Kaerella's Blog - stardate August 2010 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the new month begins here at the top!
An Evening Session - August 1st

The double pet experience, at least on Auzura, continued for a while after the end of the "Creature Carnival" last night, and RedRackham was able to get his drake comfortably past the halfway mark in level 40 before logging out.

That, however, was the last computer-type activity around here until Sunday evening, when the main priority was to get as many characters as possible their half-hour "attendance"...if, that was, the later start to my LC day meant that their 10% bonus hadn't already expired.  So, it was with some trepidation that I logged MrChuckNorris in on Auzura-5, to see what message he would receive.

Luckily, logging on around ten hours later than usual didn't phase my valiant crew, and they all managed to get their attendance bonuses sorted out in the usual way, with some standing around in town while I ate, and generally caught up on things, and others managing a bit of mining or herb farming.  MistressSabina even managed a session on the second floor of Maargadum Jail with the spike canines, dire spike canines, and two-headed canines, for a little under an hour, and got 9.90% experience, 47 skill points, and 577 pet points.

But then it was time for the Sunday Quiz, so MistressDomino and Kaerella logged in on Auzura-2, as has been their habit recently.  There was no sign of Ratel and his colleagues Argoth and Liezl this time, but things ran swiftly and smoothly for us, though as usual there were reports in the forum shoutbox of problems - though I don't remember any previous reports of the question box not appearing, leaving people on the wrong side when the (invisible) countdown finished.  Kaerella traded her new moonstones and heaven stones across to MistressDomino once the event was over, and then MistressDomino logged out, to be replaced by RedRackham, who headed off to Merac to do some pet-levelling.

Kaerella stayed online for a few more minutes, as she hadn't quite finished her "attendance allowance" half hour.  In fact, with the usual after-Quiz lag, the message that she had qualified took a few extra minutes to appear, but the time passed quickly enough - Kae equipped her polar bear cub, and I just watched it do its animation, sitting down and wiping its face with one paw, then standing up and looking ready for action, with a silly grin on my face.

I'd remembered not to acknowledge the "timed out" windows that RedRackham got, so he had logged in slowly but surely, and by the time Kae logged out and MistressSabina logged back in, things were improving.  There wasn't time for a very long second session down in the Jail, but Sabina added a further 5.68%, 26 skill points, and 320 pet points, so she is making reasonably good progress down there.

I was also a bit active on the shoutbox, hopefully "helping" Giovanna_X with some answers, and indeed filling in for a while after she left, until Pimorez, thankfully, appeared.  But once he was in charge, I was able to tiptoe away, and concentrate more on finishing this blog's day.... which, as usual, ended with RedRackham busily pet-levelling.  By the time the computer needed to be switched off, the drake was more than two-thirds of the way through level 40.

Stop The Carnival - August 2nd

There wasn't time for any actual playing in the morning, again, but the various characters were able to log in for their 30 minutes each, or more if I was out at the post office, and RedRackham logged in for some pet-levelling too, after MistressDomina had done her half hour.  It was just after lunch that RedRackham's drake reached level 41 - and, moving from Auzura-4 to Auzura-5 to provide the solo party, he kept going through the afternoon too, though at the new level the quality stones were being used up rather quickly...it was starting to be reminiscent of when a level 22 knight, fighting treants perhaps, was trying to get a horse all the way to level 37.

The afternoon session saw MistressSabina busy on the second floor of Maargadum Jail...and she finally reached level 43, which meant that the ordinary spike canines are now green-named for her, while the double-headed canines are now her exact level.  There were a few people about, and I saw a mage that had recently been "assisting" MistressDomina, it's always good to see one of that bunch getting some skill points.

By the end of the session MistressSabina had put on 29.08%, plus 136 skill points, which took her temporarily over the 11k mark, and 1722 pet points. Sabina's drake was only level 32, so it seemed a good idea to have her take over RedRackham's one - so the pair rendezvoused back in Randol by the animal trainer, reset their drakes' skills, and swapped them across.  Red was then able to go back to Merac and get through quality stones at the old, regular rate - while Sabina set her new drake's skills to give her 30 levels of boosting her magical attack, and 10 levels of physical defence.

MistressSabina's existing special skills did not include master armoursmith and master weaponsmith, which have their first two levels at a character's level 32 and 42, with the final level at 52, so I decided that I ought to bank some skill points there.  They were both pretty expensive in sp, taking in all 1300 skill points - so Sabina's stash of unused sp has fallen back below 10k again now.

Over the early evening food break RedRackham got his new drake into level 32, which restored its health, previously nibbled at by Maargadum's canines, to 100%, and MistressSabina did a little mining, as her stocks of quality stones were a bit low.  But then it was time to log MistressDomina and Kaerella in, still on Auzura-5, and head for the Tomb of Theos, to do a bit of levelling, and a bit of pet-levelling, both for MD's drake and Kaerella's polar bear.

Once again I arrived at a bad time, and encountered a big group of screaming zombies that had been brought down on the people in the corridor by a night shadow called NSattack, who had objected to someone ks'ing him.  The poor polar bear cub died in the melee... so Kaerella had to return to Dratan City and get him unsealed, which at level twelve cost 232,672 gold.  The poly did die again later, in roughly similar circumstances, though I thought I'd managed to unequip him in time... I wasn't going to bother going back to town and unseal him again just for half an hour, but then Kaerella got a "send error report?" type crash, so spent 256,224 gold getting him unsealed at level 13.  It was lucky I picked up two or three heaven stones during the evening, to cover such expenses.

Most of the time it was the usual kind of fun "one for all and all for one" group effort, with a high-level sorcerer bringing in more mobs specially for us.   In fact when NSattack returned later, lured a big group, and said "Aren't I evil?", I casually mentioned that some kind, helpful people had been doing exactly the same thing...  Still, those large groups were risky for some of our people around level 40, because if they happened to target a zombie nobody else was attacking, then it could easily target them in return.

I stayed a bit longer than I had intended.  There had been another "Creature Carnival" scheduled, but despite the best efforts of the GM team, led by [GM]AwesomeSauce, they couldn't sort out a technical problem, and gave up on the "CC" idea... so instead we had double experience and skill exp turned on, which was a very useful boost. 

Kaerella was generally just in the combat party with MD, standing at the back doing occasional Heals, especially when we briefly had the level 90 BabevKnight in the party, and looking after the polar bear cub.  There were times when she had to take off the cub, when spare zombies were around, and then she did a little fighting.  In all she added 16.37%, and 10 skill points, while the polar bear cub levelled up twice, to reach level 14, adding 283.57%.  MistressDomina herself reached level 90 fairly early on, and in all went up by 44.08%, plus 11 skill points and 2696 pet points for her drake.

RedRackham logged in afterwards, to do some pet-levelling on his newly-acquired drake, and started its progress through level 33.  But, before long, it was time to log out for the day.

Quests and Rewards - August 3rd

Since MistressDomina reached level 90 yesterday evening, there was a new skill for her to learn from the Master Mage back in Randol this morning, when she logged in for half an hour for the "attendance allowance".  Level six of Mana Flow "permanently increases maximum hitpoints and mana through the study of magic", for 625 skill points.  It only added 10 to each, or about 0.3%, but one day it might make all the difference - I suppose!  After getting that, MD headed out to do a little mining, to top up her supply of quality stones.

There was one of the too-frequent "Cariae crashes" at about 10:15am, UK time, so Barbarienne was disconnected halfway through her thirty minutes; by the time I noticed, the server was running again, so she was able to complete her time without any further problems.  Someone reported that the people in merchant mode in Randol were unaffected, which often happens.  As he was on Auzura, RedRackham, doing a little pet-levelling, was unaffected.

After coffee, MistressSabina logged on.  Her first two goes on the "course B" Lacarette Wheel gave her only a couple of potions of haste, but, after restarting it, she did manage to get a rejuvenation potion and two item drop boosters.  Five attempts per day is all one can do at a cost of three tokens per spin, after that it increases to four tokens. After that, she headed for Maargadum Jail, and its second floor.

The session in the Jail lasted until lunchtime, and MistressSabina went up by 12.08%, while adding 60 skill points and 1722 pet points.  And then, while RedRackham continued his pet-levelling work, it was Rage's turn to put in 30 minutes, out harvesting green herbs.

MistressBlaze had three new quests waiting for her in Dratan, involving the arcane golems, masters of secret technique, and wafe debirches.  So, during her half hour, she rode out to the west of the desert, and fought her way through the masters of secret technique, to reach the arcane golems.  Then it was an easy ride to reach the various kinds of wafe.  At MB's level, 57, the wafes aren't easy opponents, as they do team up against a player, but, thanks to the horse buffs and one medium health potion, MistressBlaze got the necessary kills - and rode across to the usual  sphinx fighter and sphinx "speer" man camping site.  She already had that on her memory scroll, but this time she rode on to the less public location of the second elite sphinx speer man, and got that location onto her scroll as well, even killing one sphinx speer man before leaving.

It wasn't a long session by any means, and from the fighting MistressBlaze just earned 1.27% and 9 skill points, along with 71 pet points - but adding in the quest rewards meant that in all she went up by 10.06%, 55 skill points, and those 71 pet points.

That left around two hours for MistressDomina, Kaerella, and the polar bear cub to go to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5, to see quite a few familiar faces.  As usual things got pretty hectic there - a level 122 sorcerer actually brought us big groups of zombies, and a few mummies, to deal with, as he was bored with trying to level.  As ever a few of the lower-level people did die occasionally, usually because they tended to stand in places where screaming zombies can spawn, but things went relatively smoothly, and for a change the polar bear cub didn't die, even once. 

Kaerella generally just stood there, in the combat party, though sometimes when a large group of zombies were nearby she would, for safety, unequip the poly, and use her bow a bit.  By the end she'd added 4.38%, while the polar bear cub went up by 189.33%, getting well into level sixteen.  MistressDomina added 13.64%, and 1714 pet points - and both she and Kae gained 3 skill points.

For the evening, it was time to celebrate Kaerella on Katar's new-found freedom from Prokion Temple and its skill point farming, so she cashed in all the quests she had done, getting their rewards, and did everything else that was outstanding, including a  long-delayed trip out to Wild Collector Kai in Juno.  In Merac, she got a quest to kill ten highlanders, so combined that with a relatively short session fighting the four elite frenzied berserkers on the approach to the teleporter into Misty Canyon.  She logged out briefly after that - so that ColonelScarlet, the guild master of Discipline on Katar, could take the opportunity to unlock her experience gain from its 50% freeze.

There were various minor messenger-type quests in Merac Village, too, and in Dratan City Kaerella got the quests which involved killing the poison mists and brutal deer of the desert, so rode down to where they hang out.  It's quite a long ride from Prokion Temple, as you have to follow the main path and can't cut across the hills - but I found when I was killing the deer that I could see the top of Prokion temple quite close by.

I don't think I've ever farmed the brutal deer of the desert for any length of time before, but, after I'd completed the two quests, I stayed with them.  They died pretty quickly, and, being Kae's level, gave the full 2200 skill exp...so I stayed there until Kaerella levelled up, reaching 39.

Reaching the new level opened up a new quest from Magician Kihan out at Owl Village in Merac, just involving killing a few gnoll soldiers, so once that was done, and its follow-up which just involved a visit to the Great Magician Minearm back in Merac Village, I decided that Kaerella might as well get the entrance to Maargadum Jail onto her memory scroll, so rode down there.  I did have a very short stay inside the Jail, on the second floor with the spike canines etc...but then it was time to draw the session to a close.

In all, thanks to all the quest rewards and the lengthy time with the brutal deer, Kaerella went up by 113.28%, adding 313 skill points and 1488 pet points.  RedRackham had kept on pet-levelling through the evening, too...his drake reached level 34 before the end of the session.

Level Those Pets... - August 4th

There was a patch to the game last night, to go with the usual maintenance downtime, but the official patch notes still say that new content is "in development", and that we should "expect to see some changes in the near future".  They have finally sorted out two of the glitches with socketed gear, which apparently now can have costume covers melded on, and can also be exchanged via Collector Ryl for the equivalent item of a different class. In Mondshine the raid bugs are "currently being researched", but they promise that the GMs will be manually "setting raids each day to be open", while a permanent fix is being worked on, in the usual desultory hit-and-miss way, over in South Korea.  It was two weeks ago that we were told to "expect something exciting very soon" - not this week, it seems.

So, my various characters went out to keep their attendance records going, with some of them doing a little mining or herb-gathering, and then MistressSabina went for her session in Maargadum Jail in Merac, though the place does seem to be described just as "Jail" or "Evil Dungeon" in-game now.  The level 43 two-headed canines continue to give substantially better experience than the other canines, and slightly more than the level 45 beast scythes...so Sabina was able to add 10.87%, 53 skill points, and 645 pet points.

For the afternoon session, it was a matter of MistressDomina, Kaerella and the polar bear cub heading for the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5 again, where as usual MD did the fighting, and Kae just provided the combat party boost, except for a few occasions when she had to unequip the cub and do some fighting.  Once again there was an occasion when some wandering screaming zombies got to the polar bear cub before I could unequip it, so I now know that it costs 356,992 gold to "unseal" a level 17 poly.

I don't think that particular group of screaming zombies had been brought back maliciously; a sorcerer called Darkar12345 did try a couple of times to do us all some harm, particularly my lower-level "assistants", even going so far as to lure a zombie right alongside Kae and the cub before teleporting out, but his efforts were unsuccessful as far as I was concerned, though my warning to "be careful" as he drew in a group didn't work for one of the junior mages.

By the time I logged out for the early evening food break, Kaerella had added 5.40%, and the polar bear cub had reached level 18, adding 131.20%; MistressDomina had earned 15.17%, and her drake had added 2038 pet points.  Kae and MD had both gained 4 skill points.

There had been some strange server happenings during the afternoon, I saw from watching the forum shoutbox, but luckily Auzura hadn't been affected.  It seemed to be mainly Cariae, as ever, that took the brunt of it, with people reporting multiple disconnections, heavy lag, and even difficulties connecting to the website, let alone the game.  But in the Tomb, we played on without any problems.

For the slightly abbreviated evening session, I went over to Sarissa-5, though, for some reason, I logged in with my level 27 mage there, Keerella, rather than my archer.  Kee has the +10 armour set now, which is good - but she only has a +2 wand, the event weapon, which isn't so good.  Her regular skills are not maximised yet, let alone the special skills - but at least by the time I logged out she had got 273 sp to spend.  She had reached 65.45% of the way through level 27, but of course the plan will be to spend the skill points on various sorts of skills, and then die a few times to get back to the start of the level.

However, I can't say that I have any long-term plans for levelling up a mage on Sarissa.  It may well be useful at some point to have a fully-skilled lowish-level one there, perhaps... and Kee did make a new friend there, a level 22 sorcerer called Busby666, though I must admit it didn't take long for him to get onto the subject of me giving him a million gold, not something that I can afford to do on that server.  We had a combat-type party for a while, but after a trip back to town, he decided, probably wisely, that he would do better to go solo.  So, Kee just concentrated on orc fighters and a few soldiers or axemen, until it was time to log out.

The event of the day was scheduled to be a "Pandora's Event", with groups of the Pandora's Beasts spawned across the land.  It's not an event I'm keen on, as I never think that the beasts give better drops or experience than other monsters of the same level, and the level 50 types can be aggressive, protective, and dangerous...so who needs a mass of them in the same place?

However, [GM]AwesomeSauce reported in the forum shoutbox that she was having problems with the code she'd been given, and when I asked, agreed that it was the same sort of thing that had prevented the "Creature Carnival" event from running recently.  She got [GM]Darasuum to take a look at the problem, but to no avail - and they had to announce that the event had been cancelled.  And, as compensation, they doubled the pet experience, which was rather more useful, from my point of view.

So, RedRackham was an immediate beneficiary of this bonus, and the speed at which his drake moved up through level 34 doubled.  Keerella equipped her level 1 hatchling - and it ended its session as a level 3 hatchling, so will be able to help Kee's attack power in future. Keerella also got most of her costume bloodsealed... her wand even got its first couple of bloodseals, including a hit rate one.

While I was away, RedRackham continued to benefit from the double pet experience, so that the drake reached level35...and was starting to make good progress through that level, though these days I've decided that leaving the computers running overnight for pet-levelling is probably not, in the long run, a good idea.

All Good Experience - August 5th

I had thought that the Auzura server was blessedly free of people who run around trying to get pet-levellers into trouble, but RedRackham had been ks'd a couple of time recently - I'd seen the knight Morta riding off on his dragon after killing Red's gnoll lancer, and another knight, KingRichard, seemed to be acting a bit suspiciously.  This morning, someone didn't just kill the gnoll lancer, they lured in a gnoll soldier, which will attack pets.  I noticed the change reasonably quickly, so that Red's drake had only lost 14% of its health...I was even in time to pick up the gold the lancer had dropped, these people never stick around long enough to pick up the loot.

RedRackham had gone out to the gnoll lancers right away, to find out if the double pet experience from last night was still switched on - and it was, so that his drake soon reached the halfway point in level 35, while the newer computer played host to various characters "signing in" for their thirty minutes of attendance allowance.  By lunchtime, the drake had reached level 36, which restored its lost health points.

Kaerella on Katar had a brief outing after lunch, mainly to qualify for the attendance allowance; she went to the second floor of Maargadum Jail, even though the canines are still a few levels above her, at 39.  She added 8.35%, 26 skill points, and 645 pet points, and seemed to take very little damage from even the two-headed canines.

The main afternoon session once again involved MistressDomina and Kaerella, plus the polar bear cub, heading for the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5.  While the place did get fairly busy, there wasn't anyone attracting huge numbers of zombies and bringing them back onto my assistants; an assassin-type rogue called xHardx did complain about being ks'd, and brought back three screaming zombies into the start of the corridor before using her death motion skill to set them loose, but three zombies, not particularly far back, was no problem - MistressDomina had fought that many at once a few other times during the session, when lower-level people got chased by them.

A level 21 titan called ManiaX asked to be in the party for a while, but left soon after he levelled up.  He had spent aeria points during the pet promotion too, and spent enough to get a panda...and it was already in its third stage, so he must have been pretty busy.  Having a second "P2" pet in the party did mean that the panda and Kae's poly shared the pet experience half-and-half.  After ManiaX left, we reverted to the combat party set-up and recruited the level 90 assassin-rogue ravenclaw, who after starting with a "don't ks" or two had decided to go with the flow.  She too had a P2 pet, a baby poly, which did die once, meaning she had to go back to town to get it unsealed; she came and went a bit, in fact.

Sharing the pet experience meant that our polar bear cub only went up by one level, to nineteen, adding 128.65%.  Kaerella added 5.71% and 4 skill points, while MistressDomina earned 15.06%, 3 skill points, and for her drake 4290 pet points, enough to get it into level 41.

Over the food break RedRackham was back in action, with the drake passing the halfway mark in level 36.  And then, well, it seemed like MistressSabina's turn to do some farming, while RedRackham continued with his pet-levelling.  Sabina headed for Merac, and found a quest on offer, involving collecting spike canine skins - so, no problem.

The second floor of Maargadum Jail on Auzura-5 was pretty busy, but Sabina managed to keep active - she kept going for the full length of the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, in fact, and then returned to town to claim the quest reward, which added 4.65% and 6 skill points, making her totals for the session 31.75%, 137 skill points, and 1645 pet points.  Unfortunately the GMs had turned off the double pet experience fairly early in the session - though we are scheduled to have another four hours tomorrow evening.

One skill that MistressSabina hadn't learned was Blind, as it is mainly a PvP skill... but it is in many ways one of a witch's "signature" attack skills, and, on its fifth and final level, for 18 seconds shades your opponent's screen 70% of the way towards black.  In PvP your opponent loses their "lock" on you and has to try to find you again, and apparently in PvE a monster's evasion is decreased, which increases the witch's hit rate.  So Sabina invested 293 skill points in that, meaning that her return to having over 10k unused sp was rather brief.

There was a forum announcement from [GM]AwesomeSauce that there will for a while be "some disruption to the regular schedule of events", and indeed "fewer events" in the short term, while they look at the events and consider revamping them.  It would be difficult to imagine fewer events than we have had in recent weeks, but let us hope that this is a sign that we will return to having a decent number of "Storm the Castle" and "Mad Monster Spawn" events, by the time autumn is upon us.  Is it really only three or four months since we were having a low and high level MMS every week, plus a StC, Pharaoh's Treasure, Parades, Races, and often double helpings on Auzura, with the European-timed versions as well?  It seems like a different age, somehow.

Even with the pet experience back to normal, RedRackham kept going with the pet-levelling until it was time to close down for the night.  The drake was getting fairly close to the top of level 36 by then.

Two Tombs For Kaerella - August 6th

The usual characters logged in for their attendance allowance this morning, after which RedRackham logged in for some pet-levelling - and to provide a solo party for MistressSabina, while she farmed a little more in Maargadum Jail on Auzura-5.

The outing was much as usual;  I did stop at the back of the ground/first floor to deal with the big mob of assorted canines that had followed me, using Flame Storm, which hits the target canine and up to five others close by, which gave some quick loot and experience, but I'd not want to keep doing that after the horse buffs ran out.

As usual for the morning, it wasn't a hugely long session, but it did move MistressSabina along by 13.19%, and restore 64 skill points, as well as getting 683 pet points for her drake.  She will need a couple more sessions like that to get back over the 10k mark for unused sp - by which time she'll have reached level 44, when 338 more skill points can be used, for level one of Epidemic and the first five levels of Fallen Stat.

Over lunch, RedRackham continued his work, getting the drake into level 37, which meant that its hunger bar down goes down twice as fast.  He was about a sixth of the way through the level when he logged out - so that MistressDomina, my Auzura archer Kaerella, and the polar bear cub could log in.

The afternoon session in the Tomb of Theos went pretty smoothly, I don't think I ever had to have Kaerella unequip the poly because of any approaching zombies.  MistressDomina generally managed to keep her helpers alive, since Terra Spear does tend to get a screaming zombie's attention.  It didn't always manage that trick with an archer, Kialine, but then zombies do like healers almost as much as they like mages...and she was tougher than the average assistant, going from level 50 to 52 during the session.

By the time I had to leave everyone to it, the polar bear cub had reached level twenty, adding 139.21%; I've still not allocated any stat points, or attempted to give him any skills, since he generally stays back and doesn't do anything, with this set-up.  In the combat party, Kaerella added 4.81%, while MistressDomina earned 16.07%, with her drake getting 2092 pet points.  And they each got 4 skill points.

The evening was set to have double pet experience running from six o'clock, UK time, so I decided I ought to have two characters actively fighting, with pets equipped... and it seemed like time that my Cariae cleric Kaerella and my phoenix rogue RedRydeR had an outing.  So, off they went, in an equal party, to the Tomb of Theos, this time on Cariae-4... which, as it doesn't have the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff available, tends to be a lot quieter than the fifth subserver.

Sure enough, RedRydeR and Kaerella had the place to themselves, just about, until the last half hour when a group of three people in the same guild, and a couple of others, turned up.  The titan, jerker, must have been pretty high level, as he gathered big groups of zombies to fight...though he tended to rest for a while between groups to recover.  Before that, it was just, generally, a few people running on through to head deeper into the Tomb.

Kaerella and RedRydeR each used three of the level 61-90 type platinum blessed irises, and continued on for about half an hour after the third had ended, so it was a good long session, with the forum shoutbox helping to keep things interesting.  Someone called Auirlord came on in search of Aszune, one of the regulars, who was off grinding at the time, swearing that he wanted a guild battle with her at "Merac Tower", with the loser leaving Last Chaos for good.  "Operation Deathstryke has been initiated"...  He seemed convinced that Aszune was an ex-gamesage, and that freeing his server from the yoke of the oppressive guild Vendetta was his mission in life.

Both Kaerella and RedRydeR levelled up, reaching level 89; as Kae was slightly ahead, she went up by 105.17%, while Red added 105.49%.  Since Red usually lured the zombies, and thus took more shots at them, his drake added 5941 pet points, while SirFrancis, Kae's drake, just added 4215 pet points.  And they each earned 10 skill points.

After that, RedRackham quickly logged in to get some of the double pet experience, and his drake was soon a third of the way through level 37.  And that concluded the excitement for the day, though I should mention that someone did post a brief quote from an old blog post here, in the shoutbox.  I commented that it could be interesting sometimes to do a Google search for one's name...

The Jail, The Tomb, and the Tower - August 7th

I logged RedRackham in rather early to do some pet-levelling, as I'd woken up early, but the pet experience was back to normal, the GMs had actually remembered to switch it off last night, so once the new day officially started, at 8:00am UK time, RedRackham logged out, and the various characters started to earn their daily attendance allowances.

Aeria's money man and the Last Chaos chancellor, Exchequer, hadn't announced any tiered spender event for this weekend, I discovered.  His special page just  told us what "BOGO" offers to expect, and also mentioned that the premium packages were on a "50% rebate" deal for the weekend.  The only problem was that the rebated packages weren't visible on the website, something I was discussing soon after nine on the shoutbox with Tuffsen and sstrippz.  And then at about 9:25, UK time, the items miraculously appeared, which at least cut down on the number of people visiting the shoutbox to enquire about them.

MistressSabina managed a visit to Maargadum Jail after coffee; it was relatively quiet, on the second floor, so 15.20% experience was gained, along with 71 skill points and 804 pet points.  I also kept an eye on the forum shoutbox, though it continued to be rather quiet.

For the afternoon, I did something I've not done for a while, as I reckoned that Saturday afternoon, or early Saturday morning for the US, ought to be a relatively quiet time in the Tomb of Theos.  My level 106 archer Barbarienne teamed up, in a combat party, with my level 98 wizard Keerella, and they headed for the Tomb on Cariae-4.

Barb and Kee headed for the main Anubis Spear Man room, and found, luckily, that there was space for us - the wizard TIGERLADY was using the two spear men over on the far side, so I had the other two to myself.  And so, we settled in; as previously, Barbarienne used crit and adrenaline pots, plus a platinum blessed iris and experience boosters, to fight the spear men, while, mainly there to provide the combat party boost and clear up any sphinx fighters that got too close, Kee kept busy, without pots, on the sphinx fighters.  TIGERLADY wasn't active for all that long, and went to stand in the corner with a "be back later"; before long the level 106 titan SamueL arrived, and took over that side, joining our combat party.

SamueL did stay to the end of our three-hour session, but was away for the last twenty minutes or so, getting some ice cream for their youngster.   My pair stayed around in the corner for a while after we'd finished, to provide the combat party boost when he returned to action, but in the end, when I came upstairs to check, he had had a disconnection, and new people were fighting there who didn't need a combat party - so Barb and Kee logged out, and RedRackham logged on for a little pet-levelling.

During the first of the three hours, Barbarienne had added 11.28% while using 36 experience boosters; hour two added 11.96%, for 38 boosters; and the third hour gave Barb a further 14.08%, from 44 boosters, I don't know why things appear to have speeded up then, but sometimes the "Condition" of the place can change a little.  So, that meant Barbarienne added 37.32% experience, along with 13 skill points and 3001 pet points, which were enough to get her drake into level 45.  Keerella, without any outlay on ap items, added just 2.92%, plus 14 skill points and 2876 pet points.

So that was a pretty good three-hour session - another similar one ought to get Barbarienne into level 107, which would allow her to wear her new boots, and pass her old level 87 +15 pair over to Kaerella.

Talking of Kaerella, after the food break, with RedRackham providing the solo party, my Auzura-based level 88 archer of that name went off to Egeha, somewhere I've not visited for a while, to see what quests were available, and indeed which could be done - which certainly makes a change from grinding away in the Tomb, or in Maargadum Jail or Prokion Temple.  There were messages to deliver, and azers to fight, and, in the first floor or two of Lust Trum Tower, wights and wight flairs to battle.

The day's main event, four hours of "Turbo", had started at seven in the evening, UK time - at least, we assumed it had, there was no announcement about it, and what it actually was had remained a mystery.  We knew it was just a "Happy Hour" kind of deal...but as people were in combat parties and with pots running, it was hard to know what it was.  I'd reached Lust Trum Tower by then, so was able to say, after checking the details for a wight on the Wet Paint wiki, that if I was getting 4 million experience instead of 2.6, taking the 10% attendance bonus into account it had to be 50% extra experience... and the skill exp seemed similarly increased.

It was interesting to check a quest reward, and see that while the skill point reward was up 50%, from four to six, the experience reward was boosted by 10% for the attendance bonus, and also by 50% for the Turbo, so those two things do stack together nicely.  Kaerella's total experience gain from the adventure was just 13.16%. but 43 skill points were gained as well.  It was certainly a great change of pace to get away from the grinding, and ride about doing quests and fighting different monsters, like the azers, little scorpionmantises, boucu demons, and even a skinwalker, though as ever killing that one took ages.  And I will need to kill a few more for a couple of quests...

After that there was time for a visit to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5, for MistressDomina and Kaerella - probably less than ninety minutes.  The extra experience and skill exp were still running, though, so things moved along nicely.  For a while we added WhyYouDontAsk, a level 92 night shadow, to the combat party.  He told us the attack power of some of the NS skills - rather impressive, and more than MD's terra spear, which does just under 30k damage.  He advised me that MD really ought to look out for a "casting" helm, which speeds up the rate at which skills recover and can be reused.  When I have enough gold for such things, I probably should investigate.

By the time MistressDomina and Kaerella left, MD had added 10.54%, which got her into level 91, plus 7 skill points and 1290 pet points.  Kae added another 1.52%, along with 6 skill points, and the polar bear cub added 130.48%, allowing him to reach level 22.  Hmm, maybe there was 50% extra pet experience, too?  That never seems to register with horses and drakes, but perhaps the newer pets do benefit from such a boost.

RedRackham logged back in with his drake, anyway, for the final part of the evening, and it soon reached level 38.

A Server Crash, and a Glitched Quiz - August 8th

Once most of the gang had claimed their attendance bonus, MistressSabina was able to log in on Auzura-5, and head for Maargadum Jail - initially solo-partied with MrChuckNorris, but after he'd done his half hour, gathering some green herbs, RedRackham came online instead, joined the party, and headed for the gnoll lancers for a little pet-levelling.

When she entered the Jail, MistressSabina was able to get most of the canines to follow her to the back of the ground level of the Jail, since the place wasn't busy, and use her area of effect flame skill, and just hitting things, to get rid of them all. It's really only worth doing that while the horse buffs are still on, so once the area had been cleared, Sabina went on down to the second floor.

As MistressSabina had now passed 99.51% of her level (79 million experience), the NPC by foot of the stairs there, Guard Noa, gave her the "Report of Noa" quest, which would just involve carrying a message to Great Magician Minearm. But now it was time to fight some two-headed canines - and then, once Sabina reached level 44, the beast scythes.

It was fairly simple now to use the room of beast scythes and beast archers, just moving around killing the scythes and ignoring the archers, trying to keep ahead of the scythe respawns. Sabina's drake did take a little damage, but generally the tactic worked well - and by the end of the time there, Sabina was up by 18.37%.

Using a scroll to return to Merac Caron, Sabina was able to visit Minearm, and get the quest reward; there was also another messenger-type quest, which just involved a ride across to Owl Village. Once that quest reward had been received, from Magician Kihan, Sabina's total experience gain for the morning was 24.26%, along with 99 skill points and 1113 pet points.

Visiting the Master Mage, I found that MistressSabina doesn't yet have enough stat points in Intelligence to learn the Fallen Stat skill, which reduces a target's base stat points by 50 for 100 seconds (and by more when some further levels can be learned); she could however learn the first level of the bleed skill Epidemic, for just 11 sp... and Sabina grabbed the sixth level of Transformation, for 200 sp, which means she can convert 250 health points into 430 mana points, should she so wish. It doesn't seem all that useful to me, but we may as well keep with the "all skills maxxed" approach as long as possible.

So, while MistressSabina briefly went above the 10k mark for her stash of unused skill points, the session ended with her 149 below again... and with the Fallen Stat skill still outstanding. She should have enough stat points of her own in Intelligence for that when she reaches level 47, it seems.

RedRackham continued his pet-levelling over lunch, but sadly some little scrote crept up while I was away from the keyboard, and lured five gnoll soldiers onto him. He survived that little treat, but his drake didn't, and it cost 373,966 gold to "unseal" it. Red switched across from Auzura-5 to Auzura-4 after that, and didn't have any further problems. By the end of the lunch break, the drake was past the 25% mark in its level.

For the afternoon, MistressDomina and Kaerella, and the polar bear cub, went to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5 again. We added WhyYouDontAsk to the combat party before long, and indeed got a couple of other people involved, though generally only one of their number was within range for the combat party boost, Octofilipe28, who was doing pretty well leading a group of his own "assistants", at level 82, but did benefit from some healing from Kaerella sometimes.

By the time that I had to go away from the keyboard, MistressDomina had added 10.49% in level 91, and her drake had gained 2328 pet points; Kaerella had added 8.61%, which was enough to get her into level 89. I'm surprised that, in the combat party mode, where the fighting person gets at least six times as much experience as the non-fighter, the percentage was so big - I "corrected" the figures yesterday, assuming I'd read a 6 as a 0, so actually Kaerella got 6% less in Egeha and 6% more in the Tomb then. It just shows how much longer levels are once you reach level 90 - MD's current level needs 20,000,000,000 experience, while Kaerella's needs 6,213,849,445, I see. Both MD and Kae got 8 skill points, and the polar bear cub added 247.72%, getting halfway through level 24.

My duo stayed in the Tomb over the food break, to provide the solo party boost, but Octofelipe28 left the party before long, so they then moved back to safety near the teleporter. I didn't have the poly equipped then, in case anything wandered too close. Since MD and Kae were still in there, after the break they went back and MistressDomina did some more fighting; we even re-recruited Octofelipe28. There were one or two rather amateurish night shadows around, who'd tend to rush down the corridor chased by three of four zombies, and on one occasion a zombie did take out its annoyance on Kae's poly. It took 565,984 gold to have the animal trainer in Randol "unseal" him, at level 24, after which Kae hurried back, and battle was resumed.

Auzura-5 had a crash at 7:13pm, one of the "clean" type where it happens at once, without any standing around in-game wondering why everyone has stopped doing anything. I doubt if there was even a chance for anyone to get killed. Logging back in was instant too, with none of the "account already logged in" error messages. The spawning pad in Randol was pretty full, as people compared notes.

While MistressDomina, Kaerella, and one other player had been in the combat party, Kaerella came back with just her own name on the screen, while MistressDomina, who had been party leader, had two blank names under her own. MD chose the "leave party" option, and then clicked on Kaerella, and used the "apply party (combat)" button again - but got the "Player is already in another party" error message. Kaerella however was able to click on MD, and re-form a party. Kae got a "send error report?" crash a couple of minutes later, but when she returned, MD was able to form the party once more...not that there was really time for anything much before the Quiz was due, other than getting the blog up to date.

The "early evening" session continuation had earned MistressDomina a further 4.01% and 2 skill points, plus 957 pet points, while Kaerella had gone up by 2.64%, 1 skill point...and her polar bear cub had reached level 25, adding another 58.14%.

So, nothing else happened before the Quiz, though I did notice that a polar bear cub does get hungry if it's equipped when one is in town, unlike an old-fashioned pet. Then it was time for MistressDomino and Kaerella to log in on Auzura-2, and head for the Quiz Room there.

Any plans to give Kaerella on Katar a relatively short session, probably in Maargadum Jail, had to be put on ice, as the Quiz went a bit glitchy, so that the forum shoutbox immediately got inundated. The problem was with the first question - the usual kind of question box appeared on the screen, with a few meaningless symbols as the question and a red symbol or two as the time remaining - and after less than a second it disappeared, booting out all those people who were not waiting on the "X" side of the room, as apparently, as usually happens, "X" was the right answer to whatever the question had intended to be.

Since I always stand on the "X" side, I didn't have a problem, and questions 2 to 23 went smoothly, so that both Kaerella and MistressDomino got their tool aids, moonstones, and heaven stones; Kae transferred the moonstones and heaven stones to MD, and they were ready to log out when it was announced that, due to the problem, the Quiz would be re-run in 40 minutes. I decided that Kaerella and MistressDomino might as well go again - but this time as their incarnations over on the Katar server.

The start time was later revised by [GM]AwesomeSauce to 9:30pm UK time, so would be my last entertainment of the evening. MistressDomina and Kaerella logged in on Katar-2, and headed for the Quiz Room ready. Even with half an hour to go, it was already pretty busy - but then, most people in there were expecting it to start at 9:10pm.

9:30 arrived, and the Quiz ran smoothly this time. Kae transferred her prizes, and some other loot, across to MD, and then they both logged out - though after seeing from the shoutbox that some people's prizes had actually vanished, I logged MistressDomino back...and the items were still there. It seems that, on Katar at least, there was some sort of mass disconnection, and somehow the prizes had arrived too recently to have been memorised by the game. So for a minute or two I was a kind of imitation gamesage in the shoutbox, urging people to stay calm and send in a "contact us" request if they had lost their goodies. Somehow, the real gamesages, and GMs, had vanished from sight...

Two Tomb Trips - August 9th

There wasn't time for any active play in the morning, but I at least managed to get everyone their attendance allowance - and I traded across a generous supply of platinum blessed irises, crit pots, platinum adrenalins, and similar things to Barbarienne, to get her ready for further trips to the anubis spear men.

MistressDomina looked for a level 107 circlet for Barbarienne, or indeed a level 117 one with the "-10" seal, but without any luck. She did however spot a level 109 Darkness Sankest Bow +15, a blue-named one with its five attack seals (long range physical attack 9 + 9, all types of physical attack 8 + 8, and attack 5), being sold via Roy by AndreaBuzzone for 500 million, which didn't seem unreasonable... I could have paid more for a +13 green-named one, in fact. So MD bought it, and traded it across to Barbarienne, who in return passed across some minor recent loot drops. It will be a while before Barb can actually use the bow, but having it ready does mean that it could be involved in a master stone tiered spender deal, if a new one is announced in a week or two.

For the afternoon session, Barbarienne and Keerella went to the Tomb of Theos on Cariae-4, and headed for the anubis spear men. I was in luck, as only the far side of the room was being used, with the archer EvilSweetness helping her level 77 rogue friend xCharmeinx to level up. So, Barb was able to start up on the nearer side, with its two anubis spear men, while Keerella just, as usual, kept busy on the sphinx fighters. The other two did leave after a while, so I moved across to that side of the room, since if anything the spear men do tend to respawn nearer to that wall. They did actually return later, and in turn took their place over on the first side. In the last of my three hours, mcrossx arrived, but politely kept to the sphinx fighters until EvilSweetness and xCharmeinx took another break. By the time they were due to return, I'd be gone, so he was set for a bit of levelling.

Barbarienne's first hour saw her add 13.15%, while using 42 experience boosters; during the second hour she just used 36 boosters, and added 11.24%. It was probably a slight fluctuation in the Tomb's condition, I suppose, as for the third hour we were back to using 42 experience boosters, for a gain of 12.99%. The slight decrease in experience gain would be due to Barb moving into level 107 at last after about 40 minutes. In all, including a minute or two more fighting, Barbarienne went up by 37.48%, and her drake gained 3044 pet points, while Keerella's unboosted efforts brought her just 2.52%, along with 2781 pet points for her drake Greedo. And both Barb and Kee gained 12 skill points.

Reaching level 107 meant that Barbarienne was able to put on her new boots, which like the old level 87 ones are the b5e +15 type. They only added 85 to her physical defence stat though, taking it from 3603 to 3688, which shows that it isn't important to upgrade one's armour every time a new set becomes available. Back in town, Barb was able to pass over the level 87 boots to my cleric Kaerella; upgrading from her previous +13 pair moved her physical defence on from 2804 to 2948, and gives her the +15 "big fairy" to display at her shoulder, though her Casting Up Circlet of Dimension is still only +13. Her physical defence is rather better than her namesake over on Auzura, who, with four +13 pieces of armour and one +14, just manages 2357.

I needed to move some loot around, mainly on Auzura, which took a little while after the food break, but MistressDomina and Kaerella were able to get out to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5 in good time for the start of today's Happy Hour at 7:00pm, UK time, which, [GM]AwesomeSauce had told us in the shoutbox, was to give 75% extra experience and skill exp. It started only five or so minutes late, and for a change the GMs did actually announce it. The end time was to be 11:45pm, but that is a bit past my bedtime.

As usual there was quite a large number of people in the Auzura-5 Tomb, fighting the screaming zombies, and, working together, all went along smoothly. As ever there were times when rather a lot of zombies seemed to find it necessary to chase people into the corridor, but generally MistressDomina was able to grab their attention with Terra Spear. Her drake's relatively recent new level meant she had an extra level of the magical attack increase buff from it, so that sometimes the damage from that reached 30,000, which can't be bad.

Kaerella went up by 10.45% in level 89, while the polar bear cub got safely into level 26, adding 125.13%. MistressDomina herself went up by 19.22%, with her drake gaining 2899 pet points, and both Kae and MD gained 9 skill points.

The rogue Octfilipe28 was in the combat party for a while; she's level 83 now. An archer was trying to persuade me to join the Angels ofChaos guild... maybe that would be a good home for my rogue, Rage?

RedRackham finally logged on after the expedition to the Tomb was over, and was in time, I noticed, to maintain his 10% attendance bonus. He ought to get his drake up to a third of the way through level 38 by the end of the evening.

With the Screaming Zombies - August 10th

After the various attendance bonus claimings, MistressSabina was able to go out to Maargadum Jail again on Auzura-5 until lunchtime. This time the first and second rooms on the second floor were both in use, so Sabina ended up in the third room, which, with its mixture of beast scythes and beast archers, worked pretty well - sometimes a beast scythe respawned a little too close and shaved a health point or two off her drake, but it did have the advantage over the second room that there wasn't as much furniture to block one's attacks.

By the time lunch was approaching, MistressSabina had added 17.41% in level 44, plus 85 skill points, and 1107 pet points for her drake. A titan had recently arrived in the room, making it slightly crowded, so it was lucky my session was ending. It was also lucky that I'd been playing on Auzura, as apparently Cariae had suffered another crash, soon after ten in the morning, UK time.

For the afternoon, MistressDomina and my archer Kaerella headed out to the Tomb of Theos again on Auzura-5, for the usual kind of session, fighting the screaming zombies. There were only about four people there when I arrived, but things did get busier later, with a whole gang of people teamed up, though the range of levels was probably too big for many people to actually be partied.

There were times when we got big groups of the screamies lured in on us, and a few people did die. The archer JackNJones was one culprit, apparently she is known for it - the "N" must stand for "Naughty". At least I was quick enough to unequip Kaerella's polar bear cub today, and he survived; Kaerella herself took a surprisingly high amount of damage a time or two, though generally MistressDomina did okay. A couple of times, with a group of screamies milling round, MD's drake did lose a dangerous amount of health - the second time it got down to 13%, as I had difficulty unequipping it fast enough.

The party was an equal type, on the feeling that Kaerella needs to move on a bit as well as MistressDomina; we did let a few other people into the party to help them level, it certainly didn't work for a level 72 rogue, but she wanted to see - a low-level mage was in for a few minutes but then went back to town, and then found she didn't have enough gold to get back in again. The archer ArQuEiRa started at level 23, and got up to 28 before we had to leave. I don't know what her skill point farming plans are, but she wants to get to level 31 in the Tomb, presumably for the good armour and weapon.

By the end of the session Kaerella had added 14.34% in level 89, and 4 skill points, with the polar bear cub up by just 76.89%, taking him into level 27. MistressDomina herself had earned 4.63%, 3 skill points, and 2650 pet points.

The evening "event" was double pet experience, starting at six o'clock, UK time; despite the web page giving the details having a nice picture of an Ichi, a polar bear cub, and a drake, the bonus only applied to drakes and horses, the old-fashioned pets, we discovered. So, it was just as well that I'd decided to take my cleric Kaerella and my phoenix ranger-rogue RedRydeR down into the Tomb of Theos on Cariae-4, with their drakes, to get double use out of the bonus, rather than having a Scra-Chi or a poly along.

Kaerella and RedRydeR each started a level 61-90 platinum blessed iris once we were in and fighting the screaming zombies, but we didn't have the place to ourselves for too long - first a level 38 specialist sorcerer called kosami2 wanted to join the party, to try and get to 40, and then not much later a level 37 titan called bar4 joined up too. So, we didn't get our full amounts of experience for the second half of the hour - and after that continued without pbis, though our youthful assistants used them - the 31-60 version, that is.

After starting with RedRydeR luring and then Kaerella joining in, before long we settled into having them fighting different screamies, since they both have good armour; they didn't exactly take it in turns, as it takes Kae rather longer to kill than it takes Red. Occasionally people would pass by, heading deeper in; a knight called parsifals asked to buy a potion of haste, to speed up his trip past the zombies etc, so I just dropped one for him, they are only worth 200 gold after all. Kosami2 wanted some stones for his pony, which I think levelled up two or three times, so Red dropped nine quality stones too. I actually encountered parsifals again just outside the Tomb at the end of our session, and he asked if he could buy a resurrection scroll... none of us were sure of its value, but Kae exchanged one for four heaven stones.

A level 100 titan called THETRADESMAN was around for our last half hour; he'd been fighting anubis spear men for a couple of hours and finding it a bit laggy down there, but now he lured a screaming zombie back down the corridor, and I eventually realised he was pet-levelling, We did chat a bit, he was waiting for a package he'd bought from the item mall, only for it to get lost, to be found and restored to him, before he could level any more. We regretted the passing of the older game masters, and in all the chat did help pass the time.

Kosami2 did get well into level 40 by the end, and I think bar4 levelled up as well. RedRydeR ended up adding 48.53%, to Kaerella's 48.48%, though as they were both in level 89 throughout I don't know where the difference came from. They each got 3 skill points, anyway, while Red's drake added 5628 pet points, and SirFrancis, Kae's drake, added 5282. So, they both made good use of the double pet experience, and once they were finished, RedRackham quickly logged on to get the benefit from the boost's remaining minutes. Or might the GMs forget, and leave it running until the week's maintenance started, at 1:00am...?

GM-Crankypants and the Flutons of Doom - August 11th

The new week's patch was a pretty big one, and it brought a few changes - most of them, generally, good, one hopes, though as always there may be some bugs that make things more complicated. As things stand, "Numerous bugs are being investigated by the developers", the patch notes say, "so expect fixes in the near future."

The main thing this time is that we now have the new-look Juno, the, well, junior map where characters spend their first few levels. There are new monsters ("vicious, varied, and colourful!"), more monsters ("grind like never before!"), new landmarks ("what secrets do they hold?"), water safety ("no more falling into the water!"), and additional flora and fauna ("trees and stuff!"). The downside of course is that as expected the place is poorly coded and glitchy, so that attempting to run across a gentle slope can have you running flat against an invisible wall, and sometimes one did actually want to go in the water, but it does look kinda pretty...

There's a new "Dungeon Time System" so that, in every dungeon from Velpist Temple and Prokion Temple to the Tomb of Theos, and on to the highest-level places in Strayana, for one hour in every three, from 2:00am UK time, you get 50% extra experience... which is, I suppose, a little bit useful if you only want to grind for experience for an hour at a go and can fit your efforts to the timing, but will be very annoying for people who are attempting to get skill experience in Prokion Temple.

A new "supporter NPC" for level 61-90 characters, imaginatively called "Middle level supporter", is now in Randol, as well as Dratan, Merac and Egeha, and gives players in that range a 20% boost to physical and magical attacks for three hours. That seems a good idea, but why does it have to be time-limited? If you go to fight in the Tomb of Theos, it will run out before the end of your third hour's worth of pots, and to continue you'll need to leave there, go back to Randol, and then return. Have it end when you log out, by all means, but why time-limit it?

Roy's merchant mart should now be a bit quicker, we are assured, and some missing items have been restored to the item mall....including a sighting of the "Lady Luck" package, complete with chaos balls and various boxes.

One thing we did have running throughout the day was 50% extra skill exp, which is usually a kind of apology for the time that maintenance took. So, it seemed to me a good time to make sure MistressSabina got a chance to go to Maargadum Jail for a pre-lunch session, which overlapped conveniently with the 11:00am to noon "dungeon time" with its 50% extra experience.

After killing the mob of canines that had followed her to the back of the first (or ground) floor, MistressSabina headed for that third main room on the second floor, and stayed there for the session, without any great problems. By the time lunch was looming, she had added 13.07%, 57 skill points, and 568 pet points.

With that extra skill exp running, I had to resist the temptation to take MistressDomina and her party to the Tomb of Theos, and just log MistressSabina back in instead for the afternoon session...which ran pretty similarly to the morning one, although it lasted a bit longer, despite a slightly late start, and indeed an early finish. This time, Sabina managed to add 23.06%, helped along by including most of the 2:00 to 3:00 "dungeon time", along with 129 skill points and 1040 pet points.

I managed to get MistressSabina back to the Jail for almost all of the 5:00 to 6:00pm "dungeon time", and indeed continued for a few minutes after it ended, so that she gained another 19.23%, 92 skill points, and 832 pet points. But by then we were sidling up towards 6:30, UK time, and the first of the evening's "Low Level Mad Monster Spawns" on Auzura-5.

This, I have to say, was not a raging success. The location coordinates were the same as usual, but as the Juno map has been changed, the spot was very close to the new ruined village at the edge of the lake, which has some steep hills, which cannot be climbed, because of all the "invisible walls", except perhaps from one far-from-obvious direction. So, the first spawning of monsters stranded pilferers and elite poison mists on top of these little hills. As there haven't been any other events to actually go to lately, there were quite a few high-level people around, so that everything else got killed astonishingly quickly.

The high-level people then began to ask for flutons, and, although the event is meant to be for people below level 60, [GM]AwesomeSauce allowed herself to be persuaded to spawn some of those ridiculously powerful monsters- and this was bad news for the legitimate low-level people in the area, who started to fall like flies. There were reports in the forum shoutbox about this, and indeed I was warning low-level people that the coming low-level MMS events on the other servers might be a bit fatal, and this made the GM, who also managed to be there, a bit indignant, in a light-hearted way, calling herself "GM-Crankypants", and saying, well, they had asked for them...

It was my level 31 healer Memree who went on Auzura, mainly because my rogue RedRider is on the same account as MistressDomino, who had been set up in merchant mode on Auzura-5, to try and get me some gold there. The Katar server came second, and my level 31 rogue, also called Memree, went along there.

[GM]AwesomeSauce was again in charge, but, naturally enough, she had learned from what had happened before, and was a bit more conservative with the monsters she spawned - moving them a bit further away from the hilly bits too, I think. And I must say that she is reasonably generous with the loot she gives at the end. This time, while flutons were provided, they were carefully moved a little further inland, and people warned that this was for the high-level types. Memree was able to assist, since an extra rogue using Snare is always useful, even if she only hits them for 69 hit points a time.

I'd been lucky to avoid getting my healer killed on Auzura, but my closest squeak actually came on the third server, Cariae, where [GM]Yatou took over. My rogue Karella is just level 28 there, which is fine against orc soldiers, pilferers, elite sand golems, or even elite poison mists, but [GM]Yatou moved on to the barren eises, plus dark bogles, and one of the latter decided that my attempt to use Snare was an unfriendly act...and before I managed to get clear, Karella's health was down to 23, as I reported to Ratel, who had been having a little chat with MistressDomino. He mentioned that he could lay his hands on 300 experience boosters, which he'd need to take his knight further... but that they would cost 465 million, which works out at 1.55 million each. He was not happy with the thought.

Anyway, Karella did get clear, and quickly re-applied her horse buffs and used a medium-size red candy cane left over from Christmas to restore around half her health, and returned to the battle. The dark bogles and barren eises were defeated, and some loot was provided, and all ended happily.

There wasn't time for me to go to any more of the events, sadly, as my usual Wednesday evening rendezvous was coming up, so what happened on Sarissa, Hatzring and Tairen I don't know. Let us hope that any flutons that got invited along were on their best behaviour.

MistressDomino, however, was able to continue her selling stint through the evening. She didn't sell a huge number of heaven stones or experience boosters, and I'm not sure she sold any skill point boosters at all, but the lucky smelting stones went quickly, and the lucky scrolls, and she sold out of moonstones and moonstone boxes as well. Some of the MP and HP stealers went, and a few berserker potions...and it all started to add up to a good boost for her finances, so I ought to be able to have a look through the new, speeded-up merchant mart, presided over by Roy, tomorrow, and perhaps find either a +15 bow for Kaerella on Auzura, to replace her +14 one, or a +15 titan sword for MrChuckNorris to look forward to. And MistressSabina could really do with a couple of better accessories, come to that...

Back to the Two Tombs - August 12th

I didn't have a morning session, since it was time to go off and do a big monthly-type shopping trip, but I managed to get all my usual line-up of characters through their attendance half hours by the end of lunchtime, which is the main thing, even if I didn't have a chance to do any in-game shopping. MrChuckNorris kept busy herb-farming while I was out, anyway.

The afternoon session involved MistressDomina, Kaerella, and the polar bear cub, in another trip to the Tomb of Theos, where as ever there were plenty of helpers. I don't think anyone deliberately lured a large group of screaming zombies onto us this time, though there were times when someone would run for his life with around three of them on his tail, and of course another one or two would spawn among the helpers. Kaerella did have to be quick to unequip the polar bear cub a time or two, but she is getting better at that.

By the time the early evening food break loomed, MistressDomina had added 7.16% in level 91, taking her past the halfway point, along with 6 skill points and 2552 pet points. My archer Kaerella added exactly 40.00% in level 89, helped along by using a 61-90 type platinum blessed iris during the "dungeon time" hour with its 50% experience boost, plus 5 skill points. The polar bear cub went up by 88.70%, which was just enough to get him into level 28.

We were promised a "Happy Hour" from six to ten, UK time, but we were not told in advance what is was going to be, until just before the start when old Crankypants, er, I mean [GM]AwesomeSauce, mentioned in the shoutbox that it would be double experience. In the hope that it would mean extra skill exp, I'd taken MistressSabina to Maargadum Jail, but, after having the dungeon time boost for 45 minutes already, she just stayed about another 20 minutes or so into the four hours, fighting mainly the beast scythes. The third room had been in use when I'd arrived, but I got the run of it before too long. MistressSabina reached level 45 at last, adding 16.15%, another 71 skill points, and 735 pet points.

Despite having her 10% attendance allowance, her 100% Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and the 100% extra from the Happy Hour, I noticed that MistressSabina's experience boost had been "capped" at 150%, so that a monster that usually gave 16,000 experience gave 40,000...which was okay I guess, as Sabina needs her skill points.

Anyway, I switched over from MistressSabina on Auzura to RedRydeR and my cleric Kaerella on Cariae, since the extra experience was better for them than for Sabina, with no Elizabuff to worry about, and headed for the Tomb of Theos once more, on Cariae-4. After a while the rogue Workoholic asked to join our party, and a little later the knight parsifals joined up too... he asked us to change over to a combat party, so we did that.
We ended up with the rogue Workoholic, the knight parsifals, and his friend, another rogue, AriJackson, in the party, and even, right at the end after Red and Kae had almost completely stopped actively fighting, the knight XXjakeXX and the titan Turgon3.

My duo did hang about a bit after my usual log-out time, getting and giving the combat party boost, and with Kaerella providing buffs and some healing. Both characters had reached level 90 by then. When RedRydeR finally left, she had added 66.91%, plus 8 skill points and 2360 pet points. Kaerella stayed slightly longer, but didn't get as much experience in total, as a combat party isn't really good for her, as she doesn't deal damage as quickly as most other players - particularly if she is having to do some healing. When she left, she had added 56.59%, 8 skill points, and 2343 pet points...and turned down an invitation from Workoholic to a monster combo party. Having a healer along would have been useful, but preferably one who would be able to stay awake throughout, I think...

So, tomorrow I definitely must do some shopping - MistressSabina may have a new quest to find, while I'm sure Cariae's Kaerella and RedRydeR will have skills to learn. I may even be able to fit in some fighting as well, who can tell?

Bashing the Beast Flyers - August 13th

Reaching level 90 meant that my phoenix ranger rogue, RedRydeR, was now able to learn a sixth level of the passive skill Fatal Attack for 500 skill points, increasing her physical offence stat, while using a crossbow, from 2037 to 2089.  I also found that she hadn't learned the ninth level of the attack skill Piercing ("shoots an arrow which damages all opponents between you and the target"), increasing its power from 410 to 470, so 600 skill points got spent on that as well.  I suppose there are times when it is a useful skill to have, but it's best known for attracting rather too many monsters onto its user.

Kaerella had two skills to learn, also, but they were both level 90 ones. The passive skill Cure Resource's sixth level, for 600 skill points, increased her maximum health and mana from 3179 and 2649 (compared to Red's 3508 and 1839) to 3279 and 2699, while the active skill Cure Poison 2 "removes a poison effect from target ally".  Its single level cost 210 skill points.

I also found that my Auzura-based ranger rogue, Rage (or RAGE to be exact) had qualified to spend some more skill points by reaching level 92.  Level four of Reinforce 2, for 300 skill points, increases her physical attack from 1972 to 1984.  That's a bit less than RedRydeR over on Cariae, but then, being a phoenix character does have its bonuses.

MistressSabina didn't have any new skills to learn, at level 45 - they'll come in a bit of a rush when she gets to 47, or at least she'll need to spend 577 skill points then.  She did, however, have a new quest to get in Merac Caron from Magician Dien, "Enforced Column of Main Magic", which required her to collect the hearts of ten beasts, such as beast scythes, and take them out to Magician Rau.

The beast scythes on the second floor of Maargadum Jail soon yielded the necessary quest items, and Sabina continued there for most of the session, before a brief check on the beast flyers on the third floor, which did seem just about manageable with her current armour.  Then, after tipping off the level 43 knight who'd been sharing the third room on floor two that the beast flyer spot was free, she teleported back to Merac Caron, and rode out to Rau, for a 4.89% and 10 skill point quest reward.  In all she gained 19.63%, 78 skill points, and 710 pet points.

After lunch, I  moved some loot around, and also browsed through Roy's merchant mart, hoping to find some armour and a good level 85 weapon for MrChuckNorris, but without any luck.  There were a few pieces of armour that were almost good enough, and would just have needed a little upgrading...but they all had already had an extreme stone used on them, which would have made moving from +12 to +13 difficult.  And the only +15 titan sword wasn't blue-named or green-named, it was yellow-named, and with only four seals, so not as good.  We are in no great hurry I guess...

One nice surprise was how speedy the merchant mart was now - new pages didn't take ten seconds or more to load, they came up almost at once, so that entering a search term such as the armour set's name, Thunder, just brought up the required pages at once.  So, a real improvement, which partially compensates for the invisible walls and poor collision detection in Juno, and the town of Randol, we are now stuck with.

The main afternoon session again belonged to MistressDomina, my archer Kaerella, and the polar bear cub, in Auzura-5's Tomb of Theos.  The place seemed busier than usual, right from the start; the level 57 specialist sorcerer godofbeasts welcomed MD, and gave her a gift of some healing potions and minerals.  At around 3:30 he promised three million if she stayed around until his recently-started platinum blessed iris had finished, so I stayed on a little later than usual, and he did indeed pass the gold over without any prompting.

There were a few times when a rather suspicious number of screaming zombies were suddenly among us in the corridor, and I suspect an archer, called, I think, DarkChocolate of being involved in that.  Unfortunately at one such time I was a bit distracted, answering somebody in the forum shoutbox who was asking about guild upgrading, and one zombie took the opportunity to one-hit Kaerella's poor little poly.  I can thus report that it costs 709,344 gold to "unseal" a level 28 polar bear cub.

One thing I hadn't come across before was numbers of screaming zombies running down the corridor, not attacking anyone, and then turning around and running back into the main room.  It was a bit alarming the first time it happened, but I soon realised that a wizard had to be using the skill Fear, which causes the monsters one has attracted to flee in terror, but only for a few seconds, after which they return.  So, it then became amusing, like a kind of barn dance, and even hitting one full on with Terra Spear wouldn't persuade it to forget its original target and stay to fight MistressDomina.

By the end of the session, MistressDomina had just added 6.04% in level 91, while Kaerella, despite her brief trip back to Randol to get the poly revived, went up by 18.46% in level 89.  They each added 5 skill points; MD's drake gained 2054 pet points, while Kae's poly went up by 69.03% in level 28.

For the evening, first of all MistressSabina returned to Maargadum Jail and, finding the third floor not being used, had a go at fighting the beast flyers properly, and their annoying friends the beast archers, in the middle there.  It was after six when Sabina arrived, due to a little moving-around of items, so the "dungeon time" was over (the 50% extra experience for an hour, then two hours off, and so on). allowing more skill exp for her experience.  A knight fought there for a rather short time, but he was level 49, so wouldn't have been getting much skill exp; for the last part of the session an archer called grietje02 was there, which probably slowed me down a little, but neither of us were particularly speedy beast-killers. 

MistressSabina did have to use the small HP recovery potions most of the time, and a few small health potions, but she picked up as loot almost as many as she used. However, the next "dungeon time", from eight to nine, UK time, was approaching, so I decided to end Sabina's session; by then she had earned 30.25%, 121 skill points, and 1324 pet points.  Her solo party had been provided by RedRackham, doing a little pet-levelling on his drake again.

Over on Cariae-4, my cleric Kaerella and my phoenix ranger rogue RedRydeR logged in, and headed for the Tomb of Theos.  For a change, Kae was on the newer computer. They were there in time for the start of the "dungeon time", and each started a 61-90 type platinum blessed iris moments before it began, so did pretty well.  Before long a level 100 mage called powerpuff asked for a solo party, as she was heading further in, so we did that.  A knight called Cure arrived, and fought on and off for the rest of the time, taking rests to recover his mana.  Either he was rather into role-playing, or he'd had a glass or two of beer...or maybe both.

Parsifals arrived after the boosted hour, but joined our party, which changed over to the combat type...which meant that RedRydeR overtook Kaerella, and is now 0.74% ahead in level 90.  By the time Red and Kae logged out, RedRyder had added 47.06% and 1223 pet points, while Kaerella had got 45.89%, plus 1360 pet points for SirFrancis.  And they'd each earned 10 skill points.

Two Tombs at Once - August 14th

MistressDomino had done some very useful selling overnight, increasing my available gold on Auzura nicely. However, the new day started with the usual attendance allowance half hours, and then, once everyone else  except MistressDomina had been sorted out, MistressSabina went off to Maargadum Jail, with MistressBlaze providing the solo party while she mined a few quality stones.

After the usual mob of canines at the back of the first floor were dealt with, Sabina headed down to the third level, which was free - though at about the halfway point she did get joined by a titan.  He did ask for a party, but he was only level 34, so I had to say that partying with him would reduce my skill point gain too much.

As before, I did use the small HP recovery potions, and some small health potions, to keep Sabina healthy.  The outing did come to a slightly early end, but by then MistressSabina had added 24.40% experience, 84 skill points, and 945 pet points.

The reason the session ended early was because a player had come into the forum shoutbox, wondering if there was anyone of a suitable level to give him a combat party in the Tomb of Theos.  When he mentioned he was on Cariae-5 and level 111, and assured me that he did have recall, I quickly volunteered Barbarienne, who is now level 107.  Once you get over 110, you really need someone a few levels lower in your party to let you get the most out of the top-end Tomb monsters

So, MistressBlaze logged out on the older computer, and Barbarienne logged in, registered for a combat party, got recruited by TitanLove, and accepted the recall to the Sphinx Commander room.  Barb quickly moved across to the position on its outer ring almost opposite the entrance, where the commies never go - but, with a lower-level party member, TitanLove decided to move to the Anubis Spear Men.  He quickly recalled me there - I was amazed how quickly, in fact, but actually he'd just moved to the corridor leading to the commie's grave room.

He suggested that I should equip a P2 type pet if I had one, so, after logging MistressBlaze out, Keerella logged in, joined the party, and took recall, and passed SkrappY across to Barbarienne.  Kee couldn't stay, of course, as she is more than ten levels below TitanLove.  I found that SkrappY's starvation had reached zero, and his sincerity was a bit low too, but they were soon restored, as Kee had passed over her stock of freshly baked bread too.

The level 103 titan Eonzar joined the combat party too, and also stood in the corner.  Unfortunately he had a first-stage jaguar, so the pet experience got shared for a while.  He stayed in the party, but after lunch went off to level his jaguar more directly on the wafes...and got to kill Kamira too, before returning to us.

As the older computer was busy with Barbarienne standing in a corner of that Cariae-5 Tomb corridor, MistressDomina went to the Auzura-5 Tomb of Theos solo in the afternoon, where there were plenty of familiar faces already hard at work, including godofbeasts, who gave her a further present including some potions and a P2 Pet Battle Book.  It wasn't too long before Octfilipe28 arrived and we made a combat party, though; she has now reached level 85.

The Cariae party ended eventually, having lasted over lunch and well into the afternoon; just by standing there, Barbarienne had gained 1.12% experience and 12 skill points, and ol' SkrappY had moved on a bit through his 53rd level.  Once Barb logged out, my Auzura archer Kaerella was able to log in...and she hurried to join MistressDomina in the Auzura Tomb of Theos, for the last part of the afternoon.

I stopped playing a little early, as I wanted to be back fighting as close to the start of the next "dungeon time" hour as possible, but MistressDomina had gone up by 9.93%, 5 skill points, and 1828 pet points, getting her drake into level 42, while Kaerella, in less than an hour, was up by 2.30%, 1 skill point... and the polar bear cub was up 39.96%, getting him into level 29.

Kae and MD stayed in the Tomb over the food break, safely back beyond the teleporter, and then returned to the battle for a full-length evening session, though Octfilipe28 had left by then.  As usual MistressDomina made a point of taking chasing zombies off anyone who was fleeing for their life - I get the feeling that without her efforts, there would have been more zombies back at the other end of the corridor than in their main room.  I can't be sure if hellboy92 was just unlucky, but he seemed to bring multiple zombies rather often - I can be sure that Morta was being mischievous, though, at one point he was bringing three or four zombies back faster than MistressDomina could cope with them, and admitted to doing it just because he was bored.  There were a few times when big groups were brought back, but I always managed to unequip the polar bear cub in time, and Kaerella was able to join in the fight as well as giving healing.

It was quite a lengthy session, and it not only included two "dungeon time" hours, it also included most of the day's "Turbo" event, which, we eventually worked out, was double experience and skill points.  The two experience boosts seemed to stack, and, when the amount of ks-ing was low, MD was getting almost three times as much experience per kill as the base rate.  MistressDomina was therefore able to add 28.89% in level 91, as well as 3905 pet points, while Kaerella went up by 12.57%, taking her into level 90.  The polar bear cub moved on to level 30, adding 114.43%, and both Kae and MD gained 13 skill points.

So, my archer Kaerella will now need to learn her level 90 passive skill, the sixth and final level of Force Arrow, increasing her attack and defence by a further 10 and 30 respectively, for 700 skill points.  And MistressDomina will be able to have her drake learn another level of its magical attack boost.  The polar bear might well be able to learn a new skill, but I'm leaving that side of things until he can "evolve" into his second, bigger, stage.  And I'll have to try to do some more shopping, mainly for Chuck's next weapon and armour...

A Spending Spree - August 15th

I got Keerella and Barbarienne online to earn their attendance allowance for the day, and noticed that, at a little after midnight, [GM]Yatou was chatting in the shoutbox, from home rather than from the Aeria office.  But I got distracted from that, as suddenly the older computer's monitor went black, and nothing I could do would persuade it to come back to life.

In the end I had to switch that computer off manually; I waited till Kee had finished her half hour, as Barb could see she was still in town.  And then it was a matter of finding my first-ever old flat-screen monitor, a 15" one, and then scrambling around behind the computers, trying not to trip over or pull out any other wires, and switch the screens over.  Luckily the old NEC model came to life without any problems, though it only wanted to run Last Chaos at 600 by 800 pixels...which wasn't too bad until I tried to open the inventory of the next character to be putting in their half hour, only to find it had vanished off the side of the window.  Changing to 1024 x 768 allowed me to get it on-screen, though with the task bar getting in the way a bit...switching to full-screen mode solved that, but may have contributed to a "send error report?" crash a few minutes later...after which we were back to 600 x 800, which I again updated to 1024 x 768.

I asked [GM] Yatou if we could expect the experience from the sphinx commanders to go up by 50% soon, as initially promised by product manager Xuse2005 when the experience boosts for many monsters were brought in.  "Kaerella, it's up to the devs in the end when they feel ready to hand us stuff", he told me, with a sad face.  I also asked if he ever played Last Chaos as a "civilian" - "nah, I can't Kaerella", was the reply.  He stayed in the shoutbox until gone 1:30am, California time, chatting with people.

After coffee MistressSabina headed for Maargadum Jail again, and managed to add the 14.02% she needed to reach level 46 - as that is going to be a prime sp-farming level for her, on the beast flyers, I returned to town after that.  She also gained 58 skill points and 607 pet points.  The central area of the third floor had been in use when I arrived, so I'd concentrated on a side room for a while, until the middle was vacated.

Reaching level 46 didn't bring any new skills for MistressSabina, but it does allow her to wear the level 51 Bluses shirt and skirt, which are both +13 - wearing them instead of the level 46 "Asuquted" +12 pair increases her physical defence from 1024 to 1076, which ought to help when fighting the beast flyers next time.  Loot was moved across to MistressDomino, who in return traded across all five platinum super skill pills she had.  Sabina also reset her experience gain to 50%, just for the one level.

On Cariae after lunch, MistressDomina, my merchant, managed to buy SirKit two pieces of the level 85/87 armour set, "Blue Abyss", both blue-named with all five evasion seals, for 600 million gold each.  The helmet, a Casting Up Blue Abyss helmet +15, was sold, through the merchant mart, by Criminalic, while the Antistune Blue Abyss Breastplate +14 came from DuBlade.  The only other possible pieces that were "b5e" were not upgraded at all, and still rather expensive.  Still, equipping those two pieces did increase Kit's physical defence from 2805 to 3286, which can't be bad.

I decided to take Barbarienne to the anubis spear men for a couple of hours in the afternoon, including one "dungeon time" hour of 50% extra experience.  Keerella went with her, of course, but, perhaps because of the way the game, and computer, had been shut down by the power button earlier, Kee had problems.  As soon as she reached the spear man room, her game crashed.  When she tried again, the game crashed after she'd fought one sphinx fighter which had followed her, just as her drake was picking up the gold it had dropped.  A third time, the game crashed as she was running along the corridor approaching the room... but it was fourth time lucky, as Kee reached the corner of the room safely, and I just let her stay there, looking down and not moving.  She did have to fight a couple of sphinx fighters, but let Barb pick up the drops.

Barbarienne took up her position on the far side of the room; a royal knight was power-levelling a night shadow in the other half, and another night shadow, probably providing a combat party for them, was battling the sphinx fighters for much of the time.  I started the first of the two "power hours" ten minutes ahead of the "dungeon time" - due to Kee's problems one or two kills were when Barb was without a party, maybe a couple more when it was just a solo party since Kee was out of range, but Barb added 20.35% experience in that hour, using 48 experience boosters.

The second hour only had ten minutes of "dungeon time, but, again using 48 experience boosters, Barbarienne earned another 15.66%, which compares very well with the 11 or 12% she was getting before the experience changes were made.  So, in all Barb added 36.01%, along with 5 skill points and 2152 pet points for her drake.  Keerella added 0.98%, 6 skill points, and 9 pet points.

Barbarienne had a small scout-around afterwards, and confirmed that the remaining lengths of corridor leading to the "swimming pool" area do seem to have a useful further supply of anubis spear men, as well as more sphinx fighters, so if on a future visit I find my favourite room in use, I'll just need to keep moving a little further.

There was time before the early evening food break for MistressDomino on Auzura to try some more shopping for MrChuckNorris.  He already had the Antistune Pants of Thunder +15, b5e, and from Roy's merchant mart I was able to get Speed Up Boots of Thunder +15 for 500 million from IIINICINHOIII, who was also the vendor of Ebade Gloves of Thunder +13 for 480 million (I get the idea that the level 85 gloves, at least in their b5e form, are a bit rarer than the other armour pieces, generally).  EliteSoldier provided a Casting Up Helm of Thunder +8; the breastplate was a slight problem, and in the end I bought an Antistune Jacket of Thunder +10 from SHINEE for 250 million, even though an extreme stone had already been used on it, so it can only easily be got to +12, rather than +13.  I had to compromise on the Hero Sword of Hell +14 too, from xSTARKx, which is a g5 one with a good hit rate...but isn't +15.  Still, it has an attack stat of 1179, which is a nice improvement on the 957 his current level 69 +15 sword gives.

For the evening, up until Sunday Quiz time, it seemed a good idea to take MistressDomina, Kaerella and the polar bear cub to head for the Tomb of Theos again, on Auzura-5, where as ever quite a few familiar names were fighting the screaming zombies.  Elvastar got in touch, and changed across to Ratel to come and join our combat party - he's level 94 now.  He had misgivings about the lag in Auzura-5, which as usual was a bit overloaded, but things settle down once one is through the crowds in Randol, and teleported to Dratan, so it wasn't long before he joined us.

It must have been a bit of a shock, and he commented that his guildies in Twisted wouldn't have believed it, but the place, the corridor and the first main screaming zombie room, were exceptionally busy.  I think he had fun, letting the people ks him - he certainly used his teleport skill a few times to stop zombies chasing some fleeing lower-level player.  His armour must be pretty good now, he was tackling multiple zombies and not losing any health at all...but that's knights for you.

As usual I enjoyed it, it's like a little "mad monster spawn" with plenty of people working together.  There are always a few people who complain about being ks'd, but if they want to avoid that, they just need to go further in, or try a different subserver.  There was I think one attempt to bring in a group of screaming mummies, down the corridor, but it rather fizzled out, and I think just about everyone had a good time.

Ratel logged out slightly before MD and Kae did, to make sure he had time to get ready for the Quiz, but a few minutes later, my characters logged out too.  MistressDomina had managed to reach level 92, going up by 5.76%, with her drake getting 1600 pet points, while Kaerella added 2.74%.  They each got 5 skill points, and the polar bear cub, while it didn't quite reach the end of level 30, did gain 75.13% experience.

The Quiz went pretty smoothly this time, though as usual there were a few complaints in the forum shoutbox.  After the older computer's crashing experiences earlier, I was slightly worried; the game there now starts up at the 800 x 600 size, which means that one can't access the inventory, but it presumably is less resource-hungry that way, so I kept it like that for MistressDomino, when she and Kaerella logged in as usual on Auzura-2; it meant that she couldn't take off her armour, but only about half the people in the room do that anyway.

Most of the people got through to the end safely, though it seemed to me that we did lose a significant number of people on whether the spirit cave is in Strayana or Egeha.   Kaerella traded her prizes across to MistressDomino, and then they both logged out.  As usual, logging back in at that point was tricky, as so many people are doing it... relogging forces the game to "remember" your new loot, so that it can't be lost in any disconnection.  The trick is to ignore the "timed out" message, rather than clicking its "okay", and just waiting for the next stage to load.

MrChuckNorris logged on to look through the available accessories in Roy's merchant mart - not usually a good idea straight after the Quiz, as Roy has in the past just about ground to a halt due to lag, but the improvements to the merchant mart do seem to be working.  Page loading had slowed down, until it was, well, similar to what it was before the last maintenance at the best of times, but things quickly recovered.

It's amazing the way prices vary, looking through all the various necklaces that Roy had to offer.  I ended up spending much of MistressDomino's remaining gold on a Necklace of Earth being sold by LuckyOne for 90 million, which gives 5% + 5% suction of life, 93 hit rate, 5 defence, and 8 physical fortitude.  When Chuck gets to fight the ancient grey mummies, I'll have to see if 10% suction of life is enough; he already has one Necklace of Wind that gives 5% suction of life, 6 + 6 for all types of physical defence, and 16 dexterity, so I can either equip that, or a Ring of Air, picked up a while back when fighting the screamies, which gives 56 hit rate and 75 close range physical hit rate.

So, Chuck has his accessories, he has new armour and a new sword waiting for when he can use them, and he has some platinum refining stones to make his current 70/72 armour set all +15 for 24 hours... so he is ready to roll with the ancient grey mummies, when I am ready.  His current armour set isn't fully bloodsealed yet, but a few hours fighting should see to that.

Chuck's Big Day - August 16th

Since MistressDomina had reached level 92 last night, she had a new skill to learn, when she logged on this morning to keep her attendance bonus going.  The ninth level of Freeze Arrow costs 550 skill points, and is what Keerella, over on Cariae, is currently saving up skill points for, though she is still slightly less than halfway there.  MD has no such worries, though, and spent the sp needed to increase that attack skill's power from 360 to 400.  She still has over 15k of unused skill points left.

One character I didn't log in for half an hour was MistressSabina, as, if she wants to make full use of level 46 fighting the beast flyers, she'll do better not to have that 10% bonus to her experience in Maargadum Jail.  So, for a change, it was Katar's level 39 archer Kaerella who headed for that particular dungeon.

Maargadum Jail's second floor wasn't too busy on Katar-5, so Kaerella settled in there, and was able to make use of most of the "dungeon time" hour from eleven to noon, UK time, as well as perhaps 45 minutes before that.  By the end, fighting as many double-headed canines as possible, plus dire spike canines and a few spike canines, she had gained 50.78%, along with 98 skill points and 964 pet points for her level 26 drake.

After lunch, however, it was time for MrChuckNorris, my level 70 warmaster type titan, to get his mid-level supporter buff for three hours of a 20% increased attack, and head for the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-4, in a solo party with Kaerella, who stayed in Juno to do some herb-gathering.  He had his item mall potions, his platinum refining stones, his next set of armour and his next sword, plenty of health and mana pots... now was the time to use them.

Luckily the condition of the Tomb seemed okay, it would have been a shame to use all the platinum refining stones and a first round of hour-long potions and then have to run for one's life for the exit.  Chuck ran to the room with the ancient grey mummies, and found it not busy at all, with only the archer swenja there, who didn't seem to speak English.  DRsKnight soon was around, and indeed was quite often around during the day, and we did exchange buffs.

I'd been hoping, while the 24-hour platinum refining stones lasted, to get Chuck from level 70 to 85 or perhaps 87 today, but with the attendance allowance, the "dungeon time" hours, and the boost that the AGM's basic experience had been given, things moved along faster than I was expecting.  The first hour, with the first ten minutes of the "dungeon time" 50% boost at its end, zoomed Chuck direct from level 70 to level 77, with 650.89% added, using 41 experience boosters, as well as the (level 61-90) platinum blessed iris, plus platinum adrenaline, crit, and berserker potions.  The second hour, with the majority of the "dungeon time" hour in it, moved him on to level 82, with 563.39% from 43 experience boosters, while the final hour of the afternoon session got him to level 86, with 328.62% from 46 boosters.  As he levelled up, putting his stat points into strength made him hit harder and kill more quickly, and when he'd reached level 85, he was able to equip his new sword, which increased his physical attack quite a bit.

As soon as he'd reached level 80, Kaerella, on level 90, had hurried to the Tomb of Theos to join him in the AGM room, and Chuck had changed the party type to Combat, to get a boost from her presence...and she got some experience too, and helped, by taking the average level of the party up, to bring in a little skill exp, so that they each got 3 skill points from the session.  Chuck's drake had added 3222 pet points, and Kae's polar bear cub went up by 14.06%, taking him into level 31.  It was slower progress for the poly though, as the ancient grey mummies give the same experience to the new-type pets as the screaming zombies, 20 points each, but take a lot longer to kill.

Back in Randol, Chuck had some new skills to learn.  Starting with the passive skills,  Toughness levels 4 and 5
, decreasing the damage Chuck would take from critical and deadly hits, cost 596 sp between them; the first two levels of Health Mastery 2 cost 900 sp, increasing his health by 330 and increasing his health regeneration by a further 2 per second; Focus Mastery 2 levels 4 & 5 cost another 596 sp, increasing his hit rate by 130; and Defend's sixth and final level increases his long-range evasion by 5, for 300 sp.  The active skill Bellow also brought in its sixth and final level, for 250 sp, moving up the decrease in nearby foes's defence from 100 to 150.

Chuck and Kae got back into the Tomb, with the "supporter" buff re-applied, a few minutes before the 5:00pm to 6:00pm (UK time) "dungeon time" was due to begin, and started a new power hour.  This time Chuck got all the way to level 90, adding 423.44% from 56 experience boosters.  Once a character reaches 90, though, things slow down, so despite having a few minutes of the 50% boost at its start the second hour of the evening just got him into level 91, with 126.77% from 54 boosters.  The third hour got him into level 92, adding 69.42% from 52 boosters.  I then took a break for five minutes or so, so that the final power hour would coincide with the next "dungeon time" boost; even with that, Chuck didn't move out of level 92, adding 65.59% from 42 boosters.  Why there were less kills in that hour I don't know. perhaps the condition of the Tomb did change a bit.

Ratel was online during the evening, and took up my invitation to visit Chuck and Kae, joining our combat party for a while during the evening.  He did get a disconnection, though, and decided that rather than paying to come back into the Tomb for a short session, he'd do better to take advantage of the double skill exp event which had started by then, and get his sorcerer Elvastar some skill points in Prokion Temple.  The room had got fairly busy by then, with other knights, an archer or two, and even a mage close by in the corridor.

Chuck and Kaerella each added 22 skill points during the evening session, while Chuck's drake added 4225 pet points - Chuck's attack speed has to be pretty quick, at least when using platinum adrenaline pots, to average over a thousand an hour.  Kae's polar bear cub went up by another 49.33% in level 31.

Once he was again back in Randol, Chuck was able to spend some more skill points.  On the passive side, Magic Counterforce level 6, for 600 sp, "permanently increases magical defence and attack speed"...the increase to the magical defence was 10, and apparently the increase to Chuck's attack speed is 3%.  Toughness level 6, for 408 sp,  "decreases critical hit rate" a bit more.  The active buff Fire Command's sixth level, for 250 sp, increased its power, on ranged attackers close by, from 30 to 36.

Getting from level 70 to level 90 in four hours was a bit of a surprise, and certainly moves MrChuckNorris up the "batting order" for my characters on Auzura.  It was lucky he was carrying a few of the no-limits platinum blessed irises, as the level 61-90 ones wouldn't have been any use for the final two hours.  I'd expected to have to return to Randol before the final hour of the evening to get the "supporter" buff re-applied, since it gave such a useful 20% addition to his attack... but by that point Chuck had moved beyond its range, too.  Still, I noticed that it didn't vanish when he reached level 91, it stayed in effect for its full three hours, which was something.

Chuck started to wear his pants and shoes from the level 85/87 set, but the other items don't give as much defence as the 70/72 set pieces, at least while the platinum refining stones remain active.  Tomorrow morning I'll be trying to get a little more value out of those, with maybe a trip to the anubis spear men instead for Chuck and Kae.  They may be rather lower level than Barbarienne and Keerella over on the Cariae server, but they shouldn't get into much trouble there.  Or that's what Ratel thinks, anyway.  Chuck has brought some Remedy to deal with the spear men's stun effect ready...