Valsharyn's Monsters - February 15th
The usual routine saw SirGalahad back in Maargadum Jail before breakfast, doing a little more work on his drake - and that was followed after coffee by the Discipline Duo of Memree and RedRyder taking their regular trip to Prokion Temple on Tairen-5, now designated "the newbie subserver" as Elizabeth has taken up residence there. Actually, she is now in Randol on the other subservers too, it's just if you attempt to get the "Elizabuff" anywhere else, you get directed to "channel 5".
Memree had a little catching up to do after her losses at the "Parade" yesterday, but eventually she was ahead again, and both she and RedRyder gained 129 points before the end of the session, which concentrated on orc soldiers, with the occasional orc fighter when they decided to join in. Memree went up by 8.24%, and 51 guild points, while Red added 2.08% and 7 guild points.
There was time before lunch for a quick bit of trading between SirGalahad and Kaerella; Kae gave Gal her level 8 hatchling to work on, and he gave her the level 21 drake, so that instead of just 7 levels of armour increase for a defence increase of 80, Kae now has 10 levels of that, for a defence increase of 105, plus 10 levels of power increase for an extra 20 on her physical attack stat.
One thing I hadn't realised was that the "Neckless of Rogue", and presumably the ones for other classes, do vary, they don't all have identical properties. RedRyder's and Rage's give 16 dexterity, 168 to long range physical hit rate, 112 to close range evasion, and 20 to critical hit - but Memree's gives 16 to dexterity again, but 8 to all types of physical attack, 3 poisoning attack (as previously discussed), and a 10% increase to her speed of movement - so she'd be pretty good at races, with a moving speed of 8.1, compared with Red's and Rage's 7.5 and Kaerella's 8.0. RedRider on Auzura reached level 20 before the necklesses were introduced, sadly; she has the quest, but she doesn't have the "letter" needed to fulfil its requirements.
For the afternoon, it seemed about time my level 35 rogue on Tairen, Rage (or xRAGEx, to be formal) got a little action, so she headed for Prokion Temple on Tairen-5 herself, in a solo party with SirGalahad. The orc sergeants and orc axemen in my favourite back room gave quite low amounts of experience, but still some useful exp - 1,896 experience and 4,400 skill exp per sergeant, and 1,284/2,200 per axeman. So a session in which she added just 3.02% and 33 guild points while gaining 140 skill points was a bit faster than Memree and RedRyder's earlier effort.
Still, it was time that Rage moved on a bit, so SirGalahad logged out, and Kaerella, on level 25, logged in, joined a combat party with Rage, and made the trip out to the Temple, to stand to one side, where orc spawns were infrequent, while Rage did the work. Having her bringing the average level of the party members down moved the experience and skill exp per orc sergeant for Rage to somewhere in the region of 19,000/4,800, and orc axemen to about 11,500/4,000 - so about ten times the experience, and a bit more skill exp too. Kaerella as the non-fighting member got about a sixth as much experience, and the same amount of skill exp.
Before too long KateNash arrived, and joined our party. For some of the time she stayed out of compass range, for the solo party effect, but later she fought in the same room - which meant Kae's effect was slightly diluted, but of course she was doing her share of the killing too, and with her involved we did get a few loot drops of origami paper and moonstone boxes. By the time the food break came along, Rage had added another 28.00% and 325 guild points, while Kaerella had gone up by 28.74% and 45 guild points - and they'd each earned 199 skill points, so that, since she'd a few left over from before, Kae was able to learn two more levels of Resurrection.
After the food break, it was time to log RedRider on over on Auzura-4, as I was determined to brave the perils of [GM]Valsharyn's low-level Mad Monster Spawn, over not far from Hunter Dranore's tent. "Don't get carried away - or we'll get carried away, in pine boxes", I cautioned before things started... and I must say I did get killed once, though as I'd spent Red's current stash of skill points, and got the location onto her memory scroll, that was only a temporary and minor setback.
It was a tricky event to give a verdict on. There were so many people there, since Val had given good in-game notice of things, that the initial waves of butchers, orcs, salamanders, and desert spiders seemed to get assimilated within seconds. Thankfully she resisted the temptation to drop gangs of death knights on people's heads, and indeed cautioned people to rally off to one side between waves. The waves did grow more challenging, with barren eises, dragons, akane giants, twin hadians, cursed and wane spiders, even the level 75 Forgotten Temple main boss the blood terrain - and finally from Egeha a number of scorpionmantises and skin walkers, level 80 and 82 boss monsters.
"GRATZ - you just killed eight level 80 Elite Monsters!!" [GM]Valsharyn was suitably impressed. "This calls out for double PRIZES!!!!"
So, the loot was pretty generous, but I just can't see that a group of players around level 30, even a large group, could kill skin walkers that quickly; they may be passive, but they are protective, so if you attack one of them, the others would take an interest. There must have been some higher level players along, with their armour covered it's hard to tell...though very few low-level people put a cowboy, gang or mexican cover on their costumes as they know they will outgrow that armour set well before the melding ends.
Not content with the generous loot thus far, once the low-level event was over quite a few of us moved straight across to the high-level event, where the final wave was well under way, with our old friends the flutons and patriarch botises along, plus other high-level stuff. I got involved in the snaring sequence for a few of the big guys - there was another death, some sort of "area of effect" blast that took out a mage near me as well, but I was soon back in action. This was a proper "old school" Mad Monster Spawn, and lasted over an hour in all, not one of [GM]JediMike's 12-minute single spawn efforts; Val herself got involved in the fighting, generally not using skills but being a useful tank - she was standing dazed, attacked by two patriarch botises, at one stage, but survived.
We had a 20 minute deadline to get rid of the last of the flutons and botises, which did tend to take a few minutes each, but we made it, and were rewarded with multiple waves of loot. So in all RedRider picked up, at the two events, 12 item drop boosters, 23 large attack and 15 large defence potions, 13 skill points boosters, and 33 tool aids, plus no doubt plenty of the small HP and mana recovery pots.
Latre, Rage went to the third "personal dungeon", Ajaka Canyon, which now gives twelve moonstones as a reward for its completion, plus 50,000 gold and some experience and skill exp. Rage picked up almost 43,000 gold along the way as drops from the various monsters, too, while Blood Mistress Kamira, the level 38 end boss, dropped a "Bloodlust", rather appropriately, though that just happens to be the name of the level 37 titan sword. This one was +1, and not very valuable, I imagine, with all the level 33 +10 weapons around. The actual experience from the fighting was 0.89%, with the quest reward (doubled by the Elizabuff) adding another 0.95%; the skill exp side gave 13 from the fighting and 16 as the reward. Well, it made a change from Prokion Temple.
A different type of Parade was scheduled for later, starting at ten, UK time, on Katar. "GMs will lead a Parade event on each server," the website reported. "It will be short and simple, from the West Gate to the Windmill, to the bridge north of West Gate, to the northern town and down to North Gate. The exact route is up to the discretion of each individual GM leading the parade, but this route will take ten minutes tops."
Well, it sounded unusual, but worth attending one of, just to see where a "northern town" might be - My level 2 mage on Katar, Enchantrella, went out to investigate. [GM]JediMike appeared right on time, and led us quickly over the course - the "northern town" seemed to be the house or two on the hill where the jaguars roam, though we didn't actually go up there. Mike kindly pointed out the elder wolves, and dire wolves, and the bridge, as we went, and the magical herbs where they grew - and at the north gate, spawned us some of our favourite prizes.
After a few minutes of chat, so that we can confirm that his name really is Michael, at about a quarter past the hour he spawned a second set of loot, and left us... so, seeing that loot was involved, it seemed worth following him to Cariae, where my level 20 healer Telzey showed up at the west gate. This time he actually spawned a few things at the start - not hands, but I did end up with three effort scrolls and a cake. The event itself was otherwise very similar to the previous one.
And throughout, SirGalahad kept hard at work, so that his dragon hatchling was close to level 15 by the time the computer was turned off.
A Quieter Day - February 16th
In the end I continued on much later than usual, and attended [GM]JediMike's other four countryside Parades, which were generally pretty similar, though a couple of times very few people actually noticed him leave the starting area...once I got left behind, the other time I was one of the few that did manage to follow him around the course.
A typical commentary from Mike ran like this. "Here we got some foxes... Some wolves - don't bother them. Here's the windmill... they got lots of wolves. I'm taking you to the infamous bridge." Knowing what he'd said on a previous run-through, I interjected "The haunted one?" "Sure is. Someone died under the bridge." He had gone into more detail on a previous server, about how it was haunted at night, and how he would sometimes go out there in the dark. "More wolves... here's some magical herb." And after that, as we approached the north gate, the magic word "Prizes."
Hatzring was slightly different, as Mike took us to the arena in Randol. As he reported on Auzura, at the end of the parade, "I'm just here to hang out - been doing so on each server. I took Hatz to the arena... they tried to kill me. Newberts couldn't." "Ungrateful lot", I commented. "And you only level 9, er, 15." He'd told the Hatzring people he was level 9, and then revised that to 15 when the PvP-enabled symbol hard appeared beside his name in the arena, which doesn't happen if you are below level 15.
"I'm level 41 on Auzura - yeah, hit the 40 club last weekend." "Hard work", Moruk69 said. "Sure is - I gotta work like you all if I wanna be good level." "Just remember the Elizabeth buff and you'll do fine", I assured him...
Tairen was scheduled last of the servers, but I stayed around, as that is where I am most in need of extra drops, since Tairen is, so far, a bit short of the main events like storming the castle and a high-level mad monster spawn. And Mike did us proud, as far as the loot spawning went.
That late night did mean that SirGalahad got his current hatchling up to level 15 before his belated log-out, and he returned to his duties at breakfast time, so that by nine o'clock level 16 was reached, and the cute little dragon hatchling turned into the larger, sleeker drake form.
After coffee RedRyder and Memree headed for Prokion Temple on Tairen-5 in their usual combat party, but progress is getting a bit slow on the orc soldiers, I think we will need to speed things up even if it cuts down on the skill exp that Red gets. The whole session gave them 103 skill points each; Memree added 6.67% and 37 guild points, while RedRyder gained 1.68% and 7 guild points.
After SirGalahad had done another couple of hours in Maargadum Jail, the afternoon session was a bit speedier, progress-wise, with Rage and Kaerella taking their turn to make a combat party and head for the Temple - my favourite back room with the orc axemen and orc sergeants. They soon both levelled up, reaching level 36 and level 26 respectively; the percentages for experience gained kept pretty much in step. By the time that the early evening food break was looming, Rage had added 32.14% (equating to 433 guild points), and Kaerella had added 32.27% (62 guild points) - and they had each gained 271 skill points.
After the break, while SirGalahad continued his work on his drake, Kaerella came back on and got her quest reward for killing the clever foxes, and also got the second quest for the collection of 10 soft sands, and the quest for 3 dark orbs...both of which she was able to finish immediately, adding another 49.78% and 48 skill points. By then she had enough sp for the final two levels of Resurrection, and the fifth level of Cure Poison too, plus the first three levels of the Hard Rejection skill, which only works in the personal dungeons. Kae also got the quest requiring 5 cracked axes, which Rage will be able to trade across to her at some convenient time.
However, as usual on a Tuesday evening there was a long email to deal with, and, as I'd received a plaintive email from the "Age of Conan" people asking why I'd not persevered with their game, after downloading it last week, I spent 90 minutes or so getting from the beach to the main town, slaying various bosses and anyone else who got in Kaerella's way. The graphics were nice, but I don't like the WSAD-only movement (or in my case, just W) and the button-bashing combat - or the small inventory. Why design things so that you don't have enough room for everything that drops, from corpses and the occasional treasure chest? All you're doing is irritating people. Still, I managed not to die, which is the main thing, though there were occasional gently humming square grids on the ground which I assume are resurrection spots.
Still, there was a little time left after that, so I let my level 34 temple knight over on Cariae, SirDarth, have a short outing. He had a quest to kill 20 berserkers, so that was simple enough, and the reward moved him along nicely with a bit more experience and skill experience. He then spent a little while in Prokion Temple - the back room, naturally. A level 23 titan called danh recruited him to a party, which was fine, as it gave him substantially more experience than soloing - but he disconnected before very long, which cut the experience back. Still, SirDarth does need skill points more I guess if he is ever going to get much further.
Cariae was supposed to have an abundance of races and hide and seek events starting at ten, but all that was announced initially was a hide and seek for GS TygerMyst, and riding around Juno for a while, after yesterday's late night, didn't appeal, so, at just under 90% of the way through his level, Darth logged out. It was around then that Jackboy, or Captianjack, used some sort of messenger service built into the Last Chaos website to get in touch, telling me that he had abandoned LC for Aion, along with a couple of other folks who used to be in Norcaine - which explains why, despite my activities on Cariae and Auzura recently, I've not encountered them.
SirGalahad though had had a productive evening. He did manage to attract a death mask soldier as well as the lancer at one stage, but I spotted the extra activity before any harm came to the drake, and killed the soldier. The drake ended the evening about two-thirds of the way through level 19.
A Mystery Event - February 17th
The overnight patch was very minor, again - apostrophes can no longer be used in messages when you send someone an item mall gift, the polar bear can no longer be put into storage (and thus be lost), the master of the monster combo sells golden boxes again - and for the first time Tairen's designated PvP subservers will actually have PvP combat, outside the arena, enabled. Just think, some characters have gone up to well over level 100 without any chance of being killed by other players, or killing, while out farming. Since the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff was recently moved to a non-PvP subserver, that doesn't make much of a difference for me as far as I can see.
SirGalahad did get attacked by a death mask soldier a second time yesterday evening, but again I spotted this before the creature had a chance to turn its attention to my drake, so there was no problem. And this morning Gal was back in action, with the drake reaching level 20 soon after breakfast.
Memree and RedRyder managed to have their after-coffee session in Prokion Temple on Tairen-5, though it wasn't as long as it sometimes can be. I'd decided that fighting the orc soldiers any more was just too slow, so my Discipline duo moved on to the orc fighters in the mirror-side corridor room.
This certainly speeded things up, and, while they each gained 107 skill points, Memree added 19.12% (and 108 guild points), while as the non-fighter RedRyder added 4.79% (and 18 guild points). A couple more sessions like that should see Red reach level 30,
SirGalahad was back at work for the lunch break, and then for the afternoon it was time for my other Tairen pair of Prokion-goers to leap into action - Rage and Kaerella.
With Rage on level 36, the "back room" with its orc sergeants and orc axemen was the only place to go. The session lasted a couple of hours or so, and Kaerella reached level 27 - so she could wear a full 30/32 +10 armour set now. Unfortunately, there won't be a new set available until RedRyder reaches level 31, so Kae is going to have to continue to be a bit careful when the higher-level orcs are around.
Rage added 34.31% (and 471 guild points), while Kaerella gained 33.89% (and 68 guild points) - and they each grabbed 293 skill points, before SirGalahad logged back in.
During the orc-fighting I had remembered to trade five cracked axes across from Rage to Kaerella, so after the break Kae headed back to Dratan to get the reward for the "Story of Crom" quest from Weapon Trader Crom - 270,000 experience and 3 skill points, doubled by the Elizabuff to give 10.82% and 6 skill points, and 40,000 gold. Crom promptly gave a new quest, "Another Identity of Shuraine", for 158,000 experience.
"Know this well Hero", Crom told me. "It was Shuin, Akemon's General in charge of all the armies of man, who brought the end to Akemon's reign. Have you ever read the doctrine of Akemon? It is truly idiotic! Only one clouded in the lies of Erin could have ever believed such nonsense, let alone preached it as law. Akemon taught his followers that the Humans were the only race that deserved to exist, and that all other races must be enslaved or destroyed. Shuin betrayed Akemon by disclosing his acts to the Anoel Dratum, ending his bloody race war once and for all. Shuin was killed and Akemon was dismembered in a public execution. Do Shuin's final actions make up for his original betrayal of the other races? One must wonder, eh Hero?"
Using my memory scroll, I beamed across to Shuraine at his oasis. "Alas! Crom continues to spread his lies and half-truths", he told me. "I am an archaeologist and blood niece to Shuin. I met him once when I was very young, and this was long after the Race Wars. Shuin led the rebels against Akemon, he never fought for that tyrant!
"You have come to the wrong place if you are looking for historical truths, hero. Just know that Crom always gives people the wrong facts. Sorry for the misinformation." And after that he, presumably a nephew rather than a niece, handed over the 6.34% experience, and that strange little message-quest was over.
Kaerella on Tairen may now be level 27, and still maximising her general skills - but Kaerella on Katar was level 30, and has got all her skills filled up, including the special skills, and a generous reserve of unused sp - so wasn't it about time I did some more work with her? The addition of PvP to Tairen shows that it is now a mature server, while Katar has the advantage of usually being first in the rota for an event... and Kae's sp there was hard-won and hard-earned, so it makes sense to build on it.
So, Katar-5's Prokion Temple was Kaerella's destination, and, in a solo party, I headed for that mirror-half corridor room and its orc fighters who, with the Elizabuff on, gave me 5390 experience and 5500 skill exp. The one orc axeman in the room gave 9628 and 7700, which wasn't quite as good a skill to experience ratio, but still okay. I settled in there for a while, but then a rogue called Euriale gate-crashed, which slowed things down a bit. I noticed she did what I sometimes do, and ignored the axeman attacking her, just fighting the fighters.
Kaerella had started on 83%, and when I was just below levelling up I headed back to Dratan City, since I knew that finishing the quest for cracked axes would level me up. Then I rode out to the death goddesses, to kill 35 of them, killing enough desert spiders and red spiders along the way to fulfil the two spider-related quests, and returned to town for the quest rewards. A level 22 healer called SmashOnYou asked me to take her to Prokion, so I ran out there with her, and left her at the entrance with horse buffs and a warning about occasionally arriving in the foundations there rather than the hallway - a level 24 mage called MageDoMal asked for horse buffs as well, so I provided her with them, and returned to town, ready for my regular Wednesday evening early log-out.
In all, Kaerella on Katar, Kae-on-K, had gone up by 52.78%, more than half of that from quest rewards, 245 skill points, 749 pet points, and for DarkzersRoughneks 76 guild points. Reaching level 31 meant that she got a spare set of the level 30/32 +10 armour, which will no doubt come in handy for a different character.
One "regular Wednesday" thing recently has been the sequence of mad monster spawns or stormings of Merac Castle, but there wasn't either type of event listed for today on the website. Instead the message was "Juno is under siege from the forces of Eres! With her resource points cut off her mighty walls will not last long. We call to all of the heroes of Apollon to fight off this undead horde and help uncover the source from which this vile host springs. " - which seemed more like a "World Defence", fighting monsters at the gates of Randol, which is rather less of an event. Still, the "help uncover the source" bit does drop hints that this could be part of a continuing storyline.
The gap between starts on the various servers was 45 minutes, with Katar starting off at 9:00pm UK time, followed by Cariae, Sarissa, Hatzring, Auzura, and Tairen. So, at 10:30 my Sarissa representative, Kaerella at level 22, was on hand to see what was happening. [GM]Cara was in Randol before then, in a cool-looking high-level archer costume, warning people to watch for announcements on where to go. A group gathered outside the north gate, wondering what was going to happen.
The event turned out to be more of a "purify the waters" thing than anything else, with the river inlet from the Juno lake unleashing sphinx commanders, anubis occultists, screaming zombies, wight slashers, and much more. The action ended after 45 minutes down at the edge of the lake itself, where hordes of monsters were defeated, and then a generous supply of loot was spawned. Kae certainly gained a bit of experience, and managed to avoid getting killed, and it all made a change from the regular events. But is it the start of something bigger?
Through it all SirGalahad kept working, getting his drake comfortably into level 23 by the end of the evening.
A Desert Event - February 18th
Today was supposed to be one of my "busy days" downstairs, which meant that SirGalahad looked like having a busy day in Maargadum Jail working on his drake, which reached level 24 not long after coffee. It also meant that ColonelScarlet was able to do some similar work over on Katar-4, also on level five of Maargadum Jail, with his pink drake reaching level 19 mere minutes earlier, and reaching 20 at lunchtime.
The events scheduled for the day were a parade on Auzura-4 at five o'clock UK time, followed by a "Pharaoh's Treasure" hunt two hours later - and then at nine a rotation of Dratan-based monster hunts was to begin, starting on Auzura, for a sensible change, and continuing every 45 minutes on Katar, Cariae, Sarissa, Hatzring, and Tairen. The call to action on the website was " Foul monsters have used the sandstorms as cover to infiltrate the countryside! Brave adventurers and mighty warriors, Dratan needs you! Depart from the city walls of Dratan and purge these vile creatures from the land! " - so, who could resist?
I did manage an afternoon session, as much of the "busy" bit for me got postponed until Friday. For that, Kaerella and RedRyder teamed up - but this was on Katar, where Kae was level 31, and Red was level 25. Prokion Temple on Katar-5 was rather busy, I found, but we ended up in the mirror half of the place, in the corridor outside the back room, fighting an assortment of orc fighters, axemen and sergeants.
I didn't want to level Kae up as she hasn't yet chosen whether to be an archer or a cleric (though it needs to be the former - one cleric in the family is enough), but we got pretty close by the end of the session, and, as the non-fighting half of the combat party, RedRyder wasn't far away from reaching level 26 - which will be handy, as it will allow her to wear the shirt and pants of the +10 armour set. At the moment, she does take a bit of damage when an orc picks on her.
By the end of the session Kaerella had added 60.12%, and RedRyder had gone up by 33.02%; Kae had added 339 guild points for the now deathly quiet DarkzersRoughneks guild, while Red had gained 52 for the local branch of Discipline. And they'd got 220 shiny new skill points each.
The 5:00pm Parade with [GM]Valsharyn was fun - as well as the stroll around Randol, we went out into the Juno countryside, where Val ran around at a suspiciously high speed, with us tailing her. Every now and again she would spawn a few hands of loot, but as I remarked at the time, "the cool-down time for Hands rather stops proceedings dead, lol." I did suggest chocolate and melons instead, but perhaps there are rules about what can be dropped when.
Val had been talking about strategy as we paraded. "We are putting the event: Hide & Seek PLUS on ice for a time until we can decide how to manage (to make it a) lot better and fairer", she announced. "Talk guys! This is an event for questions, answers, and things you always wanted to know."
"Any chance of the Zombie Invasions of Berbank Mill returning?" I asked. "It used to be fun to do that after the Quiz on Sunday."
"I'm not on board that long, but I'll (look) into the zombie invasion", Val replied, before moving on to the next item. "We are also planning to split the low and high MMS into three different events at the same time."
"So a mid-level MMS too?" I asked, but the GM's feeling seemed to be that there would be low, high, and an "epic" one, which is fair enough as the really high-level people don't get any challenge from even the main MMS. Though such an event could be tucked away out of sight in Mondshine, I suggested.
Personally, I'm in favour of the MMS events not being at the same time. "Some of us have low and relatively high characters and would like to go to both", I said, also contributing "the announcements get confusing" if the events are at the same time, and that one group could feel neglected if they polish off their monsters and nothing happens for some minutes because the GM is busy at the other location, something Val acknowledged.
"I think the Pandora beast event is useless - the beasts don't drop anything better than other critters of their level, which aren't as protective" - or if they are, aren't crammed so closely together that any attack can bring a whole group down on you. I went on to suggest that a spawning of the Pandora's Boxes would be much more fun, with a chance of good loot and not all the Beasts at once.
xXPhonicXx put in a good word for the "Storm the Castle" event, and [GM]Valsharyn asked what made it interesting. "StC is probably my favourite, I guess", I said, and Phonic continued with "a lot of high mobs and a lot of prizes." To which I added "We work as a team so nicely, and don't get stuff circling around and killing from behind like MMS."
As for Cluedo, I blithely declared that "it takes too long - what, about ten minutes per question?" Other people mentioned that it was only a few people who ever got a prize - so my thought was "If Cluedo, or something, was a joint team effort, and prizes for all got spawned if we worked out the puzzles.... or a prize of extra sp for four hours, or something?"
It was after that that we moved on to chasing Val around Juno. "I will run zig zag across the country back and forth... whenever you are near me for at least two seconds, I drop something." After some random zigging and zagging we looped around from the west gate towards the north one - so I warned her about the bridge being haunted, as [GM]JediMike had revealed recently. After reaching the gate we headed on towards the east, only for Valsharyn to suddenly vanish - I'd been clicked on her to follow.
After a few clues, we found her in the moat, and then attempted to run on round - I think I was one of very few people to get through the narrow part, and I actually managed to climb up the bank and out onto the grass. I mounted up and rode around, in case there was still a main party of people somewhere. The town itself seemed quiet, and just as I was riding out into Juno again, Val teleported me to her on a hill close to the moat.
"Were you still drowning??"
"No, I did manage to get out, thank you. I was riding around town wondering where everyone was - I couldn't find any group."
"Lol, sorry then. I'll take another dive for them. Sorry for the inconvenience."
And with a final GM announcement just after that, the event was over. I think I'd picked up four small HP or mana recovery potions, but it was fun - and I had also had a chance to say how lucky Auzura was to have her, "and Nobby", doing events that the other servers missed out on. And by the time I'd got most of the details typed out here, the "Pharaoh's Treasure" event was approaching.
[GM]Valsharyn had "tweaked" this event since last time, and this time every announced location had its collection of sphinx fighters and "speer" men, plus their elite varieties and indeed some of the large desert-based jaguars. So, it was lucky I was on Kaerella, to whom they are all green-named. I arrived at the one location where loot would appear soon after the announcement came up, and found people fighting the sphinx types, and was able to join in and help them finish them off. The loot spawned was in rather small amounts - but a mysterious GM message appeared saying "the last round starts in 5 minutes!!"
So, not knowing what that was about, whether that meant that a new location would be announced, most of us stuck around. And then a new message came up: "The Pharaoh made yet another incredible mistake! He sent his treasure and three of his guard squads to ONE location! He will haste his attempt to make this unhappen. You only have 5 minutes until the treasure vanishes!!"
And then a large number of fresh sphinx types, and the giant jaguars, appeared, and it was quite a fight, particularly for the people who were standing where the monsters were spawned. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to drop them on you", Val said shortly after that, followed by a warning, "One wave is still to come..."
So we fought on; I'm sure we had a few people who were well above the sphinx types' level, and Kae did her bit as heavy artillery. "The Guardians dropped right upon the defenders of the last position! The Heroes have defeated the guards and were able to loot the treasure!" Val announced, correctly, and we grabbed a more generous amount of loot this time. It wasn't as much as Kae's lucky early find last week, but 6 item drop boosters, 3 large attack and 4 large defence pots, 3 skill point boosters, 7 tool aids, and 8 small HP and 16 small mana recovery pots, well, isn't bad for half an hour's work.
"This was just a 'If I do this' modification event. Again, I won't drop them on you, I will spawn them at a point where you know where it is, because time's running out then", Val added, so hopefully next time the new spawnings of guards will be off to one side, but in sight.
There was time for a brief session on Katar-5 with Kaerella after that, first of all to opt to become an archer, and then to kill a few clever foxes of the desert, and claim the quest reward, which was enough to take Kae into level 32, so that she could learn two new skills, the attack skill Rapid Arrow and the passive skill Bow Mastery, increasing Kae's physical attack by 70. Then there was just time to go out to Shuraine's oasis to farm 10 soft sands; after claiming the reward for that, Kaerella had earned another 18.71% and 70 skill points - though learning her new skills, including "special" armour-making and weapon-making ones, meant that her unused sp total was actually down by 1,029.
At nine on Auzura the message came up "Dratan is under siege! Go out and secure the resource points or Dratan will fall!" Unfortunately it didn't specify which sub-server this was to happen on, any more than the website page for the day had. Auzura-4 seemed quiet - but on Auzura-5 I found a few people moving around in Dratan, and eventually there was a GM announcement about orc hordes. I found one group of orcs and helped with them, and then moved to Serel Farm, where a large band of monsters were clustered round the entrance, including dark treants, scorpionmantises, and, when we got further inside, Performers and Introducers and their Misty Canyon friends. [GM]Ozymandias, a rogue, was in charge, and spawned us some loot. When we finished there, word came that "the archaeologist" was under siege - which had to mean Shuraine at his oasis.
It was a shame RedRider, my level 27 rogue, had recently taken the location of that oasis off her memory scroll to make room for Val's junior MMS site, but it's only a short ride from town. The battle there was long and fierce, with RedRider getting killed twice, as well as having some near squeaks; the first time I used a "beginner" resurrection scroll, but the second time, as Red has no store of skill points, I just respawned in town and rode back. Eventually we did manage to kill all the monsters, and [GM]Ozymandias spawned generous amounts of loot, mainly in the oasis itself.
That was the end of the event, and time for me to log out. SirGalahad continued a little longer, of course, getting his drake safely into level 26.
A Day for No Pants - February 19th
I think yesterday's post must have been some kind of record, length-wise. Today, however, was definitely going to be my delayed "busy day" downstairs, so both SirGalahad on Tairen-5 and ColonelScarlet on Katar-4 headed straight for Maargadum Jail before breakfast, to do a session of pet-levelling on the first death mask lancer on the right when you enter level five. Gal got invited into a party as he went into the Jail by a level 44 player called IxIP3Z4001xI, and accepted, saying "I'm just here to pet level, but if you want a solo party that's fine." I noticed that despite their higher level (SirGalahad is level 35) their health went down rather quickly, or at least steadily. They didn't stay around all that long.
The main event today was set to be an Auzuran "Storm the Castle" extravaganza at 5:00pm, UK time, though Auzura also had a "Hide and Seek" scheduled for ninety minutes later, on one of the PvP sub-servers. There was also news that tomorrow we'd be offered a free spin of the loot wheel, one per account - well, we'd need to have the aeria points to pay for the spin, but the ap would be rebated within a few days.
It seems that the polar bears will be removed from the loot wheel soon, so no more will be available, at least for a while... something to do with global warming, probably. To combat this, from six this evening, for an hour per server, GMs would be going around giving away polar bear collars to people who were playing without wearing pants, trousers, skirts. Which, decreasing one's armour rating somewhat, could be a bit risky. Still, it would all add to the fun, was the theory.
The "Storm the Castle" on Auzura-4 was hosted by [GM]Valsharyn, who, unusually, was a bit late arriving. That helped get the number of players who were ready at the start up a bit I suppose, and at seven minutes past five, the storming began. The usual selection of monsters were dealt with; clearing the gateway to the outer courtyard seemed to take longer than usual, I think the high-level people must have all gone in and started on the dark harpies and hell-otuu, and soon after we were all in that area Val said that she would be willing to stretch our deadline a bit since we were low on numbers. But in the end, in the inner courtyard we quickly got rid of the sphinx commander, and used [tab] to target the lurking blood shadow invisible dragon.
I noticed that Rage did lose a little health during that final battle, presumably some invisible fiery breath was involved - but there didn't seem any great danger, especially as my Snare did its job a few times. And then this final monster was defeated, and we'd cleaned out the castle in 15, rather than 20, minutes. [GM]Valsharyn announced that the loot would be spawned outside the "castle room" or throne room, and so it was - not huge amounts, but Rage managed to grab an item or two. Val actually gave us a bonus pile to reward our speed, but strangely for me it went straight from "This item has been reserved for another player" to nothing left. Traditionally, more and larger piles are laid out outside the castle - but the event is still fun.
After some requests, the GM did spawn a fluton for us to finish on, but there was no more loot given out.
After that, Val was in charge of the "no pants" event on Auzura, which she combined with the "hide and seek", which alone wouldn't have been enough to tempt me. One rides around the edge of the map, and every ten minutes an announcement comes up that the GM has found a new hiding place, so one rides around some more. So this time Kaerella rode around, without her skirt on. After the hide and seek part ended, Kae went out to the sphinx types, and fought the sphinx fighters, sphinx speer men, and elite sphinx speer man until the hour was up - and fighting the elite guy, even with a three level advantage, without part of one's armour can be a little tricky. Still, he dropped a +3 and a +4 level 53 weapon, which can't be bad.
The Cariae "no pants" event left some people feeling a bit annoyed, as [GM]Stratos made up the rules as he went along, and instead of looking for people, got people, pants-less, to look for him. The event was, at five to the hour, going to start in ten minutes, and then five minutes later it was still going to begin in ten minutes... and then five minutes later it was all over, the GM announced. Presumably there were some winners, but back in Randol there seemed to be a lot of people who couldn't quite get their heads around the concept of an event, supposed to last an hour, that ended before it began. Oh well, there are still those one per account free goes on the loot wheel tomorrow...
Karella, my level 27 rogue, had been roaming Juno without her pants on, and had been underwater in a quiet little corner of the map where the water actually contains a few fishes, about the only example of wildlife in the game that can't be killed. She mounted up while still underwater - and I found that, while I could see the horse, and the glow from her weapon, I couldn't see Karella at all. The effect continued when I returned to town - putting her endemic pants +10 back on meant that her fairy made an appearance, but she was still absent, leaving the horse without a rider. I assume other people didn't get this glitch, as nobody commented.
After a busy day and a bitty evening I decided that that was enough Last Chaos for the evening. SirGalahad continued work on his drake of course, getting it well into level 28, but the main computer was ready for a trip into a different game.
Tomorrow seems to be a bit mysterious, with the events page taking one to a picture of an interior, which, I found, was itself a link to the "The Shadow of Grei" forum thread, where this remark was to be found. "Who is this strange Night Shadow that attacks Merac Castle all by himself? What fool would dare to challenge the collected guilds that stand against him?" The event is supposed to take place between 9:00pm and 11:00pm UK time, but on which sub-servers, well, hopefully we will get told in due course.
Three Team-Ups - February 20th
It was a relief to return to more normal things today. MistressDomino on Auzura had done some useful selling overnight in merchant mode, mainly of heaven stones, but I noticed that the forty dire wolf transformation scrolls that I put up at 25,000 gold each had all gone, as well as moonstone boxes and a few large attack and large defence potions.
After moving some more items across to MD from Kaerella and Rage on Auzura, SirGalahad on Tairen was able to swing into action, returning to level five of Maargadum Jail to work on his drake, which just managed to reach level 29 at coffee time.
Then it was time for Memree and RedRyder on Tairen-5 to head for Prokion Temple, and the mirror-side corridor room with orc fighters and the single orc axeman, for an uninterrupted 90 minutes or so. Memree added 174 skill points, and RedRyder one less, as a couple of times she'd been out of compass range when Memree made a kill. While Memree had had to start off by killing two orc sergeants that had followed us after we ran through their room, generally we avoided killing the orc axeman and concentrated on the fighters, so that by the end of the session Memree had advanced by 31.57% and 178 guild points, while RedRyder, as usual the non-combatant in the combat party, had moved on by 7.95% and 30 guild points.
Both rogues should level up during their next session there - which may end up cutting back the skill exp per kill so much that we have to move on from fighters to the axemen and even the sergeants, who can tell?
For the afternoon session, our other Tairen team-up was back in action, with my highest-level Tairen character now, the rogue Rage, reaching level 37 - and still getting good experience and skill exp in the Prokion Temple back room, thanks to the combat party with Kaerella, on level 27. As before Kae kept to the side, but did get attacked occasionally, nearly dying once. I did have three visitors; a healer stayed for a few minutes, a rogue not quite as long, and a knight came in, looked around, and very wisely decided to leave right away. If you don't have the +10 armour, it isn't a healthy place to try fighting.
It was a good long session, so they gained 351 skill points each; Rage added 39.93% and 554 guild points, while Kaerella added 39.06% and 82 guild points, getting to the halfway point in level 27. That got Kae's store of unused sp up to 654: 212 skill points were used to finish maximising her general skills, and then 348 more were spent on starting to learn the weaponsmithing skills. Yes, Kaerella needs to learn the special skills before she can be allowed to level up, so it looks as if some "suicide runs" in Misty Canyon are in her not-so-distant future.
The evening session was quite substantial, too, and involved Kaerella, in her Auzura guise of a level 67 archer, teamed up with my level 61 wizard-mage MistressDomina, out fighting the sphinx fighters and speer men, and the elite sphinx speer man. MD just stood at the side, while Kae did all the work - MD being a few levels lower did help the amount of experience gained, as the sphinx types are green-named to Kae now. It was just an equal party, so experience, skill exp and gold drops were shared relatively equally, though Kae did get slightly more experience per kill than MD - less as a percentage, however, as level 67 is a bit longer than level 61, to work through.
A rogue called GIZMO was around for a few minutes, competing for the chance to kill the elite on its next respawning; I was slightly limited by the need to stay within compass-range of MistressDomina. And a bit later a level 60 titan from the CaZadores guild, ALeX, arrived, and asked to join the party so that he'd get horse buffs. He seemed to lose quite a lot of health fighting the elite, perhaps his armour isn't very good. He didn't stay very long, at least not by my standards.
So, most of the time I had the sphinx types to myself on Auzura-4, which seems reasonable, as people below level 60 would tend to be on the next sub-server, Auzura-5, since that is where Elizabeth now gives out her Enhancement buff. My two characters don't qualify for that any more, sadly, but without any potions managed to get 50 skill points each from the session; Kaerella went up by 14.03%, while MistressDomina added 22.79%. And Kae's drake, SirFrancis, gained 2592 pet points.
After transferring her new loot from Kae across to MistressDomino on Auzura, back on Tairen-5 SirGalahad logged in, and traded his level 29 drake across to Memree, in exchange for her level 18 one. And then he headed down to Maargadum Jail, where he soon got his new charge on to level 19.
The free goes on the Last Chaos "loot wheel", one per account, today didn't get me a polar bear pet, sadly, though a few other goodies did come my way, suitable for selling on Tairen. Come to think of it, their total value is probably more than people have been selling such pets for recently - though I'm slightly more intrigued by the new jaguar pet, which certainly in its "cub" form looks a cute little black kitten.
The special "The Shadow of Grei" event today that had been previously hinted at turned out to be a part of the Merac Castle Siege, which is a guild versus guilds battle, down at Merac Castle, that I have never been to and know nothing about. There were some mysterious GM-made announcements, along the lines of "Did you Night Shadows really think a guild could protect you from us?" - so things could get a bit unexpected. Certainly "You can flag pvp in MCS today only. There will be no repercussions" is strange, as apparently normally turning on PvP mode there causes glitches. Ah well, I have no idea even which sub-server things went down on!
Drama in the Quiz Room - February 21st
I took both SirGalahad and ColonelScarlet down to the Underground Prison, alias Maargadum Jail, at breakfast time today, on Tairen-5 and Katar-4 respectively - and they both were back in action over lunch, too. Sometimes one can get into position and start fighting the death mask lancer without attracting the attention of an aggressive death mask soldier, and sometimes one can't - for the second session the Colonel did have to stand and fight, which takes a while as, with his red name reducing his attack power, even with his +10 sword equipped his normal hit is less than Gal's bare-handed attack, which that level of critter can take all day long. Luckily the critical and deadly hits, when they come, do manage to hurt the soldier, but killing it takes two or three minutes.
The morning session on Tairen-5 involved the usual Discipline Duo of Memree and RedRider, in their combat party. Before setting out from Randol Memree opted to become an assassin, which would normally mean using daggers for melee combat... but there's no reason she can't go on using her crossbow. I just felt I had enough rangers, and it would be fun to get, eventually, the "play dead" Death Motion skill.
RedRyder reaching level 30 may have slightly reduced the experience and skill exp per skill, though it is difficult to judge as, with the two party members together, the results do vary from kill to kill. When Memree reached 32, however, the experience from killing an orc fighter dropped greatly, with the skill exp down a bit too, so it seemed worth moving on from the "mirror corridor". So, the last part of the session was actually close to the corridor room on my usual side of the Temple, with orc fighters and orc axemen in similar quantities.
Before that I'd had one visitor, a rogue called FROSTY, who ks'd a few times, and then asked "lvl?" Memree told her "31", and she said "kk", and before long continued on her way, leaving a level 33 mage wand on the ground - she must have dropped it herself, as it was +1, and Prokion Temple monsters don't drop ready-plussed items. She asked the next person along their level, and seemed unsurprised when they said "50", which would be a bit high for there; they soon corrected it to "30". I feel that she must have been carrying a metaphorical clipboard to do some research.
Both my rogues added 159 skill points; Memree was up by 24.07% and 144 guild points, while RedRyder had gone up by 5.57% and 25 guild points. Back in Randol afterwards they both had new skills to learn - Memree spent 603 sp on the level 32 passive skills Dagger Mastery and Improved Mana, while Red spent 445 on the level 30 pair of Detect Weakness, increasing her hit rate by 265 apparently, and Invisibility, a useful skill in some situations which lasts 35 seconds, but which I assume can be reapplied any number of times.
Despite having his death mask lancer killed by some little dear over lunch, SirGalahad got his drake into level 20 safely, while by the end of the lunch break ColonelScarlet's pink, or mauve, drake was more than halfway through level 23.
For the afternoon, Rage and Kaerella went to Prokion Temple on Tairen-5. It was pretty busy, so we ended up in the "mirror" back room, with its orc sergeants and orc axemen, plus some orc soldiers. Kaerella managed to find a fairly out-of-the-way spot, but did get attacked occasionally, while Rage did all the fighting. By the end of the session they had each added 150 skill points, while Rage, on level 37, had gone up by 14.52% (234 guild points), and Kae, on level 27, had gone up by 13.63% (34 guild points).
My level 55 cleric Kaerella, the original version, had a brief outing to Dratan desert, though all the solo parties she applied to either didn't accept her application, due presumably to an afk leader, or were found not to actually exist when the application was made. It seemed about time to do the quest to kill a few level 57 Masters of Secret Technique, so Kae rode out past the giants and akane giants to get to them, and continued along the path that leads to the south-west grasslands where the sphinx types, and the Tomb of Theos, can be found.
It didn't take long to collect the "Fog Samples", roughly every alternate Master dropped one; as I'd reached the far end of their group, I farmed a few more, as they were pretty easy to kill despite being two levels above Kae - easier adversaries than those ravenous larvas, or the dragons, I'd say. The experience they give, however, is slightly less than either of those two types of monster - according to the Wet Paint LC wiki it is 26,400 per kill, or double that with Elizabeth's Enhancement on.
I continued along the main path, killing a few level 59 arcane golems if they were in my way, and soon reached the grasslands, and the various kinds of wafe - wafe debirch, wafe peeler, wafe revertin, and wafe debirch leaders, from level 58 to 62. They are unique in Last Chaos in that they act together as a team - they're not just protective of each other, they buff and heal, and if you kill a leader, three of the regular wafe debirches spawn in its place. The peelers and revertins have magic attacks, too. Luckily they are passive, so if they aren't attacked, they just ignore passing travellers.
After the wafes came the level 63 sphinx fighters and level 64 sphinx speer men, who are actually the highest-level outdoor monsters in Dratan, except for the raid boss, Kamira, on level 70. I actually only had to kill a couple of those before Kaerella reached the campsite which is such a useful place for levelling, with the elite sphinx speer man and his friends. So, Kae was able to add that location to her memory scroll, rather belatedly; she already has the Tomb of Theos on her scroll, presumably she was recalled out there by Barbarienne at some time.
The other monsters I'd fought or passed may only give about 26,000 to 33,000 experience, but the sphinx fighters give 192,907, and the sphinx speer men give 212,917... or double that with the Elizabuff. So, instead of 0.01% per kill, out there it was more like 0.10% - and while they are of course red-named for Kae, they seemed to go down quickly enough, it was just a matter of only attracting one at a time.
I didn't stay out there long; for one thing, my inventory was almost full, and the last couple of slots soon gained a level 53 knight shield and sword. Still, the adventure had brought Kae in 6.66% and 14 skill points. The location was fairly busy, with a rogue, a mage and a titan teamed up, and a lower-level knight who wanted to join them. I think I was probably too high a level to party with them, but I gave out the Charm and Encourage buffs when needed.
Back in Dratan City, I was able to conclude the affair of the Master of Secret Technique's Fog Sample. "I now have them!! I will get back to my study!!" the Magician exclaimed. He gave Kae 3.00% experience and 8 more skill points for her trouble.
There was still half an hour or so before the Sunday Quiz, but this got taken up with trading items between characters - mainly emptying Kae's inventory a bit, with quite a few items being passed across to CuddlesMcGraw, a junior healer of mine. A lot of Kae's loot got moved over to MistressDomina, my merchant on Cariae, too.
MistressDomino and Kaerella went to the Quiz Room on Tairen-2, as usual, with about ten minutes to spare. The GM Announcements for the Quiz were warning that "GMs and GSses will be monitoring the quiz rooms. Those attempting to circumvent the rules will be handled." This generally refers to people who sit down on one side of the room, and thus avoid being kicked out if that side is the wrong answer to the question, and also people who "multi-client", running multiple copies of Last Chaos on one computer, so that half a dozen titans with random names follow one player around. I have a slight suspicion that being in the middle of the act of casting a buff may also stop a person getting kicked, but I'm not sure about that... but better to miss out on a few heaven stones than get one's account banned, surely.
The questions for the Quiz were the usual selection, but, on Tairen-2 at least, it was a bit of a bloodbath. I did have a few followers clicked onto Kaerella, but although Kae was almost always one of the quickest to move, if that the question's answer needed her to move from the previous side to the other, my assumption that a number of other people were following my example proved wrong.
The question that tripped up almost everyone was the one about the number of NPCs in Dratan City - 27 or 29. I was sure that, from previous experiences, the lower number was the right one, but, while Kaerella and MD stayed on the "X" side for that, the same side as for the previous question, people in general migrated across to the "O" side...and as soon as the majority were over there, others started to follow. I was sure enough to stand my ground, though... and less than a dozen of us saw the majority wink out of existence, so that they were respawning in the middle of Randol.
The remaining people made it through to the end, and so I was able to trade Kaerella's prizes, and other recent loot, across to MistressDomino. I had thought early on that the GMs had left the Quiz Room doors open, but it must just have been a few people running around, as some do tend to do between questions.
After that, Kaerella on Cariae went back out to the sphinx types, and this time managed finally to find a solo party. The "Tea Time", starting soon after nine, UK time, was an extra 75% skill exp apparently, so that, with the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, the 385,814 and 424,394 experience from each sphinx fighter and speer man (respectively) was coupled with 1650 and 1512 skill exp instead of 1200 and 1100. In not much over an hour Kae went up by 15.74% and 23 skill points, which, compared with sp farming on monsters her own level, is practically power levelling.
Reports on last night's Merac Castle Siege are a bit conflicting, but it seems a GM-type night shadow was at least seen there, though I don't think any mass "epic event" occurred. There had been hints of something tonight, with today's events page saying "How is this possible?! Who could be so strong that they could wipe out entire guilds and storm a castle all on their own? These will be dark days for Iris if these Prophets cannot be stopped. Prepare yourselves heroes; the greatest conflict is yet to come!" However, the only GM announcements I saw after the Quiz were for the start of the Tea Time, the item mall's special offers of the day, and the special Tiered Spender event, which tempted me to stock up on experience boosters, with a view to converting some at least into gold.
After the Quiz SirGalahad had gone back on duty, and he managed to get his drake into level 22 before the end of the evening.
A New Recruit - February 22nd
Not that I usually have breakfast on a Monday, but SirGalahad went down to his favourite death mask lancer on Tairen-4 at breakfast time anyway. Since the session would only last a couple of hours, I didn't bother to run ColonelScarlet on Katar-4 down through Maargadum Jail's levels to the same spot, I just teleported him out to a location in the open countryside with a couple of bandits. There is a slightly higher risk of being ks'd perhaps, having someone come along and kill the bandit leaving knight and drake standing around uselessly, and there is also the risk of a wandering level 50 pandora's beast coming along, if somebody has released it from a nearby box - but as subserver 4 doesn't have the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, there are unlikely to be many people around.
After coffee Memree and RedRyder teamed up as usual and, after getting the Elizabuff, since as usual they were on Tairen-5, headed out to Prokion Temple. The place seemed unusually busy for a Monday morning, and I found it a bit difficult to find a good place for orc axemen and fighters, moving on a couple of times when the available space wasn't big enough. I ended up on the gallery around the central stairways, fighting mainly orc axemen, with a few fighters and even a soldier or two - and orc sergeants as well, which seemed to spawn as replacements for axemen occasionally in some places.
So the experience side of things did move on slightly more than I'd expected, though that probably isn't a bad idea. It will be useful when RedRyder reaches level 31, for one thing, as that will allow Kaerella to have a +10 armour set. Memree went up by 26.14%, while Red added 6.50%; they each gained 146 skill points, to go some way towards replacing the ones spent yesterday.
There was apparently a "Shadow of Grei" event yesterday evening at Merac Castle, but the newbie GMs involved didn't really publicise it in advance, and any in-game announcements were only on the servers involved, so a 9:00pm Auzura start, and a 9:45pm Katar start, went unannounced on Tairen and Cariae, where SirGalahad and Kaerella were busy, sigh.
The afternoon session saw Rage and Kaerella head, in their turn, for Prokion Temple on Tairen-5, where our favourite back room was free, so we settled in there, with as ever some extra alertness needed for when Kae got attacked, standing at the side. Well into the session KateNash got in touch, and came to join me, though she remained in a solo party with a guildie of hers. She is worried about her skill points; it seems that she has spent all her gold on using 10-minute 50% extra skill exp scrolls, which stack with the Elizabuff, but is concerned that, even with +10 daggers, she doesn't kill fast enough for a productive hour using one of her pssps.
Still, when I left for my food break, she was just about to start using a pssp, so I hope it provided a useful boost for her total. By then both Kaerella and Rage had added 232 skill points; Rage had gone up by 21.56% in level 37, adding 349 guild points, while Kaerella had moved on by 20.26%, and 50 guild points.
After the break, it was time for [GM]Valsharyn's Auzura-4 Mad Monster Spawn. At the low-level location she uses, she started by assuring us that only monsters up to level 60 would be used, and anyone above that level really ought to go to the high-level MMS... hmm, I wonder how come I was nearly killed by level 67 wane spiders from the Temple of Forgetfulness? Luckily they didn't one-hit me and I was able to run for it, with the spiders returning to their starting point in time to be about the last things killed on that wave.
We certainly got plenty of waves, and plenty of loot spawned, but there were so many people there that the waves of regular stuff, like desert spiders, butchers, and salamanders, lasted mere seconds. Which led Val on to spawning skin walkers and scorpionmantises, and even at the end wight slashers. One wonders how high some of the people there were, as none of those lasted very long. Still, we got a new wave of loot every time, so we did pretty well.
Once the junior event was finally over, my level 27 rogue RedRider used a memory scroll to teleport directly to the high-level location, where the final wave was well under way. Strangely, there seemed to be a shortage of rogues, as often, on the remaining flutons and patriarch botises, I seemed to be the only Snare-flinger available, and the melee people seemed to melt away rather, so that I got killed at least four times, but beamed straight back, after re-applying the horse buffs, and began snaring again.
I ended up being chased by one of the final monsters, not wanting to get too far away or its two-thirds health would revert to full health, which would have been a disaster as we were approaching our deadline. Everyone else seemed to be just standing there or concentrating on the other surviving monster, so if my Snare failed, I was in big trouble - but after circling the field, finally some other people took an interest, and other snares and stuns were used, and, with the other monster down, this one too bit the dust at last, inside the deadline [GM]Valsharyn had given us.
The final loot spawning was generous, and I picked up my share...between the low and high locations I managed to pick up 13 item drop boosters, 8 large attack and 12 large defence potions, and 11 skill point boosters, plus lots of tool aids and the small recovery pots.
Back on Tairen Kaerella then had a total of 467 skill points to spend, so was able to get the final two levels of expert weaponsmith, all three levels of basic and the first level of advanced armoursmith, and the two levels of basic and the first level of advanced alchemy, so that's a reasonable step along the way to getting her special skills sorted out - there are still all the gathering and processing skills to get as well, of course. Then it was time for her to get rid of her 84.02% experience in level 27, and set the clock back to zero again.
Rather than head all the way south in Merac to the Misty Canyon entrance, Kaerella just went to Maargadum Jail, where the spike canines on the ground floor were pretty efficient at killing her. So, that little task was quickly accomplished.
KateNash got in touch while I was doing that, and asked for my help in levelling a new character of hers, which was pretty good timing - so I met her level 6 sorcerer IIGeorgeII back in Randol, and went out to the nearest elder werewolves and blood wolf, giving him the horse buffs for extra attack and defence, then leaving the party (as otherwise, being more than 15 levels ahead, I "capped" him). He levelled up pretty quickly there - and then after a few levels we moved across to Dratan, and ran out to Prokion Temple, with Kae doing any necessary fighting to clear a path past the silver foxes and the sand golems, and providing horse buffs in case of problems. Once George had got the entrance to the Temple onto a memory scroll I provided, Kae gave him horse buffs, and logged out.
MistressDomino, after making some inventory space, went out to join George, and stayed fighting the mummies and ghouls for just about two hours, by which time George was almost halfway through level 19, despite having his experience gain cut to 50% after a while - he'd volunteered to join Discipline, which was easily done as MD is a guild adviser, and SirGalahad was able to do the 50% freeze right away when asked.
MistressDomino did pretty well for herself too, helped along by an extra 50% experience gain for the second half of the session, when a "happy hour" began. In all MD went up by 313.27%, and earned 310 skill points - her hatchling, which started from scratch, got well into level 2, as well. The loot wasn't bad; it included a heaven stone, so when George had to go back to town for new armour, I traded across not just a "return to town" scroll, but 500,000 gold as half its value... with the stern warning not to let Kate get her hands on it, heheh.
SirGalahad kept busy all evening, and by log-out time ought to have got the drake pretty close to level 25.
A Crash on Cariae - February 23rd
I remembered that I had some work downstairs that needed finishing this week, so spent most of the morning getting that done, which meant that there was no trip to Prokion Temple this morning for any of my assortment of rogues. This meant that SirGalahad and ColonelScarlet had a clear run for pet-levelling; Gal's drake reached level 26 during the lunch break, while the Colonel's pink drake got to level 25 soon after he started, and reached 26 not long after Gal's.
SirGalahad was down in Maargadum Jail with the death mask lancer as usual, but, with his reduced attack, ColonelScarlet was out in the open in Merac fighting a pair of bandits. Well, as they are protective he was just fighting one of them, but the other one was fighting him too. While Pandora's Beasts may be a slight drawback to pet-levelling outside, the Pandora's Boxes can be a bit of a bonus. The Colonel's activities did cause a couple of boxes to spawn near him; if a level 50 Beast had been released he'd just have had to move to a different spot, but the second one just released an easily-killable level 30 bandit-style Beast, while the first one dropped five of the very useful (and rather valuable) level 12 magical defence minerals.
I had left both computers on overnight to do some selling. MistressDomino on Tairen did okay, though raising the price of heaven stones to 1.1 million meant that only a few of those sold. Over on Cariae, with a larger stock, MistressDomina boosted her stash of gold considerably, mainly by selling experience boosters at 1.45 million each, which seemed to be the price that other people were charging. Selling a few hundred of those is serious money, though if Barbarienne wants a top-grade new bow I still probably don't have enough. It may help get my local cleric version of Kaerella her next set of armour, though.
For the afternoon, Rage (or xRAGEx), my level 37 rogue, and Kaerella, my level 27 healer, got their "Elizabuff" and headed for Prokion Temple on Tairen-5; I was relieved to find the back room free, and settled in there. After almost an hour an archer called Astonia, in the WarriorsOfChaos guild, came in without a word, and started killing the orc axemen and orc soldiers too, so there was the occasional time when we both had to wait for the orcs to respawn. Things got worse when a titan called unkoye came in too; he was a member of the "RageClan" guild, so Rage said "Cool, the clan named after me", but got no reaction.
I don't think unkoye was high enough level, he seemed to get through a few health potions, and he didn't stay long. The orcs there do operate a strict dress code, if you don't have at least +10 armour they try very hard to kill you. Kaerella in her corner took a few knocks, but Rage managed to take any orcs off her fairly quickly. Astonia vanished after an hour, still without saying anything.
By the end of the session both Rage and Kae had gained 268 skill points - enough for Kae to get the other two levels of advanced armoursmithing, and the first of the three levels of the expert variety. Rage had gone up by 25.12%, and another 406 guild points for Discipline, while Kaerella, starting level 27 from scratch again, got 23.78%, and 60 guild points.
Aftre the food break, while ColonelScarlet went on working on his pink drake, it was time to get the Valentine and Origami event items sorted out, as after tonight's maintenance they'll probably no longer work. MistressDomino on Cariae had a good stock of the origami papers left from the previous time such an event had been run - they had said that it would be possible to exchange papers for 30 days after the event ended, but they had lied. She only had one gold paper, but putting that and two silver papers gained MD a heaven stone. It is possible to "combine" 5 silver papers to make another gold paper, but I must have done that ten times and it only worked once - still, that netted me another heaven stone. Three silver papers got me ten moonstones, which was useful, while three red papers got me ten great healing potions. Not a hugely generous prize, but those pots do cost 5,430 gold each, so it was worth standing by Lorraine and going through all my stock. Three green papers just gave 500 gold, less 100 for the cost of the operation...well, getting rid of those papers helped to subsidise the earlier folding.
Kaerella, still on Cariae, had three large chocolates and three medium chocolates, so spent 10,000 gold each on two chocolate boxes, and 1,000 each on six wrapping papers. The box with the three large wrapped chocolates got her five effort scrolls and five experience scrolls; the other box got her the same, plus five small defence potions.
Back on Tairen, Rage took my supply of medium and small chocolates along to the domain merchant, and, buying the wrapping papers and chocolate boxes from Magical Shopkeeper Coen nearby, got through eleven boxes, thus getting 55 each of the experience and effort scrolls, which MistressDomino is now looking after. MD also used up the Tairen supply of origami papers, getting some moonstones and great healing potions.
All of that took a surprisingly long time, but I still managed to let my Cariae cleric Kaerella have about 90 minutes out with the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men. As before the area was pretty busy, as to have the "Elizabuff" you do all have to be on Cariae-5. I got into a solo party, which included another level 55 type, the titan SpAcCaInFeRnO, who, I could see on the map, was farming the dragons for skill exp - but he did move out to where I was a bit later, so that we teamed up, though he was so used to using health potions that I didn't need to do much healing. He drifted away into the wafes before too long, though.
Kaerella did well, going up by 29.10% and 30 skill points, plus 1092 pet points for SirFrancis. Back in town I found I had a silver origami paper and two red ones, so exchanged them for two moonstones; I had enough medium and small chocolate to do a box of each, and got the normal five each of the two kinds of ten-minute scrolls from the first box - but the storekeeper wouldn't sell me a second box, which turned out to be the first sign that Cariae-5 had crashed. So it was lucky I was safely back in town when that happened...the shoutbox as usual got busy with people complaining that they were "already logged in".
SirGalahad on Tairen-4 was unaffected, however, and got his drake well past the halfway point in level 26 by the time the older computer was switched off.
A Succession of Spawns - February 24th
Kaerella did manage to log back in late last night; Cariae-5 was still down for "maintenance", but they had at least managed to unlock the trapped accounts, so Kae logged in on Cariae-4. There had been a bit of a rollback, and Kaerella had lost 1.62% experience, 2 skill points, and 66 pet points; I had to exchange the origami papers again to get the two moonstones, and do that first chocolate box again, before continuing and doing the second. It does seem that an older server like Cariae is more prone to that sort of crash than the ones I spend more time on.
The overnight patch apparently did nothing, other than remove the origami paper and Valentine chocolate events, leaving a number of issues and promises still unaddressed. Still, we remain patient and optimistic that one Wednesday some improvements will actually appear, preferably without bringing any new bugs with them.
For the morning session Memree and RedRyder went to Tairen-5's Prokion Temple, with the aim of finding a colony of orc axemen and perhaps a few orc sergeants. The back room was already in use, so we ended up in one of the square rooms close to the central stairs. A wizard called, um, Wizard, arrived before too long, and I thought she was going to try and fight there too, which would have been a shame as there weren't many spare orcs, but instead she just wanted to buff my rogues - she returned and did that again, too, which was kind, though as Memree doesn't normally bother to use any attack skills not strictly necessary.
A level 23 rogue called KAKASHSENSEN came along after a while and asked to join the party, which seemed a good idea to me, as her lower level did seem to increase the skill exp per orc. I got the impression that her English was a bit limited, but with a combat party she was an asset even when she took an extended "pause" sitting by the wall. Concentrating on the level 29 sergeants and level 27 axemen meant that things moved along rather more than usual, so that Memree ended up with 55.99% more experience (and 382 guild points), and RedRyder with 12.80% (and 59), while they each gained 213 skill points. Hopefully when Memree levels up the experience gain per orc will get cut back a little, but if Red's gaining skill points at a rate of over 1600 per level still, that can't be bad.
SirGalahad did some pet-levelling over lunch, and then it was the turn of Rage and Kaerella to head for Prokion Temple - and this time the back room on Tairen-5 was available. So, Rage settled in for a good long session, with Kaerella watching, and by the time the food break arrived, Rage had added 30.66%, meaning that her next session will get her up into level 38; that also added 496 guild points for Discipline. Kaerella added 28.81% and 72 guild points, and they got 332 skill points each, which means that Kae was able to get the last two levels of the expert armoursmithing special skill.
This was going to be one of my short evenings, but there was time for the series of low-level Mad Monster Spawns first, which were scheduled to start with Katar-5 at 5:30 UK time, so I sent my local level 31 rogue Memree along. Unfortunately the GM must have overslept or something - after ten minutes or so Memree enquired what was happening in the forum shoutbox, and the gamesage Pimorez passed on the message - and actually rode down to the location with her phoenix character, which was a nice touch. [GM]Darasuum finally started the MMS 27 minutes late, with the usual mass spawning of salamanders, sand golems, desert spiders, pilferers, corpse sergeants, butchers, goblin scouts, elder drakes, and much much more.
This meant that the Katar jumior MMS ran at just about the same time as the Cariae one, since when I switched across at 6:11, UK time, the battle against the mad monsters was almost over. Still, Karella, my level 27 rogue, was in time for the loot spawning, which seemed slightly more generous than on Katar, though still averaged out at not much more than two each of the good items.
My level 22 healer Kaerella was in good time for the next event, though, which was over on Sarissa-5. I found that [GM]Darasuum was already there, looking a very impressive night shadow in what I assume is pretty high-level armour. His wings weren't all that big, though, which may mean that he doesn't have a particular skill done. There were only three or four of us there when the monsters spawned, but as usual people arrived as the battle raged on - it might help if there was a pre-announcement, as well as the "the MMS has just started" one.
We never got a very large turn-out, though, which meant more loot per person, perhaps twice as much for Kae. When the hordes of monsters were vanquished, the GM disappeared, pretending to be thwarted.
The turn-out on Hatzring was even lower, I'd say - Kaerella is level 24 there, and was really the only person there at the start. [GM]Darasuum wasn't with us "in the flesh", but the monsters appeared in the usual way, and Kaerella set to work on the ones she could handle, such as Corpse Sergeants and the lesser ones. People started to arrive, the hordes were eventually vanquished, and the loot was spawned for the weary warriors, so Kaerella on Hatzring picked up roughly the same amount of stuff as on Sarissa.
Things were different on the last two servers, where [GM]JediMike took over running the thing. There were dozens of people there by the time things started on Auzura at 7:30, and the GM kindly respawned the monsters a few times so that we each had enough to fight. RedRider, my local rogue, is only level 27, but with the better armour and weapon was able to really take on most of the monsters, though avoiding the elite goblin scouts was still a good strategy. After the loot was spawned, [GM]JediMike asked if we wanted another wave, and, since the answer was in the affirmative, gave us more monsters - and another generous helping of loot at the end, so that despite the larger numbers present, I ended up with more loot than on any of the previous servers.
The final low-level MMS, on Tairen, was pretty similar; my rogue Memree, at level 32, was the character I took along, and she was able to fight in a similar fashion to RedRider, and drop hints for another wave after we'd finished picking up the first spawning of loot. Again the GM asked if we wanted more, and gave us more monsters followed by more loot, so that I probably picked up more stuff there than on the first three servers together. Since Tairen doesn't yet have a high-level MMS, as they still consider it too young a server, [GM]JediMike stayed around for a few minutes afterwards to chat - but it was time I logged out of Last Chaos, so I left him and the others there.
SirGalahad had been pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail during all that, and continued for the rest of the evening. At one point he somehow got into a spot where no pet points got registered - and the pet didn't lose any starvation points either. Moving him a few feet got things going again, though. The drake he has been working on got safely into level 29, anyway, which may be just about as high as it needs to go.
Jaguary in February - February 25th
Since ColonelScarlet's sparring with the bandits had been relatively uneventful and safe, I let him stay online overnight on Katar-4, which meant that the pink drake went up to level 28, and then soon after breakfast reached level 29. SirGalahad was back in action on Tairen-4 in Maargadum Jail by then, so that his drake was about three hours' worth ahead when they both logged out after coffee.
I had set MistressDomino up in merchant mode overnight too on Tairen-1, but Microsoft decided to release some sort of "urgent" update which required the older computer to restart, at some point. She did manage to sell her recently-acquired large attack and defence potions by then, plus moonstone boxes and skill point boosters, but perhaps I'll need to drop the price of heaven stones a little if I want to shift them.
The morning session wasn't a particularly long one, and had a few interruptions, but Memree and RedRyder went to Prokion Temple on Tairen-5 in their usual way. The back room was, again, in use, but the corridor room, with its orc sergeants and orc axemen, was free, so that's where Memree did her fighting. However, a mage called Stela did arrive not long after me and decide to share the place, which slowed things down a little. She was a member of a guild called PaRaZiTi, and I suppose you could call that slightly parasitic behaviour.
By the end Memree had added 28.00% (on top of the 0.55% from yesterday's mad monster spawn, plus 7 guild points and 3 skill points), along with 215 guild points, while RedRyder was up by 7.75% and 36 guild points. They had each added 134 skill points.
The afternoon session involved a final combat party team-up between Rage and Kaerella, again in Prokion Temple on Tairen-5. During it, Rage went up to level 38, which, with Kaerella staying on level 27, means that they won't be able to form a combat party again, as members of such a party can only be a maximum of ten levels apart. Still, we took full advantage of this final session, going on half an hour later than usual, to get enough skill points for Kae to get 282 skill points, enough for the last two levels of advanced alchemy, and the first two of the expert variety - so there's just one final level of expert alchemy to go, and then we shift over to the farming and processing skills.
I did have to share the room for perhaps an hour, but the people involved were friendly and asked if they could do so first. A mage called ICEcreamMAN did the initial asking, but it was her friend the titan JOEBLACK who did the fighting, and thanked me politely when he left.
Rage got 282 skill points as well, going up by 17.27%; after reaching level 38 the amount of experience per orc axeman fell drastically, but they still give useful skill exp, as do the sergeants, who still give around eleven or twelve thousand experience each, with the "Elizabuff" and the 50% experience "freeze" cancelling each other out. Rage earned 311 guild points, and Kae earned 44.
As I was running late, I only just had time to prepare a sandwich before [GM]Noburu's Parade started across on Auzura-4, with the usual firecrackers and transformation scrolls. While ColonelScarlet did a little pet-levelling over on Katar-4, we strolled nonchalantly around Randol to impress the NPCs - standing around Lorraine and letting off firecrackers, for example. The GM transformed into a jaguar, and commented that she felt very "jaguary", to which Kaerella commented "Jaguary in February", which got a smile at least.
[GM]Nobura reminded us that there was a "Pharaoh's Treasure" event later, and also at 8:00pm Auzura's "Storm the Castle", which sadly clashes with the Tairen one, which would have been interesting to attend, as it would be the first high-level type event on that server. It's lucky she mentioned that, as the website hasn't put them in the right order, listing Katar and Carie, at 10:00pm, first, followed by Sarissa and Hatzring at 10:30. Apparently the server that cleared out the castle fastest would earn an hour of extra skill exp...but that will be a bit too late in the evening for me.
Kaerella and MistressDomina went out to the sphinx types on Auzura-4 for less than an hour; we had the place to ourselves, since anyone below level sixty would have been on Auzura-5 to take advantage of the Elizabuff. Progress there was rather slower than it has been for Cariae's level 55 Kaerella (with the buff), but Kae added 3.77%, and 672 pet points, while MD added 6.17% - and they each got 14 skill points. Well, there wasn't time for anything more ambitious; if those two are to level up a bit they need to visit the Tomb of Theos.
It was then time for the "Pharaoh's Treasure" event on Auzura-4, so MistressDomina logged out, and ColonelScarlet went back to the bandits in Merac on Katar-4, while Kaerella rode out into Juno ready for the possible locations of the treasure hoard to be announced. Once the announcement was made, I rode past a couple of locations crawling with sphinx fighters and speer men - and when the announcement of the treasure's actual location was made, luckily I was fairly close by, and quickly rode in the correct direction, finding the loot, [GM]Noboru, and the first arrivals close to Border Guard Tamon. The GM kept replacing the hands of loot as more people arrived, so that we all did rather well. She also spawned some sphinx fighters, sphinx speer men, and even a squad of elite sphinx speer men for us to fight, before a final spawning of loot - Kaerella did pretty well, with ten or so each of the good stuff. Even if you don't get there quickly, at present a "Pharaoh's Treasure" event seems well worth attending, I'd say.
All there was time for after that and before the Auzura "Storm the Castle" event was a bit of herb-gathering and mining, so Kaerella replenished her stocks of green herb leaves and quality stones - and then Rage (or RAGE to be exact), my level 73 rogue on Auzura, logged in, and headed for Merac Castle. I had asked [GM]Noboru if she was going to be in charge, but she wasn't, and wasn't sure who was going to run it. She did hint strongly that she would be there as a regular player, though, which is nice.
[GM]Cara was in charge, we found, when the hour was reached, and everything went in the normal way - well I didn't notice any jumping devils or barren eises, and the zamaras didn't come out of the gateway at us but were inside, but the hell-otuu and dark harpies were all present and correct, as well as the anubis spear men, and a sphinx commander or two in the inner courtyard - as well as the invisible blood shadow dragon from Strayana. The loot was spawned back outside in the traditional (for that location) small densely-packed circles - it seemed to get snapped up rather quickly, but a second wave was spawned, to keep us happy, and [GM]Cara chatted with people. Auzura had managed the clearance in 10 minutes, and when I asked her, told us that that was considerably quicker than Tairen had managed.
Strangely, after I'd previously thought that Katar-4's Merac was deserted except for pet-levellers, ColonelScarlet did have some visitors. I noticved two that rode up and just watched, but somebody did kill the Colonel's bandit...and I think it was a player called "Seviper" who thought that luring the second bandit onto the Colonel would give him problems, when actually he has both of them attacking him more often than not. Still, ColonelScarlet made good progress, getting his pink drake to level 30 before the end of the evening.
The Cariae "Storm the Castle" event was scheduled for 10:00pm UK time, so Barbarienne went along to that one - the choice then was either Cariae-5 or Katar-5, and I decided that Barbarienne, my level 101 archer, deserved the chance to come out and play. The event itself was up to standard - Katar beat us on time, they managed 6 minutes to our 8. Strangely the inner courtyard was empty - and we had a disembodied, anonymous announcements-only GM, who made us ride well away from the castle, to 932.1007, for a tiny spawning of loot. I got a large attack potion, an item drop booster, and a tool aid or two. So, not as good an event as [GM]Cara's earlier, though the storming itself was fun.
Racing Through Juno - February 26th
I got both SirGalahad on Tairen and ColonelScarlet on Katar into action at breakfast time, and didn't encounter any problems. With subserver four being so quiet, now that number five has Elizabeth's Enhancement on offer, for double experience and skill exp gain and a minor improvement to one's attack, when Gal goes into Maargadum Jail now he tends to find two or three knights just inside the entrance pet-levelling on the spike canines - but level five is still his best bet.
After coffee it was time for the first combat party team-up between Rage and RedRyder, and Red being three levels higher than Kaerella did mean that the experience and skill exp wasn't quite as good. Orc sergeants still give Rage around 10,000 experience and perhaps 2700 skill exp, but the orc axemen, two levels lower, just give around 1,400 experience and 1,700 skill exp. Still, that's quite a nice ratio of skill exp to experience, and even better for Red of course.
Rage and RedRyder did have visitors; my heart did sink when the level 32 specialist sorcerer hotrod and the level 30 healer TenshinoKami ran straight in, but hotrod was just there to supply a bit of moral support for his friend, and did chat a little, while the healer didn't kill very quickly, not having her +10 weapon yet, so it didn't really slow me down. By the time lunch was looming, Rage had gone up 7.82% and 148 guild points, while RedRyder was up by 4.87% and 23 guild points. They'd each gained 139 skill points - handy for Rage as she'd just spent 586 on the level 38 attack skills Piercing and Flame Arrow before setting out.
For the afternoon the other new team of Memree and Kaerella headed back to the same room. A rogue called CrimsonAssian had been using it very recently, there was still loot on the floor, but she was just sitting quietly in a corner, and continued to sit there for well over an hour, before getting up, heading for the doorway, and teleporting out. So, I'd timed my arrival well, and Memree set to work, with Kaerella standing at the side. It seemed a good team-up, with each orc sergeant giving Memree around 19,000 experience and 5,000 or so skill exp, and each orc axeman giving about 11,000 experience and perhaps 3,600.
TenshinoKami returned after a while, and accepted my invitation to join the combat party, which made things simpler, and meant I could attack orcs that were concentrating on her, and cut down a bit on the number of health potions she had to use. That got cut down a lot more when she reached level 31, and got her +10 armour set to wear. A bit later hotrod returned too, which surprised me as when he'd left in the morning he'd been on his way to bed, yet here he was again only about three hours later. He joined the combat party as well, which helped the experience gain along a bit.
They didn't stay for the whole of my session, but our Friends lists are now a bit longer. I stopped a little earlier than average, as I knew I'd need to be back in action at five o'clock, but Memree added 55.31% and 453 guild points, while Kaerella added 26.68% and 67, though she'll need to lose the experience again at some point. They each got 263 skill points, which in Kae's case were just enough for the final level of expert alchemy, the two levels of basic mining, the first two levels of advanced mining - and the two levels of basic energy collection as well.
Over on Auzura-4, my level 73 rogue Rage was at least ten minutes early arriving outside Merac Castle for the Auzura-only "Storm the Castle" - but [GM]Valsharyn was already there, and half a dozen or so players. Plenty more had arrived by the time the thorny mantises, male assassinbugs, and the other monsters had appeared, luckily, but too many people charged on through the gateway into the outer courtyard, I think, and I found myself soloing a level 106 boss Anubis Spear Man, having to run for it whenever Snare wore off. A sorcerer joined in, but when it turned and attacked him, he ran too far and the boss's health returned to 100%, which was annoying. Still, the second time around Rage did get a bit more help, and the Anubis Spear Man finally fell, though it meant some precious time had been wasted.
[GM]Valsharyn had warned that we had the traditional 20 minute deadline, and that there were flutons to face after the regular monsters, so it was a pretty close call. Most of us concentrated on clearing out the dark harpies and hell-otuu, and then, with the clock ticking down, we all concentrated on the last fluton - and killed it with seconds to spare.
Val called us back outside for the loot, and I was lucky - he'd given the location 1000.1000, but I'm never much good at steering in the right direction for coordinates, and went to where I could see him, where he was just spawning one of the traditional (for a StC) tightly-packed little circles of our usual loot. I'm sure there were other circles, including one at the announced location, but it meant that, until the loot was almost all gone, there were only three of us by this particular pile, and the others didn't seem to be grabbing much at all. So Rage did exceptionally well on the loot front then.
Two or three Almas appeared to attempt to avenge their dead comrades, but against our combined forces they didn't last long, and [GM]Valsharyn spawned one final pile - I got a couple more item drop boosters from that one, though of course with dozens of people grabbing what they could, it all vanished in record time. So, an even better StC than [GM]Cara's yesterday; Auzura is certainly a good place to go for events, and for loot.
SirGalahad had been hard at work moving his drake on through level 29 - and for a while on the newer computer RedRackham, my level 35 temple knight pet-leveller over on Auzura, joined in too, after a long time of inactivity. He has a level 36 drake, so was able to move it on for an hour or so, fighting a gnoll lancer down in south Merac, not too far west from where Rage had been busy.
The main evening session involved my level 55 cleric Kaerella, on Cariae-5. She went out to the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men at the usual spot, though someone else in the same solo party was fighting the elite speer man so I had to move away a little. The place was pretty busy; another party member turned up there, but he was only level 36 so I couldn't team up with him, I'd have "capped" his experience gain. It was quite a long session, and in the later stages I moved away from the campsite, with the idea of finding the elite sphinx fighter that GAMER had led me to on Tairen - but my idea of where that particular critter might be was a bit vague, so I just followed the various paths, fighting the sphinx types as I went. As it happens, towards the end of the available time I discovered the other elite sphinx speer man, in a nicely out-of-the-way location, which I memorised, so if I want to fight an elite, while the regular place for that may be rather busy, I'll probably find this other spot available...
I just had time to get Kaerella into level 56 before Kae needed to log out, which meant that, including recovering the bit of experience lost in the Tuesday evening rollback, Kae went up 41.59%...and added 44 skill points, as well as 1612 pet points. Back in Randol, Kaerella was now able to learn level 6 of Fast Heal, boosting the amount of health that skill returns, which is useful; it cost 260 skill points, so that takes Kae back to about where she was, sp-wise, at the beginning of the old level.
The reason for a swift logging out was that [GM]JediMike was holding a racing contest on Katar-5 at nine o'clock, UK time. After the recent epic events, Mike is now a night shadow, but he soon shed the armour, to reveal his new skinnier body, toned for speed. The first race started from the west gate, went near to Berbank Mill and across his "haunted" bridge, and cut back to the north gate. My local Kaerella, on her stylish pale blue horse, did pretty well, though these things always look different on different players' computer screens - with his GM speed though Mike himself won. Luckily as always he was in a generous mood, and we got some useful spawning of loot. As I remarked later, my best event is the 100 small recovery potion dash.
We raced back to the east gate, and a little later we raced back again, but Mike, on foot, was faster than any of us on our mounts. Still, with the loot that was dropped, few people were complaining, and it was a fun event. At half past nine it was Cariae-5's turn, and Barbarienne was on her white horse for that, and again seemed, on my screen at least, to be among the leaders. The loot was lavish, which rather makes up for the offhand and ungenerous drops we got last night after Cariae's "Storm the Castle" event. I can't say that there was a huge turn-out...so all the more for Barb, who ended up at least 10% overweight.
Meanwhile SirGalahad had kept busy down on level five of Maargadum Jail, so that by the end of the evening his drake was about a third of the way into level 30.
Out With the Sphinxes - February 27th
I did manage to go along to the last pair of "100m races" last night, on Auzura and Tairen, though the event had slimmed down a little by then, and just involved dashing from the west gate to the north gate, via the haunted bridge, and, a few minutes later, back again. MrChuckNorris, my titan, represented me on Auzura-5. Titans aren't the fastest runners, which was slightly unfortunate as this time around the general consensus was that we should do the race on foot. Chuck gave a cute young mage three haste potions when asked, and used such items himself, though they are nowhere near as speed-inducing as the greater haste potions, which are a relatively expensive item that allows a player to dash around like a game master or a speed hacker for an hour. [GM]JediMike kept his 100% record though, and awarded the prizes to everyone who turned up with generous spawnings of loot.
Since healers are relatively swift runners, Kaerella was waiting at the west gate on Tairen-5 as 11:30pm approached, UK time. hardly anyone else was, just two or three others, though, and I felt that I needed to apologise, on Tairen's behalf, for the low turn-out. Mike took it in his stride, though, and put up a server announcement for people to come out and join us, which they did, in time for our two races. Kaerella did mount up and ride this time, which did at least mean she got the occasional glimpse of the GM zooming along. The two spawnings of loot were perhaps not as large as some had been earlier, but it had still been worth turning up, for sure.
At breakfast time SirGalahad got back into pet-levelling action for a couple of hours on Tairen-4, along with ColonelScarlet on Katar-4, and then after coffee the team of Rage and RedRyder went off to Prokion Temple. Our timing was just right, as the back room was empty, but with loot still on the ground from the previous occupant's efforts, including a moonstone box. So, Rage did the fighting, and Red dashed around picking up the loot.
TenshinoKami arrived after a while, and stayed for the rest of my session, using both the beginner pbis and pssps, for extra experience and skill exp; she had reached level 32 by then and opted to become a cleric. I said that a combat party wouldn't be a good idea, as Rage's relatively high level would cut back her experience gain, and she agreed. By the time I left, Rage was up 8.35% and 159 guild points, while RedRyder had moved on by 5.19% and 24 guild points. They had each earned 147 skill points.
Over lunch, ColonelScarlet on Katar-4 and RedRackham on Auzura-4 both did a little drake pet-levelling - and then Kaerella and Memree signed in, and headed for Prokion Temple. The place seemed a lot busier, which is hardly surprising for a weekend afternoon, but I finally found that the "mirror" back room was free, and settled in there to fight without any interruptions. Kaerella seemed to get attacked slightly more often there, so I had to stay alert, but it was a productive session, with Memree adding 61.51% and 558 guild points, and Kaerella getting 34.52% and 86 guild points from the combat party. With her on level 27 and Memree on level 34, they make a pretty productive team. The skill point tally was 377 each - enough for Kae to learn the final level of advanced mining, all three levels of advanced energy absorption, and both levels of basic herb farming.
SirGalahad got back into action for the food break, and stayed in Maargadum Jail throughout the evening, while my Cariae cleric Kaerella, now level 56, had a good long session out at the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men - the usual location rather than the new place I'd found. I got into a solo party right away, though for a while another solo party member was fighting the elite sphinx speer man, so I had to move out of range. Then a little later a level 43 Italian specialist sorcerer called danjorge asked to party with me, so, since he was within range, that seemed a good idea, and we were able to take on the elite ourselves. I can solo it if I need to, but it sometimes takes Kae's health down slightly dangerously.
After the sorcerer reached level 44, he went back to town, so I joined a new solo party, and continued the good fight. It's strange, there was a level 27 titan that the rest of us were trying to persuade ought to be farming skill points in Prokion Temple - and then later there was a level 27 healer, who was also adamant that they needed levels rather than skill points. I had to rescue her a number of times from irate sphinx fighters, which she could do little damage to; she teamed with a sorcerer for a while, but I noticed that he died at least once. She resurrected him, but I'm guessing it was only level one of that skill she had.
I'd suspected there was a glitch with Elizabeth's Enhancement before, so was careful to make sure of my facts this time. When the buff was about to wear off, after the countdown of the three hours (or "days"), I took the teleporter back from Dratan to Randol - and arrived with the buff's countdown reset to 7.5 minutes, or four "hours". So I went back out again for the extra time and killed a few more sphinx types.
There was a double-chance upgrade event during the time I was out in Dratan, in memory of a recently deceased Last Chaos player called Misused. It was a nice touch, though I couldn't think of anything I had waiting to be upgraded at present, so just kept fighting. I didn't notice any extra lag out in Dratan, but trying to open Roy's merchant mart afterwards, it was extremely laggy - I'd given up and gone off elsewhere in Randol before I finally got some messages about "the work" being done, too late to be any use.
Anyway, Kaerella's experience gain for her three hours, plus bonus, was 57.64%, which can't be bad, plus 50 skill points and 1990 pet points, so that SirFrancis is now 83% of the way through level 48. I had looked through the merchant mart earlier in search of parts of the 60/62 armour set for Kae, but there was very little from that set on offer; I did spot two +9 items, from the same seller, but they had both had an extreme stone used on them, a risk-free upgrade which can only be applied once per item, and which I'd use to move from +12 to +13. I must check again in a day or so.
After Kaerella logged out, ColonelScarlet logged in for a while, and managed to get his drake to level 31 before the end of the evening; SirGalahad's drake had reached that level a bit earlier in the session.
Memree Levels Up - February 28th
At the last minute I decided to let ColonelScarlet keep pet-levelling on Katar-4 with his bandit duo overnight, which worked pretty well, although a couple of hours did get lost to a disconnection towards the end of the night. Still, at breakfast time he went back and continued the good work, soon getting his pink drake into level 32. SirGalahad got back into action in Maargadum Jail then too, moving his drake steadily through level 31.
After coffee Rage and RedRyder went off to Tairen-5's Prokion Temple. The back room was not entirely deserted, as an elementalist type sorcerer, Samael, went in a second or two ahead of me...but since many visitors to the room don't stay around, and he seemed to be hovering slightly in the doorway, I dashed in anyway and started attacking the orcs.
Samael didn't stay long, though I think there were just about enough orcs for both of us, so Rage and RedRyder had a full session there. By the time lunch was nearly ready Rage was up by 6.69% and 126 guild points, while RedRyder had gained 4.17% and 19 guild points... and they'd each added 121 skill points, which takes Red up to the 5.5k mark.
Over the lunch break SirGalahad and ColonelScarlet were back in action, and on the older computer Gal stuck around for the afternoon, while my Cariae cleric Kaerella logged in. The solo party Kae got into stayed active all afternoon, and so did Kae, out with the sphinx types - in all she gained 36.84%, 48 skill points, and 1600 pet points, so she isn't far short of level 57 now. There weren't any team-ups to fight the sphinx fighters etc, generally anyone who asked was too low-level, people have to be within 15 levels for it to work.
SirGalahad and ColonelScarlet signed back in over the early evening food break, and then for the main part of the evening Memree and Kaerella went to Prokion Temple, back on Tairen-5. Unsurprisingly at such a busy time my favourite back room was in use, but as usual the "mirror" half of the place wasn't as busy, and its version of the back room was free, and I had no visitors there.
By the time the Sunday Evening Quiz was drawing near, Memree had gone up by 52.53%, and 513 guild points, while Kaerella had got 31.50% and 78 guild points; they had each gained 346 skill points, so that, back in Randol, Kaerella was able to learn all three levels of advanced farming ("herbology"), plus both levels of flawed stone processing and the first two levels of imperfect stone processing, with a few points left over.
The Quiz, which Kaerella and MistressDomino attended on Tairen-2, was pretty slow again, taking a whole half hour for its 22 questions. Almost everyone survived to get their 10 tool aids, 10 moonstones, and 15 heaven stones this week, though I noticed one of the people who delight in running to the safe side at the very last second got kicked, because he ran back to the other side too soon - and a few odd people did disappear along the way. The question about the number of non player characters in Dratan City wasn't asked this week, but we did nearly have a problem with the one about the number of oases in the desert which, again, is the lower of the two possible answers. I set a good example, and I hope that helped persuade those who weren't sure to move across.
At nine the GMs announced that the "teatime" bonus of an extra 75% skill exp was starting, so Memree and Kaerella quickly logged back in on Tairen-5, got Elizabeth's Enhancement, and made straight for the Temple. This time we were in time to grab the proper back room; one sorcerer did run in, see Memree in action, and run out again, while towards the end a rogue called ACIDO stood in the doorway, and I thought she was just waiting for me to finish or something, but when I did leave after an hour she didn't go in, but stayed with the lower-level orcs in the corridor there.
That shorter session got Memree another 23.00% and 243 guild points, and Kaerella added another 14.80% - thanks to the skill exp boost they got 192 skill points each, so that Kae now had enough sp for the last level of imperfect stone processing, and the first two levels of flawless (or quality) stone processing. The extra 75% skill exp added on to the extra 100% from the Elizabuff, so was really only 37.5% more than usual.
That session also got Memree into level 35, which was useful as there was, from four in the afternoon until noon tomorrow, UK time, a free "raffle" going on, and each levelling-up during that time counts as a raffle entry, for a pack of 100 each of the skill point, experience, and item drop boosters. There'll be twelve winners on each server, so who knows, maybe Memree will get lucky. Reaching level 35 also means she can learn Coup de Gras 2's first level, for 150 sp, which will increase her chance of a critical strike, doing double damage, by 60.
As things were getting late, it was only ColonelScarlet who logged back in after that, with his pink drake, which by the end of the evening should be approaching two-thirds of the way through level 32, thanks to the kindly assistance of the two bandits. There was a Pandora's Box temptingly close by, which, since nobody else was around, I did risk opening - it just dropped ten small healing potions.