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

There was plenty of time for pet-levelling again today, as my preparations for the weekend continued.  Both RedRackhams headed for Maargadum Jail's fifth floor on their fourth subserver; on Auzura, after fighting the death mask soldier and eventually killing it, for 594 gold, Red settled down to fight that first death mask lancer, while on Cariae, no fighting was needed - but a knight called SirMoe was battling the first lancer, so Red had to move along to the second one.

After lunch I did manage to log MistressDomina in; she made a party with SirPerivale,on Auzura-4, who dashed off to Maargadum Jail's ground floor.  He intended to get a nice non-aggressive spike canine, but couldn't get to one without attracting the attention of one of the aggressive, pet-eating dire spike canines.  I did try fighting the dire spike canine, but, at his level and with only a +6 sword, Peri really made very little progress, missing a lot, so in the end I settled for using that monster, lured it into the corner behind the teleporter, and set to work.  To my relief it kept focussed on Peri, rather than his pet, and by the end of the afternoon the hatchling had reached level 11.

MistressDomina headed for the Tomb of Theos of course, and the ancient grey mummies room.  The first hour used the last of her 15% training spell books, on top of the platinum super skill pill, so that using 61 skill point boosters MD earned 338 skill points, while going up by 0.71% - the last quarter hour was in the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour.  I wasn't sure if the ten-minute "effort scrolls" would stack with a pssp, so tried one out - but it didn't, so the second and third hours just used a pssp each, along with the usual potions.  Hour two used 57 boosters, to gain 302 skill points, while going up 0.80% (about 40 minutes was in dungeon time's 50% boost), and the third hour used the same, for 301 more skill points.  As that was entirely outside a dungeon time hour, just 0.60% was added to MistressDomina's experience tally.

So, over the three hours, MistressDomina had gained 941 skill points, on 2.11% experience, along with 2922 pet points - which got MD's drake comfortably into level 47.  Early on the royal knight Cosmin31 had been the only other player in the room, though during the dungeon time hour a group of three were doing a little power-levelling; there were always just enough mummies to go around.

At the start of the food break, Auzura's RedRackham headed for floor five of the Jail again.  Soon after five, UK time, he started a platinum pet experience potion, to gain triple experience for an hour, which moved SirFrancis past the halfway point in level 44.

Luckily I didn't start another one, as the same problems the game had yesterday returned.  As 6:30pm approached RedRackham's pet-levelling was not really working properly - when I clicked to use a quality stone there'd be a delay before the bar moved, and the usual "18" stopped appearing over the death mask lancer's head occasionally, before returning.  In the shoutbox, people were reporting strange lag-based effects, and disconnections.  And then at 6:35, the "disconnected" window popped up.

"Okay everyone, there are some lag problems with the servers right now", the gamesage in the shoutbox, gAmmAv2, told us.  "The source of the lag, and a fix for the lag, are currently being investigated.  I'll update you as soon as I get updated."

I didn't actually notice any further reports but, as happened yesterday, everything settled down again; people are starting to worry that it is deliberate hacking, since a while ago Aeria was subject to a "denial of service" attack and ransom attempt.  I'd been checking to see if I had any skill point boosters, skill boxes or platinum super skill pills tucked away on another account, but only found 200 of the spbs; MistressDomino bought one pssp from Roy's merchant mart for 12 million, all the rest he had were 14.5 or 15 million each, and while today's "BOGO" offers included a ten-pack of the experience-boosting platinum blessed irises, they didn't include the skill exp equivalent, but only the ordinary super skill pills, which only give double skill exp, and so aren't any use for using with the spbs...very little use at all, in fact.

MistressBlaze did log on for another short session - this time she rode down to the entrance to the Temple of Forgetfulness in the Dratan desert, and went inside, just to the first room, to kill some of the legendary slayers, and the local spiders.  The quest rewards gave her 2.45% experience and 9 skill points, so that the whole expedition gave her 3.66% and 13 skill points, plus 25 pet points. It's handy to get that location onto her memory scroll, anyway.

The eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour was on the horizon, so Barbarienne logged in on Cariae-4 to check what the Condition of the Tomb of Theos was there - and, for a change, it was at 90%.  So, Keerella logged on too and joined Barb at the entrance; they formed a combat party, got the horse buffs, and went in, heading for the anubis spear men.

The first corner after the main spear man room was being used by a knight when I arrived, so Barb and Kee back-tracked into that room - but when Barb checked less than five minutes later, the corner was clear, so we moved to that spot.  Barb and Kee had only been fighting for ten minutes when the dungeon time hour began; Barb started the potions then, and started her power hour, while Keerella just fought the sphinx fighters.

One advantage of that corner was that a third anubis spear man is quite near, and, as nobody was fighting on that stretch, Barbarienne was able to attack that one sometimes, as, with her level 109 bow, she does kill pretty quickly, especially when an adrenaline and a crit potion are active.  In the hour Barbarienne killed 63 anubis spear men, using experience boosters, and gained 28.14% experience, plus 15 skill points.

We had double experience and skill exp running, so it seemed a good idea to move across to the ancient grey mummies for the last half hour of our session.  That also gave Keerella the chance to get the mummy bandages she needed for a quest.  The time spent there, still in a combat party, meant that for the whole session Barbarienne' experience gain went up to 29.17%, plus 29 skill points and 1209 pet points.  Keerella gained 3.28% experience, the same 29 skill points, and 1821 pet points.

One landmark was reached at last during that session - after quite a few weeks, Keerella finally had enough skill points for level 9 of Freeze Arrow, so back in Dratan City that level was acquired, increasing the skill's power from 360% to 400%.  The skill's final level, to take it to 440%, did come available when Kee reached level 100, but she would need to get another 650 skill points before she could learn that...it will probably be more sensible to save up sp for the level 102 skill, Fire Ball, which needs 1020 sp for its first level.

It made a change to get the Barb 'n' Kee team back in action - and teaming them against the ancient grey mummies may be something to make a habit of, as both characters do need more skill points now, if they are going to go any further.  Once they had both logged out, there was time for RedRackham and SirFrancis to go back to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail for an hour or so, to end the evening.

A Big Purchase - October 2nd

I was busy downstairs through the morning again, but RedRackham went down into Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 to spar with his friend the death mask lancer relatively soon after breakfast, and his Cariae counterpart followed his example a little later.  Auzura's RedRackham managed to use a couple of the platinum pet experience potions before lunch, so SirFrancis was getting pretty near the top of his level...then a third ppep actually got Kaerella's drake into level 45 just before noon, which is about as far as a level 35 knight can take a pet, realistically.

The weekend, recently, has always been a time of special offers from the Last Chaos money man Exchequer, so I was hoping to read about some extra-special "buy one get one" bargains over Saturday and Sunday, plus one of the "tiered spender events" where spending a certain amount of aeria points qualifies you for an extra package of goodies.  Perhaps they could even bring back the master stone tiered spender event...?

However, there was no big "Budget Box" announcement today, surprisingly; perhaps the problems they had yesterday with the "Parallel Dimension Pet Box", a new kind of box randomly giving pet-oriented items, caused them to divert their resources elsewhere.  The only trouble with those boxes, according to visitors to the forum shoutbox last night, was that all they delivered was a "the item does not exist" message.  They have now been withdrawn from the item mall.  There had been some other interesting "mystery" boxes, which I'd though I might try if they overlapped with a tiered spender event...but they've vanished now, too.  So, it looked as if there would be no huge spending sprees for me this weekend - my feeling was that MistressDomina had enough items to keep her going for another week, and if she temporarily ran out of stuff, well, I have other characters I can play who need to farm experience rather than skill exp, so I could still keep active.

SirFrancis had actually got 10% of the way into the new level when RedRackham logged out - and my Auzura level 93 rogue Rage logged in, to team up with Kaerella for the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour, on Auzura-4.  I'd already checked the Cariae Tomb, and found that it was down to 60%; luckily, Auzura's was on a more friendly 90% of the way towards the easy end.

The ancient grey mummies room had space for us, we just shared it with the royal knight DRsKnight, with the archer Swenja out in the corridor as usual.  Another rogue did come into the room quite early in the hour, but left when she saw that there weren't enough mummies for her as well - indeed, the three of us only just had enough respawns to keep going.  Kaerella levelled up, reaching 101 before the end of the hour, adding 28.45% from 63 experience boosters. while Rage made good progress, adding 69.93% from 57 boosters.  We stayed on for a while after the hour ended, without further potions, so that in all Kaerella added 28.91%, along with 1778 pet points for her stand-in drake.  Rage earned 71.20%, plus 1918 pet points, and they each earned 26 skill points.

Back in Randol, Kaerella traded back the level 44 drake to RedRackham, in exchange for getting SirFrancis returned, now in level 45.  Rage then traded her level 39 drake to Red, and got the level 44 one in return, so can now get a better drake buff.  RedRackham then, after the animal trainer had got his new drake to give him the maximum armour buff, headed back to Maargadum Jail, to work on this significantly less hungry pet.

After the food break, the Cariae Tomb of Theos was down to 20%; I expect the Auzura one was still pretty friendly, but it would also tend to be a bit too full to do anything useful.  Kaerella on Tairen, on level 29, visited Prokion Temple for a little while, and then JohnWellington, my level 34 specialist sorcerer, headed there on Auzura-6, and fought the orc axemen and orc soldiers in the corridor room for perhaps half an hour.

Following a little while away from the computer screens, I noticed in the shoutbox that a new trio of "buy one get one" offers had in fact now been posted - and they included the "Summer Skills" pack, which offers 300 skill point boosters, 10 effort scrolls, and 10 platinum super skill pills, normally for 2000 ap but now at 1999 ap for the first package, and 1 ap for the second.  So, MistressDomina logged in to the web mall, and, with gritted teeth, I bought four of the bogo offers.

That takes my Auzura total stash of skill point boosters to 3704, which ought, with a pssp and a 15% pill active, to get MistressDomina more than 20k more skill points, which while it won't get her all the way to the target of 40k, will certainly get her within a reasonable distance of it.  Mind you, it is liable to take more than 60 hours fighting the ancient grey zombies.  There will be some pssps left over afterwards, at least, not to mention those effort scrolls.

MistressDomina had gone in-game as well as to the website, to download the new purchases and check the totals - and was greeted by a small red circle beneath her feet, as the Dratan Castle Siege was on, and some of our people were helping the allied guild to defend, er, whatever it is that has to be defended there.  So, I wished them the best of luck, and then a little later a window popped up to tell me that the defence had been successful - so this should mean another week of the Tomb being in prime condition, which, if MD is busy grinding sp every day, is just as well.

Apparently the Merac Castle Siege is in the early hours of Sunday morning, as far as UK time is concerned, so, while Twisted is hoping to field a strong team for that, I had to bow out, saying that I would have to be getting up about three hours after that, and would be no use to anyone at that time of night.

MistressDomina traded across her large crit potions in exchange for 67 small ones, which ought to last as long as the skill point booster supply, and also got rid of a little loot; and then MD logged out, and RedRackham headed back to Maargadum Jail for another hour or so.  MistressDomino, my merchant character, went into merchant mode for a while, but gold is tight in-game now, as drop amounts have been curtailed (and are also reduced when an increased experience/skill exp event is running), and the socketing system and gold costs for high-level skills both drain gold out of the game.  She did at least manage to sell a few health point stealer potions, taking her gold back up over 200 million, at least.

A Wedding in Mondshine - October 3rd

My "busy day" kept me away from the computer until the evening.  MistressDomino had sold a few more health point stealers before she logged out last night, moving her total gold supply over the 300 million mark, and RedRackham had got his current drake to within an hour or so of level 40 before getting a disconnection...but after that, all was quiet for about twenty hours.

In the Twisted guild, a wedding had been announced, to take place ninety minutes before the Sunday Quiz, between our guild master SacSalop and Lyn26 - to take place in the high-level map "Mondshine", normally only accessible by people who are at least level 140.  Recalls would be given, though, to get us mid-level people there in time for the ceremony.

I'd been able to log RedRackham in for some pet-levelling over on Cariae-4, down on the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail, soon after I'd arrived home, and MistressDomina was finally able to get online soon after 6:30, UK time.  I'd seen in the forum shoutbox that irene_tas was going to be the gamesage officiating at the wedding, as Lyn26 was checking up the timing with her there... and when MD registered for a party, and was picked up by TheGuildMaster and Recalled to Mondshine, peaceIrene, as she is in-game, was there ready...though a bit afk as she was still active in the shoutbox.

When the time came, peaceIrene gave a similar speech to the one huggy-bikini (well, hunnybeenikki) gave for the previous wedding in Twisted's ranks.  "Irisians...we are gathered here today in the presence of Apollon, Eres and the couple's friends to unite SacSalop and Lyn26 in cyber matrimony.  If any of you believe that these two characters should not be together, speak now or keep your silence for ever!"  There was then a pause, but, boringly, nobody did object, so we proceeded; they exchanged rings, and then Irene pronounced Apollon's blessing.  "I look down from the vastness of the heaven and smile upon two of my loyal Irisians on this, the sacred day of their joining of hearts.  May the two ever remember that together they can achieve much more than if apart - that respect and love are intertwined, and grow with the passing of time."

And that was about it, though peaceIrene did also say "Goodness and hearts golden are the way to the blessing of Apollon."  The event was even given a GM-type announcement: "Grats to SacSalop and Lyn26!!! May your love survive Last Chaos and beyond!!"  There were various congratulations, not to mention rude comments; pieces of cake were offered, and mindful of keeping a slim figure MistressDomina only picked up two.  I think some friends did pass across wedding presents, but I have no idea what might be appropriate on such an occasion.  A number of members of Twisted's allied guild DeadlyRebeLs, current holders of Dratan's castle, were there, plus DrJirri, the sorcerer Voldemort, and no doubt a few high-level types who happened to be there anyway.  I assume we were in Mondshine's main town, close to the spawning point; it didn't seem like true night, though the sky was greyer than one is used to.

As there wasn't time for anything more adventurous before the quiz, Auzura's RedRackham did some mining of quality stones, using tool aids, and got his stash back up over the 1500 mark; then Kaerella logged in and farmed some green herb leaves, since she has rather a lot of tool aids.  Cariae's RedRackham then logged out, and Auzura's MistressDomino then logged in on the second subserver - and headed for the quiz room.  Kaerella joined her there once she'd finished her herb-farming.

The quiz ran much as usual, with a few people managing to stay in despite being on the wrong side, and a few clusters of low-levels with random names moving around together.  Both Kae and MistressDomino got to the end safely; Kaerella even had a newbie mage called bioshock22 clicked onto her for most of the time, so presumably she got her prizes too.  Afterwards, Kaerella traded her moonstones and heaven stones across to MistressDomino, along with 1200 green herb leaves and a couple of other items, and then they both logged out.

I posted my usual reassurance in the shoutbox about three times I think: "After the Sunday Quiz we always get heavy lag, which makes logging back in difficult for a few minutes.  The trick is to never click to accept the "Timed Out" messages, just wait and things will eventually load.  If you do click "timed out", and try again, the game thinks you are logged in already and you get the "already logged in" message, but it's just a glitch, don't worry."  I also reassured people querying "account already logged in" and Roy's merchant mart not working, and, taking my own advice about ignoring the "timed out" pop-up and just waiting things out, logged RedRackham, the Auzura version, back in, and went back to Maargadum Jail - where he got his drake to level 40 before the end of the evening.

MistressSabina went out into the Dratan desert briefly, to see if fighting giants was do-able for her.  It did work okay, though the witch skill Stone does take a little longer to recharge than would be ideal.  However, there were a few little lag spikes, so it seemed a good idea not to risk a disconnection while fighting there - so Sabina logged out, and SirPerivale logged in.

SirPerivale went to Maargadum jail, and managed to attract a spike canine back safely into the corner behind the teleporter, behind another knight, fighting a dire spike canine, called 0410.  Peri has a blue name, so hits with his full force...though as he is just level 22 to the canine's 40, he only hits it for 26 damage, which it can easily handle.  It's lucky his 25/27 armour set is mainly +12, though he did need a few levels of the "increased armour (dragon)" buff to feel secure there.  Before too long his dragon hatchling reached level 12 - but that was after surviving a number of other lag spikes, when no numbers floated up above the spike canine's head, and  the other knight appeared to stop fighting.

So, that was the end of the evening's excitements.  I had thought about leaving MistressDomino in merchant mode overnight, but with the lag problems, it doesn't seem worth trying that at the moment.

Bash-a-Botis - October 4th

The main event announced for today seemed to be an extended maintenance downtime for the item mall, which could have been a problem as MistressDomina needed to buy a week-long Giant Skill Pill - but luckily the "billing maintenance" wasn't scheduled to start until later, so the purchase was duly made, as MistressDomina headed for the Tomb of Theos this morning after coffee.

SirPerivale had logged in first, and headed for the spike canines on the ground floor of Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4.  Once he was in position safely behind the teleporter stand, fighting the canine and levelling his hatchling, he registered for a party, and MistressDomina, newly-arrived in Randol, picked him up, to make the necessary solo party.

The Tomb of Theos was on 90% when MD entered; she headed for the ancient grey mummies room of course, where Talea, a ranger-rogue from the DreamCatcher guild, and ExerTicum, a level 103 royal knight in Twisted, were already in action.  Luckily Swenja seemed to be having the morning off, so MD was able to concentrate on the two or three mummies at the start, or end, of the corridor, so everyone had plenty of targets.

Another Twisted guildie, PunkCharming, had found what he reckoned was a bargain, a +13 rogue event weapon for 25 million, and was asking if anyone could lend him the money to buy it, as he was sure he could sell it on for at least twice as much.  As Peri is actually carrying a bit of gold, for some reason, I said that he could borrow the gold from him, in the A4 Maargadum Jail, but just as PunkCharming had got there, and the trade was in progress, at 11:06am UK time, I got a disconnection, first on MD and then on Peri, just as he had entered the 25,000,000 gold into the trade window.

PunkCharming did wonder if his presence had had anything to do with my disconnection, but, given that that does seem a vulnerable time in LC for me, probably not.  The trade was finally made back in Randol when SirPerivale respawned there - and PunkCharming was able to buy the weapon, promising me a share of the profits.

Luckily ExerTicum had Party Recall, and so was able to whisk MistressDomina back to the ancient grey mummies with very little time lost; MD's hour was nearly over, but she was able to finish off her pots, and in all used 55 skill point boosters during the hour, so hadn't lost much time.  The experience gain was 0.65%, with the last few minutes in the dungeon time hour, while 305 skill points were gained, and 951 pet points.

Looking at the Twisted guild listings, after that hour MD's donation of guild points, from being 50% frozen for experience gain since the start of level 103, had reached       1,191,048 guild points - not as many as ExerTicum, who has reached 1,472,729.  He was getting close to his target for farmed skill points, 18.5k...which, as it happens, is about what MistressDomina had then.  He was saying that he can kill 70 to 80 mummies in an hour, which is rather more than MD had been able to  manage...

MistressDomina continued her skill point farming after lunch, almost entirely in the corridor again.  But now I wanted to experiment; MD usually doesn't "waste time" on buffing herself with the wizardly skills of Haste (increases skill casting speed by 50%), Scud (increases the caster's attack speed by 1.5), and Spell Focus (increases magical hit rate by 10), but maybe, even with the slight delays from taking the time to cast the three skills on herself, using them would allow her to kill more ancient grey mummies per hour?

Well, the experiment was a success.  MistressDomina's previous record of mummy kills per hour was 61 - but in the first hour after lunch she killed 71 mummies using 71 skill point boosters, going up 0.63% and gaining 394 skill points.  During the second hour she again managed 71 kills, somehow adding 1.11% due to the dungeon time bonus, and again gained 394 skill points.  This time MD actually used a MP stealer, instead of having to use six of the greater MP recovery potions and a hundred or so medium mana potions - this made life slightly simpler, but didn't change the actual kill rate, it seems.  I continued on for a third hour, with once more 71 boosters used, for 0.74% experience and the same 394 skill points - but somehow in the fourth and final hour of an extended afternoon session, MD  managed to fit in 73 kills, adding 0.81% experience and 405 skill points.

So, the afternoon session in all used 286 skill point boosters, and MistressDomina went up by 3.39%, 1587 skill points - and her drake gained another 4297 pet points.  It was a long session, but it brought MD's stash of unused skill points back over the 20k mark...higher than it has been since she was level 69, in fact.

There was a slightly extended break after that marathon session.  Generally I don't find it productive to try and sp-farm with a high-level character in the Tomb in the evening, as the place tends to get too busy...so instead, there was the attraction of the "Whack-a-Fluton" event on all six servers.

As usual, this event was advertised as taking place in the Dratan arena, or "proving grounds", on each server's fifth subserver; in theory there should have been a teleporter NPC close to the Juno arena to make it easy to get there, but I didn't see one, perhaps because that area is so crowded with merchants, so went to Dratan and got the regular NPC there to teleport me out.

Auzura was the first server, and the event had started when I got there - I went as my level 10 merchant MistressDomino, as I do find being player-killed when we are supposed to be fighting monsters irritating - and being similarly pk'd when there is loot waiting to be picked up is even worse! I don't know who the game master was on Auzura and Katar, though I would guess it was [GM]AwesomeSauce, as, while the announcements were anonymous, they were friendly and responded positively to what we said.  Most of the opening flutons had been disposed of by the time I got there, and the GM was asking what other monsters we would like - so I suggested that "a flock of Kamiras" would be good, and that was what we got.  At half the level of a fluton, they are a bit more manageable - and of course they drop plenty of goodies!

MistressDomino managed to pick up quite a few moonstones, plus medium mana potions, tool aids, and of course medals of honour - the route back to the arena from the respawning point, when one did get killed by a fluton or whatever, was soon littered with a dozen or more of those medals.

My level 6 mage Enchantrella went along to the Katar event, and so was there from the start, and again we got a full half hour's worth, with plenty of kamiras - I picked up 50 moonstones, 15 lucky scrolls, 4 crystals of experience (greater), 40 medium mana potions, 20 great health potions...and 10 assorted hero's necklaces, some of them quite good as these things go, which was rather useful as Enchie wasn't equipped with any rings, necklaces or other accessories before.  We had some patriarch botises to fight as well, and I remarked, "hmm, bash-a-botis", to which the GM replied "I like the sound of that!"  She also said at the end "Thank you for coming everyone!!  And for the cool new names! Bash a botis!"

The story, however, was quite different on Cariae.  My level 12 healer KarambA was at the Dratan arena in good time, but nothing happened and no announcements were made, so I asked in the shoutbox about it - had the GM scheduled to do the event called in sick, perhaps?  Luckily the gamesage zhegao was there, and did some investigating - and an announcement soon appeared, apologising for the delay, and saying that whack-a-fluton was about to start  - but in the regular Juno/Randol arena.

[GM]JediMike was in charge, possibly replacing the GM originally pencilled in to host the event, and we just got 15 minutes of fluton-spawning and, well, trash-talking.  My level 2 healer Barbarienne did cunningly try "phew, at least Mike didn't spawn any Kamiras, that would have been awful...  ;-)" - which got the response "I won't spawn something you tell me not to spawn", followed by "newbert".  "Well, I didn't say you couldn't, boss - go ahead, be my guest! :)" I replied, but he just said "I won't spawn what you ask, either."

The fourth server was Sarissa, and this too got just 15 minutes of flutons from [GM]JediMike, though at least it started on time.  Luckily [GM]Darasuum took over for Hatzring, and we were back in the Dratan arena, the proving grounds.  Hints about kamiras were ignored, but he spawned flutons and purple dragons, and apes and anubis archers, and at the end invited us to sit down around him - and he spawned some honest-to-goodness "proper" loot, from the usual "hands", so my low-level healer LadyJane, who put on a couple of levels, got some useful items.  He had also spawned some foxes and elder wolves, which gave LadyJane something she could actually kill.

The final server of the six was Tairen; since the event only takes 30 minutes and the gap between starts was 45 minutes, I logged in there with my level 2 healer Barbarienne in good time - only for the GM announcement that we read to tell us that a medium-level Mad Monster Spawn in Juno was the event due to start in a few minutes.  We did get a correction later, but Barb greeted [GM]Darasuum, out at the Dratan proving grounds, with "Hi boss - we enjoyed our trips out to the MMS spot in Juno :)", to which he replied "yeah my bad on the event - I really noobed it up today."  "No problem", I assured him, "It all adds to the fun."

The monster spawnings were much the same as on Hatzring, and we got the same "sit in a circle round me" at the end, though it was marred for some people by one of the players doing a bit of pk-ing.  However, as she is too low-level to be attacked by another player in an arena, Barb wasn't among those killed, and ended up with 4 large defence potions, 1 large attack potion, 4 item drop boosters, 5 skill point boosters, 6 tool aids, 9 small mana recovery potions, 11 small HP recovery potions, and around 129,000 gold from various drops that nobody else had bothered to pick up.

[GM]Darasuum added a final touch with "and now you all die", after which he raced around the arena killing everyone he could - not Barbarienne, though.  I guess everyone needs to let of steam sometimes...

So, that ended the evening on a high; SirPerivale had kept busy throughout, pet-levelling, and his dragon hatchling had become a drake.  It was well into level 18 by the time Peri had to log out...he might have continued a little longer, but an emergency maintenance was announced for around eleven in the evening, UK time, so it seemed best to get him offline before that actually happened.

Two Tombs - October 5th

After yesterday's variety, today was rather more basic.  Auzura's RedRackham and SirPerivale went out pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail before breakfast, with Red on floor five with his death mask lancer and Peri in the entrance hall with his spike canine.

I managed to fit in two hours of skill point farming for MistressDomina before lunch, while SirPerivale provided the solo party.  Initially I was trying to fit in an hour before the danger time of about five past eleven, when disconnections seem more likely, but once I'd done the one hour, I decided to go for a second one, as I could just about fit it in before lunch if I dashed downstairs a couple of times.  Luckily, there wasn't a disconnection.

The ancient grey zombies room on Auzura-4 was relatively quiet, with just Talea there; she greeted me with a "huhu".  Again MD went flat out, using her three mage-type buffs, and by the end of the hour had managed to use 73 skill point boosters, adding 0.76% and 405 skill points.  During the second hour the total was down to 70 boosters, due to some brief expeditions to get lunch started, but with the dungeon time running for most of it, 1.07% experience was gained, plus 388 skill points.

Twisted guildie ||Moonlight|| was asking if someone had a guild her new rogue could join to have their experience gain frozen to 50%, so I offered to let her join Discipline - so just before lunch MistressSabina logged on, accepted her application, locked her experience gain, and logged out again - so Discipline ought to have a fairly active member for a while, and a few more guild points coming in.  After that I restarted the game on the older computer, and SirPerivale, who is on the same account as Sabina, returned to Maargadum Jail.

Four more hours got crammed into the afternoon session, which is not something I can manage regularly.  The room did get a little busier; I was mainly sharing it with an assassin called CriTiCaL, but things did get a bit tight when the night shadow LegendOfSky joined us - Swenja was out in the corridor again.  The first of the four hours saw MD use 71 boosters, for 0.74% and 394 skill points; 72 boosters, 1.08%, and 399 skill points took us through the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour, and after that I actually managed to use 74 skill point boosters, for 0.77% and 410 skill points, and finally 73, 0.80%, and another 405 skill points.

So, that was pretty good sp-farming; over the six hours MistressDomina added 5.22%, 2401 skill points, and 6449 pet points, using 433 skill point boosters.  Six lots of the usual pots were used; MD is using the cheaper small crit pots now, rather than the large ones, and with her new accessory they seem just as effective.  I'd made a quick trip to Strayana before heading for the Tomb of Theos (on 100% easy again), and restocked on medium mana potions, which was just as well, as MistressDomina got through 269 of those, roughly 45 per hour, as well as six of the greatest mana recovery potions per hour.

After the food break, SirPerivale's pet-levelling session ended, with the drake well into level 21, only just below Peri's own level.  So, it seemed a good idea to transfer the drake across to CaptainScarlet, another Auzura knight of mine designed to be a pet-leveller.  He's not as useful as RedRackham as he is only level 32, not 35, but at least he can be online at the same time as MistressDomina.

A "Happy Hour" with double experience and skill exp started at six in the evening, UK time; after the four-hour session I was running a little late, but managed to make use of most of it.  Sadly it only lasted until about 8:15pm, as it was split in two, with the second two hours or so not starting until after my bedtime.  I logged Barbarienne in to check what the Tomb of Theos was like on Cariae-4 - it was set to 90%, so Keerella joined her, they made a combat party, they went in - and they headed for the ancient grey mummies.

The room wasn't being used by anyone when I arrived, but a night shadow called Angenoir turned up before long.  As Barb and Kee weren't using potions or any other aids, there were plenty of mummies to go around, and my duo managed to get a few skill points each.  As the mummies are blue-named to her, Barbarienne didn't equip her drake, as it wouldn't have gained any pet points - towards the end of the session, though, I thought I'd see how SkrappY, my Scra-Chi pet, would get on there, so traded him across from Kee to Barb.  SkrappY didn't seem to bother to do any fighting, probably because he hadn't got a weapon equipped, but he did gain experience from not just Barb's kills, but Kee's as well, so if there are further team-ups like that one, I'll know to have him involved from the start.

With some time off to work on the blog, it wasn't exactly a hectic session, but Barbarienne added 3.71%, and Keerella, killing a lot more slowly, added 2.59%; they each gained 47 skill points.  SkrappY added 1.55% in level 54, and Greedo. Kee's drake, added 2374 pet points, in level 52.  The room did get at least slightly busy towards the end, with a little bit of power-levelling, a mage and a specialist sorcerer helping an archer guildie of theirs.

Yesterday's unscheduled maintenance was just to do with the item mall and the general billing mechanics, and started rather later, in the end, than expected, as the GMs had to wait for the billing department to be ready - so that must have messed up the afternoon and evening playing a bit for people on US time zones.  Tonight of course we have the regular weekly maintenance, which may, or may not, bring in all sorts of new content.  We are probably a week or two too early for the Halloween event to begin, but the newly-revamped guardian system will certainly be worth exploring, when that gets sorted out.

New Content - October 6th

The morning's post-maintenance patch was quite a big one, and the new post in the "patch notes" thread, with the sub-title "Sweet sweet content", quickly explained why.  There are new quests for people in the 100-140 range, there are improved drops, the guardian system has been enhanced, and the "ignition system" is here - kill monsters, get a special energy which can be used to give yourself a buff for 1.5 or 2 minutes, increasing the damage you deal - or even increasing your skill exp or experience gained.  "With this content released our next focus will be bug fixes and the next round of content", Xuse2005 told us...though one glitch was "fixed", I found when MistressDomina logged in, as her "widowmaker" C2 costume cover had at last expired, leaving her just wearing the standard 85/87 mage armour, until I invested another 75 ap in a new costume cover.

The changes to the guardian system seem unimportant; the apprentice still gets the new weapon at level 20, while the guardian doesn't, apparently, get any reputation points then, but only at levels 35, 40, 45, and 50.  Which is okay, but reputation points don't really do much - rumours of a desirable upgrading item at level 50 turn out just to be something that gives 15 reputation points.  Apprentices apparently get 24-hour buffs of some sort when they reach levels 10, 20, 30, 40, and 45. A guardian now has to be at least level 50.  The ignition system seems to need around 80 white-named monsters to be killed to fill the bar, someone reported, which would take over an hour for MistressDomina...

I managed to fit in one hour's sp-farming for MistressDomina in the morning, with the ancient grey mummies on Auzura-4, while CaptainScarlet, providing the solo party, did some pet-levelling on a spike canine in Maargadum Jail behind the teleporter.  The Tomb was on 90% when MD entered, and fell to 80%, a guildie informed me, during my hour, so the killing wasn't quite as speedy as usual, and only 69 skill point boosters were used.  Still, that did add 0.96% experience and 383 skill points, plus 1076 pet points.

The "ignition system" seemed awfully slow; it took 20 minutes to get through the first stage, about 25 minutes for stage 2, and at the end of the hour's fighting MD was less than halfway through stage 3.  The thing resets to zero if one logs out apparently, so long sessions would be needed to get anything useful, it seemed.

MistressDomina did get three new quests from Tomb Guard Atum, but none of them are at all exciting - just instructions to kill 50 each of the anubis attackers, sphinx fighters, and infected grey mummies, for 47,286,018, 46,261,017, and 40,967,269 experience, respectively - no skill exp, and no gold.  Killing an infected grey mummy normally gives 9,012,878 experience, so all the quest does is, in effect, increase that by 819,345 each - 9.1%.  Not much of an incentive to fight those types, instead of "boss" ones like the ancient grey mummies and anubis spear men.

I did manage to fit in four "power hours" in the afternoon, starting early and finishing late.  The first hour just used 66 boosters, as I did have a disconnection - this wasted some time, and also reset the "ignition system" back to zero, which was a bit annoying.  CaptainScarlet, still providing the solo party, managed to avoid disconnecting, though he did come close to it with a "lag spike" or two then.  Still, 0.70% experience was gained, and 368 skill points, as well as 1006 pet points.

The second hour ran more smoothly, with 72 boosters used, for1.06% since most of a dungeon time hour was in it; 399 skill points were earned, plus 1043 pet points. In the third hour of the afternoon the ignition system finally reached level four, so that I could discover that the extra skill exp it promised did not stack upon the pssp I was using, which makes it not much use, though the speedier killing for 90 seconds was handy.  75 skill point boosters were used, and 0.85%, 423 skill points, and 1056 pet points were added.  The fourth hour had a couple of lower-level ignition boosts in it, so that another 75 boosters were used, adding 0.79%, 416 skill points, and 1074 pet points.

The ignition system had just completed its first level when the potions ended, so I triggered the boost for that, as otherwise it would be wasted...which meant that in all the afternoon session added 3.48%, 1608 skill points, and 4241 pet points, with 288 skill point boosters consumed.  So, including the morning hour, that was almost 2,000 skill points added.

The drops had certainly changed in the Tomb - there were more of them, for one thing, so that by the end of the afternoon MistressDomina was having to discard the bandages and a couple of accessories just to make room.  The armour pieces were generally ten levels (two sets) higher than before; MD ended up with 7 items of level 97 headgear, 3 pairs of boots of that level, and, dropped by a screaming zombie, a pair of level 95 gloves.  Hopefully they will sell to Geres for slightly more gold than level 85 and 87 pieces.

The evening, at least for those of us on UK or European time, offered a series of mid-level mad monster spawns.  I just went along to the Auzura and Cariae ones, which were a bit of a contrast.  On Auzura-6, starting at 6:00pm UK time, [GM]Darasuum was in charge; I took MistressBlaze along, since at level 67 she is nicely at the middle of the recommended 46 to 90 levels for such an event.  After a low-level wave to lull us into a sense of false security, the GM really socked it to us, with masses of monsters more suitable for a high-level event - MB had to run for her life from the "area of effect" magic that was dumped on top of us, and only just managed to get clear with about a hundred health left.  She had to be very careful after that, but managed to survive - luckily we had some pretty high-level people there.  The night shadow JacKnJoneS said afterwards that he was level 91, but I suspect that by now he must be a bit higher than that.  He boasted that, from a group of kamiras, he'd managed to get  "1 ToK, 1 CoR, 1 OoL, 1 EoS, 1 PoW, 1 EoWM", which seems exceptionally good luck...  Darasuum did spawn some loot at the end, but I think I just managed to grab one skill point booster and one large attack potion, as the spawning was a bit thin.

My phoenix ranger-rogue RedRydeR went along on Cariae at 7:00pm, where [GM]AwesomeSauce was running things, though unlike on Auzura, we didn't actually see the GM.  She had some connection problems, too; I'd had a phone call so missed the opening minutes, but we did have to wait around a bit for further action.  Generally it was all manageable, and thanks to her good 85/87 armour RedRyder was just about able to "tank" zamoras and endemic demons, and even skin walkers, though all help was welcome.

Unfortunately, as a final "gift" someone asked for a fluton, and [GM]AwesomeSauce granted that request.  It had slipped my mind that using Snare on a fluton quite often made one its main priority, when it gets loose, and this one stunned me, and while I was helpless, killed me.  I waited until it had moved away and respawned, carefully starting another resurrection scroll, the last one Red was carrying.  It took quite a while for us to finally kill the fluton, and while we were still fighting it, the GM spawned our loot right where it was, which strikes me as a bit naughty.  I did manage to grab my share, though it meant I had to stop attacking for a few seconds, but anyone lower in level, without good armour, would have missed out.  Still, before that Red had managed to get involved in fighting the kamiras that had been spawned, and while she'd not seen any rare accessories, had managed to grab a few of the lucky scrolls, moonstones, crystals of experience (greater), and so on.

As usual on a Wednesday evening, I had to stop my adventures a couple of hours early, but while CaptainScarlet logged off, having got his drake to level 24, I was able to log RedRackham on, and he went down to the death mask lancer on floor five of the Jail.  Unusually, CaptainScarlet's spike canine had been killed two or three times during the afternoon and evening, so operating out of the way on floor five seemed a safer idea.  By the end of the evening, RedRackham's drake was approaching a third of the way through level 40.

More Mummies, and Three Spear Men - October 7th

I wasn't able to do any actual playing in the morning, but after breakfast I had MistressDomina transfer her recent armour and accessory drops across to CaptainScarlet, since he has room for such things, and then some other loot across to MistressDomino.  And then CaptainScarlet and RedRackham headed for Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 together, the first time I've tried that.  Lacking the level 35 passive skill, CaptainScarlet doesn't have quite as good physical defence stats as Red, but, at least with an armour buff from his pet, he can stand up to the attacks of a level 44 death mask lancer easily enough.

Having the two knights arriving together meant that the death mask soldier that was by the entrance could be killed in half the time - and then CaptainScarlet took the lancer nearest the door, and RedRackham moved along to the second one.  As the Discipline guild's new member, the rogue LostSpeed, did log on at one stage, Discipline actually had three people online at the same time.  LostSpeed has moved up from level 5 to 12, I see, contributing her first 22 guild points.

The only interruption was when someone in the forum shoutbox asked me to help them transfer a new hatchling across from their knight to their night shadow - they'd wondered why the ns couldn't get the pet quest from Lorraine, and I'd had to tell them that the quest was only open to characters from level 1 to 100, so they'd had to do it on their knight instead.  So, RedRackham briefly logged out, and my level 10 mage on Tairen, Enchantra, logged in to take the pet from the knight, and trade it across to the night shadow.  Usually these things take a while, but the knight was right there waiting when I arrived, and the night shadow quickly appeared, so it only took a minute - and then Enchantra was able to log back out, and Red was able to get back online, and return to that second death mask lancer in Maargadum Jail.

For the afternoon, MistressDomina headed for the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-4 again, and the ancient grey mummies.  There was just time for three hours, but, helped along by the occasional boost from the new ignition system, MD used 74 skill point boosters in the first hour, going up by 1.04% and adding 411 skill points, as well as 1055 pet points for her drake.  The second hour saw 75 boosters used, for 0.90%, 416 skill points, and 1073 pet points - and the third hour brought in another 427 skill points from 77 boosters, plus 0.80% and 1064 pet points.

MistressDomina stayed in the Tomb room over the early evening food break and, seeing that the room was not being used by anyone else, started a fourth hour after that, with another 78 boosters used to gain her 433 skill points, along with 1070 pet points and 1.51% experience, as a "happy hour" with double experience and skill exp began fairly soon, replacing the just-expiring dungeon time.  It's a pity that the extra skill exp didn't stack with the platinum super skill pill and so on.  A little extra experience is no problem, as I'm sure I'll be asking SacSalop to "unfreeze" MD's experience gain before the end of level 103.

The room did get a little busier, but I did a fifth and final hour, using a further 80 boosters, the most I've ever managed in a single hour, which meant that I got 444 skill points, as well as 1.66% experience and 1054 pet points.  And that seemed to be enough of the ancient grey mummies for one day; I'm certainly getting pretty good value from the week-long "giant skill pill" that I started on Monday.

Twisted guildie WolfDC, a level 109 night shadow, was asking for people to join him in a combat party while he did some levelling on the anubis spear men, so I volunteered to do that, and got recalled across to where he, Dropkick, TheGuildmaster, and Witchwish were.  I logged CaptainScarlet out on the older computer, and logged Kaerella in, and she joined the party too, and was Recalled into the Tomb.  She equipped her polar bear cub - which safely added about 14% in the hour or so we spent there.

I think the columned corridor we were in must have been deeper into the Tomb than the usual one, as instead of many sphinx fighters, it had anubis archers accompanying the anubis spear men.  TheGuildmaster lured in groups of archers etc for Wolfie to use his area of effect skills on.  As neither WolfDC nor TheGuildmaster did much picking up of loot, MD tended to nip out from the safe area to pick up the gold (after all, the game is short of gold at the moment, we don't want to leave it there to fade away - gold picked up is shared equally throughout all party members who are in range), and occasionally got caught by an archer's Dark Arrow skill, stopping her from moving for 25 seconds.

One thing that was interesting was that, even though Kaerella and MistressDomina weren't fighting, we still got "ignition", and almost as quickly as if it was either of us doing the fighting.  When the hour had ended and the party was disbanding, MD had reached the top of its second level, and, rather than waste it, managed to kill three spear men rather speedily, and an archer too.  A terra spear doing 92k damage gets rid of such opposition rather quickly.

So, that was a fairly quiet hour to wind down with.  Kaerella got 0.73% and 8 skill points, while MistressDomina added 0.47% and 10 skill points, plus 34 pet points at the end.  In all today MD added 6.38%, 5375 pet points...and 2141 skill points.  MD's total number of unused skill points isn't at an all-time high yet, as far as I can see her maximum so far was 27,286 at level 45, before she started spending more on skills than she was earning - but another couple of hours with the ancient grey mummies should take her above that figure.  The trick is to know how much further to go after that.

MistressDomina teleported back to town, and transferred some loot to MistressDomino, and another thirteen pieces of unidentified level 97 armour across to CaptainScarlet.  Then RedRackham logged in, so that he and the Captain could return to Maargadum Jail's fifth floor for a little more pet-levelling.  It wasn't long before the Captain's drake reached level 27 - and by the end of the evening, Red's drake was more than two-thirds of the way through level 40.

Nine "Power Hours" - October 8th

Today I did manage to fit in two "power hours" with the ancient grey mummies before lunch for MistressDomina on Auzura-4; she made her solo party with CaptainScarlet, who was pet-levelling in Maargadum Jail again.  RedRackham had been down there for just under a couple of hours, too, until he had to log out to make way for MD.

The place was unusually quiet; the first hour saw MistressDomina use 72 skill point boosters, to earn exactly 400 skill points, along with 0.76% experience and 1077 pet points, while the second hour, with a bit of speeded-up killing from an "ignition" 90 seconds, had 75 boosters used, for 416 skill points, 1.12% experience, and 1077 pet points again.

The afternoon was quiet too; three more hours got fitted in, with no problems.  76 boosters gained MistressDomina 422 skill points, as well as 0.82% and 1070 pet points, and then MD actually got up to 80 boosters, for 443 skill points, along with 1.17% and 1060 pet points, thanks to a level three "ignition".  The third hour of the afternoon managed 81 boosters, for 450 skill points, plus 0.85% and 1074 pet points... and then it was time for the food break.

MistressDomina stayed in the ancient grey mummies room over the break; I did restart the game on the older computer, though, so CaptainScarlet had to log out and then return to his death mask lancer.  As the mummies room was still quiet, I had no excuse not to continue, so the next hour began - MD used 70 boosters this time, without any ignition, which brought in just 388 skill points, along with 0.94% and 1515 pet points... just after halfway through, the dungeon time ended, and double pet experience was switched on.  That was, in all, the sixth hour of the day; the seventh hour saw MD use 78 skill point boosters, for 433 skill points, plus 0.82% and 2120 pet points.

Well, I was there, the room was still unusually quiet, and the double pet experience was good, so I began an eighth hour, during which 75 more boosters were used, and 416 more skill points were earned, along with 0.97% and 2114 pet points, which got MD's drake into level 48.  And then, well, there was just time for a ninth hour, during which, thanks to another level 3 ignition sequence, and a level 1 one right at the end, 83 boosters got used, for 460 skill points, plus 1.02% and 2122 pet points.

So, that made nine "power hours" in all, not something I'd wish to make a habit of.  690  skill point boosters were used in all, to give MistressDomina 3828 skill points, and 8.47% experience was gained.  MD now has a cache of 30k skill points...but I guess that she could still do with some more.  I think we must be past the halfway point for sp farming on the ancient grey mummies, anyway, so that it won't be too long before she can turn her attention back to a bit of levelling.

MistressDomina logged out, leaving the solo party, which at that stage included Twisted guildie Rhan as well as CaptainScarlet, so RedRackham was able to join up too, and head back to the second death mask lancer, to take advantage of the double pet experience.  That was ended pretty soon after ten o'clock, UK time, however - but by the time they logged out, Red's drake was not much more than a couple of hours away from the top of level 40, and CaptainScarlet's drake had reached level 30.

Not the Castle Siege - October 9th

MistressDomina transferred her recent armour across to CaptainScarlet before breakfast; she has now picked up all six classes of level 97 helmet and boots from the ancient grey mummies, though only one pair each of the knight boots.  Then, after buying 215 more medium mana potions in Strayana to get her supply back to 400, MD logged out, RedRackham logged in, and Red and the Captain headed for Maargadum Jail.

RedRackham's drake managed to reach level 41 before coffee; after that, he logged out, and MistressDomina logged in, and headed, of course, for the Tomb of Theos, which was still set to 100% easy.  There was a night shadow fighting there when I arrived in the ancient grey mummies room, but he left within seconds.

So, two hours got fitted in before lunch; the first hour used 71 skill point boosters, which meant that MistressDomina added just 0.67%, not to mention 394 skill points, and 1079 pet points.  MD's ignition reached level three in the second hour, so that she got through 75 boosters and earned 416 skill points, plus 1.23%. since it was almost exactly the dungeon time hour, and 1058 pet points.

MD stayed there over lunch; the place remained quiet, so three hours got fitted in easily enough.  I had the place to myself to begin with, though things did become tight in the final hour, as a rogue called Austri arrived, followed by the sorcerer fragiii, and the night shadow LegendOfSky.  Austri began by attacking and attracting every spare mummy in the place, but things must have gone wrong, as she vanished while surrounded by the mummy mob, and ran back in a couple of minutes later.  I think "velo" was involved in the strategy, an expensive and time-limited attack from the item mall.  After that she seemed to settle down to normal fighting, to my relief.

The first hour of the afternoon saw MistressDomina use 79 skill point boosters, which meant that she earned 438 skill points, plus 0.87% and 1071 pet points; hour two used 78 for 433, plus 1.10% and 1055 pet points, and that rather more crowded final afternoon hour still managed to get through 72 boosters, for 399 skill points, 0.75%, and 1055 pet points.

Luckily all three of those players had vanished by the time I got back from the early evening food break.  I don't think they'd been playing flat out, as that room would never bear four separate people fighting at full speed - but it was a relief not to have to worry about where my next target would respawn.  I'd had to save up the third-level ignition, as there would not have been enough targets for me to hit in the time it gave, but I could use it now - and indeed had a duo of lower-level ignitions at the end too, so that a grand total of 88 ancient grey mummies got killed, using 88 skill point boosters.  That meant a record-breaking 489 skill points were earned in that hour, plus, thanks to dungeon time and the start of a 50% extra experience "turbo" event that overlapped with it, 1.46% experience, and 1066 pet points.

That meant that over the six hours MistressDomina had earned 2569 skill points, using 463 skill point boosters, along with 6.08% and 6381 pet points - quite enough for one day, particularly after Friday's marathon session.

There wasn't time for another hour, as the Dratan Castle Siege was scheduled to start at seven, UK time.  As this is a PvP event, I wasn't too happy about the idea of taking MistressDomina along - sometimes when you get killed there you apparently do get a death penalty, and if MD lost 2% of her skill points, she'd lose over ninety minutes work, and the use of over a hundred skill point boosters, which would be rather expensive.  So, I asked if my level 93 ranger Rage (or RAGE, to be exact) could join Twisted, and SacSalop, who seemed to have had a clear-out of inactive members recently, agreed.  MD logged out and Rage logged in, found him at the Auzura-5 arena, and officially joined...I reassured people that Rage was as sweet and innocent as MD, if not more so.

After I'd moved some loot to MistressDomino, and traded the latest armour drops from MD to CaptainScarlet, the Captain returned to his death mask lancer - and Rage moved across to Auzura-1, where the Siege was scheduled to take place.

SacSalop recruited Rage into his party, and added two or three other guildies; a window popped up to teleport us to the starting area, and off we went.  SacSalop quickly moved to the spot he wanted, and recalled the rest of us there, to just this side of the "gateway" that leads down to the path around the outside of the Tomb of Theos's pyramid area...with the countdown at around five minutes to go.

So, we stood there - but unfortunately we were glitched, probably because Twisted were registered to take part in both that castle siege and the Merac one, scheduled for six hours later.  Participants in the castle siege have a circle beneath them, a bit like a clock face - and some of us had this and some of us didn't.  As guild master SacSalop had some things he could do, and he soon worked out that we were definitely glitched - nobody could kill us, unless we went through the gateway, and we couldn't kill anyone.

We stood around for a while, and could see a few people fighting; they tended to respawn where we were.  The sorcerer fragiii stood near us for a while, I don't know what he was doing; GoksReturn of the DeadlyRebeLs gave a little pep talk to some defenders... but it was all very restful, as far as we were concerned.

SacSalop decided to relocate to the Auzura-3 Randol arena, so I went there too, occasionally stepping into the arena, but not fighting; a couple of guild members temporarily left, so that they could battle others, especially SacSalop, but it wasn't really any substitute for deadly battles to wrest control of the Tomb from one guild, or indeed help DeadlyRebeLs retain their ownership, which I think they did.  Glitchiness continued, and going into merchant mode, for example, was extremely slow - and it was impossible to look at what other people were selling, apparently because of the castle siege registration, though at that stage I don't know which siege, Dratan or Merac, was responsible for that.

Somehow, with a little looking through Roy's merchant mart,  logging-out time was reached, so MistressDomina said goodnight and logged out - and RedRackham went to join CaptainScarlet for a little late-night pet-levelling, before it was time to close things down for the night.  Hopefully next week SacSalop will have got things sorted out so that we can actually get involved in the castle siege in Dratan...and Rage will get her first proper taste of the PvP side of the game.

The Tomb Raider - October 10th

RedRackham and CaptainScarlet had ninety minutes or so of pet-levelling on Sunday morning, before MistressDomina logged in, and headed for the Tomb of Theos.  Various Twisted (guild) people were online, and, while we'd not won Merac Castle in the early hours of the morning, we had at least not been glitched, and gone through to the second round of the contest safely, I was told.

MistressDomina reached the Tomb's entrance, and checked the Condition, to see if it was 100% or 90%...only to find that it was down to 50%, which was a bit of a surprise, as the new oweners of the Castle and Tomb were the same as last week's owners.  So, I bade farewell to the Twisties - and my level 94 cleric Kaerella logged in over on Cariae-4, finding that the Tomb there was on a much more reasonable 90%

Kaerella was, therefore, joined by my phoenix ranger-rogue RedRydeR, and they both went in, in a combat party, and headed for the room of ancient grey mummies, which was not being used...except by the mummies, that is.  We settled in there - neither of my level 94 characters used experience boosters, but they both used platinum blessed irises, while Red used a platinum adrenaline and Kae used a crit potion.

Before too long the level 99 specialist sorcerer BadFairy arrived, and asked if Kaerella was the Kaerella from the shoutbox, and when I assured her it was, identified herself as Tuffsen.  She joined our combat party, and all went smoothly...at least until a pair of night shadows turned up, which made the place a bit crowded.  One of them did ask for Kae's Charm buff...there was a slight pause, but when "pls" was added, the buff was applied.

BadFairy left before I did, and indeed by the end Kae and Red again had the room to themselves.  I did continue for a little while after the second pbis ended, so that in all Kaerella went up 13.26%, while Red, killing more quickly, went up 19.41%.  Their drakes added 2480 and 2526 pet points respectively, and they each added 20 skill points.

By the time I was ready to start an afternoon session, the Auzura Tomb of Theos had been set, and was at 90%, so this time MistressDomina and her fellow Twisted member, as of yesterday, Rage, went in on Auzura-4.  They couldn't fight within compass-range, as Rage would have taken half of the skill points MD earned, so Rage went off to the main anubis spear man room instead, while MistressDomina went the other way, to the ancient grey mummies room.

Rage didn't use any potions or boosters; she is about my only main character not to have a suction of life-based accessory, but I found that, fighting the sphinx fighters, she didn't lose any health.  A couple of times her drake got attacked, so some green herb leaves got used, but otherwise there were no expenses, beyond the cost of admission, and over the two hours or so Rage picked up nine level 97 weapons, which sold to the npc merchant back in town for almost 4.5 million gold.

MistressDomina didn't have as straightforward a time; her first hour went pretty well, with 72 skill point boosters used, to gain her 399 skill points plus 1.07% and 1060 pet points - but the second hour saw her only able to use 52 skill point boosters, for 299 skill points plus 0.65% and 960 pet points...and that was because the specialist sorcerer fragiii came along, and immediately began to ks deliberately and repeatedly, attacking the mummy I was already fighting, apparently because MistressDomina was a member of the Twisted guild.  I mentioned it on the guild chat channel, and our guild master SacSalop came along - it seems that fragiii has some sort of grievance with a few twisted people.  SacSalop told me  to change server, so I moved across to Auzura-6, and found a solo party...I hurried back to the ancient grey mummies to finish that "power hour" and its expensive potions, but it meant that I missed out on a level three ignition, as well as losing time and the opportunity to use some boosters.

Fragiii did move across and discover Rage, and ks her briefly too before noticing that she wasn't using pots, so ks-ing actually helped her as it brought drops more quickly.  SacSalop then advised people to be on PvP-enabled subservers, so that they could retaliate if fragiii came to ks them - but as  by then MD had reached the Auzura-6 Tomb, I wasn't going to move again.   It seems that Sac's advice rather played into fragiii's hands, as he had a higher-level friend, around level 130, and various Twisted members, mainly in the Tomb, had their levelling disrupted, either getting killed or doing enough killing to get themselves red names, so that they had to take steps to get white again.

The details are sketchy, but it seems that a fight in the arena with Twisted member PunkCharming led to a fight outside the west gate of Randol, and, however that went, it ended with PunkCharming threatening to put fragiii on Twisted's "kill on sight" list...

After the early evening food break MistressDomina managed to fit in two more power hours, but I think the Condition of the Tomb had declined a bit, so MD wasn't hitting as hard as usual.  The first hour used 66 skill point boosters, for just 366 skill points, along with 0.69% and 1051 pet points.  The room did get a bit busy, so that while there was always a new ancient grey mummy waiting for me, it was sometimes right across the room or even in one of the corridors; luckily as the Sunday Quiz approached people started to leave, so that I could use my third-stage ignition and a couple of earlier stage ones before the pssp ran out.  Even with that though I only got through 65 more skill point boosters, for 367 skill points, which leads me to suspect that I may have been too distracted by other things (such as the guild chat reports of what fragiii was up to) to click a new booster a time or three... 0.76% experience and 1049 pet points were gained too.

So, those weren't the most productive sp-farming hours ever, though MistressDomina did go up in all by 3.27%, 4132 pet points, and 1431 skill points over her four hours - a couple of hundred more skill points would have been better!

It was MistressDomina rather than MistressDomino who accompanied Kaerella to the Sunday Quiz on Auzura-2; Ratel was there too, and a few of his other characters.  He was saying that he is currently only able to log in to play at weekends, which is a shame.  I was slightly worried as things had started to seem a bit laggy, with skills a bit slow to trigger, and text a bit slow to appear in chat, but the quiz ran smoothly, and I didn't even see any complaints in the shoutbox afterwards about disconnections, or expulsions of people who had definitely been on the correct side.  We all got our prizes, and MistressDomina traded her goodies, including loot and a new supply of item drop boosters, across to MistressDomino, who went into merchant mode.

There wasn't time for any more adventuring, so RedRackham went off to Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 for a little more pet-levelling, which at least got his drake a quarter of the way through level 41 before closedown.

Blazing Levels - October 11th

MistressDomino was in merchant mode overnight, and managed to do some useful selling, mainly of item drop boosters, which seem to have defied the general trend and gone up in value.  So, after rather a gap she does now have enough gold to perhaps buy a better armour piece for MistressDomina...but I'd better hold back, I think, with a view to getting her the 105/107 set, as I did over on Cariae with Barbarienne.  And for that, rather more gold will be needed I'm sure, sigh...looking for the "Orlwin" set in Roy's merchant mart, buying either boots or gloves, blue-named, evasion sealed, and +13, would take almost all my gold...and there was no sign of the other pieces at such a level.

RedRackham was able to do a couple of hours of pet-levelling with his death mask lancer as well up until after coffee.  And then it was time for one of my big power-levels, which I tend to do sometimes on a Monday.  MistressBlaze, my "deputy" wizard, had reached level 67, and was wearing my best 70/72 armour set, so she and my level 93 rogue Rage headed for the entrance to the Tomb of Theos.

The Tomb's condition on Auzura was at 80%, which was slightly lower than I'd have liked, but still do-able, so my duo went in.  MistressBlaze added the 24-hour platinum refining stones to the pieces of her armour that needed it, either +1 or +2 ones, to get the whole set up to +15, for the extra defence, and added a +1 to her weapon as well to make it +16 temporarily.  She headed for the ancient grey mummies (and yes, the mummies do use the English spelling of "grey") - and, as she would have "capped" her experience gain if she'd been in compass range, Rage headed for the anubis spear man room again, to fight the sphinx fighters there.

Rage had a pretty easy session there, the only danger really is of a fighter or two spawning too close to her and attacking her drake when I'm not looking, but the drake survived, even if I did have to use a few green herb leaves.  By lunch time Rage had added 5.23% and 8 skill points, plus 1810 pet points, and picked up a couple of weapons and a knight's shield.

MistressBlaze didn't have too easy a time of it with the ancient grey mummies, though, even with the +15 armour set; she needed to do a fair bit of running away, while triggering a health potion, to start off with.  I'd stocked up on mana pots, knowing how many MistressDomina gets through, but I hadn't increased MB's supply of health potions - though Rage had plenty of spares if necessary.

Still, despite the time spent running rather faster than a mummy can shamble, during the first hour, with the usual selection of potions, plus a power potion for its extra attack and defence, MistressBlaze did manage to use 23 experience boosters, which meant that she went up from level 67 to level 72, adding 507.21%, plus 784 pet points.  I managed to fit in a second hour, and another 23 boosters got her into level 76, adding 420.35%, plus 855 pet points.  Most of the eleven to twelve o'clock dungeon time hour, with its 50% experience boost, was in that second hour, but of course each level needs more experience in total than the one before.

The Twisted guild's least favourite specialist sorcerer, fragiii, did arrive in the "AGM" room during that session, so it was lucky I was playing Discipline guild member MistressBlaze, and not MistressDomina, who presumably would have got ks'd.  Rage reported his arrival on guild chat, and would have come along to ask fragiii if the difference of opinion was unresolved, and if so should she ks him?  But for that I wanted to wait until MB's power hour was over...and PunkCharming, who apparently was nearby, came along and handled the ks-ing side of things right away.  The sorcerer fragiii had started an hour-long pssp to farm skill points, which was a bit strange, didn't he think Twisted people would be on the lookout for him...my theory would be that he is trying to get together his own selection of screenshots showing him as the victim of harassment, but as he'd told SacSalop of his ks-ing plans yesterday, and Sac had carefully taken screenshots, I can't see that he would get very far with trying to get our people into trouble.

SacSalop himself has started a phoenix character called SacAttack, who joined the guild today - another sorcerer.  He asked if anyone had a mount he could borrow, so I've loaned him the horse that my level 31 healer Memree was riding.  RedRackham then traded across the level 37 pale blue horse he'd been holding to Memree, so she now has a pale blue mount, which I think looks good for a healer.  Later, MistressDomino passed a blue pan flute across to Red, so he now, courtesy of Lorraine and Archaeologist Jajan, has a little pale blue pony, ready to be worked on when he has finished with his current drake.

MistressBlaze was back in action just before the start of the two to three o'clock dungeon time, and managed to use 33 experience boosters during her third power hour, which moved her on to level 81, gaining 447.60%, plus 1023 pet points - I had more health potions now, and generally was able to avoid having to run away, which must have made the night shadow Domz a bit dizzy at times.  He certainly had a marathon session, he was there before I arrived, and continued up to the early evening food break.  He completely filled his inventory, so that even before lunch he wasn't picking up the armour that got dropped for him...I picked it up instead.  I did try to ask him about it, but never got any response, I assume he doesn't speak English.  As MistressBlaze was too low-level, it seemed, to get drops there, that was rather useful.

The second hour of the afternoon was a bit different, as MistressBlaze was now within party range of Rage, so she  stood in a corner, with just a platinum blessed iris (of the level 61-90 type) running, while Rage, with a small crit potion, handled the killing.  So, it was a pretty economical hour, costing very little - though MB only added 57.15%, moving on into level 82.  Rage's higher level, though, did mean that she started to get more than 1 skill experience per kill, and added 2 skill points.

Back in Randol, MistressBlaze was able to spend almost all her skill points.  On the passive skills side there was level 7 of Secret Study, for 250 sp, increasing her magical attack by 6, and the second level of Mage Armor 2, for 300 sp, increasing her mana regeneration by 2.  I decided to get her all five available levels of the Chaos Nova "area of effect" attack skill, as well, which has a power of 560% (Terra Spear has 550%, on a single target as opposed to up to ten of them), though it does increase its victims' attack power by 70% for thirty seconds, if they are still alive.  That cost 1450 skill points, as well as 3.5 million gold.

Rage had been back with the sphinx fighter for the first afternoon hour, mainly at that first bend of the corridor after the spear man room, though I ignored the anubis spear men and concentrated on the fighters.  As she wasn't using a platinum blessed iris or boosters, her afternoon session just gained her 5.07%, 7 skill points, and 2065 pet points

Once the loot had been sold, MistressBlaze returned to the ancient grey mummies.  As the food break had been a little early, I was able to get into action in time for the five until six o'clock dungeon time hour, so, using 35 experience boosters, MB went up three more levels, 379.75% in all.   4 skill points were earned, and 1081 pet points.  Perhaps because the Tomb was on 90% Condition now, and MB had her enhanced skills and levels, the fighting seemed easier now, and the 10% suction of life MistressBlaze has, albeit from two 5% accessories, seemed to keep her healthy a lot more of the time, so the use of health potions was much reduced.

Rage, on level 93, had waited outside, just supplying the solo party, for the first few minutes, until MB reached level 83; then we changed the party to a combat type one, which you can only do if members are within ten levels of each other, and Rage went into the Tomb, and joined MD in the AGM room, fighting the mummies, this time without even a crit potion.  The combat party boost increased MB's experience per kill, and she got some experience from Rage's kills too, and vice versa.

A second hour got MistressBlaze to level 87, which was our target - high enough to wear the 85/87 armour set, and indeed borrow MD's level 85 staff, but low enough to go along to mid-level events such as mad monster spawns.  34 boosters were used, to gain 215.39%, plus 5 more skill points and 1028 pet points.  Rage's evening session brought her a further 4.38%, which took her into level 94; she also got 9 skill points, and 1745 pet points.  Reaching level 94 means that she has a new quest - to kill 50 sphinx fighters.  That sounds like something she may well do!  She has no new skill level to learn until she reaches 98, though -  Controlled Shooting level 6.

I was sorry to miss the return of the "Dratan Run" event on Auzura-6 at six o'clock, UK time, but I was still busy with MistressBlaze then.  The in-game announcements were the usual ones, about following the line of giant soldier-statues and fighting the monsters along the way...but at half past six there was another announcement, that it had been glitched and so would be restarted... followed later by an announcement that, due to technical difficulties, the event had been cancelled on all servers, with double experience and skill exp brought in instead.  Which was a shame, as I'd been looking forward to taking Barbarienne along to the Cariae version at eight o'clock.

I had various things to catch up with, including this blog, so didn't actually make any use of the happy hour... RedRackham did at least get some more pet-levelling done, on his drake rather than on the new pony, and got the drake past halfway in level 41.  So, the day ended rather quietly... but the mission, to get MistressBlaze up from level 67 to 87, was safely accomplished, with the bonus of Rage levelling up too.

The Long Run - October 12th

It seemed time to investigate the newly-revamped Guardian system, so this morning after coffee my level 10 knight on Auzura, SirGalahad, went out into the Dratan desert, and added Shuraine's oasis and the entrance to Prokion Temple to his memory scroll.  And then he headed on down south, followed by a turn towards the west, past a lot of hungry-looking silver foxes, death goddesses, and goblin scouts, moving across just to the north of the Forgotten Temple.  Like almost everything in Dratan, these creatures were aggressive, so it was a matter of looking for gaps and running.  It would probably have been a good idea if SirGalahad had taken some health potions with him, as he took a few hits, and had to stop occasionally, in areas between the groups of monsters, to regenerate his health.  This route avoided giants and, more importantly, the masters of secret technique, but it took me through groups of ravenous larvae, and on to the dragons, where SirGalahad did get instantly killed by the fiery breath of one of them.

Still, I'd been careful to use a memory scroll every few minutes, so not much progress was lost, and once Gal's health had regenerated, I teleported back out, and tried again, and, although there are a lot of dragons, this time I managed to stay just far enough away from each of them, and the goblin commanders, and got through that area.  The arcane golems were pretty close together too, but I don't think they have a very long aggro range, so SirGalahad was able to get past them - and onto the path leading up into the grassy southwest corner of the Dratan map.

The various kinds of wafe are, luckily, not aggressive, although they are protective of each other, so the next stage was easy, and luckily the route I took didn't involve trying to get past any sphinx fighters or sphinx "speer" men.  It's actually quite hard to find the correct way to get to the entrance of the Tomb of Theos, but I've done it enough times in the past to know where the gap in the wall is...and so, at level 10, SirGalahad reached the Tomb entrance and Tomb Guard Atum, and got the location onto his memory scroll.

The next thing was for my level 101 archer (Auzura) Kaerella to log in on my main computer, with SirGalahad over on the older one.  Kae enrolled Gal as an apprentice in the Guardian system, and then hastily removed herself from the list.  They made a party, teleported out to the Tomb, and Kae killed a few screaming zombies.  The first kill took SirGalahad from the top of level 10 to level 14...and nine more kills got him to level 20, after which he moved back to the entrance, to allow Kaerella to kill just a few more, before they left.  SirGalahad had safely received his event weapon, the "light of odin" sword, which now comes at +15...and he'd got the new +15 dual swords equivalent too.

SirGalahad used his memory scroll to move across to Prokion Temple, and Kaerella rode out there too.  I'd heard that guardians got skill exp too when their apprentice fought, if they were on the same map, and I found that this was indeed true - though I found it was never more than 100 skill experience, so Kae would have had to hang around for quite a while to get an entire skill point.  Kaerella didn't, actually, have to be inside the Temple to get that small amount of skill exp, outside, or back in Dratan City, worked just as well... but as a cunning way to gain extra skill points for Barbarienne or Keerella, becoming a Guardian doesn't look practical unfortunately.

Reaching level 20 meant that SirGalahad had a special day-long buff adding to his skill exp gain, and fighting the low-level temple monsters meant that the ignition "swoosh" filled up quickly, and it wasn't long before level four was reached - which, while he did take damage, meant that Gal could one-hit level 23 and 25 orcs, and added 30 sp while it lasted.

Tuffsen appeared in the forum shoutbox, and I mentioned that I'd been too late making space in (Cariae) Kaerella's Friends list at the end of our recent team-up...she said she was on Cariae-4, so I logged my level 94 cleric Kaerella in there, and added her sorcerer BadFairy to my list.  And when she mentioned that she had Recall and that she was the only player in the ancient grey mummies room, well, it seemed like a good idea, so Kaerella, and my level  94 rogue RedRydeR, joined the party, and were teleported in.

We actually had two clerics in the party, as MissLegendKiller, a couple of levels lower than Kaerella, was also there - newly arrived, as back in Randol she'd buffed Kae with Charm, and Kae had retaliated by buffing her with it.  She fought for a while, and was, I discovered, Tuffsen's boyfriend, first encountered in-game but now in real life too.

The session continued after lunch, and Kae and Red used a platinum blessed iris over the two to three dungeon time hour - and indeed over the five to six hour as well, after the early evening food break.  BadFairy took some time afk to do her laundry, with her pet polar bear, Homer, gaining experience.

We did have a slight confrontation with the night shadow Margadus, who was, Tuffsen/BadFairy felt, taking more than a fair share of the local mummies as a mob to use his area of effect skills on.  That was fine while BadFairy was afk, especially as RedRydeR was away too (In the shoutbox, LichDemon had asked me to help him transfer a pet drake between two of his characters, which meant I logged in my level 2 mage Keerella on Hatzring-6 briefly - and after that, SirGalahad took the opportunity to do some more work in Prokion Temple on Auzura-6)...Kaerella had enough mummies, and gave Margadus the Charm buff a couple of times...he mentioned he was level 108, so no wonder he could deal with a whole group at once.  When BadFairy was back, and was able to Recall RedRydeR to the group, it made things a little difficult.

BadFairy asked him a number of times to leave us more mummies, and to stick with the corridor ones basically, but he felt that the room was designed for mobbing.  In the end, BadFairy recalled her boyfriend to us... this time as MrLegendKiller, a level 156 night shadow, ranked fifth on the server apparently.  Margadus got the hint, and changed subserver.  "Wow, I don't think I've been in a party with such a high-level character before, except solo parties", I commented, before noticing the dire effect his level in the party was having on Kae and Red's experience and skill exp per kill.  We quickly left that party, and made our own, which BadFairy soon joined, once the drama was over.

RedRydeR had managed to reach level 95; before her break she'd gained 11.11%, 9 skill points, and 1834 pet points, and in her second part of the session added 20.90%, 37 skill points, and 4729 pet points.  The eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour had been her third using a platinum blessed iris...but, as she was getting rather ahead of Kaerella, Kae used not just a pbi, but a platinum adrenaline and a crit potion, plus experience boosters... 33 in the hour.  I noticed that, with those two performance-enhancing pots, her kill rate was, well, roughly similar to RedRydeR's without them...

Kae got 11 skill points and 5.81%, plus 2288 pet points, in the first part of the rather lengthy session - and the second part, including the full "power hour", brought in 39.89%, plus 37 skill points and 3736 pet points.  Things did change from time to time; at one stage Kaerella actually equipped her noobie polar bear and got it almost 40% of the way through its first level, and while I was catching up on emails, and doing a little bit of blog work, RedRydeR kept going while Kaerella, who needed more care, stopped.  That probably made up for Kaerella continuing while Red was logged out... but Red definitely kills faster, even with Kae using those 33 boosters in the power hour, Kae ended up only 12.69% closer to Red's level than she had been at the start...

Return to the Castle - October 13th

After last night's maintenance downtime, the first thing I needed to do today was check on the Patch Notes - only to find that nothing had changed.  "The Aeria team will be meeting with their developers all next week to determine our strategy for the remainder of the year and into 2011", we were told.  A second item just assured us that "New content and bug fix requests are being worked on right now!"  There seemed to be no new patch at all to download.

After coffee, SirGalahad, who was at the start of level 22, borrowed the (generally) +12 25/27 knight armour set from SirPerivale - he traded across the single "light of odin" +15 sword in return, since Gal just uses the dual swords.  Then, assured that he was probably the best-armoured character of his level around, he got his Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-6.

It didn't take very long to get 225 skill points; I'd wanted to give him a morning session, while the special 24-hour buff for reaching level 20 remained.  SirGalahad was able to fight the mummies and orc soldiers, and even the orc fighters, without losing health, and picked up plenty of loot.  Then, when he'd reached 99% of his level, he returned to town and spend 223 of his 225 skill points on assorted skills, mainly the passive ones.  Back in Prokion Temple, it was time for Gal to remove his armour and do 34 "suicide runs", for 3% death penalty a go, to get him back to the start of the level.

As usual when doing suicides like that, many of the deaths had SirGalahad respawning where he died rather than in safety, but a couple of time he respawned in the foundations of the place, ie below the temple proper, and had to use a scroll to return to town.  Once though he didn't quite respawn there - just as the "respawn where he fell" glitch has him apparently back safely in the hallway until he moves, he was down below, until he re-died, and respawned safely in the hallway.

SirGalahad returned to Randol to get the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff again; luckily the ignition percentage seems unaffected by dying, so he was, once safely back in action in Prokion Temple, able to use that before long again.  As the dungeon time hour had started, with 50% extra experience, this time he only earned 140 skill points, but back in town that was enough to get Divine Shield to its maximum, and start a few other skills too.  Then it was time for 34 more deaths...

By then Tuffsen had been in touch, so Kaerella on Auzura, who got a couple of Guardian-type skill points by just hanging around in Dratan City giving SirGalahad his solo party, logged out, and RedRydeR logged in on Cariae-4 and, after selling her loot, registered for the combat party, and was recruited by BadFairy and teleported to the ancient grey mummies.  As she doesn't lose health with the mummies, Red was able to start playing there while SirGalahad was still in action in Prokion Temple.  He finished his suicide runs back to the start of level 22 again, and was able to log out.

Kaerella on Cariae was then able to log in and join the combat party, though before long I asked if Keerella could replace her briefly, to pass her 10% suction of life accessory over to Red, who could then pass it on to Kae when she returned - so, courtesy of BadFairy's Party Recall card, that was done, and doubling Kaerella's suction of life capability certainly helped to keep her healthy for the afternoon.

Kaerella did actually do a "power hour" during the two to three o'clock dungeon time; she used a platinum adrenaline and a large crit potion as well as the platinum blessed iris, and 32 experience boosters; 27.88% experience was gained during that, along with 9 skill points and 1070 pet points, getting her nicely into level 95, though she was still 5.25% behind RedRydeR.

RedRydeR did move further ahead during the afternoon, as there were times when I could keep her fighting but not Kae, either because I was using the main computer for other things, or because there weren't really enough mummies free for her to be able to fight.  And then Kaerella logged out entirely at about ten to six - by then her total experience gain for the day was 30.89%, plus 33 skill points and 3030 pet points - which were enough to get her drake, SirFrancis, into level 51.

The reason that Kaerella had to log out was that at six the "Storm the Castle" event on Auzura-6 was due to start, out by Merac Castle, so Rage was required for that.  The Twisted guild chat seemed pretty quiet, but I gave my apologies for my recent absence, and headed for the Castle - which I did have on Rage's memory scroll.  I got there at about five to, and there were already dozens of people waiting.  It was lucky that I was early, and had the location memorised, as I almost immediately got a "send error report?" crash, and so had to restart the game, log Rage back in, and hurry back down.

The event, hosted by [GM]Darasuum, was a slightly bare-bones affair, with just the regular monsters - no flutons in the throne room, or invisible dragons in the inner courtyard.  With the number of people we had there, it was all over by seven minutes past, and we were instructed to gather round the GM, for the traditional loot drop.  There were so many people that I didn't manage to grab much, but three item drop boosters certainly made my trip worthwhile.  Besides, a well-done "StC" is one of my favourite events...

There was still plenty of time before the Cariae "StC" at eight, so SirGalahad was able to log in and head for Prokion Temple on Auzura-6 and fight the mummies, orc soldiers, and indeed some orc fighters - and get up to 99% of his level again - gaining 165 skill points this time, which were soon spent, back in Randol, on various skills.  Again lots of loot was picked up...

The Cariae "Storm the Castle" was slightly different, though basically the same.  This time, there hadn't been any advance in-game GM announcements about it when Keerella arrived, having rode down on her white stallion from town, and the place was deserted.  I mentioned in the shoutbox that there hadn't been any announcements for the event, and with suspicious speed an in-game announcement appeared, so I think some GM was monitoring the shoutbox.  The GM didn't actually appear, I'd guess it was probably AwesomeSauce, or maybe Yatou, and this time we got more announcements as we went along.

The monsters spawned while Keerella was still the only one there, so I attacked a male assassinbug, bringing the whole swarm in on me, and used area of effect spells and so on to get rid of them, before going for the thorny mantises.  Luckily by then a night shadow had arrived, and other people soon turned up as well.  We got hints that the other bridge into the castle area also had monsters, so Kee was among the people who hurried down to deal with them too, before moving on into the outer courtyard and its anubis spear men, hell-otuu, dark harpies, and so on.

By ten past seven the castle had been stormed, and all the monsters vanquished.  The GM was ready to spawn the loot, and perhaps a fluton for us to play with, but, after some frantic riding-around between the possible spawning points, "What a time for my macros to fail" was what we were told... and then that Darasuum was coming in to save the day by spawning the loot for us the old-fashioned way. 

There seemed to be slightly more loot this time, perhaps because there were less people there... I think I got three item drop boosters again, but a few of the other goodies as well. such as the large attack and defence potions and skill point boosters.  We got our fluton - and we also got a patriarch botis to bash.  So, it was a slightly more substantial castle-storming, even if we did have an anxious wait for our reward.

SirGalahad ran down to Maargadum Jail to get that onto his memory scroll, since doing suicide runs there doesn't get you stuck in its foundations, like Prokion.  I did get re-acquainted with another bug, though, once when Gal died he didn't get the pop-up window to click to resurrect, he just stayed cold on the ground and I had to relog and return to finish the runs and get Gal back to the start of his level.  Gal picked up some unwanted loot dropped by the spike canines and dire spike canines, which included, I saw, a pair of rogue level 52 boots, +2, so the Jail does still drop ready-plussed items after the recent drop changes. 

As usual I finished a bit early on a Wednesday evening, though RedRackham did some pet-levelling.  SirGalahad has a level 1 pony, so I tried a little pet-levelling with a spike canine, since he was in Maargadum Jail already, before Red took over, and as long as Gal had his shield equipped, it worked okay, but he didn't stay long.  SirGalahad also used the six tool aids he'd acquired to farm some green herb leaves and quality stones, back in Juno.

RedRydeR had continued to fight the ancient grey mummies until almost 8:30pm, UK time, and her drake too had managed to level up, reaching 43.  Without a "power hour" or any pots or boosters, today she added 16.45%, plus 56 skill points and 8120 pet points - which means that in all, I guess, she played for almost eight hours...and is back to more than 12% ahead of Kaerella.

Temple and Tomb  - October 14th

I didn't hear from Tuffsen during the morning, so SirGalahad was able to do a few sessions in Prokion Temple on Auzura-6; the second time, though, I didn't notice that he'd reached the top of level 22, and he levelled up - but level 23 is just as good as level 22 for skill point farming.  Slightly better in some ways, since it means Gal is the same level as the orc soldiers, so they give him the maximum possible skill exp per kill.  Normally the maximum skill exp per kill in Prokion Temple is 5,500, or double that with Elizabeth's Enhancement, but for some reason SirGalahad was then getting not 11,000 but 11,550, an extra 5%.  When I got the ignition system to level 4, while it lasted, and while I could find orc soldiers to slay, I was getting 25% more, for 14,437 skill exp per kill.

Anyway, the amount of skill points SirGalahad got per visit did vary, mainly depending on whether the hour of "dungeon time", with its 50% extra experience, was running, though also affected by any ignition sequences.  The double-length session, including the level-up, got 298 skill points, while subsequent sessions added 220 and 176.  SirGalahad was able to finish maximising all his general and passive skills; he is also now a fully-qualified miner, with some expertise in herb farming, and minor levels of some of the other "special" skills too.

Kaerella provided the solo party and, with further skill exp benefits from SirGalahad's work, while she just stood around in Dratan City, has in all gained 9 skill points.

By mid-afternoon, though, it was time to head over to Cariae-4, and for a change, and because a "happy hour" was due in the evening, with double skill exp and experience, this time it was my level 100 mage and my level 110 archer, Keerella and Barbarienne, who went along to the ancient grey mummies.  It wasn't very long before BadFairy arrived - since she is now level 100 too, she was able to join the combat party, though, over the course of the rest of the afternoon, and the evening, she was away from her keyboard more often than not.  With a combat party, of course, that is not a problem.   Her second-stage polar bear reached level 49...and the last time she checked, had got 11% into its new level, the final one before it can be "evolved" into the biggest type of bear.

So, Keerella and Barbarienne fought the ancient grey mummies, with the usual food break.  BadFairy's friend the night shadow xShadowWarriorx was around for some of the time; early on he was in the party, despite being level 103, when you'd think he'd want to be solo for the maximum amount of skill points; he then went off drop hunting, but was back in the later part of the evening, in the corridor.  The mob-happy night shadow Margadus was also back, just for an hour, but slightly more considerate of other people's needs to keep busy, though he still got on BadFairy's nerves when she stopped being afk for a few minutes.  He's approaching the top of level 108 now, so won't be able to get useful skill exp from the mummies for much longer.

At level 110, Barbarienne certainly wouldn't have got much in the way of skill points without the combat party.  The ancient grey mummies are blue-named for her, so she didn't get ignition, or pet experience, but she added 8.32% and 81 skill points.  Keerella did reach level 4 ignition eventually, but even fully-buffed the boost only lasted for around three kills.  Kee ended the evening up by 5.31%, as she kills rather more slowly than Barb, with the same 81 skill points, and 5826 pet points for her drake, Greedo.

So, that is all there is to report on today.  The shoutbox provided some interest along the way; I do think the GMs keep a closer eye on it than is generally realised.  The "happy hour" was scheduled just to last from six to eight, UK time, with a second two hours at a more US-friendly time after a five-hour gap, but they'd forgotten to switch it off, until someone in the forum shoutbox insisted on asking how long it was going on, and the gamesage finally had to say that it had already gone 50 minutes beyond its scheduled end time.  It got switched off mere seconds later.

To the Tomb - October 15th

RedRackham went down to Maargadum Jail's fifth floor before breakfast, to do some more pet-levelling; his drake was moving nicely on through level 41.  After coffee I logged Kaerella in on Cariae, and had a look through the available necklace accessories in Roy's merchant mart, since having her share an accessory with Kee is not very convenient.  I ended up, on page 15, finding a Necklace of Earth with 10% suction of life, 5% suction of mana, 58 hit points, and 30 increase to her critical hit, being sold by Jloosduinen for 90 million, which was almost a twin of the one Keerella uses, except that that one has hit rate instead of critical...and, way back when such accessories were fairly new to the game, rather more expensive.

So, I bought that necklace; Kaerella now has the option to use that one and her less valuable necklace (physical fortitude 8, suction of life 5%, hit points 58, and hit rate 93) with a single stone of shadow (swiftness of refexes 12, close range evasion 112, long range evasion 93), or just the one necklace and two stones of shadow, if she needs to be more evasive.

Tuffsen wasn't around, so SirGalahad was able to do a few sp-gathering trips out to Prokion Temple on Auzura-6 again.  he managed to get 201 skill points while getting through 99% of level 23 on his first trip, so then returned to Randol, spent the points on assorted special skills, and lost the 99% experience by getting killed by a degraded golien commander in Ebony Mine 33 or 34 times.  The next mini-session in Prokion Temple was during dungeon time, so he just got 150 skill points, but that was enough for a few more skill levels.  After lunch, getting the whole thing done before the two to three o'clock dungeon time, he got 216 more skill points, and managed to spend them all.  He is making good headway with getting his special skills done, but there are plenty more yet.

SirGalahad hadn't been partied with my archer Kaerella this time, so he didn't get that extra 5% skill exp, just the usual 11,000 skill exp per orc soldier; instead he had been partied with RedRackham, so Red had a nice long session, lasting until two o'clock was approaching.  He then had to log out, so that the afternoon team-up could begin.

Over on Cariae-4, Kaerella and RedRydeR logged on, and, finding the Tomb of Theos at a 90% condition, hurried to the ancient grey mummies room, arriving a couple of minutes after the start of dungeon time, to find the level 103 titan BRA1N already in action, accompanied of course by his pink drake P1NKY.  We swung into action in the normal way there; a friend of BRA1N's, an archer called NaOmi, was also busy in the corridor for much of the time.  Kaerella was of course generous with her Encourage buff.  Eventually BadFairy arrived, after getting in touch to check that I was there.  She had managed to exchange an "epic experience scroll" for a useful supply of experience boosters; they may allow their user to get 600% rather than 300% experience gain for an hour, but do seem wildly over-valued.

Kaerella did a "power hour" over the five to six o'clock dungeon time, just managing to use 32 experience boosters, though RedRydeR did have to help kill the last one before her pbi ran out.  That hour gained her 26.23% in level 95, 8 skill points, and 1078 pet points, and meant that she overtook RedRyder, percentage-wise, though afterwards, with her faster rate of killing, Red gradually began to close the gap.  BadFairy herself did a "power hour" from eight to nine, with her last pbi and 46 of her newly-acquired boosters, moving her on 20% in level 100, meaning that BadFairy, Tuffsen's phoenix character, has now overtaken her previous main, a titan.

BRA1N went off to fight the anubis spear men for that hour, to move himself on almost to level 104, and then returned, and this time joined the combat party.  After around 45 minutes my two characters finished their work, and retired to the corner where BadFairy was afk, leaving him to do all the work, and supply us with a little more experience and skill exp - while our presence in the combat party boosted his experience gain.

By the end of the evening, Kaerella had gone up by, in all, 33.22%, while, without that power hour, RedRydeR had earned 15.38%.  We had had at least two hours of double pet experience, so SirFrancis had gained 9,831 pet points, while RedRydeR's drake had added 10,296, as Red had had a shorter food break than Kae.  Red and Kae had each gained a useful 58 skill points.

Just the Tomb - October 16th

Tuffsen pounced on me early in the morning, and bundled Kaerella and RedRydeR into the Cariae-4 Tomb of Theos, without me having a chance to give SirGalahad a trip or two to Prokion Temple - and it was probably just as well she did, as we soon discovered that double experience and skill exp was running, which, while slightly useful for Gal, is even better for my pair of level 95-ers.

We settled into the usual routine of fighting the ancient grey mummies, though Tuffsen, or BadFairy, did have some baking to do, so was away from her keyboard for a while.  The titan BRA1N joined the party, which was good, as his higher level, 104 now, helped to raise the average skill exp per kill.  The archer NaOmi was also with us for most of the time; the level 105 royal knight butcht declined to join us, fighting in the corridor, he probably got slightly more skill exp staying separate.

As often happens, both my characters got disconnected just after eleven, UK time; BadFairy nearly disconnected too, but managed to stay in, and was able to Recall us both back to her once we had logged back in.  That is always a dangerous time of day, as the servers do a back-up procedure then.

With her new stash of experience boosters, BadFairy did tend to make use of the dungeon time "power hours", but since they weren't affected by the double experience, I stayed clear of those - after all, with the combat party, the basic 24 million experience per mummy was often as high as 85 million, which seemed quite enough.  Tuffy's bargain when selling her epic experience scrolls apparently included some platinum blessed irises, apparently, but her friend hadn't yet come through with those, so I loaned her one for the evening session.

Tuffsen did relay some bad news a friend had passed to her - the Dratan Castle Siege was going on above ground (well, over on Cariae-1), and things were going badly for the current owners, the Coalition, who had been so good at keeping the Tomb's Condition up at 90% or 100% since they took over.  This time, the bully-boys of Vendetta were back in the ascendant, and were spawn-camping where the embattled Coalition were respawning, to pick them off one by one.  It looked as if, for the next week at least, there wouldn't be any opportunity to do any levelling in the Cariae Tomb...but luckily the Coalition staged a late rally, and managed to win.  xShadowWarriorx, the night shadow and a friend of Tuffy's, fought next to us later in the evening, and mentioned that he'd been there in the Coalition, and had taken screenshots of Vendetta people using Recall to get their people to the spawning point, something which is definitely not allowed.

So, disaster was averted.  I commented that the idea of the siege-winning guild controlling the "Condition" of the Tomb of Theos had been just about reasonable when it started, as the Tomb was where the very top-most levellers played.  But now, with the level cap so much higher, they are in the spirit caves, etc, and in Mondshine, where nobody has to worry how the toughness of the monsters might vary from one day to the next.

Anyway, Kaerella and RedRydeR slogged on.  The double experience and skill exp abruptly ended at approaching seven o'clock, UK time, which in theory was about halfway through a "Turbo" event, with increased, er, something... but the experience and skill exp seemed to drop to normal levels, except during the dungeon time hour.  Tuffsen and I were both active, off and on, in the forum shoutbox, which was without any gamesages for many hours, it seemed...and then of course a whole gaggle arrived at once.

By the end of the evening, RedRydeR had overtaken Kaerella again - she was over 12% ahead, in fact, though there had been a few times when only Red had been active.  Kaerella had even managed to equip her newbie polar bear briefly, and it didn't take many kills from the party, even shared with BadFairy's HOMER, to get him well into level 3.

Kaerella went up by 20.78% in all, with her drake adding 9,665 pet points; RedRydeR went up by 39.05%, and 10,901 pet points.  And they ended up with 182 more skill points for RedRydeR, as she'd made a brief trip back to town, and 185 for Kaerella.