Kaerella's Blog - stardate May 2010 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the new month begins here at the top!
The Villainess Unmasked - May 1st

SirDarth had a successful night pet-levelling on Sarissa-4, so that soon after breakfast his horse started on level 36, the final level before it can become a mount, a knight mare, and be moved across to RedRyder.  MistressDomino did well, too, selling items on Auzura-1, after a slow start.  I don't think any experience boosters sold at what used to be the competitive price there of 1,740,000 gold each, but heaven stones, skill point boosters, and lucky smelting stones sold out - though I'd only put up four of those, as that was all I had the weight allowance for last night.

I decided that maybe trying to get all five parts of the rogue 85/87 armour set as "b5e" was a bit ambitious, so, once she came out of merchant mode, MistressDomino bought the "MANA ove Chaser hood +15" which MEGANFOX was selling via Roy's merchant mart for 449,999,999 gold.  It doesn't give any evasion bonus, but it gives 7 to close range defence, 6 to all types of physical defence, 5 to magical defence, 5 to defence, and decreases mana consumption by 30%, and as it is blue-named, does give the maximum basic defence of 162, plus 251, plus an extra 100 defence power and 50 magic defence power for being +15. 

I also found a pair of "Speed up Chaser boots +15" which, again, are blue, but only have four evasion seals, which means no boost to dexterity, but still 56 evasion times two, 78 close range evasion, and 67 long range evasion, being sold by PaiMei for 650,000,000, and bought those as well.  These give the same basic defence of 162 as the hood, plus the same 251, 100 and 50 additions.  Once I'd traded the two items across from MD to Rage, and they'd replaced Rage's previous level 72 +13 boots and hood, her magical defence stat rose from 209 to 319, and her physical defence rose from 2325 to 2836.

There was time for LordDarth to have an hour in Prokion Temple on Hatzring-4, using the first of his five "beginner" platinum super skill pills, before lunch; the back room was deserted, so things were pretty straightforward, though even with the +10 dual swords Darth isn't that swift a killer, probably because he has a dexterity-based build rather than a strength-based one.  Still, in the hour LordDarth added 30.23%, along with 194 skill points.

The afternoon session saw three more b-pssps used by LordDarth, for 30.30%, 29.47%, and 24.01% more experience - the last figure being a bit lower as Darth reached level 30 a third of the way through.  Those hours added 195, 187, and 167 skill points, and saw LordDarth's pony reach level six.

My level 10 mage Barbarienne had been providing the solo party for Darth, while doing a little herb farming, and continued on through the early evening food break.  As she doesn't have any more than the first level of basic herbalism, she didn't get all that much, reaching 20 green herb leaves, 39 herb trunks, and 61 yellow herb leaves, but it was better than just standing around in town.

Over the food break SirDarth took over on the newer computer, to level the horse for an hour or so on the bandits of Merac, but when I got back to the computer, he was standing at the top of the slope down to Mystic Swamp, with a few gold coins on the ground where his bandit had just died.  Darth moved back to his normal spot, and went back to pet-levelling, but before many minutes a mage called serina appeared, and started luring the bandit in that direction again, heading for the elite bloody outlaw and other difficult monsters that have previously killed Darth in such a situation.  "Naughty girl", I remarked mildly, before teleporting away, to the more traditional pet-levelling spot, just off the route to Maargadum Jail, with bandits and berserkers.

However, it wasn't long before serina found me there, and cunningly lured my bandit, plus Darth and his horse, towards blood frenzies and the magic-wielding doom slayers.  She killed the doom slayers, so that they would respawn after she'd left Darth helpless there, but of course he wasn't helpless, and, after taking a few screenshots for future reference, he teleported across back to the other spot, and finished his short session in peace, but with me keeping a wary eye on things.

For the evening, it was time to get out of Prokion Temple, and head for the grassy uplands of south-west Dratan, and the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men, and their elite, on Auzura-4.  I started briefly with Kaerella teaming with MrChuckNorris, but really Kae doesn't need to slog there - add a few 24-hour platinum refining stones and, as long as the Tomb of Theos is set at a reasonable level, she is ready to roll there.

So, MistressDomina replaced Kaerella in the lead, though Chuck was ready to pitch in if MD got into trouble, and the evening passed in a relatively leisurely fashion, without using any boosters.  While MistressDomina only added 6.67%, and Chuck even less, they both added 15 skill points - and they both levelled up, to reach levels 65 and 63 respectively. 

This means that MistressDomina can inherit Rage's current pair of gloves, when Rage manages to get a new level 85 pair; it also meant that Chuck had a new level of Toughness to learn, to increase his resistance to critical and deadly hits apparently, for 208 skill points.

There was another "Run" scheduled for tonight, with Cariae, second in the rota, again starting at 10:30, UK time.  The venue for this event was Merac, so Barbarienne had a new opportunity to actually be ready at the start at the correct time, and hopefully head in the right direction.

The Merac Run was fun, with the monsters gradually ramping up in level, until the area round the teleporter into Misty Canyon was crawling with flutons, etc.  It was 11:40 when I finally logged out, and people were still fighting the last few monsters.  Me, I was ready to fall asleep...

Power Failure - May 2nd

I hadn't really meant to leave SirDarth pet-levelling overnight again on Sarissa-4, but he seemed to be getting along nicely, and there was just enough of level 36 left, so I ended up leaving him hard at work - and all went well, so that just before nine o'clock this morning, UK time, the horse reached level 37.  I immediately unequipped it - and equipped a level 3 dragon hatchling he was carrying instead.  The poor thing hadn't been allowed out for so long that its Sympathy was down to zero, but that soon began to creep upwards.

The "Merac Run" last night was fun, even if it did go on too late.  I did lag out once, with all the activity, but was quickly able to log back in again and ride down, and I'm sure the same fluton, or the second of a pair of flutons, was still being battled when I arrived back.  Barbarienne got recruited into a party by the level 36 sorcerer SorcererCCXXX, who had also signed up the level 89 mage midnightsapphire, and the level 85 titan cmom2, who is a regular at Storm the Castle and Mad Monster Spawn events.  Sometimes I needed to do a bit of Party Heal, but we generally fought separately.

MistressDomino on Auzura-1 managed to sell some items overnight, to top up her gold reserves, but there weren't any rogue gloves or shirts on sale this morning suitable for Rage.  So, MD logged out, and, after restarting the game, LordDarth logged in on Hatzring-4, to use his last beginner-type platinum super skill pill.  SirDarth had to log out, after his hatchling reached level 4 and 10/100 Sympathy, and Kaerella logged in on Hatzring-4 to give LordDarth a solo party, and do a little herb-harvesting.

LordDarth got the level 30 Mana Break skill, which isn't any great use but was needed before he could become a temple knight when he reached level 31; he was also able to upgrade the Discipline guild on Hatzring to level 5, and then, after getting a little extra gold from Kae, managed to get the guild to level 6, which meant that he could then "freeze" Kae's experience gain to 50%.

The session in Prokion Temple went smoothly, and LordDarth went up by 23.46%, while gaining 182 skill points.  His pony reached level 7, adding 1096 pet points. The next target was to reach level 31, so that Darth would get his own freebie 30/32 +10 armour set, and could return the set he was currently wearing, suitably transformed by Collector Ryl, to Kaerella.  He would also be able to become a temple knight then.

As that had only taken an hour, there was time for a little shopping after that.  On Auzura I couldn't find the gloves or shirt that Rage needs, but MistressDomina, my Cariae-based merchant, had better luck.  Last night just before the "Merac Run" she had found a level 86 b5e +15 healer shirt for Barbarienne, to replace the +13 one she has been wearing for quite a while now, sold by TradeMe via Roy's merchant mart for 640 million, and now she found a level 87 +15 helm, which had only just been added to Roy's stocks by Punisher1990, priced at just 470 million.

Barbarienne logged on to receive those two items, and equipping them increased her physical defence from 2615 to 2902, and her magic defence from just 154 to 254.  And then Keerella, my level 98 mage, logged on; she already had +15 leggings and headgear, with her other b5e pieces at +13, but MistressDomino was able to buy her a +15 jacket for 499 million, being sold, via Roy, by FoodMart - and the matching boots, again from FoodMart at the same price.  Equipping the two new pieces increased Kee's physical defence from 2505 to 2785, and moved her magic defence on from 308 to 408.  Now MD will need to sell some more goodies before she can try to get any more +15 pieces!  Keerella, who had downloaded quite a few items from the "free spin" promotion, was able to help with MD's restocking.

By the end on the lunch break, SirDarth had got his hatchling to level 5, and back up to 22% Sympathy; but it now seemed a good idea to get LordDarth back in action, this time on Hatzring-5 so that, having run out of b-pssps, he could have the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff.

The afternoon went relatively well; I was joined in the back room by a sorcerer called DarckRaiZ before long, but Darth doesn't kill particularly quickly, so there were, generally, enough orcs to go round.  We chatted - he seems to be hoping that 4000 skill points wil be enough to take him to level 85 or so, if he picks and chooses just the skills he needs.

I did have a problem, though - a very brief power cut, lasting no more than a second, which of course kicked my computers offline, and off.  It took a while to get them both back online and to get Last Chaos working again, but LordDarth did get back to the room; he himself hadn't taken any damage from the orcs, but his pony had got down to about a third of its health, having just been standing around in-game after the disconnection.  DarckRaiZ mentioned that we had just frozen, and he had kindly protected us, which was why my pony had survived.

The orc-bashing continued, and then, minutes after DarckRaiZ had gone off for some food, it happened again - the computer screens went black, and it was "game over".  This time when I got back on, the pony had died - but at level 9 it only takes 4536 gold to "unseal" a pet, I discovered.  It was just about time for the food break then, so I didn't try to restart the game, I just checked that there wasn't a problem with the local power socket or something.  I was relieved to find that, in my bedroom, the clock radio's time display was flashing, so it must have been a general power supply fault, a mini power cut.

LordDarth had gone up by 113.53% during the afternoon, which meant that he had reached level 31, and got his own freebie 30/32 +10 armour set, plus +10 level 33 sword, shield, and dual swords.  He was now able to make the switch to being a temple knight too, though he can't learn the first "tk" skills until he reaches level 32.  His pony had gone up by two levels to reach level 9, and he had earned another 388 skill points

Luckily there were no further problems with the power supply during the evening.  Since LordDarth had now been able to cut Kaerella's experience gain to 50%, and had also returned Kae's +10 (or, on some pieces, more) armour set, Kaerella was able to have her own outing to Prokion Temple on Hatzring-5, with Darth taking his turn to do some herb-farming while providing the solo party.  I did check out the back room, but DarckRaiZ wasn't there, and while Kae's armour meant she didn't take much damage, I decided that the orc soldiers and orc fighters in the corridor outside would probably be easier kills.

By the time Kaerella had got 58.03% experience and 259 skill points, her inventory was full, as she was carrying various old armours and some pots, and there had been rather a lot of armour drops.  So, she teleported back to town, and spent her sp on various skills, including another level of Resurrection, then, after selling the loot, headed for Maargadum Jail and did twenty "suicide runs" to get back to the start of level 27. 

After getting the Elizabuff again, Kae went back to the temple for a further 45 minutes or so, and got a new 30.97% experience, and 137 skill points to spend; her dragon hatchling reached level 8, too - and the Discipline guild on Hatzring had got its first 221 guild points by then, as well.

The Sunday Quiz was approaching, so Kaerella and LordDarth on Hatzring logged out, and Kaerella and MistressDomina logged in on Auzura-2, since that seemed to be a server where I could do with some more heaven stones to sell, and headed for the Quiz Room.

The quiz itself passed without any problems.  I saw Ratel there, along with Liezl and Argoth, and did say a few things on the Norcaine guild chat channel, but Ratty can't have been watching it.  Running three characters at a Quiz can't be simple, these days.  One thing that was strange was that some characters, including mueqita and XxCarmenxX,  seemed often to just stand on the "wrong" side of the room, but not get kicked when the countdown for that question ended...so there seems to be a new exploit out there, unless it was just lag.

It was certainly laggy after the quiz ended, as it often is; my first clue was when Kae and MD weren't able to put their armour back on, having removed it, as most people do, during the quiz to make life easier for the servers and computers.  The armour finally appeared in position a few seconds later.  After Kae passed her prizes across to MD, they both logged out - and logging MistressDomina back in, on Auzura-1, along with my merchant MistressDomino, wasn't easy, with a lot of "timed out", "unable to connect to server", and "account id already logged in" messages before we finally succeeded. 

MistressDomina traded across various loot, spin wheel prizes, and quiz prizes to MistressDomino, once the lag allowed the trading to be started.  There wasn't really time for any adventuring, which might have led to problems if there had been any further lag spikes anyway, so I just set MistressDomino up in merchant mode near the arena in Randol, selling her usual selection of items.  I would have liked to have set her Cariae equivalent up to sell stuff too, but they are on the same account, so instead it was the Katar version of MD who set up shop on the older computer.  Maybe the prices there have risen since I was last there, but she actually sold out within an hour, taking in almost 124 million.  On Auzura sales were slower, though the berserker potions and large defence pots went fairly quickly, so MistressDomino will probably be on duty through the night.

The evening's event was a "Race to the Finish", but it started fairly late, and didn't involve mounts, so I assume it was just a bit of a potion-fest, with people using expensive pots... what good is a race when some people are a lot faster than others?  The coming days seem rather short of worthwhile events, with no special European ones on Auzura mentioned at all, sadly.

The Wrong Rotation - May 3rd

MistressDomino stayed in merchant mode on Auzura-1 overnight safely, with no power hiccups or "send error report?" messages.  I can't say that she was doing awfully well until, in the morning, somebody bought all 225 skill point boosters, so that was just over 300 million brought in.  They'll probably use all those in less than an hour, if they are sp-farming in Prokion Temple...

SirDarth logged in at breakfast time to work on his dragon hatchling on Sarissa-4, and moved it on from level 5 to level 7, getting the Sympathy back over its starting level of 50%.

When MistressDomino came out of merchant mode, and moved around town, I found a high-level rogue called ElectricMayhem was clicked on to her; she had been standing next to MD for hours, and now auto-followed her.  I resisted the temptation to take her anywhere too exotic, and just logged out when I'd reached the herb bushes at Berbank Mill.  Checking Roy's merchant mart for rogue armour, though, was still pretty laggy, and there didn't seem to be any new Chaser jackets or gloves to buy.

There was time for LordDarth to have a session in Prokion Temple before lunch; the back room wasn't in use, so Darth was able to add 49.15%, which was just enough to get him into level 32, plus 188 skill points; his dragon hatchling reached level 10, too.  Back in Randol, he spent 327 skill points on the new passive skill Wall of Belief, which increased his physical defence from 828 to 983.

After lunch, Kaerella spent all but 3 of her skill points, and then cleared out her experience, back to the start of level 27 again.  Once SirDarth had got his hatchling most of the way through level 8, with the Sympathy value reaching 73%, he logged out, and LordDarth logged back in, to re-form the solo party with Kaerella.

This time the back room was in use - but it was the sorcerer DarckRaiZ who was orc-bashing, so I knew there would be room for me as well.  I was actually followed in by a lower-level titan and rogue, but they soon left, after the rogue had ks'd on a few kills.  I told Darck that Kaerella was the level 27 healer I'd previously mentioned as my "main", and he guessed that we'd got a combat party.

Kaerella started off by just picking up the loot, but before long Darth's pony took over that duty, and Kae tended to stand around near the entrance, doing a bit of fighting if an orc came near or attacked her.  DarckRaiZ did get a couple of disconnections, but was still in the fight when I logged out for the early evening food break.   By then LordDarth had levelled up, to reach 33, adding 104.22%, while Kaerella was up by 60.34%, and 151 guild points. They had each gained 285 skill points, which was probably less than Darth would have got solo...but in that situation kae wouldn't have got any.

For the main evening session, first of all it seemed a good idea to get MistressDomino on Sarissa up to level 10, so that Keerella there, hopefully more of a fighting mage type, doesn't have to carry around the selling stock.  So, as MD had only done the introductory dungeon, it was a matter of fighting deer, foxes, various types of wolf, and jaguars - and, after I'd got MD a Juno NPC scroll by running a new character through that dungeon (as MD was made before new characters automatically got the teleport-around-Juno scroll) and then putting her scroll into the shared storage, MD killed a few wandering zombies in Velpist Temple, before taking a trip to Dratan to get herself a dragon hatchling and conclude the "Bant in Dratan" quest.

While she was in Dratan City, it seemed a reasonable idea to get Prokion Temple onto her memory scroll, so MD made the run out through the desert, stopping to get Shuraine's oasis onto the scroll as well - but I don't think she will have much cause to go there, unless I want to set her up in merchant mode in the temple's starting area some time.

I also needed to get Kaerella on Auzura prepared for her near-future bit of self-levelling in the Tomb of Theos, so there was some trading with MistressDomino done, and a few upgrade boxes opened to get some platinum refining stones, so that it will be possible to fortify her armour for a 24-hour period.  Some platinum blessed irises were moved across from a storage character too, and accessories and old armour pieces cleared out of Kae's inventory.  I'll probably get fully prepared and worked up, only to find that the Tomb on Auzura is set at its hardest when I get there.

The Last Chaos website page for today's "Vampire Trivia" event has since been altered, but originally it said that the event would start on Auzura-5 at nine, UK time...but when SirDarth arrived and sound the place deserted, I quickly checked out the normal first server on the rotation, Katar, with RedRyder and found that indeed [GM]Kali was there, spelling out the rules.

RedRyder was second to type in the answer more than once, and I think that "Dawn of the Dead" may well have been the correct answer to one question, though a couple of lines after me Kali wrote "you're out of time" and moved on.  And I got a disconnection, so that I only got back in time for question 14 out of 15, missing a few in the middle.  But I did manage to be the first to type in "Buffy and Angel" - so was one of the people that [GM]Kali traded across a platinum blessed iris to at the end.

After that, MistressDomina logged in on Cariae-4 for a bit of selling, once I'd checked what prices other people were asking.  The prices seemed generally a little lower than Auzura, which would tie in with the lower prices there for the recently-purchased +15 armour pieces.  Hopefully by morning, MD will have enough gold to be able to shop for another piece, for either Keerella or Barbarienne.

On the newer computer, LordDarth logged in for a while, just to try out some pet-levelling.  As he's not level 35 yet, only level 33, he doesn't have the Canid Fence 2 skill, which adds 120 to defence, but, at least with 10 levels of Armour Increase (horse), he proved able to withstand the attacks of a level 44 death mask lancer down on the fifth level of Maargadum Jail - and the lancer wasn't hurt by his bare-fisted hits of 44 damage a time.  It didn't take long for the pony to reach level 12, which restored its orc-battered health to 100%.

Tomorrow Maargadum Jail will be a bit busier - at least on the fifth sub-servers, as a "Dungeon Run" means the place will be crammed with high-level monsters.  The website says, at present, that the rota will start on Auzura at 1:00pm PDT, which equates to nine o'clock in the evening for Britain, but I suspect that, again, it will actually be Katar that gets the action then.  At least that will be a more dramatic event than a trivia quiz, which, as something that gamesages have been known to do, seems a rather minor enterprise for a GM to get involved in.  I assume, with [GM]Embla moving to another game, and the holiday season, we are short of game masters at present.  I do hope our regular events are back on the schedule soon.

Ten Levels - May 4th

The overnight selling ended prematurely when MistressDomina on Cariae got disconnected, but she'd sold quite a lot of stuff by then, nicely boosting my gold reserves on that server.  Sadly, I couldn't find any good +15 armour pieces for either Keerella or Barbarienne, and drew a blank on Auzura looking for rogue gloves and jacket too, but we are poised to pounce when something useful does turn up.

SirDarth did a little pet-levelling from breakfast time until coffee, but then my level 71 archer Kaerella logged in on Auzura-4, borrowed one of Rage's "Eyes of Spirit" accessories, and headed for the Tomb of Theos.  Checking the Tomb's "condition", I found it was close to the Easy end, perhaps 5% away from it - which seemed good to me.  So, my level 65 wizard-mage, MistressDomina (not to be confused with merchant characters on other servers) logged in on the older computer, teleported to the Tomb's entrance, made an equal party with Kae... and they both entered.

Kaerella used the 24-hour Platinum Refining Stones to get her armour set up to +15 temporarily, making her physical defence stat 2522, and then, with Kae using the usual four pots - power, berserker, platinum adrenaline, and crit - plus a platinum blessed iris, and MD using a pbi too, Kae attacked her first Screaming Zombie of the session.

The upgraded armour was a great success, and, helped slightly by a 5% suction of life accessory, I almost never had to use Self Heal.  I managed two "power hours" before lunch; a level 68 temple knight from Italy, DARKNIGHT85, joined up with us in a party, and I suppose Kae's speedy kills, thanks to those potions, compensated for MistressDomina's slightly lower contribution to the killing.  MD did fight, and towards the end equipped her drake, but without pots, and with a lower level weapon, probably did less than a quarter as much damage as Kae.

DARKNIGHT85 was using a three-hour blessed iris, so kept going over my lunch break; Kae and MD stayed in the party with him, but Kae converted the party to the combat type, so that we gave him a slight boost, experience-wise, and got a little for ourselves too.

After a third power hour, MistressDomina had gone up in all 274.79%, and so was well along in level 67.  Nobody got any skill points today, but MD did get 532 pet points for her drake.  By then Kaerella had gone up 190.56%, and had reached level 73, and got 2788 pet points for SirFrancis.  A sorcerer called prem did get our name-tags mixed up and asked "SirFrancis, are you from India?" - to which I could only reply that SirFrancis was my drake, and was "local"...

MistressDomina logged out then; later she was able to spend 350 skill points on level 7 of the Fear skill, not one she uses often, or indeed at all, now that I come to think about it.  Still, she does have plenty of sp, so may as well keep all her skills maxxed.  Reaching level 67 means she can wear the 70/72 armour set, and so is eager for Rage to get replacements for the last parts of that set she is still wearing.

MrChuckNorris, my level 63 warmaster titan, logged in, and joined Kaerella, for his turn to be levelled up a bit.  This we did, with an equal party and both he and Kae using pbis, for four "power hours", two before the early evening food break and two after.  Those two-hour sessions gave him 243.86%, taking him nicely into level 65, and 195.40%, which got him too into level 67 - his drake added 1109 and 1101 pet points, enough to get it into level 38.  he stayed around for a further two hours, but this time not fighting, just supplying his pair off useful buffs for Kaerella, and got another 18.36% from that.

Back in Randol later MrChuckNorris was able to learn level 3 of the passive skill Focus Mastery 2 ("increases attack hit permanently") for 208 sp, which actually increases his hit rate by 40 - so that is useful.

Kaerella herself went up 119.77% in the first two hours, to reach level 74, and a further 104.79%, to reach level 75, in the second two hours.  And then it was time for some serious levelling - with the party now in combat mode, I moved the experience boosters onto her skills bar, and began a new power hour.  In all 141 XPBs were used, and Kaerella went up by 329.65%, plus 1007 pet points, reaching level 78.  There was just time for another hour of that, and the Tomb was fairly quiet, so on I went, this time using just 120 XPBs while adding 227.28%, along with 961 pet points... and just reaching level 81 before the pots ran out.  So, ten levels in a day - not bad!

Kaerella had rather more skills to learn than either Chuck or MD.  They were all passive ones; Rise Focus 2 level 2 increased her hit rate, for 190 sp; Deadly Shot 2 for 290 sp increased her rate of deadly hits; Vital Spot Blow 2 level 2 increased her rate of critical hits, for 250 sp; Survival Training level 6 increased her physical defence, for 225 sp; and Enchant Arrow level 6 increased her attack, for 380 sp.  So, Kae is now a rather better fighter all round.

DARKNIGHT85 had returned just before my early evening food break, so we were able to give him that combat party boost while I was downstairs.  He levelled up twice, thanks to his blessed irises.  Generally we didn't have any trouble, there was just one incident when he got three screaming zombies on him, and when I supplied some emergency healing they attacked me too - he ended up with pretty low health having to run for it, and my health got a bit low, for the only time today, too.  I wondered if the Tomb had been reset at a harder level, and urged him to be careful, but things went back to normal after that.  He often had two zombies on him at once without losing much health, but things got a bit hectic that one time.

While MistressDomina was still playing, the cleric drmom was there, on the first of three visits.  "Oh no, how come every time you need your husband to kill a spider he isn't home?"  "A law of nature", I commented.  "Put a cup over it, save it for him till later, lol", LEVIATHAN said.  "Here darling, I saved a cup of spider for you..." was my next contribution, and a little later "Probably one of Baal's cousins."  "Lmao, I wouldn't be surprised, lol, we get some big weird hairy ones where I live", drmom said, and I added "spiders too"...

A rogue called xXbingbangXx joined the combat party when she and I were level 78, but she didn't stay long - her armour can't have been very good, she took a lot of damage fighting a single screaming zombie.  Still, you can't fault her ambition, when she left the party it was because she wanted to go and fight the anubis spear men further into the Tomb, a few levels higher than the screamies, and, as boss-types, a lot harder to kill.

Today, strangely enough, Auzura did lead off the rota for the event, as advertised, the "dungeon run" - I couldn't go to it, as my pots and pbi still had 20 minutes or so left, and I get the impression that other people were taken by surprise, or just plain not able to go there.  After the 15 and 5 minute warnings, the next GM message said "Attention! Maargadum Jail event is about to start!!  I'm serious", and that was followed by a stern "A5.  be there.  Now."  I hope some people were able to go, as putting Auzura first ought to be encouraged.

So, the day went pretty much as planned, and Kaerella is now within range of Rage, for an equal party.  So it looks as if it may not be very long before I have to start looking for a good 85/87 armour set for a healer...these things get expensive...

All You Need Is Gloves - May 5th

The overnight patch seems to have been designed to mollify Mondshine top-level players, with their repeatable quests getting six times the experience they'd recently been getting, and more skill exp too.  That was about all, really, except a warning that next week's maintenance may take longer, as all servers will be getting "major hardware upgrades".  This should allow Aeria to make daily back-ups of all data, to avoid any repetition of Cariae's rollback of an entire week, not too long ago.

Since the platinum refining stones to temporarily make Kaerella's armour, on Auzura-4, a full +15 set weren't added until after coffee yesterday, I decided to try to fit in two hours before coffee today, to make the most of the defence bonus while it lasted.  MrChuckNorris stayed in Juno, where I soon set him up to do a little mining, while he provided Kae with a solo party - and Kae headed for the Tomb of Theos.

Checking the "Condition" of the dungeon, I saw that the bars, when 0% means maximum hard and 100% means easy, were set at around 55%, which seemed a bit challenging, but I decided to go in anyway.  Killing her first screaming zombie without pots was a bit of a battle, with Kaerella losing more than half her health - but heck, I was there, and I had the place to myself, so I started the usual pots and a platinum blessed iris, and set to work.

With the potions on, things were a lot smoother, so things went pretty well.  At the end of the first hour Kae was near the top of level 82, having added 182.87% - and the second hour added another 170.03%, taking Kaerella comfortably into level 84.  Kae's drake, SirFrancis, added 1963 pet points, and we even gained 3 skill points.  Over the two hours, 244 experience boosters were used.

Having just a solo party rather than someone in a combat party (and within compass range) reduced the experience gain by perhaps 10% on average - each kill gave 54,012,636 experience, using the platinum blessed iris and the experience booster.  When Kaerella was level 81 the level 100 screaming zombies started to give 55 skill exp, and the percentage gained per kill was1.53; the skill exp rose as she levelled up, to 110, 165, and 220, while, as each level needs more experience to complete, the percentage from a kill went from 1.53 to 1.42, 1.32, and then 1.23 at level 84, meaning that around 81 screaming zombies would need to be killed to get all the way through that level - or 975 without using the pbi and boosters.

The platinum refining stones were still active when the second hour ended; I had heard of people getting "stuck" with them active, but they all safely ran out at around 11:20am, UK time: "The period of [Balsamic Tiara] platinum item has expired and it no longer works", a pop-up message helpfully explained.  Kaerella killed perhaps three or four more screaming zombies after the pots and pbi ended, and found them a lot easier to cope with than that first one at the start; I left the Tomb and checked the place's Condition again, and found that at some point it had been changed to a rather easier 80%.  Kaerella then headed back to town.

After coffee, I was able to get Kaerella another level, the third, of Rise Focus 2, increasing her hit rate from 1276 to 1320 for 250 skill points - and the third level of Deadly Shot 2 as well, for 350 skill points, increasing her chance of "deadly" hits from a stat of 417 to 427. Vital Spot Blow 2 level 3, for an improved rate of critical hits, costing 350 skill points, comes next, when Kaerella reaches level 86.

A GM announcement had said that an extra 50% experience was running today, but it didn't have any effect in the Tomb of Theos for me; it wouldn't have stacked with the boosters I was using, but the few screaming zombies I killed right at the end still only gave their regular 4,501,053 experience each.

There was time before lunch to do a little shopping, or at least searching through Roy's merchant mart stocks.  I still drew a blank in my search for "b5e", blue-named, five-sealed evasion-based, rogue jackets and gloves for Rage on Auzura, and there were no suitable +15 mage gloves for Keerella on Cariae either - but I did find a healer pair of pants, and boots, for Barbarienne, being sold by SHeryl for 700,000 gold each.  That was more cash than MistressDomina was carrying, but luckily I was able to log my Cariae cleric Kaerella in, and trade 200,000,000 gold across to MD.

MistressDomina passed the Ebade Boots of Dimension +15 and Antistune Pants of Dimension +15 across to Barbarienne, and equipping them increased Barb's physical defence from 2732 to 3189, and her magic defence from 254 to 354.  Now, like Keerella, Barb just needs +15 gloves to complete the +15 set...while Rage also needs gloves, as well as a jacket.

After that, there was some general movement of items to MistressDomina, and some clearing out of Barbarienne's rather full inventory - and Kaerella's too.  It might be possible for Kaerella on Cariae to emulate her Auzura namesake with some hard work in the Tomb, though her 70/72 Balsamic armour set isn't quite as good, so she would need four +2 platinum refining stones, and one +1, to get to maximum armour - and as a cleric, her attack won't be as great.  Still, having four parts of Barbarienne's old +13 armour set, ready for when she can reach level 86 and 87, in her inventory ready for use has got to be a bit of an incentive.

The afternoon wasn't very productive, after all that.  The 50% extra experience was running, which ruled out most of my characters who are skill exp farming in Prokion Temple; I had a rather short session with xRAGEx on Tairen-5, since at level 41 she has left the Temple, but fighting the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men does cut into her health rather quickly, particularly when Snare fails.  I took her along to Maargadum Jail, and she can fight the dire spike canines easily enough, so perhaps she ought to spend some time there.

SirGalahad had been providing the solo party for Rage, doing a bit of pet-levelling work down on level five of the Jail, and his hatchling reached level 6, and then level 7.  After Rage logged out, he did the same service for my junior mage Enchantra, since it seemed a good idea to get her to level 10, so that she could set up in merchant mode if necessary.  She started at level 6, and, once she'd made the extra 42 skill points she needed for the fifth level of Casting Guard, to increase her defence, made the trip out to Prokion Temple, to get it onto her memory scroll.

A few more trips to the jaguars to do the repeatable quest for Merchant Geres got Enchantra up to level 10 - and, as she at last had got a drake egg as a drop, she made another trip to Dratan, this time just to visit Jajan and get herself a brand-new dragon hatchling before logging out.  In all. Enchie had gone up by 338.68%, and got 53 skill points.

SirGalahad continued his work on Tairen-5 through the early evening food break, so that his hatchling got into level 8, and a 66% Sympathy rating, but then it was time for LordDarth to have a session in Prokion Temple on Hatzring-5, accompanied by Kaerella; it certainly doesn't matter if he levels up slightly more quickly, missing out on a few skill points, and Kaerella can just do some "suicide runs" in Maargadum Jail to work off any excess experience.

We got settled in in our back room, but after a while we had a visitor, a level 23 titan called mosesswe, who asked to join the party.  At that level, he got through a lot of health and mana potions - big ones, at that, so it was no wonder he was low on gold.  He proudly showed me the level 33 +10 sword he had spent all his cash on, maybe I was being a bit negative when I said that I hoped he hadn't paid more than 2 million for it, as the freebie armour and weapons do seem less common on Hatzring than elsewhere.  He'd paid 4 million.

I was able to tell him he'd get the full +10 armour set, and weapons, when he reached level 31, warning him to have enough inventory space...and I did advise him that if he fought critters around his own level or slightly below, he'd get more skill points and use less health pots.  He can just go with a few levels of some skills, or avoid them entirely, but he has to get all five levels of the level thirty titan skill, and 228 sp is rather more than he currently has...

He left shortly before I had to finish; it being a Wednesday, that was just after eight in the evening, but LordDarth had still managed to add 90.35% experience.  Kaerella had gained 44.10%, which she'll need to lose, slightly more than she would otherwise have got, but she did some fighting too, as well as a fair amount of titan-healing.  He did at least manage to reach level 24 during the session.  Oh, and LordDarth and Kaerella each gained 201 skill points.

SirDarth kept busy levelling his drake, but shortly after ten I noticed that the mage serina had turned up, and was luring an elite bloody outlaw onto him -  "a VERY naughty girl", I commented, unequipping the pet.  "I'm stopping lag dummy" was her excuse.  "Oh, you aren't the moron who thinks pet-levellers cause lag", I responded with my usual tact.  I tried to persuade her to check out this lag thing with the gamesages on the forum shoutbox...but no luck.

I used a scroll to get back to town, and then ran down to Maargadum Jail to get that location on Darth's memory scroll.  I went inside, and joined three other people who were pet-levelling on the spike canines, just around the teleporter... but serina showed up after a few minutes, and lured us all away from our place of safety, and along into the middle of a mob of the aggressive, pet-eating canine types.

Luckily nobody was terminally away-from-keyboard, so no great harm was done, I think.  I moved SirDarth down to level five, and a death mask lancer, and luckily serina didn't follow.  I just hope serina is confining her activities to that server, since my pet-levelling will soon be moving elsewhere, but it would be nice if she could be persuaded that what she is doing is wrong-headed.

LordDarth Reaches His Target - May 6th

Yesterday evening's event was a "Creature Carnival", so SirDarth got some double pet experience, despite serina's malicious interruptions.  A bit earlier, while LordDarth and Kaerella had been busy in Prokion Temple on Hatzring-5, an announcement had come up saying "What is this? A random Castle Siege event going on in 10 minutes in Merca?  Hurry over to H5!"

The idea of a random Castle Siege seemed a bit far-fetched, as such events involve registered guild teams.  The next "announcement" was "A/goto 1102 1028", obviously the GM typing into chat what ought to have gone into his command console, followed by the face-saving "That's where it starts."  No wonder another game master typed in "Darasuum needs to learn how to type."   Finally, the more sensible "Storm the Castle starts in 5 minutes on H5" message appeared, but unfortunately I don't really have a character on Hatzring who is up for such an event, so I just kept on fighting the orcs.

Overnight, MistressDomina on Cariae-4 did some steady selling, recharging my gold reserves there.  She logged out briefly after breakfast, to allow Hatzring's Kaerella to pass some gold across to LordDarth, and then went back to selling, making some further useful sales.

LordDarth checked through Roy's merchant mart, and found that AuroraBellona was selling a single blue pet flute for 600,000 gold, which seemed lower than most other people - generally players were trying to sell them two or more at a time, which seems counter-productive.  He then visited Lorraine to start the quest, and Jajan in Dratan to finish it, acquiring his rare pale blue pony - and then headed for Maargadum Jail.

The Jail is Darth's only option for pet-levelling at the moment, as he doesn't have a red name to reduce the power of his attack yet.  The level 44 death mask lancers could easily withstand the 44 damage Darth did to them bare-handed (which rose to 46 later in the day, once he'd reached level 35), and to my relief I found that, even without the level 35 Canid fence 2 skill, or any Armour Increase buff from his equipped pet, Darth's health held steady.  So, the pale blue pony, due to become Kaerella's pale blue mount on Hatzring, began its journey up through the levels.

I wasn't able to do anything active online until mid-afternoon, so MistresDomina kept on selling her stuff, and LordDarth kept levelling his new pony, which reached the 100% Sympathy point at about one o'clock, UK time.  Eventually, though, Darth was able to switch to the newer computer, having got the blue pony well into level 6, and Hatzring-5, team up with Kaerella, after she'd used up her skill points and done the necessary "suicide runs" on Maargadum jail's ground floor, and head out to Prokion Temple, where he soon reached level 34.

By the early evening food break, both Kae and Darth had gained 185 skill points; Darth had gained 61.45% experience, and even contributed 76 guild points to Discipline, while Kae was up 26.49%, and contributed 66 guild points.  Over the break, Darth went back to Maargadum Jail and got the pony into level 7 - and then it was time to re-team with Kae, for his final push to level 35.

I saw mosesswe in town, and he asked my advice on skill point farming, which seemed a good sign - assuming he was still level 24, I suggested a room in Prokion Temple with orc soldiers, and maybe a fighter or two. so I hope he had a good session.  LordDarth and Kaerella did okay in the back room, and we finished when Darth had added 43.59%, getting him into level 35; he contributed a second 76 guild points to Discipline.  By then Kaerella had added another 24.20%, along with 60 guild points, and they'd each earned 172 skill points.

Back in town, LordDarth was able to learn the single level of Canid Fence 2, which for only 60 skill points increased his physical defence by 120, so that it's now 1333, plus any Armour Increase buff from his pet.  He then headed for level five of Maargadum Jail again - just so that we keep his options open for a day or two.  Do we get him a red name, so that he can pet-level outside the Jail with bandits or berserkers, or does he stay at full power, so that he can only pet-level on the death mask lancers?

Hatzring's MistressDomino was only level 4, I noticed, so it seemed a good idea to get her up to level 10, so that we have the option of having her selling stuff in merchant mode.  So, it was the usual deal, killing wolves, dire wolves, berserk wolves, jaguars, and even a few wandering zombies in Velpist Temple.  I got her Casting Guard defence skill to its maximum, and she made the run through the Dratan desert to Prokion Temple, and, while she didn't do any fighting in there at level ten, she did manage to pick up some unwanted gold.

After that I rechecked Roy's merchant mart on Cariae and Auzura for gloves, not to mention that rogue jacket Rage needs, and checked up on a few characters, including SirPerivale on Auzura.  Hatzring's Kaerella spent her skill points, and now at last has all her general and passive skills maximised.  She has only just started on the special skills, like processing, harvesting, and so on...by my calculations she would need another 3614 skill points to get all that sorted out, but in the meantime she's a perfectly good character to attend low-level mad monster spawns and events like that, assuming they return to the schedule..  Another trip to Maargadum Jail got her experience back to the start of level 27 again.

In the absence of any dynamic in-game event this evening, LordDarth continued his pet-levelling, getting his pale blue pony safely into level 10; on Cariae, MistressDomina went back into merchant mode, to see if she could sell some more goodies.  After all, as well as the armour pieces, Barbarienne in particular really ought to get herself a new higher-level +15 bow, and those things aren't cheap.

Tomorrow's event is a zombie attack on Dratan, which according to the website will start its rotation at nine, Uk time, on Auzura-5.  If they do actually stick with that timing, perhaps Rage will be able to go along.  Friday will be one of my "busy days", so I don't expect to be doing anything on the fighting side in Last Chaos before the evening, but I'll probably still find something to type about.

RedRyder Reaches Hatzring - May 7th

On Hatzring-5, LordDarth had a successful overnight session with his new pet, which reached level 16 just after breakfast, growing up from a pony into a horse - though it will be quite a while before it is a mountable horse.  So the pale blue horse has already overtaken the regular-colour pony that Darth had originally been working on, which will remain at level 12 for a week or two.

Over on Cariae-4, MistressDomina did very nicely in merchant mode too, just about doubling her money...though this does of course eat into my reserves of item drop, skill point, and experience boosters.  All she had left by morning were a few large attack potions, and some skill point boosters, so after a check to see if Roy's merchant mart had received any interesting new gloves, MD logged out for a few minutes, while I arranged to transfer some assorted packages over from a couple of other accounts. 

Once MistressDomina logged back in, she was able to download the "gifts", and generally restock the more popular lines, and then go back into merchant mode for the morning.  She included some heaven stones this time, and a few of those were her first sales, mainly two at a time, followed swiftly by all 260 item drop boosters.  By the end of the afternoon, quite a lot more stuff had been sold, so we are now reasonably solvent on Cariae - unless a really good bow comes up for sale.

LordDarth ended up having a pretty marathon session in Maargadum Jail - not just all night, but all day too, so that the pale blue horse had gone up twelve levels by the time he finally logged out, fairly early in the evening.

There was another "Happy Hour" from six to eight this evening, UK time, giving 50% extra experience, which again stood in the way of skill point farming, so it seemed a good opportunity to start a rogue on Hatzring.  So, RedRyder got created and did the starter personal dungeon, before going out to battle the usual deer, foxes, wolves and, eventually, jaguars. There was a trip out through the Dratan desert to get Prokion Temple on her memory scroll, too. LordDarth was still online then, giving a solo party.  Interestingly, it seems that a newly-created character in the starter dungeon can't link up for a solo party now, but once Red was out in Juno, the party got made in the usual way.

Once RedRyder reached level 10, LordDarth logged out and Red switched to the older computer, with Kaerella coming online on the newer one.  Kaerella generously consented to become RedRyder's Guardian, and then gave Red a solo party while Red had a short session fighting wandering zombies in Velpist Temple, to get to level 12.

Now that Kaerella and RedRyder were only 15 levels apart, they were able to team up properly, and head for Prokion temple, where Red stayed, generally, in the safety of the entrance hallway, while Kae fought mummies, ghouls, orc sergeants, orc soldiers, and even an orc fighter or two - any monster she could reach while keeping Red on her compass-map so that she shared the experience, basically.

The results are slightly skewed because I didn't initially  give Kaerella the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff in case her experience zoomed up too quickly - but when it looked a rather slow gain, Kae went back and got the buff.  Red went up from the start of level 12 to near the top of level 20 by the end of the session - while Kaerella added 41.19% experience, and both 119 skill points and 119 guild points.

Afterwards, there was just time for Kae to spend her sp on the third level of Advanced Weaponsmith, the third level of Basic Armoursmith, and level two of flawed stone processing, and then take a trip to Maargadum Jail to get rid of that experience gain - and then RedRyder did her available Juno quests, including getting her rogue "neckless" accessory, which added another 32.59% experience, taking her into level 21.

As usual, the plan will be for Red to overtake Kae, and then take the lead in some combat party team-ups, to give Kae plenty of skill exp.  And it will be handy to have a rogue available for events on Hatzring, too.

The computers will get some time off tonight, rather than being used for any overnight pet-levelling or selling - but there will probably be some more of that tomorrow morning, as my "busy day" will spill over into Saturday, I'm afraid.

More Skill Points - May 8th

LordDarth got back into action with his pet-levelling activities at breakfast time, after some stock was swiftly moved around, mainly in the direction of MistressDomina on the Cariae server.  While Darth kept busy in Maargadum Jail, MD got some more selling done - while I was busy trying to finish my left-over work from yesterday downstairs.

So, again it was not a very adventurous morning... and the afternoon session had a bit of a late start, too.  Still, I was able to link up my new RedRyder on Hatzring with LordDarth, so that he provided the solo party, and Red headed for Prokion Temple, where she fought, at level 21, the level 19 mummies, and a few level 17 ghouls.  It's strange that, while the Temple has monsters at levels 17, 19, 23, 25, 27, and 29, it doesn't have any level 21 types - still, while the experience per mummy killed does decline a bit, the skill exp holds up pretty well.

RedRyder started on the stairs, and moved on to the small room at the top of the stairs - often having to share it with someone else, as, well, it is the weekend after all, and the place does get more crowded.  The room a little further in with just a selection of mummies and a single orc soldier was already in use, and I didn't want to barge in... but finally when I checked for the third or fourth time it was clear, so I ended up in there for a while.

By the end of the afternoon session, RedRyder had levelled up twice.  I had bought her the 25/27 armour set in Randol before setting out, and reaching 22 meant that she could wear it all, adding the hood and boots, which cut down the damage that ghouls and mummies inflicted quite a lot.  By the time Red left the Temple, she had added 216.07%, along with 303 skill points.  Back in town she spent 302 skill points easily enough...and completing a few local quests got her another 19.02% experience.

If RedRyder hasn't maximised all her passive and general skills by the time she reaches level 27, she will end up doing a "suicide run" session or two, but she isn't a character who'll have the "special" skills maxxed as well, I need her to level up faster than that.

For the evening, for a (less than) complete change of pace, I switched over to RedRydeR on Cariae-5, my level 35 phoenix character and ranger rogue, and slogged away in my favourite back room with the orc axemen and orc sergeants.  I was lucky to take possession of a vacant room; I did have some visitors; at one point three people rushed in together, which was a bit off-putting, but as usual their efforts didn't last all that long.  One of them left fairly soon, and another had a couple of disconnections, which just left the mage Vermithra, and she was just level 15, which isn't the ideal level to be standing around in the middle of that room.  I did say that she could "ks" me a bit, but that, since monsters do prefer mages, and healers, as targets, that might not be safe for her.  Finally she headed off to try the ghouls, as being nearer her own level.

An archer called xRAVEx came in for a while, wearing a gang costume (which looks more like a bathrobe than anything else), and a very shiny bow which must have been +15, and we chatted a little.  She even tipped me off that my Elizabeth's Enhancement buff had expired, so I had to go back to Randol to get it renewed.  When she asked if she should leave, I had to say that having us both in that room meant that, really, we were both only going at half speed...

LordDarth had kept going on Hatzring, so Red had joined a solo party, when one became available, and indeed became its leader for the last 40 minutes or so.  I got further along with the skill points than I'd expected, but then, it had been a marathon session.  By the end RedRydeR had gone up by 13.40%, along with gaining 165 guild points - and added 627 skill points, taking her over the 17k mark, and higher than she'd been before spending 2,500 or so sp on the level 30, 32 and 35 skills when she'd turned phoenix and zoomed straight from level 29 to level 35.

And that was the end of the excitement for the day.  By then LordDarth had got the pale blue horse up four levels, to level 23, and over on Auzura-5, MistressDomino went into merchant mode...though she doesn't have as much stock available as MistressDomina on Cariae.

I had considered going along to watch the "Statues of Pain" event at the Dratan "proving grounds" arena, on some conveniently-timed server, but MistressDomino looked so comfortable in merchant mode I didn't want to disturb her.  The idea of having two teams, each defending their own statue and attacking the other one, sounds like a nice idea, if they have a way of making sure that you can't attack people on your own side, either by mistake or for "fun". Apart from 8-man parties, or guild membership, I don't think they can manage to do that trick, at least not in a PvP arena, but I may be wrong.

Tomorrow brings the Sunday Quiz, as usual, and also... "Name that Food"?  As ideas for a trivia quiz go, that sounds a bit weird, but, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Prizes Galore - May 9th

The pet-levelling session that LordDarth began on Hatzring-5 yesterday at breakfast time continued overnight, and into the new day.  There was a time when the game, on my older computer, would run out of memory or play other tricks after just an hour or two, so it's very useful that things have settled down now.  Auzura's MistressDomino was in merchant mode overnight, and continued until coffee time - she sold a useful amount of stuff, the trick will be to actually find the items I want to buy with the gold I've now got.

RedRydeR on Cariae logged on after coffee, for another session in Prokion Temple on Cariae-5.  There were plenty of solo parties to choose from, which also meant that the server was pretty busy - the back room was in use, so I ended up in the corridor room, which has a reasonable supply of orc sergeants, plus a few axemen at the ends.  I could wish that the orcs respawned a bit faster, but it's not a bad place to play.  Its one big disadvantage is that other people tend to come in and make themselves at home, but luckily that didn't happen this time.

I managed to keep going longer than I'd expected, which meant that Red ended up having added 4.56%, taking her past the halfway point in level 35 and giving 53 guild points to Discipline.  227 skill points were earned, which was the important thing.  At that rate of progress, the whole of level 35 would be worth very nearly 5,000 skill points; Red should get slightly more than that, due to the use of her "beginner" platinum super skill pills early in the level...

For the afternoon session, I stayed with RedRydeR, but started off by doing most of her outstanding quests - which meant heading for Merac, and killing pilferers, bandits, berserkers, blood frenzies, doom slayers, and gnolls.  So, I covered quite a bit of ground.  I don't intend to claim the quest rewards until Red has finished levelling, and sp-farming, in Prokion, but then they ought to provide a useful little boost.

One thing I did notice was that, while I passed four or five pet-levellers, they had all been ks'd, and were just standing there without fighting anything.  One of them was being attacked by a pilferer, which I'm sure would do them no harm...but it looked as if the pilferer had killed their pet.  I was looking through the screenshots part of the forums a little later, and there was a thread to do with serina, also known as manavich.  Apparently she had run out of pet-levellers on the PvE subservers, and gone onto a PvP one - where she was recognised, and mount-killed (killed while riding her mount) a couple of times.  Nice to think that it was serina who had to go and pay to have her pet unsealed, for a change, rather than one of her many victims.

After the time in Merac, RedRydeR went over to Prokion Temple again, and spent the rest of the afternoon there.  I had to move around a bit as the place was pretty busy, and spent some time on the gallery above the central stairways, before ending up in the "corridor room", which had been in use earlier.  In all, Red managed to add another 8.60%, and 100 guild points for Discipline, plus 336 more skill points.  It wasn't quite as good a ratio of skill points to experience as usual, due to the visit to Merac.  I also did accidentally get onto the compass-map of another member of the solo party, who was level 16, and that really boosted my experience gain for a kill or two...something to check out further when RedRydeR levels up, I decided.

With that in mind, after the early evening food break I logged on a level 20 knight on Cariae-5, one I'd never done much work with, SirKit.  I spent what skill points he had on the first four levels of Canid Fence, for extra defence, and the first level of Vitality Control, for increased health regeneration, and then, after finding a solo party, and getting the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, teleported to Dratan, where, first of all, he did the quest to kill 15 death goddesses, and then after getting the reward teleported to Prokion Temple.

It shows how well-armoured knights are, in that the ghouls and mummies did him no damage at all.  Granted, he was using a level 25 +3 shield and level 25 +3 gauntlets, but his chest armour was still level 5, his boots level 1, and his leggings level 21 +2.  Oh, and he was wearing the Halloween "evil headband" for a knight, giving just 30 defence, until he picked up a level 22 helm of the brave, giving 46 defence.

SirKit reached level 21, anyway, which was the object of the exercise, so that he can team with RedRydeR when Red had reached 36, without being "capped".  He went up 91.27%, and gained 105 skill points, which allowed him to get the fifth level of Canid Fence, three more levels of Vitality Control, and the first three levels of Uncanny Movement, to increase his running speed, as well as the first level of the personal dungeon skill Fatal Divide, which he probably won't use, but is needed before he can start learning some other skills.

Reaching level 21 allowed SirKit to wear the level 26 plate mail and leggings, again +3, so his defence has risen nicely.  The +3 helm and boots are waiting for when he reaches level 22, when he'll be able to wear the whole of the "Radiant" set.

There was still an hour or so to go before I'd need to head for the Quiz Room, so for a change it was the Kaerella on Katar who had a chance to head for Prokion Temple on the fifth subserver.  She is level 32 now, and the orc fighters give the best ratio of skill points to experience... but the place was, as usual for a Sunday evening, rather crowded, and the "mirror" corridor room, which I find is the best place for orc fighters, was already in use.

For a while I moved around, trying to find another good supply of orc fighters - but then I discovered that my favourite back room was free, so decided I might as well stay there for half an hour or so, if I tried to concentrate more on the axemen than the sergeants.  By the time Kae logged out, she had added 16.42%, along with 178 skill points - as she'd been able to equip her drake in the back room, since the axemen are still green-named for her, 654 pet points got added too.

At about ten past eight LordDarth logged out; in all, his horse had gone up eight levels during that marathon session, from yesterday morning to this evening, and was now around 80% of the way through level 27.  It still wasn't quite halfway to the start of level 37, in terms of the total number of pet points needed, but it was good progress, for sure.

MistressDomino logged in in Darth's place, on Auzura-2, and after lightening her inventory a little by putting her 160 remaining item drop boosters into Bianca's storage, went into the Quiz Room.  And then Kaerella logged out from Katar-5, and her namesake logged in on Auzura-2, and hurried to join MD.

The Quiz itself was a bit of a bloodbath.  The question that tripped almost everybody up was the one about the number of oases in Dratan - 5 or 7?  I remembered that it was the lower number, but almost everyone else went for the other half of the room, and vanished... and the doors had not been left open this week. We also lost some people on the question about which side of the Dratan map Prokion Temple is - which is east, not west.  By the time we safely got to question twenty, only nine people were left... so it looks as if that particular server, at least, may be a little short of new heaven stones this week.

TinyFox holds his own little quiz after the official one most Sundays, I think, but this week people were being encouraged to hold their own "Cinco de Mayo" events, so his quiz was mentioned in a forum thread.  So, RedRydeR went along to the announced location, next to the arena in Cariae-1 Randol.  There were fifteen questions, I think, and many of them did have a "Cinco de Mayo" theme - it's a Mexican holiday apparently.  I managed to be the first to answer one question, Red's a ranger so ought to know that Flame Arrow is a ranger skill, after all... and the prize was rather better than [GM]Kali's single pbi, I got two pssps, plus a mana stealer.

TinyFox passed my winnings over to me at the end, and made the slight mistake of going away from his keyboard while still clicked on to RedRydeR, so may have been slightly puzzled to find himself out deep in the countryside when he returned.

There was another event over on Katar-4, being held by the "big titan" DeadlyMatic, assisted by MegaBabe, so the local Kaerella went along to that, and managed to pick up a couple of tool aids early on, plus Remedies and Candy.  There was a race on horseback from the north gate to the west gate, going the long way round, which on my screen I won, but not on other screens, and there was a hide and seek which I didn't manage to do...followed by a "yes or no" type quiz, with plenty of prizes dropped for us all.  DeadlyMatic was generous with the prizes, and another titan, Shinkara, passed over his winnings to me, and maybe a little more... and at the end our host gave us all some more goodies, so Kae ended up with a fine selection of magic attack and defence minerals, item drop boosters, effort scrolls, and even a master coin or three.

That took over an hour, so once it reached the end, it was definitely time for me to log out.  By then LordDarth had got his horse safely into level 28, before he too logged off for the night.

The Long Run - May 10th

LordDarth headed back down into Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-5 at breakfast time today - only to find the knight Dompteur already fighting his usual death mask lancer.  Darth moved along to the next one, which has almost as safe a position, and settled in.

After coffee, LordDarth supplied a solo party for RedRyder, who decided to head out to Velpist Temple in Juno first, to get the four cursed bones that Jajan requires for a quest.  A level 11 knight called ElLoco came into the same room, and asked for a party, so we brought him in - Being in a party with Red, on level 23, who was killing skeleton types of around her own level, rather helped him along, and he reached 14 by the time I had all four cursed bones, and returned to town.

RedRyder then headed for Dratan, got the quest reward, and a new harpy-killing quest, from Jajan, and teleported to Prokion Temple.  With un-plussed armour, even when level 24 was reached the level 23 orc soldiers still did a lot of damage en masse, so Red generally stuck with ghouls and mummies still - but by the time lunch was approaching she had gone up by, in all, 82.84%, plus a first 280 pet points for her dragon hatchling, equipped some of the time, and 140 skill points, which were quickly spent back in town, improving Red's passive skills.

Over lunch, LordDarth managed to get his horse into level 29, while RedRyder did a little mining - though with only the first  basic mining level, she didn't get very much in the way of stones.  And then it was time to hop across to Cariae-5, and log my level 35 phoenix rogue RedRydeR in.

Prokion Temple's back room was free, so Red got to work there, and by the end of the afternoon had added 6.81%, 79 guild points, and 319 skill points.  There wasn't any drama there - but on the older computer, LordDarth noticed that the other pet-leveller, Dompteur, was being attacked by a death mask soldier, which does happen in that room.  Sadly his pet had already been killed; I moved along to kill the soldier, in case its attacks were hurting Dompteur, and while I managed that, the death mask lancer he was fighting started attacking Darth... so we ended up with both knights back in my position, and both of the death mask lancers attacking me.

Dompteur logged out soon after that; I hope he didn't blame Darth for his pet's demise.  Darth moved to the position closer to the door that Dompteur had been using, and eventually managed to get the far lancer to "ping" back to its correct position, so he was back to pet-levelling on a single lancer.

For a change, my level 40 witch MistressSabina had an outing on Auzura-5.  There was a quest available in Merac to kill ten highlanders, so she started off by doing that, and then visited Maargadum Jail, though not going beyond the first area.  I was just a little too late teleporting inside to be able to save a knight's hatchling; I assume he'd been pet-levelling on a spike canine, but someone had moved him forward a bit and lured a pack of the aggressive, pet-eating dire spike canines onto him, and by the time I'd killed a couple of them, the hatchling had vanished.

I spent some time killing spike canines, since they are Sabina's level, and the dire spike canines too, which are a level higher.  After a while a level 31 sorcerer called DAVID9 invited me into a party.  He never said a word, but eventually he got into luring a big group of the dire spike canines and two-headed canines for us to fight - Sabina's Flame Storm skill was useful then, even if it did make most of the canines transfer their attentions from the sorcerer to me.  A level 37 rogue called SlayerXGanja was also there, and was briefly in the party a couple of times.

It wasn't a hugely long session, but MistressSabina added 19.69%, along with 73 skill points - enough to get her total above the 10k mark, which isn't bad, if she's not aiming to go far beyond, say, level 70.  1013 pet points were just enough to get her drake into level 31, too.

For an even briefer session, MrChuckNorris logged in, and checked Dratan for quests, finding that, at level 67, he had the first two quests set in the Forgotten Temple, requiring him to kill spiders and legendary slayers.  So, as he did have the place on his memory scroll, he went down there, and did the necessary fighting.  Including the quest rewards, he just added 2.84% and 11 skill points.

I noticed that I had a mage, Memree, on Sarissa who was only level 5, so as I had some time to spare did a little work on her, fighting berserk wolves and then, to get the "Necklace of Geres" quest done a few times, jaguars.  I'd not played Memree for so long that she still had a "special server" buff on, from many many months ago when Sarissa had "special server" status, so that everyone below level 30 got little "Aladdin's lamp" style buff-drops.  This particular buff gave her 50% extra experience for a few minutes, and I discovered that it did stack with the Elizabuff - at level 7, in a solo party, Memree got 265 experience per berserk wolf while it lasted, and just 212 after it expired.

Memree ended up at level 9, as nine o'clock was approaching, and I needed to log in on Auzura-5 with my rogue Rage (or RAGE, to be strictly accurate), who is level 91 now.  At least this week we all knew that, despite the map on the website, the "Dratan Run" would start from the south gate, not the west one; the giant warrior statues were all in place when I got there about five minutes early, and then, the monsters arrived - and, after killing a couple, and ignoring a couple of others, I actually managed to pick up some loot, two or three each of the usual, or what used to be usual, item drop boosters, skill point boosters, and large attack and defence potions, plus of course some tool aids etc.

If the GM in charge does actually lay down any further loot along the trail, I imagine it all expires and vanishes before we get there, as there are a lot of monsters along the way to deal with, generally around the level 130 to 140 or so range.  Rage did as much as she could, using Flame Arrow to give ten to thirteen thousand damage to flutons, patriarch botises, reinforced troll types, and so on, and Snare as well.  I had resolved to only stay for half an hour, but in the end I stayed for 45 minutes - it was at that point that a Lilit took a dislike to me, I'm sure I'd not attacked it, and chased me back down the road, with my health cut back by around a third.  That seemed a suitable incentive to head back to town, before my luck ran out.

There seemed a pretty good turnout, with some really high level people there, but I'm sure it will take a while for them to reach the far end of the trail.  I was recruited into a party by a level 84 knight called RayHaskins, but he left before I did.

LordDarth had kept busy in Maargadum Jail, and got the pale blue horse into level 30 before the end of the evening, which is at least slightly past the halfway point in the trip to level 37.

Time for the Tomb - May 11th

After having the night off, LordDarth headed for level five of Maargadum Jail before breakfast this morning on Hatzring-4; if I'd expected to need him to provide a solo party for Hatzring's Kaerella or RedRyder I'd have put him on the fifth subserver again, as Kae and Red do need the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff they can only get there, but generally H-4 is quieter, and indeed the Jail seemed deserted when Darth ran through it.

Darth's work there was all that happened this morning, as I had to go out to do a monthly "big shop", as well as a trip to the post office, so my morning was rather busy.  Still, Darth kept going without any problems, and by the end of the lunch break his horse was getting pretty near to the top of level 30.

It was, however, time to try teaming up my level 91 ranger-rogue Rage and my level 84 archer Kaerella on Auzura-4; Rage checked the condition of the Tomb of Theos and found it was set to maximum easy, so, after transferring some platinum blessed irises across from MistressBlaze, Rage and Kaerella made a combat party, teleported to the Tomb entrance, and went in.

The place was reasonably quiet most of the time.  For the first hour Kae just stood and watched, providing the combat party bonus for Rage - and Rage used berserker, crit and platinum adrenaline potions, along with a pbi and 147 experience boosters.  It looks as if it is about time for Rage to seek out harder foes than screaming zombies, as soon as she gets the last two parts of the 85/87 armour set, as even killing 147 screaming zombies in an hour, boosted twelve-fold by the pbi and xpbs, only got her 43.54% experience, along with 3 skill points and 974 pet points.  Kae got 2.83%, and 4 skill points, just for being there.

We changed over to an equal party after that, with Rage using the same potions, but no experience boosters, and both Rage and Kaerella using platinum blessed irises.  Rage did most of the fighting, but Kaerella was able to help too, and equip her drake, SirFrancis. Rage got 6.97%, 4 skill points, and 979 pet points, while Kaerella got 29.88%, 3 skill points, and 523 pet points.

There was just time for a third hour before the early evening food break, which went pretty similarly to the second hour.  There were a couple of people, a rogue and a sorcerer, that I allowed to "ks" me, but they didn't stay long; the place was a bit busier generally, with an archer power-levelling a friend, and a night shadow levelling his pet jaguar - he managed to get it lodged against one of the corners in the corridor wall, so that it stayed out of harm's way but within range to gain experience.  Pets that wall-hug, whatever next? 

Kaerella reached level 85 during this third hour, which is useful, as it means she will be able to get and equip a new bow, with a little help from MistressDomino's gold reserves.  Rage went up another 6.69%, plus 3 more skill points and 906 pet points, and Kae added 28.22%, 3 skill points again, and 528 pet points.

The early evening food break had to be a bit extended, but I left Rage and Kae in the Tomb, and continued there afterwards - but without using any pots or boosters.  It must have been a bit under two hours, as they each got 5 more skill points - Rage went up 3.53%, along with getting her drake into level 38 courtesy of 1806 more pet points, and Kaerella went up 14.20%, and got 1159 pet points.

At about ten to nine both characters logged out from the Tomb of Theos.  Kaerella was replaced by LordDarth, who hurried back to Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-4, and soon got his horse into level 31.  Rage, however, just hopped across from Auzura-4 to Auzura-5, and took the teleporter to Merac village... as the day's event, the "Merac Run", was due to begin there at nine.

I got recruited into a party with people from level 27 upwards; the top player in it was a level 102 assassin-type rogue, TaterTot, who had Recall, which some people found useful, if they happened to respawn in town due to a death or a disconnection.  At nine many of us ran down the path, finding absolutely no monsters, and got as far as the final area before their was a jerk of lag, and the monsters appeared.  Luckily I was off to one side, and was able to mount up and use "pet return to village" without being attacked.

The run began properly then, starting with wafes and masters of secret technique, jumping devils and spiders from the Forgotten Temple, and gradually ramping up, with grand golden dragons, and soon we were fighting ancient screaming zombies and other stuff that was red-named for Rage, and soon for TaterTot too.  The final area, where the elite cerberi lurk around the teleporter into Misty Canyon, had the usual really high-level golems, and patriarch botises, flutons, etc.  I found myself tanking a Commander Agaress, level 133, not something I'd wish to make a habit of, but luckily Snare worked most of the time, and other people joined in.

I didn't see any big loot drops, though I picked up a little cash... the drops from the individual monsters are more likely to get picked up by the melee fighters, rather than ranged attackers.  The grand golden dragons, being Egeha raid bosses, did drop their usual moonstones, tool aids, lucky scrolls, and so on, but not for me.  Still, it was a fun time, and we finished within an hour.  Despite having low-level people in the party, Rage added another 0.55%, a skill point, and 556 pet points.

The maintenance tonight is going to be longer than its usual three hours; I did see the figure of fourteen hours mentioned, but let us hope that things don't take that long.  Hardware upgrades to improve the servers are promised, as well as the usual new week's patch, so tomorrow could be a little bit fraught.  It all depends how the tests on the new server equipment go.  LordDarth may get a bit of a lie-in, but we shall see.

More Orc-Slaying - May 12th

Last Chaos was safely up and running again by the time I got up; it seems that the big server improvements are being phased in over a number of stages, but they are confident that now, at least, any "rollbacks" needed will be for a day rather than a fulll week.  So, LordDarth was able to head for Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-4 before breakfast.

Dompteur was already pet-levelling at the first spot on the right, so once again Darth had to move slightly further along, but things progressed smoothly through the morning, with nobody's pet getting attacked by a death mask soldier.

After coffee my level 35 phoenix ranger rogue RedRydeR logged on to Cariae-5, and headed for Prokion Temple, and that favourite back room.  After a few minutes a solo party became available, which was useful.  Just before the end a level 29 titan who was in the party, Evocati, briefly entered my room, and then hurried off - when I logged out I let him know that the room was now free.  By then Red had gone up by exactly 5%, gaining 58 guild points for Discipline; adding an extra 227 skill points took her total above the 18k mark, so that's pretty good progress.

The afternoon session was a bit similar; LordDarth continued his pet-levelling, and got his horse into level 32, while on the newer, or less old, computer, Kaerella logged in on Katar-5, where she is a level 32 archer.  Fighting the orc sergeants and orc axemen would give her too much experience, and not enough skill exp, is the thinking, so Kae headed for the mirror half of the temple's "corridor room", with its plentiful supply of level 25 orc fighters, and a single orc axeman.  So, during the afternoon Kaerella added just 9.00%, along with 61 guild points for Discipline, plus more importantly 258 skill points.

After a little checking around and moving of items to MistressDomino on Auzura by the "send gift" option, for the evening I decided, since it would be one of my usual early-ending Wednesday evening sessions, that the best thing I could do would be to get RedRydeR a little further through level 35, on Cariae-5.  So, back I went to Prokion Temple, finding my room free again - it may be the best room for the level 29 orc sergeants and level 27 orc axemen, but a lot of people seem to prefer to make their main efforts on the lower-level monsters in the Temple.

With about half an hour to go before I had to leave, a level 29 knight called oOLegolasOo charged in and started fighting, but he seemed pleasant enough company, and we chatted, and indeed ended up adding each other to our Friends lists.  It is surprising how many people don't know that reaching level 31 will automatically plonk straight into their inventory all five pieces of the 30/32 armour set for their class, plus both level 33 weapons, plus for a knight the level 33 shield, all +10... while that may be a nice surprise, some people just don't have enough inventory space for it all at the relevant moment, and thus lose out.

So, I was talking about how useful the Elizabeth's Enhancement was, and how he'd need to spend 228 skill points to maximise Mana Break, the level 30 skill, before he could choose which class to bem temple knight or royal knight, and how many skill points it took to upgrade his guild, and indeed where myst eyes could be found, and the drawbacks and expenses on "P2" type pets... which helped slow down my killing rate, so that there were just about enough orcs to go round.

RedRydeR ended up earning another 6.53%, so that she is now more than three-quarters of the way through her level, along with 76 guild points and 305 skill points.  Another three or four sessions should get her to level 36, at which point we will start trying to speed things up a bit.

LordDarth continued his pet-levelling through the evening, and eventually the "Creature Carnival" event meant an hour or so of double pet experience, which helps him, even if I'm not able to go along to the special area in Dratan.  Not that Darth would really want to fight the wafes there, or indeed attempt to get past the masters of secret technique and dragons to get there, but some evening it would be good to see where the stone statue for levelling drakes and horses is.  714, 2150 is the location, apparently - maybe one week Keerella and Barbarienne can take SkrappY along.

There is a special free offer this week, which I was able to take advantage of.  Aeria has a lot of deals in place, both in the USA and Britain, and maybe elsewhere, where you can get "free aeria points" for doing something - such as signing up for ringtones, or newsletters, or indeed getting a new phone contract.  And this week, if you sign up for an offer and get your free points, you will be sent a free package of goodies in-game.  So, I managed to sign up on a survey site, and after a few misfires with surveys I didn't qualify for, give my ratings on a number of stores, and earn a less-than-massive 18 aeria points...about twelve pence, perhaps?

The package of items will be small, but hey, it will be free, so what's not to like?

Reaching a New Level - May 13th

LordDarth had rather too eventful a night, with his attempt to stay pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-4.  First, there was one of those "vital" Microsoft updates, which arrogantly decided it simply must restart the computer, so that stopped Darth in his tracks for a while.  Then, as inevitably happens occasionally down on level five, a death mask soldier got too near, and joined the fight, killing Darth's poor horse.  A second death mask lancer got involved too, they are protective of each other, but LordDarth's armour was, luckily, up to the challenge, and even three foes couldn't hurt him.

So, Darth had to return to Randol and get the animal trainer to "unseal" his dead pet, which with the pet at level 33 now cost 243,936 gold, and then he had to get back to Maargadum and run back down again.  Still, all was well - until soon after nine he got a disconnection, so had to be logged back in, moved to the Jail, and run through the levels once more.

MistressDomino on Auzura-5 had had a good night selling items; she'd been on the newer computer, and I'd restarted that late yesterday as I knew it had updates to install for Vista, even though there was at that time no indication that the older XP-running machine would also be hit.  I checked around the other merchants this morning, and it looks as if I sold some heaven stones rather cheaply - or maybe the prices a few people are asking, of almost three times the usual level, are only a hangover from a recent 50% upgrade event, and nobody would now pay that much.

I couldn't find anybody selling chaos balls on that server, to give me an idea what to charge for them... but what I did find was a level 87 healer helm, blue named, with the five evasion seals, +14, for 550 million, being sold by killmenow.  So, that's one part of Kaerella's next armour set sorted, though she can't wear it yet.

RedRackham went out to do a little pet-levelling with the bandits in Merac on Auzura-4, as I wasn't actually able to do any fighting before lunch.  His drake may already be level 37, but a bit more experience is always useful.  By the end of the breakm level 38 was getting reasonably near.

For the afternoon session, RedRydeR headed for Prokion Temple on Cariae-5 again - getting her up to around level 55 is one of my main priorities at the moment, and as, for level 35 at least, she doesn't have to have another character within range for a combat party or other arrangement, it's handy that LordDarth can keep going with his pet-levelling.

So, my favourite back room was available, and a full session, lasting around 2 hours 40 minutes, produced 9.50% experience plus 110 guild points, along with 421 skill points.

I also had time to check  Roy's merchant mart, and found a +15 pair of gloves to complete Barbarienne's set, again for 550 million.  The only slight problem is that these "Ebade Gloves of Dimension +15", while blue-named, meaning they give the maximum defence, only have four rather than five evasion seals, giving an increase of 78 to close range and 67 to long range evasion, plus twice 56 evasion - they don't add any dexterity.  So, if I have the gold and do see +15 b5e healer gloves some day, I may well be tempted to buy them, and sell these.  But I'd been looking for a few days without any luck, so it seemed a good idea to get what I could.

The evening session was a pretty similar thing, but about an hour longer, so RedRydeR had to quickly teleport back to town when the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff ran out, get it from Elizabeth again, and hurry back.  11.51% experience was just enough to get RedRydeR into level 36; she earned another 134 guild points for Discipline, and a further 584 skill points, meaning that the two sessions between them gave her just over a thousand skill points.

Our tactics will change now for Red; in her new level with a solo party the orc sergeants and axemen still give the same experience figures, which with the experience gain on 50% thanks to the guild semi-freeze, and the Elizabuff to double it again, are 1896 and 1284 respectively.  However the skill exp falls from 4400 and 2200 to 3300 and 1100, so doing the level in a solo party way just would take too long and not be worth all the trouble.  Bringing in a lower-level character ought to speed things up dramatically.

Reaching level 36 means that the special "neckless" RedRyder was given at level 20 can no longer be equipped.  So, MistressDomina bought an extra "Eyes of Spirit" accessory from AdarenHUN, who was in merchant mode on Cariae-4 close to Roy - with its 168 increase to long range physical hit rate, along with 78 close range evasion, plus 44 each to health and mana, it makes a decent replacement for the "Fatal Neckless of Rogue", which also gave the 168, along with a rather better 112 close range evasion, and added 16 to dexterity and 20 to the chance of a critical hit.  There seem to be two types of "neckless" for each character, one following each of the class choices - Red luckily got the ranger-type one, rather than the assassin version, which is more suitable for close-range combat.

LordDarth continued his pet-levelling; there was one point after lunch when a death mask soldier did get involved, but luckily it didn't do any damage to the horse, concentrating on Darth, who, once I noticed the situation, was able to kill it, and then return to fighting the death mask lancer.  By the end of the evening, level 35 had been safely reached, but if RedRydeR needs a companion in future, Darth won't get the chance to do any more day-long sessions for a while.

The Two Faces of Prokion Temple - May 14th

I had just started posting the finished blog last night when LordDarth got disconnected - and it wasn't just me, it was the whole of Last Chaos that had been cut off in its prime.  Apparently there was a problem with the Katar server, and initially the GMs thought that only Katar would need to be brought down - but it all had to be axed.  The forum shoutbox was busy of course, and [GM]Ozymandias apologised for the "miscommunication" that had led them to announce that only Katar was being taken offline.

Whatever the problem was, Katar apparently needed to stay down for a while, but the other servers were allowed back up after ten minutes or so, so LordDarth got back on to Hatzring-4, on the newer computer this time, and returned to level five of Maargadum Jail.

I just beat Dompteur to that location, and, after killing the death mask soldier that is often too near the entrance to avoid, started to spar with the local lancer, and we chatted a bit, though he doesn't think the other position I sometimes use is safe enough, and left after a while to play on his sorcerer.  Dompteur is level 38, he said, "for armour...and to keep the pets from starving fast."

Darth got through most of the night safely, but I woke a little early, and decided to check up on him - only to find that someone had recently not just ks'd him, killing the lancer, they had lured no less that four death mask soldiers onto him. Luckily the soldiers had concentrated on Darth, and the horse was still alive and well, and even four level 47 death mask soldiers weren't able to harm my level 35 temple knight.  Still, it is worrying that someone would, I assume, make a special journey down to level five of the Jail, just to try to kill a harmless pet-leveller and his horse.

Still, LordDarth continued pet-levelling until after coffee time, with his horse moving steadily through level 35; RedRackham on Auzura joined in for a little while, and got his drake to level 38.  But then it was time to move some items around - stuff to sell across to MistressDomino, and Barbarienne's new +15 gloves across to her.

There was still time for a session in Prokion Temple, though, so RedRydeR and SirKit logged in on Cariae-5, level 36 rogue and level 21 knight, teamed up in a general party, and headed for my favourite back room.

There weren't any problems, and RedRydeR got slightly more skill exp per kill from the orc sergeants, and around 50% more from the orc axemen, and masses more experience - so that instead of about 4%, by the time lunch was ready Red had added 18.28%, along with 251 guild points.  SirKit had levelled up four times, reaching level 25, so had not just been able to put on the last of the 25/27 armour set, now he was able to put on the gloves from the 30/32 set, and the new level 29 shield.  His total experience gain was 397.71%, while both he and Red had added 233 skill points.

LordDarth did a little more pet-levelling over lunch, but for the afternoon session RedRydeR and SirKit resumed their joint efforts, after Kaerella had recruited SirKit into Discipline, and set his experience gain to 50%.

Things went pretty smoothly in the back room again; we were joined briefly by a level 23 sorcerer called Toomi, you insisted on joining our party.  By then Kit had reached level 26, so was only ten levels behind Red, which meant that the party type had been switched to combat, so Kit had to be made leader to recruit Toomi.  He didn't stay long; he was one of those people who don't seem to believe in using health potions, and fighting a mob of orcs while your health is at 25% or below is a recipe for disaster.  When he died, he left the party, and I saw him later fighting the orc soldiers, which are the best targets for him, since they are his level.

SirKit added 119.28% during the afternoon, greatly slowed down by the 50% experience gain freeze (bringing in 198 guild points for Discipline) and the switch to a combat party; RedRydeR went up by a massive 36.40%, and 500 guild points.  They each gained 373 skill points... that number was enough to get Red above the 20k mark for her total stash of unused sp.

Over the early evening food break LordDarth went back to Maargadum Jail again.  A knight called xDARKSHADOWx was in the preferred position close to the entrance, so Darth moved along to the second death mask lancer, managing to get his horse into its final pre-mount level, 36, before he logged out again.

For the evening, we continued with RedRydeR and SirKit, though I'd probably have changed if someone else had been using the Prokion Temple back room.  I had to finish soon after a quarter to nine, UK time, but by then Red had finished level 36, having gone through it all in the one day - this session brought her 57.67%, and 822 more guild points, while SirKit added 58.97%, and 117 guild points for Discipline.  And they each got 510 more skill points.

After that I logged LordDarth back in, so that he could return to Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-4 for a bit more pet-levelling.  The prime spot was free this time, so Darth was able to start making inroads into his horse's level 36.

A "Dungeon Run" was due to start on Auzura-5 at nine, set in Prokion Temple, so, as I'd missed the previous one, I wanted to take Rage along.  She had to ride down from Dratan City as she doesn't have that location on her memory scroll any more, but I got there with a minute or so to spare, and used the "shout" chat option to warn the local sp-hunters that they ought to retreat, as some high-level stuff was about to be spawned.

There was a lurch of lag, and then the place was full of cube guards, lilits, reinforced troll kings, and other high-level stuff. It's an awkward place to fight, as it's so cramped, and not designed for battling level 140 foes.  We did have a good turn-out, though, and though I got into trouble a few times, with my health right down, Rage managed to survive.  The extra magical defence from her three +15 armour pieces probably helped, particularly with a mage quanian type which hit me with a niva-style "dark screen" hex...and right at the end a patriarch botis managed to stun me, so that I couldn't move away from its attacks, but luckily my evasion was good enough to keep me alive until I could finally run for it.

I did think the fight was over just inside an hour, but we discovered further rooms... however, I decided that I really ought to log out, before tiredness got me into more trouble than I could get out of.  I used quite a few great healing potions, and mana potions too - and Rage went up 0.89%, and probably picked up a few gold coins along the way.

It had all been a bit of a shock for the sp-farmers there, really the GMs would do better to hold such events on the fourth subserver, since that is a lot less busy.  It seemed to be another "set it and forget it" event, with a game master spawning the monsters and then leaving us to it - I didn't see any rewarding loot drops, and there was no sign of any GM involvement during the event.  The only messages were warnings that the Katar server was having to be taken offline again, due to its continuing lag and log-in problems.  Just a five-minute warning, so not ideal if one had recently started one-hour pots there, but it's the thought that counts...

The Time-Travelling GM - May 15th

LordDarth managed a successful overnight pet-levelling session, though when I checked up on his progress halfway through the night I found that he had managed to attract a death mask soldier, which luckily was attacking him rather than the horse.  So Darth was, once he killed that soldier and moved back to a slightly safer position, able to continue with his work.  This meant that just before half past nine in the morning, the horse reached level 37, so I immediately unequipped it, and equipped the level 12 pony that Darth had previously been working on.

MistressDomino on Auzura sold some stuff overnight, to get back about half of the 550 million gold she recently paid out; after coffee she logged out, though, as I needed to clear out the records section on the KaerellaBlaise account, to make room for some new item mall purchases.  The "Windswept" package isn't greatly thrilling, with 75 experience boosters, a platinum blessed iris, a large crit potion, and 10 chaos balls for 645 aeria points, but it was on "buy one, get another for 1 ap" special offer - and if I did that four times I'd be spending over 2,500 ap, which would qualify me for a "tiered spender event" bonus of 150 more experience boosters, 18 platinum blessed irises, 160 chaos balls, 10 experience boxes, 5 health stealers, 5 mana stealers, 20 power potions, 20 berserker potions, 20 platinum adrenaline, and 20 lucky spell books - which seemed like an offer worth taking up, to me.

LordDarth had got his original pony well into level 13, and got back 18% of its Sympathy, by the time he returned to Randol,  There, the level 37 pale blue horse was traded across to Hatzring's Kaerella, who immediately converted it into a mount - which means that now Kaerella on all six servers has a level 37 pale blue horse to ride, so that little job is finished.

There was still time for an hour or so in Prokion Temple before lunch, so RedRydeR and SirKit headed there on Cariae-5. As Kit was eleven levels below Red, the party was of the equal type to begin with, only changing to combat when he levelled up, and was able to put on the level 32 Steel helm and boots.  His 30/32 set may only be +3, not +10, but it does seem enough to keep him safe while fighting orc sergeants and axemen...though just standing there while being bashed by a round dozen of them might not be a good idea, I decided.

Reaching the new level did cut back the experience and skill exp gain per kill a little; the axemen still give more skill exp than when RedRydeR was level 35 and in a solo party, but the sergeants give slightly less now.  The experience gain is still pretty useful, though.  By the time lunch was almost ready, RedRydeR had earned 14.11% experience, along with 228 guild points, while SirKit was up by 30.67% and 67 gp.  And they'd each added 168 more skill points.

I did have a couple of visitors, a sorcerer and a rogue, but neither of them was high enough level to stay around for all that long. 

LordDarth went down to the Jail over the lunch break, and had got his pony into level 14 by the time he logged out, to allow SirKit back on; the pony's Sympathy was up to 41% by then.

The afternoon session was, again, RedRydeR and SirKit in Prokion Temple, without interruptions this time.  SirKit went up 39.01%, and 97 guild points, mainly just picking up the loot but occasionally doing some fighting if there was a spare orc nearby, and RedRydeR got 34.77%, as well as contributing 562 more guild points to Discipline.  They each gained 378 skill points - so as this took Red over the 21,000 mark for unspent sp, it seemed time for Kaerella to unlock her experience gain, which she did immediately after the early evening food break.

The evening session was a pretty long one - if I have to go back to Randol to get the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff restarted, after its three hours has ended, I know I've been busy for a while.  Kit and Red took it in turns to go back, to keep the room busy; Red still gets 550 skill exp from the sergeants, I noticed, in a solo party, but just 2 from the axemen.  Kit does rather better for skill exp, though he kills a lot more slowly.  Fighting a mob of at least eight assorted orcs was slightly more than Kit's +3 armour could shrug off, his health had declined by about 20% by the time Red returned.

At about five past eight, UK time, the usual warning message came up: "Sunday Quiz will be starting in 25 mins!!  Start heading to your quiz rooms!!"  The forum shoutbox was soon busy with people having a chuckle about that, since today was actually Saturday.  "Sorry about the Sunday Quiz message!!  GM Error!!" soon followed, and from I think a different keyboard "LOLZ forget that last message.. GM time travel", which rather explains it.  Hmm, I wonder if it was [GM]Darasuum who was a day ahead of himself?

Red's experience gain had speeded up, now that she was no longer donating half of it to Discipline, so her gain for the evening was 79.01%, taking her 40% of the way through level 38.  SirKit, since most of the time he wasn't fighting, and it was a combat party, just added 42.96%,  Red added 563 skill points, and Kit added 566.  Towards the end, the rogue xYouHeartHot came back, having previously dropped in yesterday.  She was level 27 now, and asking about getting a level 29 weapon, but I assured her that her level 21 event weapon was just as good as an ordinary level 29 one.  She has a level 33 +10 weapon ready for when she reaches level 29, so seems to be well set up.  She mentioned that she had had a level 96 knight at one time, but that account got banned.

Back in Randol, RedRydeR was able to spend 292 skill points on the two levels of the passive skill Defence Guard, which increased her physical defence stat from 798 to 903, and also learn two attack skills, all five levels of the very useful Flame Arrow for 293 sp. and the first five levels of Piercing for the same,  So, that was 878 skill points well invested.

LordDarth logged back in for a little more pet-levelling work on his pony, though he won't keep going overnight, as it's time the computers, and modem, had a rest.  The pony should be well into level 15 by the time he logs out.  There was a "Zombie Invasion" event scheduled for just outside Dratan City, but even on Auzura it doesn't start until ten, UK time...and I seem to have had rather a lot of late nights recently, so I'm afraid they'll have to manage without Rage.

From the Temple to the Jail - May 16th

The pet-levelling started again at breakfast time, with LordDarth heading down into Maargadum Jail once more.  After coffee though he had to stop, so that RedRydeR and SirKit, over on Cariae-5, could head back out to Prokion Temple.

SirKit was, at level 27, eleven levels behind RedRydeR, so the party had to be an equal one, and we kept it that way, so that SirKit could catch up a bit, to get closer to just ten levels behind.  That meant Red gained experience a bit more slowly, but still got as much skill exp as usual.  The back room was in use, so Red and Kit ended up in the corridor room close by, which doesn't have quite enough orcs in it to be ideal, but does have a slightly better ratio of the higher-level sergeants to the axemen. 

By the end of the session, RedRyder had added 25.12%, and SirKit had added 62.47%, since the levels he is going through currently are a bit shorter than Red's.  SirKit also earned 188 guild points for Cariae's version of the Discipline guild, and they each got 277 skill points, which were enough to get RedRydeR back up over the 21k mark again, after spending so many on skills yesterday.

Over lunch, LordDarth went back to Jail, and got his pet into level 16, so that the cute little pony is now a good big horse.  Its Sympathy was now approaching 100% again, too.  There was some searching around for the various armour pieces I need too, when I got back to the computer, but there wasn't anything suitable available.

Then RedRydeR and SirKit went back to the Temple.  This time, the place was getting crowded, so I ended up in the "mirror" half's back room, which meant that most of the time Red had two orc soldiers hitting away at her while she ignored them - they still give a little experience, but, at level 23, only 2 skill exp.  Red and Kit were in a combat party, so RedRydeR went up a bit more this time, adding 33.76%, while SirKit added just 16.64%, and donated 52 guild points.  And they each added 283 skill points, which shows that the session was only slightly longer than the morning one.  We stopped with Red on 99% of her level, so that a combat party could still be made, with it requiring no more than ten levels between members at the start.

Over the early evening food break LordDarth's horse reached level 17 - but then it was time for the team-up of SirKit and RedRydeR to continue, probably for the last time in Prokion Temple.  This time I was lucky, and the back room was free - whoever had been using it had only left recently, as there was still some loot on the floor, including a drake egg, though I think one of the gold drops vanished as I went to pick it up.

It wasn't a hugely long session, as the Sunday Quiz was due, this actually being Sunday, at 8:30pm, UK time.  Still, RedRydeR managed to put on an extra 25.01%, quickly levelling up to 39, while SirKit, in the combat party and remaining on 28, added 19.04%, along with 59 guild points.  And they each got 275 skill points, so that Red has got back almost all the sp she spent on those three new skills yesterday.

At eight o'clock, though, an announcement came up that, for the next 24 hours, the cap on experience gain was being raised to 500%.  This led to much discussion in the forum shoutbox as to what would stack - unfortunately someone soon reported that a platinum blessed iris (200% extra experience for an hour) still wouldn't "stack" with a blessed iris (100% extra for three hours), but 10-minute scrolls giving an extra 50% seemed to work apparently.  In theory an "elixir" ought to work too, but apparently there is some sort of bug with that at present, sigh.  So, while the announcement might have seemed exciting, it was a bit of a damp squib... and people who thought the announcement meant that there was to be an actual 600% experience event were sadly disappointed.

Some people were disappointed with the Quiz too, as it started with the old "Does [GM]Krash run the 'Pharaoh's Treasure' event?"  Us old-timers are used to going for "yes" on that, even though Krash left Aeria Games months ago, but some quiz rooms were apparently a bit literal-minded, and opted for "no", and so got kicked out for giving, in effect, the right answer.  [GM]Stratos in the shoutbox did assure us that the question would never appear again, anyway.

Over on Auzura-2, people were vowing to avoid last week's mass expulsion, and I helpfully commented that Dratan does have just five oases in its desert.  I think almost everyone got through to the end and got all their prizes, so we at least were happy.  There were still some people who seemed to be able to stay in even if they were on the wrong side, so either there is an exploit going on, or it was just a lag effect.  I was hoping to see Elvastar, or his knight Ratel, there, but there was no sign of him.

After the quiz I decided to take RedRydeR and SirKit to Maargadum Jail, just to fight the spike canines and dire spike canines on the ground floor.  They give slightly more experience to my duo than the orcs now, but a lot less skill exp.  It was an equal party, so while Red added 8.52%, SirKit gained 21.21%, levelling up to 29, and earned 74 guild points.  They only got 16 skill points each, though.  At least fighting white-named foes meant that Red got a few drops, including a hand of the warrior and some bits of armour, which, as often happens in Maargadum, were ready-plussed a bit.

A rogue or two appeared after a while, and an archer, and the area got a bit busy.  There was a knight called Romancy who I'm sure was in an armour set beyond the 30/32 set, but, even fighting single canines, or perhaps having an aggressive dire spike canine come in, he did seem to get through a lot of health potions, and not small ones, while RedRydeR didn't have to use any.  SirKit stayed well back near the teleporter - but did lose a lot of health once, when someone running back brought a mob of canines with them.  When the player teleported out, poor Kit was the nearest person for them to turn their attention too, so he was probably lucky to survive.

LordDarth went back to Hatzring-4's Maargadum Jail after that for a little more work on his horse, but that was the end of the excitement for today.  [GM]Kali was down to do a Hide & Seek event later on, but even the first server didn't start that until ten, UK time, and I'm never any good at finding hidden game masters or game sages.  There was a strange twist to the event - after you'd found Kali, and got your prize,  "you have the opportunity to take off your armor and challenge GM Kali to a fight!  If she kills you, you have the chance to win 100 Chaos Balls!"  I love that "if" bit... and how is the "chance" done?  All strange stuff!  Tomorrow evening there will be a "dungeon run", but it is set for Misty Canyon, and from some unfortunate experiences there back when [GM]Beatrice was battling to prevent the Gate of Shadows from opening, I know that Rage and Barbarienne are both too low to survive there for very long.