, empty baskets, and Hallowe'en candies, though the moonstones and moonstone boxes remained; she was able to take the rest of the night off, while ColonelScarlet continued with the pet-levelling, except for a break caused by a disconnection, getting the horse into level 31.

Before coffee I was able at least to use a second "unmounting" card, to get Enchantrella's level 33 mount over on the Cariae server back to pet status; she then traded it across to RedRackham in exchange for one of the level 37 horses he had trained.  Enchie was then able to mount the level 37 horse - and Red went off to start levelling the level 33 one towards that level.  The poor animal hadn't been equipped for so long that its Sympathy was down to almost zero, so that to begin with the armour buff it gave was pretty minor, so it's just as well that Red doesn't rely on that when fighting Gnoll Lancers.

Kaerella headed for Katar-5's Prokion Temple after coffee, and found the back room free, so settled in there, in a solo party with the Colonel.  She soon got the 10 skill points she'd lost last night back, and by the end of the session had added 100 in all, going up by 19.65%.  Fuerte1 had been in touch, and came to join me, still, like Kae, on level 27.  The level 31 rogue SilentFright arrived later, and Fuerte1 suggested we should party together, which she agreed to do - as she was already in a solo party we had to break up ours, and I think Fuerte1 had got called for lunch by then, as he didn't respond to his new invitation. 

SilentFright very kindly gave me a level 53 +3 bow she'd picked up, but it will be a while before Kae gets that high.  When Kae reached her new skill point target of a total of 204 I had to leave; back in town Kae got the last two levels of green herb processing, and then returned to Prokion for 22 deaths to get back to 0% again.

ColonelScarlet got the horse up to level 32 just before lunch; once Kaerella logged out, RedRackham over on Cariae-3 was able to spend an hour or so working on the level 33 one he got from Enchantrella.  It's strange to have two such similar knights both fighting a Gnoll Lancer in the same location, but on different servers.

The afternoon was a change of pace for me - over on Auzura, I took my level 72 rogue Rage off to Egeha, a map I've not visited in a while, though Rage has spent time there before, as have MrChuckNorris and MistressDomina.  Rage had only got a little over a million in gold in her inventory, so spending 800,000 gold to get to Egeha was a major investment - but by the end of the afternoon she was almost 5 million up, due to generous cash drops and also a selection of armour pieces which were swiftly sold to the local merchant.

As ColonelScarlet was still busy over on Katar-5, to get the solo party bonus I had to find a random party, and luckily there was one going, headed by the level 56 mage Lycano.  As it happened, she ended up in Egeha too, and for a while was just down the road from me fighting Bogles, while I was fighting Baby Apes.  She was just too low for me to suggest a fighting team-up, as 15 levels difference is the maximum for that.  It was useful that she was there, as she was the one that attracted the attention of the Grand Golden Dragon.

I was probably a bit spendthrift to actually use a platinum blessed iris for my hour fighting the Baby Apes, and their boss-type Ape mother; since Rage had rather a lot of the "training spells" left in her inventory that add 15% to one's skill point gain I used one of those too!  That hour brought in 18% and 15 skill points - the experience gain was helped by me using a one-off experience booster each of the five or six times I ended up fighting the mother.

I'd decided to get Rage a jack-o-lantern helm before I set out, as she had all six different Hallowe'en candies, and it was lucky I did, as a pumpkin ghost respawned right by my Baby Apes, and I was able to get a few pumpkins, which, when I opened them back in the village, gave me various scrolls, firecrackers of course, and a heaven stone.

After that I moved across to the old Boucu Demons spot.  I didn't use any boosts there, mainly because there could be little waits before one side's Demon would respawn, and as usual sometimes a Skinwalker would run in too when I attacked the Demon to the east, so, as I had been taught by Damor, I would mount Rage's horse and use "pet return to village" when that happened, Skinwalkers simply take too long to kill - after killing the Boucu Demon and picking up whatever it dropped, that is.  I'd then wait a minute or two for the Skinwalker to reset before venturing back.

The total experience gain for the afternoon was 28.46%, so a couple more outings like that would get Rage to level 73.  The 20 skill points will come in handy I'm sure, and 1410 pet points were earned, before RedRackham logged back in for the duration of the food break, getting his horse 30% of the way through level 33, and moving its Sympathy up to 37%.

For the evening, it was time to have another serious Prokion Temple session with Kaerella, and try to take a big bite out of the remaining skill points needed to "max out" all the special skills, for gathering, processing and crafting.  So that's what I did, with a nice quiet productive solo session, while the Colonel continued levelling the horse for Kae down in Merac.  I only had one visitor, a red-named knight who attacked a few orcs, found that the room was a dead end, and rushed out again.  I was keeping tabs on my skill point total, so that I'd get an exact number that I could spend, and ended up reaching 278 skill points, along with 77.23% experience and 2937 pet points, which moved Kae's drake on to level 21.

Back in Randol, I spent all those skill points - but I worked out that that still leaves another 886 sp to "bank" before Kae can start earning skill points for future regular skills, and begin to level up.  And at the end of the evening, I was lucky enough to spot an announcement that the web item mall's "Platinum" section had been refilled, so was able to stock up on platinum skill pills for the main part of the skill point farming.

The only other thing to do before retiring Kaerella for the day was to get her to die 26 times in Prokion Temple, as usual made slightly more interesting by picking up the loot that other players were ignoring.  It's strange, some people don't even pick up the Hallowe'en event's "empty boxes", which MistressDomino has been having no difficulty in selling at 59,500 gold each.

After that, MistressDomina logged in and got the latest loot for resale, plus some heaven stones from Kae's storage, and set up in merchant mode on Katar-5 - and ColonelScarlet moved over to the newer computer for some more late-night pet-levelling, shortly after the horse reached level 33.

We are starting to get a little more information about the "Episode 2" material that is being added to the game.  It won't be with us after a normal Tuesday night maintenance, instead Thursday is the day - probably starting up pretty late in the evening, as far as those of us in Europe are concerned.  A new continent, new monsters, new skills,,, a lot of things are probably aimed at keeping the high-level people happy, as they are the ones who have to spend the most money to keep advancing, but the new "Night Shadow" class should be interesting.  I just hope that we don't lose any of the content that we already have, and that the core of the game remains the same.

Giants and Zombies - November 15th

ColonelScarlet didn't do very well overnight down with the Gnoll Lancers, as he got ks'd twice, leaving him just standing around uselessly for about half the time, which is annoying, but at least his horse reached level 34 at lunchtime.  MistressDomino, in merchant mode, did rather better, selling out of empty baskets and some other things, and taking in almost 15 million gold.  She logged out at breakfast time, and RedRackham over on Cariae-3 was able to do a little work on his horse until coffee; his horse was around 70% of the way through level 33 by the end of the lunch break.

After coffee, though, Kaerella logged in on Katar-5, did a little merchant-browsing, and then moved to Katar-1 briefly for more of the same.  She bought two platinum super skill pills from a mage called SeaHag (a Popeye reference I think) back on Katar-5, for 3.9 million each, so is equipped to do a little bit of power sp-farming now... though, with the "Episode 2" update only a few days away, it may well be best to wait, in case there are some more special skills added which Kae can learn at level 27.

Kaerella headed for Prokion Temple, in a solo party with ColonelScarlet; the back room was free, though, judging by the gold drops on the ground, someone else had been there rather recently.  Before lunch there was just time to acquire 149 skill points, enough to learn the top level of flawless (or quality) stone processing, while adding 42.48% experience again, and 1552 pet points for Kae's drake.

After lunch there was time for another session with Kaerella in the Temple, starting with enough deaths to get rid of the old experience percentage; this time she got up to 48.00%, while earning 179 skill points, enough for the final level of expert weaponsmith.  There are higher types of weaponsmith skill to learn, but they can't be learnt until levels 32 and 42.  1779 pet points got added as well, taking Kae's drake up to level 22.

I really don't know if the scheduled "Sunday teatime" two hours of 50% something actually ever got switched on.  The web page said 50% extra experience, but it also said "skill point Sunday", but I never noticed any boost of either type.  I took my food break a bit early, in case it was going to start perhaps 90 minutes late.

As usual Sunday evening got divided up, rather.  Hoping for a skill exp boost I started off as my original Cariae incarnation of Kaerella, the level 49 cleric, and went out to the Giants in Dratan desert, west of the city, joining a solo party since ColonelScarlet was still hard at work over on Katar-5.  While I was out there Zenderfly, or Damor rather, got in touch, talking of course about Episode 2, and how the aeria-app poker on facebook was going.  I think she is hoping that I'll be on a Cariae Norcaine character each day this coming week at around seven in the evening my time - this may not be possible every day, but I'll give it a try.

Kae didn't really add a lot in her desert session, and there was no visit from Kamira this time.  At one point four members of the solo party were out in Dratan desert, it's lucky it is a big place.  3.89% experience, 24 skill points, and 846 pet points mean it was a fairly small step forward.

I did a short Prokion Temple stint back on Katar-5 too; after dying the necessary number of times, Kaerella got 26.60% experience, 94 skill points, and 963 pet points...but after that it was time to get back to Randol for the usual 8:30pm, UK time, Sunday Quiz.

I went to the Quiz on Katar-2, as it is on Katar that I need the heaven stones.  There were no big dramas this week, I think almost everyone in the room made it through to the end - the question about whether or not GM Krash does the Old Skool Treasure Hunt came in at #22, after the prizes had all been safely nestled in our inventories.  There didn't seem to be many DarkzerRoughneks people online for it this week; for the second time running, I was unable to click MistressDomino onto Kaerella to follow her, so had to be quick to move both characters across to the correct side of the room.

The first Zombie Invasion to erupt was on Auzura-2, so Memree went over there, to Berbank Mill.  She did die once, and only got back after the "Sorry Guys" announcement that we had failed to kill all the monsters inside the time limit.  All she managed to pick up in the way of loot were two each of the small HP and MP pots.

Katar came next, and fellow guildie Arrowfighter partied with Kaerella - she is six levels ahead of me, and has a level 37 white horse.  Kae's standard hit on the monsters is 62, three less than Memree, at level 31, manages, and unaffected by the horse buffs that Arrowfighter provided.  On the Screaming Zonbies and Ancient Screaming Zombies a "critical" or "deadly" shot remains the same 62, but on the Apes, since while boss-types they aren't as high level, the figure does rise then to a few hundred.

Arrowfighter got pk'd by a rogue, DeviantART, as soon as she arrived - thankfully she had just dismounted from her horse.  She got killed again once she had returned, but though I was close by I wasn't attacked.  I suppose I was obviously only about level 30, while Arrowfighter's costume did have a "gang" type cover, making her look rather more formidable.

This time, the zombies and their friends were all defeated within the 15 minutes, and so the drops of Hands were more generous, and risk-free to pick up, so we both managed to pick up some useful loot.

And so it was time to move over to Cariae-2, and let Barbarienne log in.  There seemed more pk-ers around, and less actual players of the game, so it wasn't very surprising when we failed to get rid of everything within the time limit.  At least as a well-armoured level 101 character I was able to break off from fighting and pick up as much as I could from the hands that were spawned - 3 large defence potions and 1 large attack potion, a skill point booster, and 2 item drop boosters.  Once everything had been picked up, we were able to finish off the monsters within another five minutes.  Generally I just attacked the apes and screaming zonbies myself, to stand there and "tank" them, but I did have to fight one of the more formidable ancient screaming zombies myself, and got the debuffs to prove it...but a couple of great healing potions meant I survived, and was able to pick up a few cash drops.

ColonelScarlet headed out for the treants in Juno after he changed to the newer computer.  It did seem that his bare-fisted hitting figure of 18 was enough to keep a treant alive, but they did show an alarming tendency to lose interest and wander back to their mates.  Unfortunately, I soon realised that to the Colonel they are blue-named, and thus don't give pet points - so he had to move to Merac, and the Gnoll Lancers, once more. Still, the horse was within a couple of hours of the end of level 34 by the time I logged out.