Kaerella's Blog - stardate September 2010 (2)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the current month continues here at the top!
Level 110 - A Fatal Blow - September 16th

I don't intend to make a habit of it, but as I knew I wouldn't be able to play actively during most of the day, I got up early, had breakfast, and was ready to make use of the eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour.  Barbarienne logged in, and checked out the Condition of the Tomb of Theos on Cariae-4.  It wasn't perfect, but 70% of the way towards easy was considerably better than it had been for some days, so Keerella quickly logged in, and teleported out to join her there.

As one might expect, the Tomb was pretty quiet, and I only had two people run past my favourite corner of the corridor, where Barbarienne, with just the pbi and a platinum adrenaline potion to increase her attack speed, was fighting the two anubis spear men there, while Keerella, unboosted, fought the sphinx fighters.

It all went pretty smoothly, without Barbarienne having to use any healing, thanks no doubt to their +15 armour - and after ten minutes or so Barb levelled up, reaching level 110.  This of course means that this was the last time Barb and Kee will be able to form a combat party until Keerella reaches level 100, which may well take some time.

Barbarienne added 16.92% during her power hour, using 39 experience boosters; her total experience gain, including a few kills while waiting for the hour to start and one last kill afterwards, was 17.13%.  Keerella added 1.19%; Barb's drake earned 1310 pet points, while Kee's drake Greedo got 1251.  Both Barb and Kee added 6 skill points.

Back in Randol afterwards, Barbarienne spent almost all her remaining skill points, 1100, plus 100 million of gold (passed across by MistressDomina, my Cariae merchant) on the second level of Fatal Blow, an attack skill she does find useful... she just has 138 skill points left, until it seems a good idea to release the sp she has hidden away in the "special skills".  With the first level of Fatal Blow, she was able to hit with double the usual damage for a critical hit, though there was always the possibility that it might miss.  Now that she has the second level, the damage goes up another 50%, so now she'll do triple damage...it's just a shame that the skill takes a whole sixty seconds to recharge.

After that I did some trading across of loot to my merchants, including moving the last of yesterday's Loot Wheel winnings out of the item mall "records" section.  My Auzura merchant, MistressDomino, traded her old armour set across to a storage character, to make room for the +5 60/62 set that MistressBlaze earned by reaching level 60, so now looks rather smart in the sand-coloured costume - she is still wearing her top hat, though.  Once the trading-around was finished, MistressDomino went into merchant mode.  Business was slow, but she did sell twenty heaven stones before lunch, and a tower box later, followed rather later by her supply of large defence potions, which got the total up to 50 million.

Over on Cariae, my pet-leveller XxGALAHADxX logged in, and headed for Maargadum Jail.  He hadn't done any work for quite a while, so he didn't even have Maargadum Jail on his memory scroll; he does have that location now, though.  Back when he was working regularly, it was possible to pet-level on berserkers and bandits; he probably could still use a gnoll lancer, but going into the Jail and heading for the death mask lancer on the fifth floor seems safer.  He logged in on Cariae-6 for a change, since it is now "Carebear" (or non-PvP) so other players can't kill a lone pet-leveller...it seemed as quiet as ever, but no doubt over time people will spread out to it from Cariae-5.

I did manage to have my early evening food break slightly early, and was able to get into the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-4 for the five until six o'clock dungeon time hour.  This time MistressDomina and Kaerella headed for the Ancient Grey Mummies, since there they could both get a "power hour" in - and we arrived with no more than two minutes to spare.  The archer Swenja was there already, as she often seems to be, no doubt sp-farming; things did get a little crowded when the rogue ddstone turned up, but, with Kaerella concentrating on the mummies at the start of the entry corridor, there was no actual shortage of mummies, and after a while Swenja went and stood off to one side.  If you're interested in acquiring masses of skill points while you're level 103, the extra experience during dungeon time hours isn't exactly an incentive to play flat out then.

MistressDomina used 48 experience boosters, and went up by 26.31% in level 98, while Kaerella used 55, and earned 52.76% in level 94.  They each earned 16 skill points, while MD's drake added 1068 pet points, and Kae's got 1095. 

There was some trading about to do after that, but then MistressSabina and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail again, this time on Auzura-6.  Red had headed off towards the fifth floor when I realised that Sabina was without any platinum super skill pills - luckily Red had got a package containing three of them in his item mall Records section, so downloaded the package, and went back to Sabina to trade them across.  He then went on down to the fifth floor for some pet-levelling.

MistressSabina started her new pssp, though she did have a couple of interruptions.  A rogue did come by and kill a few beast flyers, but as she was wearing the 95/97 armour set I was pretty confident she didn't intend to stay long; I assume she was heading for the Death Knight of Iris, to help her companion, a specialist sorcerer, with his quest to kill that particular boss monster.  Sabina's kill rate was more affected by the "Attendance Event" - when the GM message "Secret word of the day: Batman" came up, I had to take a screenshot, then upload it to PhotoBucket, and then post it, or a link to it, in a particular forum thread.  I was logged in as MistressDomina, as it happens, so that goes quite well with the MistressSabina name on the screenshot.  What I'm not entirely sure about is whether the screenshot has to show the GM's message at the top of the screen, which mine does, or if just having it visible in the chat box counts.

Despite that diversion, and a phone call I ignored, MistressSabina ended her hour up by 4.66%, 136 skill points, and 942 pet points, so the lost time was negligible - and MistressDomina may win a "mystery prize", which might even contain a coupon for 500 free aeria points, or something almost as useful...or mysterious.  Sabina then headed down to RedRackham to get the other goodies he'd downloaded, in exchange for most of her supply of quality stones, and also had her five spins of the LacaRette wheel, which included getting five heaven stones.

Yesterday was unusual, in that there weren't any "BOGO" offers in the item mall, but I see they have returned this evening, though today's three are not very attractive.  They are "buy one get one free", except that, for the system to work, you do have to pay a single aeria point for the second package...this is usually compensated for by decreasing the price of the first package.  The people in the forum shoutbox were unimpressed with the new prizes in the revamped Loot Wheel today, and I agree with them on that.  It now has a "socketing" theme, with the main prizes being stabilizers and scrolls that may let you add sockets to an item, and a few gems, but just topazes and garnets at various levels...including the level one types, which are rather common drops and worth very little.  Topazes just increase the wearer's constitution stat, and garnets just increase one's hit points, so they are not the most sought-after of gems anyway.

MistressBlaze got her next armour set from the storage character LordRevan - as MrChuckNorris had been the last character to use it, it was the titan "Mammoth" set.  She can wear the level 65 gloves now, which, as they are +8 and the level 60 ones were +9, just give one more defence - once she reaches level 61, however, she'll be able to wear the "Vampiress" shirt and skirt, which will give 20 more defence each, and also be able to use the level 65 Augcuss Staff +15, for 174 more magic attack than her current level 57 weapon, the Blood Shadow Staff +15.  As the helm and boots I have for level 67 are only +8, and the level 62 ones are +14 and +13, and even have a level two gem each socketed, I haven't bothered to change them from the titan gear into the mage equivalents, though MB may as well carry them in her inventory, to keep the set together.

MistressSabina transferred her loot across to MistressDomino, who went into merchant mode...perhaps an overnight session will bring her in some much-needed cash.

More Levelling-Up - September 17th

MistressDomino stayed in merchant mode overnight, until at some point she got a disconnection.  She did at least manage to boost her gold reserves a bit, but we are still well below the kind of price a +17 master stone would go for, or indeed a +15 level 85 sword for MrChuckNorris.  We seem to be making progress, however.

The temptation to get up early again for an eight until nine dungeon time "power hour" this morning was resisted rather easily, but instead I managed to get MistressSabina her hour of skill point farming with the beast flyers, from just after nine, with RedRackham again a couple of floors lower in Maargadum Jail to do some pet-levelling.

Things proceeded without any interruptions, and by the end of the hour MistressSabina had added 5.03%, and 148 skill points, which must be her best ever score for a one-hour session there.  Her drake got 985 pet points, so is making good progress through level 42.

I was able to make use of the eleven until twelve dungeon time hour. Cariae's Tomb of Theos was on a Condition rating of 80%, but Auzura beat that with a 90% rating, so MistressDomina and Kaerella went out to the Tomb on Auzura-4.  I wasn't sure until the last moment whether to head for the anubis spear men and sphinx fighters, or the ancient grey mummies, since the spear men give more experience per kill, but the mummies allow both characters to have a power hour.  In the end I turned left for the ancient grey mummies, and found a night shadow called xDareDevilx the only player there.  He left almost immediately, so I had the room to myself, though the archer Swenja soon took up a position in the corridor, at the last bend before reaching the room.

When the hour began, both my characters started their platinum blessed irises and potions, and worked flat out - though, as the ancient grey mummies take a while to kill, controlling both MD and Kae was a lot easier than having MistressSabina fighting the beast flyers.  Both MistressDomina and Kaerella levelled up, to 99 and 95 respectively; MD added 25.88% in the hour from 48 experience boosters, or 26.00% in all, plus 1165 pet points, and Kae added 48.76% from 54 boosters, or 48.99% in all, plus one more pet point than MD.  They each gained 17 skill points.

After lunch, the Auzura Tomb had slipped to 60%, while the Cariae Tomb was on 80%, so that seemed a good reason not to do a repeat of the previous dungeon time hour - though on Cariae-4 things were pretty similar, as we still featured the ancient grey mummies room, a level 99 wizard, and this time a level 93 bow-using ranger-type rogue instead of a level 95 archer.  Keerella and RedRydeR were the characters in question, getting to the same room with a few minutes to spare, and using a similar selection of potions over the hour.  Keerella added 19.60% from 39 experience boosters - the lower number of kills, and experience boosters, would be mainly from the fact that her staff isn't as high-powered, and of course most of MD's hour was at the previous level, which would have allowed her to gain a greater percentage.  RedRydeR's crossbow isn't as highly-plussed as Kae's bow, but she managed to use the same number of boosters, 54, and, as she is a level or so lower, that gave her 65.06% experience.  Kee's drake, Greedo, added 1088 pet points, while Red's got a hundred more than that, which just got it into level 42.

After that there was just a little moving around of loot, and a quick search through Roy's merchant mart on Cariae, to see if any +17 master stones were at a reasonable price.  While the "Other" category did show up some higher-level master stones, there weren't any +17 ones about, and no better jackets or leggings for RedRydeR either.  Over on Auzura, Kaerella had some items to move across to MistressDomino... and then it was time to log out for the food break.

I'd cunningly taken the food break a little early, so that I was back in time for the five to six o'clock, UK time, dungeon time.  As Auzura's Tomb of Theos was back up to maximum easy, MistressDomina and Kaerella were able to return to the ancient grey mummies.  They had the room to themselves, with ddstone in the corridor nearby, and MistressDomina managed to use 51 experience boosters in the power hour, going up by 25.21% in level 99; Kaerella used 61 boosters, and added 49.11% in level 95.  MD's drake added 1156 pet points, and Kae's managed 7 more than that.  They each earned 19 skill points.

After that, MistressDomina hopped across from Auzura-4 to Auzura-5, and went back to the Tomb along with MistressBlaze, who I thought had the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff for the last time, though when I looked, she was only getting 1 skill exp per kill.  The two wizards are too far apart to form a party, so MB was just "ks-ing", hitting MD's target and getting some of the experience from the kill.  There were plenty of other people around, including a few familiar names - one mage was level 85 now, and able to hold her own soloing the screaming zombies.

MistressDomina just added 1.72% from this main evening session, along with 18 skill points, and, thanks to double pet experience being our "event" of the day, 5014 pet points, which were enough to get her drake into level 45.  MistressBlaze went up by 70.21, with her drake adding 3304 pet points.

MistressBlaze reached level 61 during the dungeon time hour from eight to nine, and was able to equip her new shirt and leggings, though the outfit does look a little strange with the bell-bottom type boots from the previous set.  She also equipped her new staff, so was able to start hitting rather harder, though not even half as hard as MistressDomina hits.  Oh well, one day she will inherit MD's staff, I guess. The levelling for MistressBlaze was a bit slow, really, I think if I want her to get up to a level at which she can take over soloing the screaming zombies, further ks-ing sessions will have to be held in a rather quieter subserver, with MB using some of the level 61-90 special cheap platinum blessed irises.  It would perhaps be easier to do it with the ancient grey mummies, if MistressBlaze could get to that room safely.

Back in Dratan City afterwards, MistressDomina did something she hasn't done recently, she checked the map for any new quests - and found two.  One of them requires her to kill some ancient grey mummies, and the other one is for screaming zombies, and their boss-type ancient screaming  zombies, so those quests won't take MD far from where she'd be going anyway.  I then switched across to the Cariae server, and logged Keerella in - as she too is level 99, she was able to get the same pair of quests.

RedRackham then logged in on Cariae-4, and took his level 41 drake down to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail.  The knight Looon was busy sparring with my usual death mask lancer, so Red had to move along to the next one.  I noticed that Looon had lured the lancer around to a rather safer position than I use, but the danger with doing that is that, if you miss with your strike a few times, there is a chance that your target will "ping" back into his usual spot, and forget all about you.  RedRackham was able to stay there for an hour or so, taking his drake to around three-quarters of the way through its level.

MistressDomina's Century - September 18th

MistressSabina and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 just before nine o'clock this morning in an equal party, and luckily the third floor was free, so RedRackham headed down to floor five, and began his pet-levelling.  His drake is a level ahead of his Cariae namesake's one, so was able to pass the three-quarters mark in level 42 during the session.

MistressSabina waited a further minute or two, and then started fighting the beast flyers perhaps a minute before the dungeon time hour ended.  It all went according to plan in its normal hectic way; I did spot a knight entering the area at one point, but luckily he was either passing through or, seeing me there, decided to try his luck on a different subserver.

By the end of the hour MistressSabina had gone up by 5.07%, and added another148 skill points, as well as 1898 pet points - and working that out afterwards was my first clue that the double pet experience event from yesterday was still running.  Sabina had picked up enough tokens to do the daily five "course B" spins, so tried her luck - her haul included a potion of haste and a couple of rejuvenation potions, but the final spin brought in the prime prize of fifteen gold tokens, enough for five "gold course" spins.  The first of those gave just a single gold token, a loss of two of them, but after that she did get a couple each of the platinum blessed irises and sixty-minute lucky scrolls, which as freebies can't be bad.

RedRackham was able to continue through the coffee break, but after that the eleven until twelve dungeon time hour took priority - and while Cariae's Tomb of Theos was down to 60%, Auzura's was 100% good, which meant that MistressDomina and Kaerella headed for the ancient grey mummies again - and MD automatically did the quest requiring ten gray mummy bandages.

MistressDomina and Kaerella had the ancient grey mummy room to themselves, and kept busy for the whole "power hour", with Kaerella reaching level 96.  MistressDomina added 26.94% in level 99 from using 54 experience boosters, while Kaerella added 48.27%, some in level 95 and the last third in 96, using  63 boosters.  MD's drake added 2126 pet points, and Kae's added 2214...and they both added 19 skill points.

Reaching level 96 meant that Kaerella was now able to learn the fourth levels of Deadly Shot 2 and Vital Spot Blow 2, for 950 skill points between them, increasing her "deadly" stat from 510 to 520, and her "critical" stat from 755 to 765.

The two o'clock to three dungeon time hour was pretty much a repeat of the previous one, with MistressDomina adding 25.25% in level 99 from 51 experience boosters and Kaerella adding 44.09% in level 96 from 64; MD's drake got 2274 pet points, and Kae's got 2444, while both MD and Kae gained 20 skill points.

MistressDomina stayed in the ancient grey mummies room, but Kaerella logged out, and MistressBlaze logged in instead.  With horse buffs, and a health potion along the way, she was able to run to join MD, who for the next hour or so, while MistressBlaze used a level 61-90 type pbi for triple experience gain, just fought the mummies without any boosts, potions, or indeed terra spear, while Blaze, not in a party with her, also attacked the same targets.  MD only added 0.52%, though she did get 8 skill points - and her drake earned a further 2214 pet points.  MistressBlaze managed to earn 93.92%, taking her into level 62 - her drake got exactly 2000 pet points.

MistressDomina stayed in the Tomb room over the food break, and I managed to log Kaerella in and get her back, in the combat party, in time for the next dungeon time hour, which again was much as before.  The condition of the Tomb had declined, though, from 80 to 60%.  This time, MistressDomina used just 47 boosters, killing 47 ancient grey mummies within the hour, adding 22.93% - enough to take her into level 100.  Her drake added 3020 pet points, as they had been doing a little low-impact fighting before the hour began.  Kaerella used 56 boosters, and added 39.32%, still within level 96.  Her drake got another 2856 pet points...isn't double pet experience useful?

After that, Kaerella again logged out, and MistressBlaze ran back to join MistressDomina, so that for the main evening session, MD was just basically pet-levelling on the mummies, though they still died fairly regularly, with MB ks-ing.  MistressDomina did add 2.04%, and 31 skill points - and her drake gained 6958 pet points, so that it's now over 60% of the way through level 45.  MistressBlaze used three of the mid-level platinum blessed irises, which, helped along by the eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour, took her up two more levels, adding 201.56%, along with 6182 pet points.

The room did get a bit crowded, particularly when the dungeon time hour had started - there must have been four night shadows, including one in the corridor, so it was lucky that MistressDomina wasn't fighting at full speed, using pots and terra spear.  It shows that I'm right not to attempt an evening "power hour", the place just gets too busy.  The older computer does vary, it's now at a stage where the game gets a bit tricky after a couple of hours or so, which meant that changing the camera viewpoint for MistressBlaze got harder as the evening progressed - I ended up with MD having to lure the next mummy into the right position for MB to be able to target it, and even then sometimes her screen would freeze for a few seconds, and in-game MistressBlaze would stop attacking until movement resumed.  MB is level 64 now - she just needs to get to 67, partly this way, and partly out doing quests and fighting that elite sphinx "speer" man and its cohorts.

Back in town, MistressDomina was able to get her level 100 skill - which is nothing very exciting, just level 10 of Freeze Arrow, for 650 skill points, which increases that attack's power from 400 to 440.  It can be useful in a monster combo, but as it includes a debuff, slowing its target down, it isn't suitable for Tomb use.  To make more use of the double pet experience, RedRackham logged in on Auzura-4, and took up his usual spot on the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail.  Another knight, LancelotTK, had previously been fighting that particular death mask lancer, but had made the mistake of luring it back too far and around the corner for "safety"...and it had "pinged" back into position, leaving him just standing there, safely but uselessly, with his pink drake equipped.

So, MistressDomina reaching level 100 is a bit of a landmark; my second character, after Barbarienne over on Cariae, to get there.  It means that I can think of making a "phoenix" character on Auzura, the equivalent of RedRydeR over on Cariae - but that will need some planning.  With Keerella on Cariae also approaching the magic number, I could find myself spending a lot of time in Prokion Temple again soon...

More Experienced Pets - September 19th

MistressSabina and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 just before nine o'clock this morning in an equal party, and luckily the third floor was free, so RedRackham headed down to floor five, and began his pet-levelling.  That much was the same as yesterday.  The double pet experience was still running, so they were both able to make good use of that.

As usual, it was a very hectic hour for MistressSabina, while her platinum super skill pill, giving triple skill exp, lasted.  She went up by 4.83%, and added 146 skill points, as well as 1952 pet points.  After about forty minutes, Sabina levelled up, to reach 47, which decreases the amount of skill exp per kill by 10%...and around three minutes later her drake levelled up too, reaching level 43.  Sabina gained in all 2888 skill points during 21 pssp-using hours fighting the beast flyers, which has rather improved her skill point stash.  I guess she ought to continue there for another level, but using the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff instead of expensive pssps, to move along twice as quickly, and without being limited to exact hour-long sessions.

RedRackham's drake reached level 43 as well about an hour later, shortly before he had to log out.  Keerella had checked the Tomb's Condition on Cariae, and found it at maximum hard, zero percent, but on Auzura it was right at the friendlier end of the scale, so MistressDomina and Kaerella headed for the ancient grey mummies again.  I did ask on the Twisted guild chat if I'd missed out on a castle siege last night, but apparently there was some sort of glitch which meant that, although Twisted had registered for it, they weren't able to take part.

The ancient grey mummies room was quiet when MD and Kae arrived, though another archer, cybele, arrived before long.  There were enough mummies for the three of us; one of the night shadows from yesterday, xDARKSIDEx, did arrive about halfway through the hour, but moved on before long, rather to my relief.  In all, MD used 53 experience boosters and earned 24.06% in level 100, while Kae used 64, and added 38.97%, almost all of it in her new level, 97.  MD's drake added 2206 pet points, and Kae's managed 70 more than that; they each gained 21 skill points.  As they level up towards the ancient grey mummies' own level, 103, the skill exp they gain increases.

I just had time to log RedRackham on Cariae-4 in before lunch, and get him into action pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail.  SirMoe was already sparring with the first death mask lancer, having lured it a comparatively long way along the far side of the lava pit, so Red moved along to the second one.  By the end of the lunch break, that particular drake was approaching the top of level 41.

When I checked at about 1:30pm, UK time, at last the Cariae Tomb of Theos had been reset, and was on 100% easy - so Keerella was joined at the entrance by RedRydeR, my phoenix ranger, the combat party was made, and in they went - though they didn't head for the ancient grey mummies, they turned right and went to the anubis spear men instead, and set up on the first corner of the corridor after the spear man room.

So, it was only Keerella who did a "power hour" when the dungeon time began at two o'clock - and she used just 36 experience boosters over the hour, while going up 21.35% in level 99.  It's difficult to compare that with what MistressDomina gets on Auzura, as Kee's mage staff isn't as powerful, and of course the Condition can vary, but it's safe to say that she was getting more "bang for her buck", since spear men give on average 18% more experience per kill than mummies.  But the downside is that RedRydeR wasn't able to have a power hour herself, and so only went up by 5.10% in level 93.  The skill point gain was lower too, at 5 each.  Kee's drake Greedo added 2450 pet points, and Red's drake added 2314, as she did sometimes have to wait between kills while I got Kee targeted on her next spear man. 

After the hour was over, and RedRydeR had logged out, Keerella moved across to the mummy side, and killed the five ancient screaming zombies that one of her quests requires, adding another 0.11%, 2 skill points, and 332 pet points.  She also explored the corridor beyond the mummy room, which had a similar set-up to the spear man side, with a few more bits of corridor leading onto a wider columned section, and then a final short corridor opening out onto the Tomb's "swimming pool" area.  There are definitely a few more places for ancient grey mummy fighting along there, with the passive ancient screaming zombies next to them - but also some aggressive screaming zombies and infected grey mummies to avoid.

RedRackham then logged in for a little drake-levelling on the sixth subserver, in duplicate; on Cariae his drake fairly soon reached level 42, while on Auzura his drake was just starting out on level 43.  When one has double pet experience left running, one should make the most of it, yes?

After the food break, which again was a bit earlier than usual, MistressDomina and Kaerella headed back to the ancient grey mummies, on Auzura-6 in the hope of not finding too many night shadows there.  The place was indeed not too busy, so that both characters were able to settle in, and begin their potions and pbis for a power hour when the dungeon time began at five o'clock, UK time.  Including the fairly brief  lead-up time, MistressDomina added 22.26% from 50 experience boosters in level 100, while Kaerella added 35.81% in level 97 from 59 boosters, which suggests that the Condition had declined slightly since their earlier session.  MD's drake gained another 2250 pet points, Kae's drake gained 2340 - and they both earned 20 skill points.

After that, the best thing to do seemed to be, as yesterday, a non-party collaboration between MistressDomina and MistressBlaze, so Kaerella logged out, and MB ran down to join MD.  There was just enough time for MB to use two of her mid-level platinum blessed irises...and I tried something I'd not done yesterday, which was to have MistressBlaze using terra spear on the ancient grey mummies.  I had thought that, if she hurt them more than MistressDomina did, they might turn their attentions to her, but that wasn't the case, so MB was able to earn a higher percentage of the experience from each kill, since she was doing more damage now.

MistressDomina just added 1.11% from a couple of hours or so of that, but she did gain 18 more skill points, and 4540 pet points.  MistressBlaze went up from level 64 to level 66, adding 190.24%.  She didn't get any skill points, again, but her drake levelled up too, reaching level 42, adding 3896 pet points.  She just needs to get to level 67, to be able to wear the full 70/72 armour set...then she'll be ready to put on some levels herself, solo.  Not that there is any hurry about it.

The final "Attendance Event" was a bit delayed.  The secret word was meant to be flashed up on our screens between 6:30 and 7:30pm, UK time, but when I remarked in the forum shoutbox at about 7:45 that I'd not noticed the word today, I was told that it had been broadcast, and that people had posted in the thread.  I investigated, and commented that it was weird that only three people had posted, two of them mentioning that they were on Hatzring - perhaps the announcement had only been made there?  And either irene_tas passed the message along, or a GM must have been watching, because within minutes the announcement came up "since there appears to have been an error with the secret word broadcast we will redo it NOW", followed by "Today's secret word is: Prehistoric."

I still don't know if you have to get your screenshot while the Word is flashed up, or if having it in your chat window counts - with what I was doing I didn't notice it appear, but I scrolled back through the guild chat, took a screenshot with it visible, and MistressDomina posted it.  Whether any prizes head for her account, well, we must wait and see.  The best screenshot was posted by Vimto, who was fighting the Grand Gold Dragon in Egeha at the time...

Once MistressBlaze's second pbi ended, it was time to log both her and MistressDomino out... so that MistressDomino, my merchant, and Kaerella could log in on Auzura-2, and head for the quiz room.  The place seemed a little busier than usual, perhaps people are deciding to spread out more to the less populated subservers, but everything went smoothly for us, although the shoutbox afterwards did mention problems on Katar.  Kaerella traded across her prizes, and other recent loot, to MistressDomino, and then they both logged out.

Since the double pet experience was still running, it seemed that, rather than just log Katar's Kaerella in for half an hour, I ought to go back to RedRackham for the rest of the evening, so I logged him in on Auzura-6 and Cariae-6, and got him down to his favourite sparring partner, the death mask lancer, in duplicate.  Both drakes should be around a quarter of the way through their levels by the time they log out tonight.

The Chains of the Tiger - September 20th

RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail's fifth floor on Auzura-6 at breakfast time today; the first death mask lancer was already being fought by another pet-leveller, so he had to move along to the second one, but soon discovered that the double pet experience was still in effect.  So, once the newer computer had installed a new version of Quicktime and restarted, RedRackham on Cariae-6 headed for Jail too, and was soon in action there.  Both RedRackhams had managed to get their drakes to about a third of the way through their levels (43 on Auzura, 42 on Cariae) before logging out last night, and by mid-morning they had both reached the halfway point.

I had some work to do downstairs, so a dungeon time "power hour" from eleven to twelve wasn't possible - which was just as well, as both computers got a disconnection at around eleven.  Both RedRackhams hurried back to their death mask lancer; on Auzura I switched him from subserver 6 to number 4, so that he could fight the first one, while on Cariae he stayed on subserver 6.  Curiously, on Auzura-4 the double pet experience was over, while on Cariae-6 it was still in effect.

After lunch, SirPerivale made a quick check in Juno that the double pet experience was still working on Auzura-6.  Over on Cariae, Keerella used up her current stock of ten tool aids, doing a quick bit of mining to replenish her stock of quality stones, and then checked on the Tomb's Condition.  From the forum shoutbox I'd gained the impression that the current castle owners, the Vendetta guild, hadn't done any resetting lately - and indeed it was right down on zero again, maximum hard.

Luckily Auzura-6's Tomb of Theos was on 100% for maximum easy, so MistressDomina and Kaerella headed for the ancient grey mummies again, and had their main room to themselves for almost the entire hour.  MistressDomina gained 24.27% in level 100, using 54 experience boosters, and Kaerella, who levelled up to 98 at about the forty minutes mark, added 37.74% from 64 boosters.  MD's drake added 2306 pet points, which were enough to get it into level 46, and Kae's drake added 2400, to get SirFrancis pretty close to the top of level 40.  Both Kae and MD added 22 skill points.

To allow me to do a little more work, and be back in time for the next dungeon time hour, the RedRackham duo logged back in then, on their sixth subservers, and did some more pet-levelling down in Maargadum jail for the rest of the afternoon, both still getting double pet experience.

Cariae's Tomb was still on maximum hard, while Auzura's was 90% of the way to the easy end of the chart - so MistressDomina and Kaerella had another dungeon time power hour, from five to six.  This time MD added 24.12%, which was just enough to get her into level 101, from another 54 boosters, and Kaerella went up by 34.10% in level 98 from 63 boosters.  MistressDomina's drake gained 2254 pet points, and Kaerella's gained 2424, which got SirFrancis safely into level 41.  The room did get a bit busy, especially late in the hour, so I was glad to be finishing my time there

I was a few minutes late getting to the mid-level mad monster spawn on Auzura-6, as I'd been doing the "power hour", which ran until the event's start time, so when Rage rode out to the location, things had alrready started, and the place was thick with kamiras. blood terrains, skin walkers, mimic crods, and a whole lot more.  A group of kamiras followed me, and, using great healing potions as fast as I could, I fought them - and was able to grab some of the loot they dropped, dodging into the group to pick the stuff up before it became open to everyone.  It was a risky business, but when I checked my inventory, as well as plenty of the medals of honour and hero's necklaces, I found that I'd picked up two "Chains of tiger" accessories.

There were further waves - and my game client crashed at one point, so that I had to log back in and ride back as quickly as I could.  I'd been in a party with the level 47 knight jamesbond007 until then, and I think he did die a time or two - but this time I avoided being chased by the packs of skin walkers and endemic demons, and lived to fight again.

Once the last kamiras had been killed, and the generous supply of hands of loot picked up, I checked Rage's inventory, and as well as the two Chains of Tiger rare accessories, she'd picked up 20 moonstones and 7 crystals of experience (greater), plus lucky scrolls, medium mana potions, great healing potions, and the usual large attack and defence potions, item drop boosters and skill point boosters.

In contrast, Cariae's spawn was a disappointment; poor JediMike was in charge, and everything seemed to go wrong for him, starting with having his monster-spawning instructions appearing in chat, rather than in whatever the GM equivalent is of "the console" in some games...and then he lagged out entirely, and went offline.  Perhaps he had been tempting fate when he boasted beforehand "I'm born ready - talent from the gods of LC...y'all want to be me, but can't...only one me."  

The spawning instructions he broadcast by mistake a couple of minutes later were "summon 10 184/goto 265 1115 0/summon 10 183/goto 274 1110 0/summon 10 185/goto 291 1071 0/summon 10 214/goto 309 1098 0/summon 10 188/goto 324 1125 0/summon 10 1189/goto 254 1115 0/summon 10 122/goto 290 1150 0/summon 10 50/goto 257 1097 0/summon 10" - which is an awful lot to type into the wrong place. The "265 1115" bits were obviously the grid locations, and the "184" etc the code for each monster. We waited, and nothing happened. [GM]AwesomeSauce came in, but initially the monsters we did get were too low even for the bottom end of the recommended player level, and tended to all fall down when a mage used chaos nova.  Still, we did get some hands of loot, and by the end things did get geared up to a few more substantial monsters.

RedRyder on Sarissa is only level 39, so I had to be careful there.  [GM]JediMike was having better luck this time, though I think there were still a few laggy problems.  We did at least get some bunches of kamiras again, and she dropped all the goodies one expects from her - risking some "area of effect" damage from the last road bosses, Red did manage to dash in and grab some goodies, though I didn't notice any rare accessories.  Still, 20 lucky scrolls, a couple of crystals of experience (greater), 25 moonstones, and the usual potions and tool aids, meant it was worth the risk - and the hands at the end gave her 3 item drop boosters, 8 skill point boosters, 3 large defence potions, and a large attack potion.  Things like barren eises and blood terrains, and jumping devils, dropped useful amounts of gold too.

On Tairen, my rogue xRAGEx is level 42, so still had to take care.  I'd set out for the MMS location when I noticed that Rage didn't have a resurrection scroll active, so had to go back to Randol and move some of the skill point restoration scrolls across from MistressDomino, my merchant there - and it was just as well I did, as Rage did get killed once, dashing in too close to the surviving kamiras to try and grab some tempting loot.  Still, I hurried back, and this time spotted another Chain of tiger accessory on the ground - and this I was able to dart in and grab, and emerge with at least some health left.  I also managed to get two of the crystal of experience (greater), and five lucky scrolls.

[GM]Darasuum was in charge here, and wasn't as generous with the hands loot...I ended up with just 1 item drop booster and 5 of the large defence potions, from the single pile he presented us with.  Still, he left us with plenty more monsters when he departed, and while there was nothing that Rage could solo then, with her Snare and ranged attack she was able to help out on a few skin walkers and so on, before the event was finally over.

A "Chain of tiger" rare accessory isn't the most valuable one that grand devilroad kamira can drop, but it gives 16 strength and 8 close range physical attack, so is quite useful for knights and titans.  These days, though, the fashion is to use the accessories obtained using the coins of master from the monster combo system...and as people do the monster combo more often, there are a lot of those around.  Even the "Tears of knight" accessory is less sought-after than it used to be, though you'd have to find an unusually excellent monster combo necklace to beat it.

I'd started to get RedRackham back to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail for some more pet-levelling before that last MMS started, but had only got as far as fighting the death mask soldier which is often too close to the entrance to avoid...and at that point the spawning had begun, so I'd completely forgotten to watch what was happening on that screen.  RedRackham had killed the soldier...but unfortunately it had respawned close enough to where he was standing to come in and attack again, and this time it had attacked the drake, which was dead before I noticed what was happening.  So, Red had to go back to town; he hadn't quite enough gold to "unseal" the drake, the animal trainer wanted 506,268 gold at level 42, but after xRAGEx had logged out on Tairen, AmityBlaise, a level 31 rogue of mine on Cariae, logged in and passed enough gold across, along with 50 more quality stones.

RedRackham was then able to return to the Jail, and, avoiding the soldier this time, sparred with the death mask lancer.  The double pet experience had finally been brough to an end, but there was just time before the end of the evening for Red to get the drake safely into level 43, which had the bonus of returning the pet's health to 100%.

Prizes Arrive - September 21st

I did the big monthly food shopping trip in the morning, so nothing happened on the Last Chaos front before lunch.  After that, I had time to move most of the loot from the mid-level mad monster spawns yesterday across to the various merchant-type mages; RedRackham on Cariae even managed to use the five tool aids he had for a brief mining session, to replenish his stocks of quality stones a bit.  He also received a little cash, and a few more quality stones, from my merchant there.

And then it was time to get into position for the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour.  The Tomb of Theos on Cariae had improved its Condition from zero to 40% - but Auzura's Tomb was still set fair, at 100%, so MistressDomina and Kaerella hurried to the ancient grey mummies room, and started attacking its residents.

During the "power hour" MistressDomina added 23.37% in level 101, using 52 experience boosters, while Kaerella added 33.57% in level 98, using 63 boosters.  We were there perhaps 15 minutes early, and stayed for about another 45 minutes after, unboosted; a titan warmaster called blackmanos had come in about ten minutes before the end of the dungeon time hour, and made life a bit difficult, as he wasn't content to fight the mummies one at a time, he liked to have four or five around him, which didn't leave much for MD and Kae, as naturally enough the mummies don't respawn until they have been killed.  So we stayed around, not wanting to make life too easy for him.  When we finally left, MistressDomina resisted the temptation to go up close to his mob and use Chaos Nova on them.

During the whole session, MistressDomina's experience gain was therefore slightly bigger, at 24.09%, while Kaerella's figure also rose slightly to 34.61%.  They each added 32 skill points; MD's drake gained 1992 pet points, and Kae's added 48 more than that.  I'm surprised that the additional experience was so low, but the experience per kill would only be a twelfth as much, and without the platinum adrenaline, crit and berserker potions, the mummies must take rather longer to dispose of.

MistressDomina and Kaerella were back just in time for the five to six dungeon time hour; the Condition of the Tomb had declined from 100% to 80% by then, so the hour just gave MD 21.12% from 48 boosters, and Kae 29.69% from 57 boosters.  MD's drake got a further 1101 pet points, and Kae's, SirFrancis, got 70 more than that.  They each added 20 skill points too.

Blackmanos was still there when we arrived, as was PoppaSmurf out in the corridor, so getting enough targets early on was a close-run thing.  I could see that the pots and pssp blackmanos was using would run out at about a quarter past, though, so kept my fingers crossed that he would end his session when they finished - and luckily, he did, so from then on Kae and MD had plenty of ancient grey mummies to choose from.

My archer Kaerella reached level 99 about two-thirds of the way through her hour, so she is doing well, though she doesn't have the large reserve of skill points that MistressDomina has.  Even MD will need to farm some more at level 103 - by my calculations, while she does have almost 14k of unused sp at the moment, to get to level 140 with her skills maxxed out she really will need almost 30k.

[GM]AwesomeSauce's "Attendance Event" ended yesterday, and, as MistressDomina had posted a screenshot showing the Secret Word almost every day, she had some rather nice prizes newly arrived in her in-game shop's Records section.  "Upgrade Bonanza" had six lucky smelting stones, two extreme stones, four I-type and two II-type runes of protection, and five heaven stones;  "Skill King" had 500 skill point boosters, which will be invaluable when MistressDomina reaches level 103, plus 5 each of the platinum super skill pills, HP stealers, platinum adrenaline, berserker, and power potions; and "Drop Drop Drop!" had 300 item drop boosters, two lucky spell books, twenty lucky scrolls, twenty tower boxes, and five tower boxes.  And there was a 30-day armour set for an Ichi or Scra-Chi, too, and a lucky pet box... which, when downloaded and opened, gave me 25 different goodies - mainly different colours of pet crystal (19 assorted), but also potions of pet healing, a pink drake egg, and three blue pan's flutes.

After a chat with Ratel, I switched across to MistressSabina and RedRackham on Auzura-6.  Now that Sabina has reached level 47, I'm not using a pssp, those will now be saved for MistressDomina when she reaches level 103.  Instead, it's just a matter of having the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and her experience gain being "frozen" to 50% still.

MistressSabina found the beast flyers on the third floor free, and, once RedRackham had gone down to floor five and started fighting his death mask lancer, she started her fight.  Unfortunately it wasn't very long before the archer inxaberdeenxuk arrived, and decided to share the area, which slowed things down a bit - it was lucky I wasn't using a pssp.  In all I stayed 75 minutes, including some of the eight to nine dungeon time; MistressSabina went up by 10.55%, roughly twice as fast as before due to the Elizabuff, and gained 88 skill points, probably two-thirds of what she would have got with a pssp.  Since our event for the day was now running, with double pet experience, her drake gained 2156 pet points.

RedRackham was doing nicely from the double pet experience, and continued on Auzura-6 after MistressSabina logged out - his drake reached level 44 a little later, nine levels above RedRackham, and the same level as the death mask lancer.  I logged his namesake in on Cariae-6 too, and, sparring with the second death mask lancer, since a knight called FermierWato was already fighting the first one, he started to move his drake up through level 43.

"Even in the future, nothing works" - September 22nd

Last night's weekly maintenance downtime brought us, again, nothing new except promises, and the much-trumpeted "new content" seems no nearer than ever - it "should arrive in October", we are assured.  "We are working to diligently get more bug fixes up ASAP", we are assured, but so far they have nothing to show for all this behind-the-scenes work.  "The development team is having trouble fixing the Raid crash issues", we are told, which is no great surprise.  "We will continue our investigation and provide them [with] everything we can to obtain a fix."

We do, however, have some news about what the new content will include.  There's an "Ignition System", where you get some sort of points for killing monsters, and once you've killed enough, can convert this "ignition" into a useful buff, apparently.  The Guardian system is being extended and expanded, giving buffs to the apprentice all the way up to level fifty, with an extra buff if the guardian and his charge fight alongside each other.  Guardians will gain more reputation for this, but the physical reward mentioned in other iterations of LC isn't mentioned here.  The "Extreme Cube" gets some buffs and extra rewards, "tons of new quests" are promised for levels 100 to 140, and drop rates will improve.  "Those elusive items you've been searching for will be within your grasp", we are told, which may not seem such good news for people who have paid billions for casting up helms and speedy boots...

MistressDomino tried a little selling on Auzura-5 before the maintenance downtime, but didn't sell much more than three lucky smelting stones.  She returned to merchant mode for the first past of the morning, as I had work to do, but only sold three items.

When Keerella checked the Condition of the Tomb of Theos on Cariae-6 before the eleven to twelve dungeon time hour, to my surprise it was up to 80% - so, since it had been a while since that place had been anywhere near as hospitable as that, RedRydeR hurried to join her at the Tomb entrance.  The combat party was formed - and they went inside.

Kee and Red headed for the anubis spear men, rather than the ancient grey mummies, and installed themselves at the first corner of the corridor after the spear man room, with five minutes to spare.  When the hour began, Keerella started the usual potions and pbi - and by the end of the session, had added 18.55%, from using just 32 experience boosters.  RedRydeR, not using any pots, added 4.38% to the last figure I'd jotted down, though that was before the recent mid-level mad monster spawn.  Such events usually add very little experience, however. Kee's drake Greedo added 1180 pet points, and Red's added 1434; Kee and Red each gained 4 skill points.

Afterwards, I checked up with the tomb guard again, and the Condition had fallen back to 60%, which didn't surprise me as Keerella's damage to the anubis spear men from using terra spear did fall during the hour.  Another similar session should get Keerella to level 100, and RedRydeR to level 94.  However, after lunch the Condition had fallen further, to 50%, which rather ruled out a further hour in Cariae's Tomb today.

Over on Auzura-6, though, the Tomb was on 100%, so MistressDomina and Kaerella were able to hurry in for the two to three o'clock dungeon hour.  MD and Kae had the ancient grey mummies room to themselves for the first 45 minutes; a royal knight called DRAGENKNIGHT then arrived, and asked if he was okay to fight there too, so I said that three people fighting there was fine.  He did bring a friend, but they just sat in the corner.

The hour itself brought MistressDomina 23.73% in level 101 from 54 boosters, and including the few kills before the hour started brought the figure up to 23.89%; Kaerella got 31.06% from 64 boosters, or 31.30% in all.  MD's drake gained 1272 pet points, and Kae's got 1315, while they each added 26 skill points.

There was time for MistressSabina to have almost an hour with the beast flyers in Maargadum Jail before the food break, particularly as I wasn't going to attempt another dungeon time hour from five until six.  This time Sabina did have the place to herself - RedRackham went on down to the fifth floor, and got some more pet-levelling started.  Sabina added 7.36%, 78 skill points, and 779 pet points for her drake.

RedRackham continued his pet-levelling efforts, while my rogue Rage headed for the high-level mad monster spawn spot, in good time for the six o'clock, UK time, start, on Auzura-5. Unfortunately [GM]Darasuum seemed to have lost track of time, and it wasn't until twenty past six that the message came up that the MMS was due to start in ten minutes - over on Auzura-6!

So, after memorising the spot, Rage swapped over from A-5 to A-6, and arrived in time for the start.  The first round was very similar to the start of the mid-level MMS a couple of days back, with barren eises, blood terrains, dark bogles, baby apes, and little scorpionmantises all over the place; there were no Kamiras to be seen, but there were some grand red, and gold, dragons.  I managed to target a red dragon, and when it died was able to grab the crystal of experience (greater), plus the moonstones and great healing potions at least. 

During the second round I got an error with the game, so had to log back in and teleport out, hoping that the spot I'd picked wouldn't be where a fluton was standing...and arrived just as the loot was being spawned, so I was just in time to grab my share of the usual items.  The GM did do a double-spawn, though putting new hands over old ones is mildly annoying, as you're bound to try and pick up the new layer first, which of course is still "reserved for another player".  He then produced the final wave, but, although we did get rid of all the cave spirits, sphinx commanders, swamp trolls, flutons and patriarch botises within the time limit, he'd bugged out as soon as the wave was spawned, so our heroic efforts then went unrewarded.  he had remembered the "event is now over" announcement, at least, but a final spawning of goodies is definitley the best way to finish things off.

Rage then made a quick trip down to Maargadum Jail, to pass some more quality stones across to RedRackham, who was down to his last hundred by then.  She had a quick look to see if the Death Knight of Iris was in his "torture room", but he hadn't respawned, and inxaberdeenxuk was quietly farming the death mask soldiers and lancers in there.

I was just logging Barbarienne in for the Cariae MMS when [GM]AwesomeSauce came into the forum shoutbox, mentioning problems they'd been having... and sure enough, looking at the in-game announcements on RedRackham's screen, I saw "due to technical difficulties in the home office, we will be cancelling the rest of the MMS events for today and running an xp/sp event instead.  We apologise [for the] inconvenience.  'Even in the future, nothing works'"

So, as I was having to log off soon anyway, it being a Wednesday, that was about the end of things.  RedRackham on Cariae logged in, and went to his death mask lancer on Cariae-6... his Auzuran doppelganger logged out soon after, as I had other uses for that computer, but by then had got his drake almost 30% of the way through level 44.  A shame the xp/sp event hadn't included pet experience as well.  However, helped along by a triple-experience platinum pet experience pill, Red's Cariae drake got more than a third of the way through level 43 before the end of the evening.

Further Event Problems - September 23rd

Since I knew I wouldn't be able to do any active playing in the morning, my duo of RedRackhams were able to swing into action - but only after Auzura's Kaerella has passed across her level 41 drake, in exchange for the level 44 one Red had been working on.  This can only be a temporary exchange, as Kae's drake does, like its Cariae counterpart, have the "SirFrancis" nametag.  Still, it means in the short term that Kaerella gets the benefit of a slightly higher pair of buffs from her pet, while RedRackham has a drake to work on that is slightly less greedy when it comes to the consumption of quality stones.  Once SirFrancis gets up to 44, the trade can be reversed.

So, my pair of RedRackhams were busy all morning and over lunch, down on the fifth level of Maargadum Jail on the sixth subservers of Cariae and Auzura, moving their drakes along usefully. And then it was time to check out the Tombs of Theos on those two servers as well - not that I wanted to fight in both at once, but if Cariae had been in good Condition, then it would have been a chance to move Keerella and RedRydeR along usefully.

Unfortunately, the Guild owning the Cariae castle in Dratan weren't playing ball, and the bars on the display for the Tomb were only at 20%, so Keerella's trip out there came to a speedy end.  On Auzura, though, the bars were at a sunny 100% - so MistressDomina and Kaerella hurried in, heading for the ancient grey zombies room.

The titan PoppaSmurf was already in action there, as was a night shadow called GoodGuy, who was power-levelling a knight; but that left room for MistressDomina as the third occupant of the room, with Kaerella in the bit of corridor leading into it, which PoppaSmurf usually favours - I suppose he fancied a change today.  GoodGuy's stint didn't continue more than halfway through the hour, which gave us a bit more breathing space later on.

The killing is certainly quicker than when fighting the anubis spear men; MistressDomina got through 53 experience boosters, adding 23.43% in level 101, while Kaerella used 64 and gained 30.80% in level 99.  MD's drake earned 1150 pet points, and Kae's replacement drake got 1188; Kae and MD each gained 25 skill points.

Since I wasn't aiming to use the five to six o'clock power hour, there was time for MistressSabina to fight the beast flyers on the third floor for a little over an hour before an extended food break; Auzura's RedRackham went there with her, and continued down to floor five, to restart his pet-levelling.  In 65 minutes or so Sabina added 9.70% and 103 skill points, with her drake gaining another 1102 pet points.

RedRackham's work continued through the break, which was handy, as it allowed me to keep up-to-date with GM announcements.  Today's special event had been announced as "Strategy in Strayana", some sort of follow-the-clues hunt I've never investigated as I don't have a week-long antidote for the virus that players get in that map.  As most of us had probably expected, the event got cancelled, though at least this time they were able to make the announcement in advance:  "Attention everyone: Due to technical difficulties today's events need to be rescheduled.  HOWEVER, because of two cancellations in a row, we will not only be running an extended XP and SP event for you, we will also be spawning mobs in Juno for you to fight!  Once the mobs are spawned, you will see an announcement indicating location.  We're sorry for the inconvenience."  That was followed at around six by the notification that "200% XP and SP is now running!"

Double experience and skill exp isn't terribly exciting, but it seemed a reasonable excuse to give Kaerella over on Katar, at level 43, another trip to the second floor of Maargadum Jail - and she did at least manage to reach level 44 at last.  After an hour or so an announcement appeared that "A strange newbie (levels 1-45) level mob has spawned on K6 near 290 1150!  Come destroy this mob before it destroys you!!!"  So Kaerella immediately used a scroll of recall to get back to the village, teleported to Randol, and rode out at full speed to the location, which is the place they have been using for low and mid level mad monster spawns... and found a lot of people already there, with nothing higher than a few level 23 skeleton lancers to fight.  So, considering that level 24 great horn beasts live close by, that was less than exciting.  People stayed around for a while, hoping, as one does, that something further would happen, but nothing else did, so, tired of fighting foxes, deer and wolves, people gradually melted away.

Kaerella headed back to Merac, and, with her new level, checked to see if there were any quests she should be doing.  Some spike canine skins were needed, and some gnoll soldier hearts, so first of all Kae rode down to the gnoll soldiers and killed 25 of them - then she teleported to the entrance to Maargadum, where it didn't take long to kill enough doggies to get the necessary skins.  Noa wanted a message run to town as well, and then there was a trip out to Owl Village too, so in all about 15% was gained from quests.

Two-headed canines give 19,816 experience each, which the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff takes up to double that, 39,632.  The "double experience and skill exp" event only doubles the 19k, not the whole thing, but adding in the dungeon time got it to 70,592 experience for a while, with the skill exp at 2750, at least until Kae levelled up...

With the double experience and skill exp running, I briefly switched across to Barbarienne on Cariae, and got a couple of recent quest rewards - 2.14% experience and 10 skill points. Then I returned to Katar, and put in a bit more jail time, until it was time to finish for the evening.  With the various boosts and quest rewards, Kaerella added 42.92% in all, plus 191 skill points and 1084 pet points.  That just left RedRackham in action, and by the time he had to log out, SirFrancis was within an hour of the top of level 41.

Plenty of Mummies, Plenty of Levels - September 24th

Just after the blog was "put to bed" last night, an hour of "175% upgrade" time was announced, which meant that, when using a heaven stone, with or without a rune of protection, to attempt to upgrade an item, your chance of a successful +1 would be 75% greater than usual...though failures, downgradings and breakages would still be possible.  Hopefully some people did get a positive result - the first thing I noticed was that RedRackham got disconnected.  There were people in the shoutbox complaining about lag and lagging out, too.

These upgrade events always bring big lag problems, and this was shown when I managed to log RedRackham back in - when he got to the teleporter to move to Merac Caron, the teleporter NPC wasn't there.  He moved back to central Randol, where people were moving around... he saw someone running towards the teleporter, but they quickly vanished from sight.  Another trip across town got him to Teleporter Eteal, and this time he was able to move to Merac, and get back into Maargadum Jail and continue his pet-levelling.

Another thing with upgrade events, I remembered after a few minutes, was that people suddenly find they need to buy more heaven stones, and indeed runes of protection, so MistressDomino went into merchant mode on Auzura-5, and soon sold her supply of runes of protection 2.  People were still selling heaven stones rather cheaply, and I didn't sell any at what until recently would have been a very competitive price, at least during the upgrade hour... curiously, leaving MistressDomino in merchant mode overnight, she did sell a dozen, as well as most of her remaining tower boxes...and in the morning someone cleaned out her stock of moonstone boxes as well.

RedRackham got back into action at breakfast time, and soon got the drake he is currently working on, Kaerella's SirFrancis, into level 42, a level which will take 22 hours or so to get through.  He managed the first couple of hours of that before he logged out, so that I could make use of the eleven to twelve dungeon time hour.

Keerella checked on Cariae-6, and found that the Tomb of Theos there was only on 30%, which would have made fighting inside dangerous, and a bit slow, so Auzura won again - the Condition there when I checked was 90%, though it did fall to 80% before I got MistresssDomina and Kaerella inside... and, judging by the damage MD's terra spear did, went back up to 100% during the hour.

MistressDomina and Kaerella had the ancient grey mummies room to themselves, with an assassin-type rogue called Marrow in the corridor nearby, so made pretty good progress - they both levelled up, in fact, with MD reaching 102 after about ten minutes, and Kae reaching 100 just before the dungeon time ended.  MistressDomina added 22.59% from 51 experience boosters, while Kaerella went up by 29.62% from 61 of them.. MD's drake added 1392 pet points, Kae's temporary drake added just two less, and both MD and Kae added 26 skill points.

Another member of Twisted, MasterWingStarX, mentioned that he had finished skill point farming now - he has about 30k more sp than MistressDomina has, and used around 12k skill point boosters to get there.  That does sound rather expensive, we will have to do a calculation of what would need to be bought for MD to go through level 103 without experience boosters, but with skill point boosters instead, which, with a platinum super skill pill, would give 5.28 skill points each.  Let's see, for 30,000 skill points that would mean roughly 5,700 skill point boosters, and if MD could manage 57 kills per hour, 100 hours, using 100 pssp, plus the other potions...

Reaching level 100 meant that Kaerella could learn level eight of Survival Training, which for 400 skill points added 50 to her health and 20 to her physical defence.  Level 102's skill for MistressDomina was more complicated - it required an expensive skill book, but luckily a couple of guildies had volunteered to pass one over free, since they'd done enough "cube" runs to be well supplied with such things.  BaronSengir was the one who kindly supplied the skill book for the attack skill Fire Ball, via a rogue storage character of his, HansLanda; getting the skill cost 1020 skill points and 20 million gold, for a useful ranged attack, with 400% power - not as powerful as Terra Spear's 550% (until one gets its third level at 118, for 600%), and with a 60-second cool-down apparently, but useful to have, I'm sure, particularly in PvP.

For the two to three dungeon time hour it was more of the same for MistressDomina and Kaerella.  MD got 23.67% in level 102 from 55 experience boosters, while Kaerella got 28.91% in level 100 from 65 boosters.  MD's drake gained 1144 pet points, and Kae's added 1191 - and they each gained 27 skill points.  The Tomb's Condition had started at just 70%, but it soon improved.

For the second half of the afternoon RedRackham and MistressSabina went to Maargadum jail on Auzura-6; Sabina got a couple of quests in the village first, requiring her to kill beast flyers and giant larvae.  The middle of the third floor was being used by a knight, but RedRackham went on down to the fifth floor for some pet-levelling, and Sabina just used one of the side rooms for a while - long enough to kill the thirty beast flyers the quest required.  As despite his three-hour Elizabeth's Enhancement buff ending the knight kept on fighting, it seemed a good idea to head off to the giant larvae and get that quest done too, so MistressSabina left the Jail, and rode down to south-east Merac.  It didn't take long to kill the necessary ten giant larvae - so then Sabina returned to Merac village, and got her quest rewards, plus the quest to get three rings from the "beast leaders" - in fact the beast crawlers.  So, Sabina headed down to the fifth floor of the Jail; a couple of death mask soldiers were fought within compass-range of RedRackham there, but the main fighting of the beast crawlers was right at the far end, where it didn't take very long to get the three rings needed.

The four quests, including an errand-quest to the local archbishop, brought in 84 skill points, thanks to the doubling-up from the Elizabuff, and around 11% experience, so that the whole rather brief and varied session brought MistressSabina 14.08% plus 106 skill points, as well as just 153 pet points.  RedRackham was able to continue his pet-levelling through the food break, of course.

I managed to get MistressDomina and Kaerella back online just in time for the five to six o'clock dungeon time hour; Auzura's Tomb was down to 70%, but that was still better than Cariae's 50%, and it did, again, improve as time passed.   The night shadow Voldemort was just ahead of MD and Kae in the race to get to the ancient grey mummies room, but there was room for all three of us...though I must admit that life was easier after he had a disconnection at the 25 minute mark.  This time MistressDomina added 22.22% from 53 boosters, and Kaerella added 27.23% from 62.  MD's drake got 1073 pet points, and Kae's got 5 more... and MD and Kae each added 26 more skill points.

Once the dungeon time hour was over, Kaerella logged out, and MistressBlaze logged in.  She teleported to the Tomb, and, with horse buffs, was able to run down to the ancient grey mummies room, and then target the ancient grey mummy that MistressDomina was attacking.  As we were now having a double experience and skill exp event, I didn't bother with any boosters for MistressBlaze, or indeed for MD.  When the dungeon time hour, eight to nine o'clock, was running, MistressDomina was getting 72 million experience per kill, and 8360 skill exp... less whatever proportion of the kill MistressBlaze's efforts earned her.

MistressDomino added just 3.32% from this session, but 56 skill points as well, plus 3160 pet points; MistressBlaze didn't get any skill points, she is still too low-level, compared to the mummies, for that, but gained 161.11%, taking her comfortably into level 67, as well as 2722 pet points for her level 42 drake.

Back in town, MistressBlaze got the bits of the 70/72 armour set she needed, and converted them into their mage equivalents.  MistressDomina had passed across some platinum refining stones, to give the armour a 24-hour boost to +15 when needed, and Kaerella and MistressDomino passed across the necessary potions and boosters.  Once MistressBlaze has the level 69 +15 weapon, currently still with MrChuckNorris, she will be ready to have a "power day", just to get her to level 87 or so, which will mean that she can take over as a screaming zombie fighter to assist the lower level people battling them.  Though that will mean either getting another 85/87 mage armour set, or waiting until MistressDomina moves on to a higher-level set, presumably the 105/107 armour...and with all those skill points to farm, that may have to wait a while.

Three More Levels - September 25th

This weekend's special "Weekend Budget Box" from LC's chancellor, Exchequer, isn't too exciting, as it doesn't include a tiered spender event - so there are no freebie packages for spending aeria points on other things.  The Loot Forge has temporarily reverted to offering master stones, but the BOGO offers are less than thrilling... except that, leading up to the weekend's start, which from their point of view is the middle of Saturday evening, we do have "buy one get one" applying to experience, skill, and item drop boosters - and if MistressDomina is to get the skill points she'll need to progress, skill point boosters are what she will need.

After coffee, I found that the Auzura Tomb of Theos was set to 90%, and the Cariae one was on 80% - and since it is so unusual, recently, to have the Cariae Tomb set so far towards the easy end, it seemed a great opportunity for my wizard Keerella and my phoenix ranger RedRydeR to gain a little experience.

Kee and Red entered the Tomb on Cariae-6, and headed for the anubis spear men.  There were some people in the first room, but the spot on the first corridor corner after that was available, so that is where my duo settled in.  It was only just approaching 10:30 then, so there was half an hour to go before the dungeon time started; RedRydeR just fought the sphinx fighters unboosted, while Keerella fought without any boosts until the hour began, and then started the usual hour-long potions and pbi.

The double experience and skill exp from yesterday had been absent-mindedly left running by the GMs, so RedRydeR actually levelled up to 94 before the hour began.  During the hour, Keerella added 17.13% from 30 experience boosters, while adding in the kills from before that, and one after, her total gain came to 17.89%.  RedRydeR earned 6.22% during the hour, and 8.81% in all; Kee's drake Greedo earned 1607 pet points, and Red's drake got 1549, while both Kee and Red gained 11 skill points.

As well as RedRydeR reaching level 94, Keerella reached level 100, which is a bit of a milestone - while Kee has no skill points for the level 100 skill, I can at least create a new phoenix character, if I can bear to delete either Enchantrella or Karella to make space.  And Kee will once again be able to form a combat party with Barbarienne, so Barb will have the chance to go on to level 111 fighting the anubis spear men.  RedRydeR apparently doesn't have any new skills to learn until level 98's Controlled Shooting level six, which increases her attack while decreasing her defence.

After lunch, for the two to three dungeon time hour MistressDomina and Kaerella went to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-6.  At the start of the hour we just about had the ancient grey mummies room to ourselves; an archer called Morphee did try killing a mummy or two, but wasn't really high enough level.  I think she died at least once, and didn't stay around very long.  The specialist sorcerer Voldemort turned up again, which was okay - but he brought a night shadow guildie of his along too, which made the room rather crowded, especially as the night shadow did like to fight a group of mummies together - and while they were clustered around him, they weren't available for anyone else.  Still, he vanished before long, thankfully.

MistressDomina added 18.78% in level 102, from 43 experience boosters - another session like that would get her a few percent into level 103, and the whole of that level ought to be devoted to skill point farming, so we will need to go carefully.  Kaerella  used 50 boosters to add 21.71% in level 100.  MD's drake got 1170 pet points, and Kae's got 1233, and they both added 42 skill points.  The killing was slow because the Tomb on Auzura was at just 70% when MD and Kae entered...and was down to 60% at the end of the hour.

The rest of the afternoon involved moving items around - getting MistressDomina a good supply of skill point boosters for a start, and platinum super skill pills too.  I managed to find thirty skill boxes, and some of those gave a pssp, or 5 boosters, or indeed the 15% extra skill exp "training spells".  Various bits of loot were passed across to MistressDomino; I did see a tempting pair of b5e mage boots +15 in Roy's merchant mart, which would have made a useful replacement for her current +13 pair, but they were just too expensive.

After the food break, MistressSabina and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail; Sabina set to work with the beast flyers, and didn't get any interruptions until a sorcerer right at the end who seemed to think we were in the same party or something, and RedRackham went to the fifth floor, and his usual death mask lancer.  He did have some problems with a rather nasty ks-er later on, a titan called Mostarda, who tried to blackmail Red into giving him a hundred green herb leaves for his pet.  I suppose it wasn't too many minutes he was there, repeatedly killing Red's lancer, but it was annoying.  He never did answer my casual question as to whether or not he ever went to a PvP server...

Still, RedRackham made useful progress with the pet-levelling, and MistressSabina added 28.11%, plus 273 skill points and 2348 pet points.  The session started just as the five until six o'clock dungeon time began, stacking usefully with the extra experience and skill exp...and it ended with the eight until nine dungeon time hour on the horizon.  The double experience and skill exp must have been switched off at about six, UK time, but a "Turbo" event had replaced it, which meant that the double skill exp, at least, did continue through the rest of evening.

I checked the Cariae-6 Tomb of Theos again, and it was on 100%, so this time my cleric Kaerella and RedRydeR teamed up, on the ancient grey mummies, and had the room to themselves, except for the occasional passer-by.  I checked Kae's killing speed with the bow and the wand, and there wasn't a whole lot of difference, less than 10% I'd say, so Kaerella stuck with the cleric weapon.  She was a lot slower with her kills than RedRydeR, though, who of course is helped a little by the special buff a phoenix character gets.  Kae started the hour just below level 94, but soon levelled up.

Kaerella added 36.49%, from 36 experience boosters, while RedRydeR, who also uses a g5 +15 level 85 weapon, added 60.99% in level 94, from 63 boosters.  Are rangers better at killing than clerics, or what?  Kae's drake, SirFrancis, added 1180 pet points, and Red's drake added 1193; they both gained 23 skill points

Back in Dratan City, Kaerella was able to learn the ninth level of Greater Heal, for 600 skill points, increasing its power from 830 to 920 hp.  That seems to be her last skill this side of level 100.  And then RedRackham logged back in - the Cariae version this time, with his level 43 drake, which he managed to move on past the two-thirds mark in that level.

It Takes Skill Points - September 26th

MistressDomino did some more selling overnight, which meant that the blue-named +15 level 87 mage boots with the five evasion-based seals that I'd not been able to afford yesterday were now within my budget, just about, so after my merchant came out of her selling mode, having earned about 300 million gold, she checked Roy's merchant mart - and they were still available, at 850 million, being sold on behalf of LukCarrier.   Someone else was attempting to sell a +14 pair at the same price, I noticed.  So, the purchase was made, and they were moved across to MistressDomina.  Equipping them instead of her +13 pair increased her physical defence from 2493 to 2626, which, I felt, ought to make her life with the ancient grey mummies easier.  Over on Cariae, Keerella has all five pieces of armour as "b5e +15", but this is MistressDomina's first, now teamed with two "b5e +13" and two "g5e +15" pieces... green-named items don't give quite as much defence, or evasion on their seals, as blue-named ones, but are better then yellow or white names.

For the eleven to twelve dungeon time hour, MistressDomina went to the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5 alone.  The Condition was at 100%, compared to Cariae's 70%.  I couldn't do a combat party with Kaerella as this time the skill exp would be important...so MistressDomino went back into merchant mode, supplying the solo party, though her sales were minor, mainly her supplies of large attack potions, and pan flutes and drake eggs.

MistressDomina began her dungeon time "power hour" using not just platinum adrenaline, berserker, and crit potions, plus a platinum blessed iris - but a platinum super skill pill as well.  On each kill she used an experience booster, and a skill point booster too - although she'd not reached the exact level of the ancient grey mummies, they did manage, with the boosts, to give 5.016 skill points each, along with 432 million experience while the dungeon time 50% bonus was running.

After using 34 experience boosters, MistressDomina was just below level 103, so I stopped using them, and levelled up a kill or two after that; luckily the Twisted guild master SacSalop was online, and relatively quickly responded to my request to "freeze" MD's experience gain to 50%.  In all during the hour MD used 54 skill point boosters, so that the experience gain was 14.16%, and the skill point gain was 280.  MD's drake added 1218 pet points, as the fighting had started a few minutes before the power hour.

MistressDomina stayed safely in the corner of the room over lunch, and then swung back into action for a new hour, with the potions, pssp, and skill point boosters.  The Condition of the place had declined a little, though.  This hour didn't have any "dungeon time" bonus in it, as that is now not something I need, and, over 47 kills and boosters, MD added just 0.50% plus 249 skill points...which works out pretty close to the 5.28 skill points per kill one would expect.  984 pet points got added as well.

After a short break, I went for another hour; generally I was only sharing the room with a German knight, DRAGENKNIGHT, so there were plenty of mummies to go around.  We even exchanged buffs, Haste and Divine Shield, for a while.  However, the Condition of the Tomb was declining, which I could easily spot as each 10% down tends to take around a thousand off MD's Terra Spear damage figure.  The level 88 ranger-rogue Mornus had been in the room earlier, fighting in a strictly hit-and-run "kiting" style, running around and around; a couple of lower-level rogues had managed to reach the room too.  One did start ks-ing me, and then Mornus, but we both had to ask her not to as we were using boosters, and she stopped.  The second did at least ask first, and again I had to say no.

The Condition had definitely declined again, and during the third hour MistressDomina just managed to use 42 spbs, and thus just added 0.58% and 222 skill points, along with 982 pet points.  With the potions used, that made each of those skill points a bit expensive.  It seemed a good point at which to leave, so MD ran back to the start, and checked with the tomb guard - the Condition was down to 60%.

MistressDomino continued in merchant mode for a while, and I got caught up on the blog, since I'd really played enough for the morning and afternoon.  And then at just after 3:00pm UK time, the "disconnected" window popped up.  Checking the forum shoutbox, it was apparent that Last Chaos, and in fact the whole of the Aeria games online operation, was having big problems - a "router problem" apparently, according to the gamesages who appeared there.  Over the next half hour some people reported being able to log back in, only to find NPCs missing, or other stuff wrong, and eventually disconnecting again.  "Sorry for the inconvenience guys!  Aeria Games are currently having Router problems, and they are working to fix it as we speak.  please remain patient!"

The problems seemed to take the rest of the afternoon to sort out.  However, after the food break, things seemed to be back to normal - so MistressSabina and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail on Auzura-5.  The beast flyers were available, so Sabina settled in there; the first death mask lancer was already being fought, so Red moved along to the second one, for an hour or two's pet-levelling.

With the Sunday Quiz to come, it wasn't too long a session, though quite long enough for me.  MistressSabina earned 10.95% experience in level 47, plus 116 skill points and 1285 pet points, so moved along usefully.  But then it was time to have the five spins on the LacaRette wheel to use up some of her tokens, getting nothing more exciting than a couple of rejuvenation potions and a couple of item drop boosters, and log out.

As usual Kaerella and MistressDomino teamed up in a party in the Auzura-2 Quiz Room, after both computers had had their Last Chaos client restarted.  Ratel was there, and we wished each other good luck - I think he did okay, at least I didn't notice any disconnections, and there were no problems along the way, just the usual questions.  I didn't see as many people blatantly standing on the wrong side but not getting kicked; a mage called Annabell was on the central carpet, and not getting kicked even when she was a foot or two away from safety, but I was assured afterwards in the shoutbox that, if you see a player without their name above their head, like her, it is in effect a "ghost", and they have already lagged out.

Once the questions were over, Kaerella traded her prizes to MistressDomino, and then MistressSabina traded her recent loot and Lacarette prizes across too; then, after moving to Auzura-5, MistressDomino tried a little more selling, while RedRackham took his current drake, SirFrancis, down to the death mask lancer on Auzura-4 for an hour or so.

High-Level Monsters - September 27th

MistressDomino stayed in merchant mode overnight, and managed to sell her pet healing potions, tower boxes, strong medicines, physical attack potions (from a recent quest that MistressSabina did), and a few other oddments, so that, by mid-morning, her supply of gold was looking a lot better - though it still wasn't enough to be able to think of getting MistressDomina any more +15 armour pieces, should they become available.

RedRackham logged in at breakfast time on Auzura-4 to work on levelling Kaerella's drake, SirFrancis, for a couple of hours, which was long enough to get our plucky miniature dragon past the 60% mark in level 42.

However, after coffee it was time to check out the Tomb of Theos.  On Cariae it was on 80% - but on Auzura it was on 100%.  Apparently the guild that won the castle siege last night is pledged to keep the Tomb reset, and they've also reduced the cost of getting in, from 3,000 gold for each of one's levels to 2,500, which makes a substantial saving when one is level 103.  SacSalop and some other Twisted guildies assisted them in the castle siege, they told me.

So, in a solo party with MistressDomino back in Randol, MistressDomina went on in, and headed for the ancient grey mummies.  A night shadow was mobbing all the mummies in the main room, so MD started with the few in the end of the corridor, but the night shadow left pretty soon, so MD moved a little way in.

This time, since the Tomb was on 100%, MistressDomina used one of her three "training spells" for an additional 15% skill experience, bringing the skill points per kill up to 5.544 - except briefly when a low-level rogue turned up and tried ks-ing a bit.  By the end of the hour MD had used 59 skill points boosters, and gone up by 0.84% - roughly three-quarters of the "power hour" had been during dungeon time, with its 50% boost to a player's experience gain.  326 skill points were earned.

MistressDomina stayed in the room over lunch, and then immediately launched into another hour, with a second training spell on top of the pssp, finishing just as the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour began.  Again a rogue, this time LordRyosuke, ks'd, and took a bit longer to persuade not to - again this caused one skill point booster not to trigger.  MistressDomina added 0.59%, and, using 55 boosters, gained 307 skill points.

Back in Randol, a guildie, ChronoX, was reporting that someone was selling the small crit potions, near the animal trainer, for 2 million each, and reckoned they were a bit of a bargain - so MistressDomino spent almost all her gold buying 300 of them, in three instalments.

I'd taken a break for a few minutes, so the next "power hour" had slightly over half in the dungeon time, with the last 25 minutes in the calm time afterwards.  Unfortunately not long after I started the various potions, both MD and my merchant got disconnected, so I lost a bit of (expensive) time there - but MD dashed straight back, and by the time the pssp ended, had managed to use 53 boosters, to gain 0.67% and 288 skill points, plus 916 pet points.  I'd been chatting with the knight Firetrap at the time, so my first indication that something was wrong was when what I typed in to him didn't appear. ChronoX actually turned up in the room; he too is farming skill points, though it seems that a specialist sorcerer's area of effect skills mean he can get rather more skill points per hour, taking on a mob of five or six mummies at a time.

There was time for one more hour before the food break, so MistressDomina settled down and got to work, using Terra Spear as often as possible.  ChronoX gave me the special sorcerer buff that means a buff applied while it is on will last longer, so I had the mage buffs for a while.  What I didn't have was that 15% "training spell", as I'd run out of those.  I will have to buy a "big" one, lasting I think for a whole week, but as I won't be able to play much, particularly at sp-farming times, from Thursday to Sunday, that had better wait until next week.

Anyway, that fourth hour saw MistressDomina use 58 skill point boosters, adding 0.60% and 308 skill points, plus 962 pet points, so MD has put on almost 2,000 skill points since reaching the start of level 103.  That means she is pretty much on target to get all the skill points she needs before the end of the level, though quite a lot more potions and boosters will need to be bought along the way.

The six o'clock Mad Monster Spawn for high-level characters (91-139) was on Auzura-5.  We didn't get a visible game master or a Kiene Tower to rally to, but the anonymous GM announcements did eventually get replaced by speech credited to [GM]AwesomeSauce, and she was happy to keep on spawning plenty of monsters, starting with barren eises, darkmind terrains, apes, scorpionmantises, dark bogles, and so on, and working up to the usual horde of all six kinds of cave spirit, plus patriarch botises, flutons, lilits (one of which chased me, in the guise of my local rogue Rage, right across the battlefield), and something I think with the second name Tion.

Rage got recruited into a party before the start, along with Firetrap, though I failed to mention that I was the mage he'd been talking too earlier, when sharing the ancient grey mummies' room.  We had one really high-level member in the party, so I guess I was "capped", but I still got a little useful experience, and gold - and a level 69 titan axe as a drop, plus an item drop booster, two large defence potions, three skill point boosters, and four large attack potions, plus no doubt some tool aids and small HP and MP recovery pots.

When the GM was asking for suggestions, I remarked that "a flock of kamiras would look pretty", and my request was granted - but with the high-level people there even a bunch of probably at least a dozen lasted mere seconds, and all their drops were grabbed by the people responsible for their speedy demise.  [GM]Awesome did mention that they are working on new and better drops, so that is something to look forward to.

Being level 44 meant that Kaerella on Katar could in theory learn the first five levels of Poison Arrow - except that her dexterity won't be high enough for three more levels, as she has  opted to get intelligence and constitution to 17 first to allow skills that require those to be acquired.  Still, it isn't a skill my other archers tend to use.  Since I didn't intend to take her along to the Katar MMS, she had a rather short session in Maargadum Jail - just long enough to get the 265 pet points she needed to get her drake into level 40, as a fair amount of the time she didn't have the drake equipped.  6.60% experience was gained, and 37 more skill points.

Barbarienne teleported out to the Mad Monster Spawn location on Cariae-5, and found quite a few people waiting - as well as [GM]Darasuum.  The event was fairly similar to the Auzura one, but the single spawning of loot wasn't very generous, and Dara didn't do any requests for extra monsters.  When the final lot of flutons, patriarch botises etc was spawned, he announced "MMS is not over.  Thank you all for coming out!"  Spot the slight mistake he made there.  As ever people hung around afterwards; we hadn't reached the full thirty minutes then, so he was sneaking off a bit early.  Still, Barb managed to avoid getting into too much trouble, apart from when she and a level 125 "roaming spirit of the archer" were exchanging shots, which did get her health a bit low before some other people rushed in.

So, if I was giving the two high-level MMS events I attended marks out of ten, [GM]AwesomeSauce's Auzura event would get eight, since although the GM didn't appear she did eventually chat and take requests for monsters to be spawned, while [GM]Darasuum's Cariae event would come in at five, for a lack of interaction, a single rather light loot spawning, and an early, slightly inconclusive finish.

There wasn't really time for any more adventuring after that, so there was just some window-shopping done on Cariae and Auzura - master stones +17 seem a bit expensive on Cariae, the cheapest i saw were 900 million each.  I looked all through Roy's merchant mart on Auzura to see what it would cost to buy platinum super skill pills for gold, and he only had a single pssp for sale, at 14.95 million.

MistressDomino continued her selling session through the evening, and made a few useful sales, of heaven stones and HP stealers mainly.  Once the window-shopping was finished, RedRackham took Kaerella's drake back to the death mask lancer on Auzura-4 for an hour or so...which took SirFrancis up to just about the two-thirds point in level 42.

High Finance - September 28th

RedRackham hurried back to Maargadum Jail in Merac on Auzura-4 before breakfast, to continue working on levelling Kaerella's pet drake SirFrancis for a couple of hours, and that plan worked fine.  The older computer, though, had its problems, and when I tried to start Last Chaos on it, started up incredibly slowly.  MistressSabina appeared eventually, after a very long loading time, and was able to download a couple of packages from the item mall, but the momentary freezes that one can get in a highly-populated Randol were not so momentary now.  So, it seemed like a good idea to close the game, and restart the computer.

This time, the Last Chaos loader window appeared promptly, but only to inform me that it couldn't connect - and my ISP's clever connection-fixing program stepped in to set things right, only to get hopelessly lost fixing wireless networks I don't have.  Luckily a "system restore", that high-tech version of giving the computer's case a swift thump, sorted things out, but it all took up valuable time.

So, MistressDomina, in a solo party with MistressDomino, was a bit later heading for the Tomb of Theos than I'd have liked, which meant that half her morning "power hour" took place during dungeon time.  The titan SwedishTitan was in the room, getting some levelling help from the assassin-rogue XnOnAmEx, who I assume was using Distracting Shot to present her friend with a nearly-dead mummy to finish off.  SwedishTitan was, in fact, the rogue Cherena, who I'd met before.  Cherena is now level 103, and set with the same massive hill of skill point farming to climb...but at least she managed to level up her titan this morning.

By the end of the hour, MistressDomina had added 0.77%, 985 pet points and 312 skill points, from 56 skill point boosters - I had found another twenty skill boxes, and as well as a few effort scrolls, two lots of five skill point boosters, and some super skill pills and platinum super skill pills, they'd given MD eight more of the 15% "training spell books", so that, adding one of those, each kill gave 5.544 skill points. 

I had been slightly distracted during the hour, as specialist sorcer guildie ChronoX had been complaining that he still hadn't been able to sell his extra-good Necklace of Earth accessory for 900 million, even though he'd seen people trying to sell ones less good for a billion.  It has 2 x 93 hit rate, 2 x 30 increase critical hit, and 5% suction of life.  Eventually, after a little mental calculation, I said, "ChronoX, how would 400m + 150 small crits sound?"  The small crits were the ones MistressDomino had bought yesterday for 2 million each, so in fact I was offering 700 million - though he feels that they are worth perhaps 3.5 million each, making my offer possibly worth as much as 925 million to him.

"That's 700 mil only, if you take notice of the price one dude was selling those crits for yesterday", he said, to which I replied "Depends what you think you can sell them for."  "Not for 3.75 mil at least, not a single crit pot sold", he said.  "But I'm fair, because I need money - so it's yours, then.  I will keep my shop open till every pot is sold, darn it."

So, He made a rendezvous with MistressDomino in Randol, and the trade was made.  Then, after MistressDomina's hour was over, she teleported back to Randol and got the accessory from MistressDomino.  It means that, equipped with one less evasion-based accessory, MD's evasion will be down, but her hit rate should be nicely boosted.

The first afternoon session was slightly more than half completed before the dungeon time started, so added 0.72%; 325 skill points were earned from the use of 59 boosters, though MD might have got a couple more skill points if a level 91 titan called FiilhOsDeMaPuTaA from the OREDRofHELL guild hadn't for some reason come in and attacked a couple of the mummies MD was fighting.  Luckily he did stop after that, and collaborated with a level 39 rogue, Rilanda. from another guild one sees quite often in the Tomb, Cleopratra.  And yes, both guilds do spell their names exactly like that.

The other afternoon hour also had a rogue getting involved towards the end, the level 32 assassin-type dieko14, but by promising a little ks-ing time once my pots had finished, after a few minutes I got her to stop and wait, though she was slightly worried that I'd just vanish.  MistressDomina went up by 0.71%, 970 pet points and, from 58 boosters, 321 skill points...and then stayed around to earn another 0.14%, 6 skill points, and 602 pet points, while dieko14 ks'd and reached level 33.  It would have been more useful for her if she'd had the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff on, but probably she'd already died before successfully getting past the screaming zombies.  She tried to borrow 10 million from me to buy accessories - that idea didn't appeal, but I did give her a ring with 55 close range physical hit rate.

Just before I was finished  FiilhOsDeMaPuTaA returned, as he had said he would; he was trying to raise cash for new boots by selling a few small crit potions, but I still have plenty of those.  Maybe he let rieko14 ks him a bit, later, who knows?

As usual my food break on a Tuesday was a bit longer than average; the double pet experience, beginning at 6:00pm UK time, had already started when I logged RedRackham in on Auzura-4, and guided him down to the fifth floor.  He had a suitably long session down there with SirFrancis - and level 43 was reached during the evening.

On the newer computer, my level 92 rogue Rage, in a solo party with RedRackham, headed for the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-4.  Unusually the two Condition bars weren't the same, but one was 90% and the other was 100%, so that was near enough to perfect.  There was a mage pet-levelling halfway down the opening corridor, and another mage bringing in mobs of screaming zombies and disposing of them, but wisely not using chaos nova.  For a little while Rage just fought the screaming zombies one by one, but then that started to seem a bit unambitious, so she headed for the anubis spear men's room.  That was fairly busy, if you counted another couple of pet-levellers in corners; I had thought of just battling the sphinx fighters for a while, but it seemed easiest to move to the first corner after that room - and fight the two anubis spear men that spawn there, one after another.

So that's how the rest of the evening passed.  A couple of people did fight one of "my" spear men, but moved on afterwards when asked - there are more spear men further in, after all.  When the eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour began, I started the usual selection of potions and a platinum blessed iris, and used experience boosters - in the hour, Rage used 50 experience boosters, and added 80.85%, getting her safely into level 93.  Considering that, with a +19 weapon MistressDomina (as opposed to Rage's comparatively normal +15 blue-named crossbow) has to get through masses of mana potions and blast away with terra spear all the time to kill that many ancient grey mummies, which are not nearly as tough, it just shows how effortlessly rogues can progress.  Rage added 85.50% in all during the evening, plus 6 skill points and, thanks to the double pet experience, 6086 pet points.

Unlike almost all my main characters, Rage doesn't have a suction of life accessory, but her evasion-based ones were good enough to mean she took very little damage from the spear men, and her normal health regeneration was enough to keep her happy most of the time.  Occasionally I did have to use a small health potion, but a restocking of the medium-size ones before I went into the Tomb was an unnecessary precaution, as it turned out.  She still got stunned a few times, but luckily she did have a supply of Remedy.

While RedRackham continued to work on Kaerella's drake, now level 43, on Auzura-4, I logged in his namesake on Cariae-4, and he too did a bit of work on his level 43 drake.  It shouldn't be too long before SirFrancis can be returned to Kaerella...and then the level 44 stand-in drake she had can, I think, be passed across to Rage, so that the level 39 drake she currently has can take its turn at being boosted by a few levels.  The double pet experience, however, was switched off at around ten past ten.

Sabina Levels Up - September 29th

RedRackham hurried back to Maargadum Jail in Merac on Auzura-4 just after breakfast, to continue working on levelling Kaerella's pet drake SirFrancis.  It's always about a fifty-fifty chance whether or not the death mask soldier is so close to the entrance that it attacks; today Red did have to fight it, which takes a while with his low physical attack, even with a +10 sword equipped, but it did drop a hand of bravery when it eventually died.

Again the new week's patch notes are a disappointment.  " No new updates this week. Expect new content to [be] delivered soon" just about says it all, though we are told that "Testing of new content continues, as well as exploit investigation."  "New content will arrive in October", Xuse2005 reassures us.  " Expect to see future bug fixes after the content release. We appreciate your patience and are working as hard as we can!"  Nice to know that the future bugs will be fixed, anyway... though the launch of the new things is getting perilously close to the Halloween event period, which in many ways is usually the main special event of the year, with ghosts and pumpkins, and candy and pumpkin-head helms.

RedRackham over on Cariae-4 joined in with the pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail a little later.  The two knights may look identical, but Cariae-Red is the guild master of the ForceWithin guild, while Auzura-Red is just a regular member of Discipline, whose GM is MistressSabina...she holds the position so that she can easily unfreeze or freeze her experience gain.

Auzura's RedRackham can't make a solo party with MistressDomina, as both characters are on the same account.  However, SirPerivale is on a different account; he is only level 22, so can't work with a high-level pet, but he has pretty good armour, so I experimentally took him along to Maargadum Jail, and found that he could, just, survive while pet-levelling on a spike canine, despite them being level 40.  By the end of the early evening food break his relatively new hatchling had moved up from level 1 to 7.

MistressDomina managed to fit in three full-out power hours during the afternoon.  They added 0.73%, 0.78%, and 0.60% experience, which shows that the second one had slightly more of the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour in it than the second, while the third was free of any such boost.  MistressDomina added 333 skill points from 60 skill point boosters, and then 326 from 59, and 322 from 58.  The room was generally fairly quiet, though an archer called kikimora, who from her armour must have been at least level 106, came and went and did a little fighting, and the archer Swenja was busy as usual in the corridor.

After the food break MistressDomina tried another hour, but now the place was crowded - I tried fighting in the corridor just beyond the main room, but I was slowed down a little by having to move around, and (slightly) aggressive infected grey mummies had to be avoided.  Still, MD did get through another 57 boosters, adding 316 more skill points, as well as 0.60% experience.  It was tempting to try another hour, but there's only one of the 15% training skill books left, so it seemed best to save it for a more flat-out, full speed hour.  Though, with the busy weekend approaching, I'm not quite sure when that will be.

The four hours between them added 2.71% experience, 1297 skill points, and 3922 pet points, so move MistressDomina and her drake along usefully, but she is still really only a tenth of the way through this skill point farming stint.

Next, MistressSabina and RedRackham teamed up on Auzura-6, and headed for Maargadum jail - but the beast flyers on floor three were being used, so they both logged out from there, and tried Auzura-5, the only other subserver where Sabina can get the double experience and skill exp buff, Elizabeth's Enhancement.  Unfortunately there was someone called riky97 already fighting the beast flyers there, but RedRackham went on down to the fifth floor, and started pet-levelling SirFrancis anyway.  Sabina went into one of the side rooms and fought the few beast flyers and beast archers there for a few minutes - but then when she checked, riky97 had stopped fighting, and was just standing at the side, so she went down and took over the fighting - and after a few minutes riky97 left.

So, that was a bit of luck; MistressSabina had the beast flyers to herself for the rest of her session, except for a brief visit from the titan Mostarda, but he just attacked a few of the flyers she was fighting, and then headed on down the stairs.  RedRackham did see him fight a few death mask soldiers, but he didn't interfere with the death mask lancer Red was fighting, to my relief.

MistressSabina kept going until she finally reached level 48, adding 17.71%, 146 skill points, and 1530 pet points.  That is the end of an era for Sabina, practically, since now the amount of skill exp the beast flyers give is reduced, and the beast archers, on level 42, are now blue-named for her, so won't give any pet experience.  After her two levels with the beast flyers, I've now "unfrozen" her experience gain; almost 3.8k skill points were gained, giving her a more respectable total to take with her on the way to level ninety and beyond.

RedRackham continued his pet-levelling afterwards for a while, getting SirFrancis past the halfway mark in level 43.  His Cariae counterpart was able to log in for an hour or so; his drake had just reached level 44, so was able to start to make a little progress through that level.

SirFrancis Levels Up - September 30th

As I was going to be busy downstairs today, the RedRackham duo logged in after breakfast for some serious pet-levelling, down on the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail.  Everything went pretty smoothly, except for one disconnection on the older computer at lunchtime, so Auzura's RedRackham started a triple-experience platinum pet experience potion soon after three o'clock, and SirFrancis, Kaerella's drake, reached level 44 at around four, UK time, a couple of hours earlier than he would otherwise have got there.

Not long after that, though, I came back to the computers to find that they had both had disconnections - and the forum shoutbox showed that a lot of people were suffering bad lag and disconnections, which can be annoying when you have expensive pots running, especially if the monsters you were fighting manage to kill you.

I got Auzura's RedRackham back to Maargadum Jail, and he was able to use the last minute or so remaining of that ppep on a spike canine on the ground floor- but it wasn't long before there was another disconnection, which again tied in with what other people were reporting in the shoutbox.

RedRackham got back to the jail again, just so that I'd be able to report on any further disconnections; the gamesage irene_tas was waiting for a games master to arrive in the office, as it was still early morning in California.  Things, however, seemed to settle down, and Red's pet-levelling time without a disconnection started to grow - but I couldn't really risk doing anything particularly adventurous.  MistressBlaze did make a solo party with Red briefly, and go to the outdoor sphinx fighters, and the elite sphinx "speer" man, but she only gained 0.73%, 2 skill points, and 113 pet points.

I updated a few other aeria games, and even played a few minutes of Megaten (Shin Megami Tensei) and Grand Fantasia without really knowing what I should be doing, and also did a little work that I had been intending to do tomorrow... those disconnections had unsettled me, I guess.  At least RedRackham kept on with his pet-levelling - he did get ks'd once, as he was only by the entrance on the first floor with a spike canine, not out of the way on the fifth floor, but was swiftly back in action.  By the end of the evening, SirFrancis was just about a quarter of the way through level 44, in fact...

On the Tairen server, Memree is a level 39 assassin-type rogue, my only rogue in fact to wield the two daggers instead of a ranger's crossbow.  She had a rather leisurely session in Maargadum Jail for part of the evening, generally on the second floor, and managed to add 10.47%, 49 skill points, and just 426 pet points.  That Death Motion skill an assassin has did come in handy, any time I wanted to browse the web, or concentrate on the shoutbox, Memree would just equip her daggers, if she had been using her crossbow instead, and gracefully fall to the floor, safe from any monster attacks.

The shoutbox itself had rather a "we can't discuss bans" theme, with one player in particular being incensed to find herself banned, without any notice or email, and apparently with no great idea why this fate had befallen her.  In the company where she works, customers who have complaints are dealt with promptly and courteously, and there are customer service personnel who can be reached by telephone... at Aeria, they don't consider themselves in the customer service business.  Players aren't customers, even if they spend quite a few dollars regularly, they are just naughty children, and if Aeria are connected to the telephone system in California, any phone number they have is a closely-guarded secret.

Late in the evening, I noticed an assassin-rogue called Ciupa trying to get RedRackham and his pet killed, by luring a number of the pet-eating and aggressive dire spike canines in on him, and then using death motion.  As I was watching, though, the attempt didn't work; I unequipped SirFrancis right away, managed by moving around to get a couple of the dire spike canines unattached, equipped Red's sword to kill the last one, and then returned to sparring with the spike canine.  It shows that going down to the fifth floor is worth the slight extra effort, for sure.