Kaerella's Blog - stardate October 2010 (2)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the current month continues here at the top!
Levelling Up with the Mummies - October 17th

Once again Tuffsen pounced on me, before I was even in-game thanks to the " Meebo" messenger system that is at the bottom of Aeria web pages, and bundled me into Last Chaos, on Cariae-4, before ten o'clock on the Sunday morning.  RedRydeR took the Recall to join her in the ancient grey mummies room right away - but Kaerella had to mine some quality stones first, so bought 17 hammers, and headed for the mining area.

It wasn't long before Kaerella went in too, and we got down to the serious business of grinding away on the ancient grey mummies.  Tuffsen wasn't feeling very well today, but managed to stay around for a while in a non-afk way, until her polar bear HOMER had reached level fifty of his second stage - and was thus ready to be evolved into the third, and largest, type of polar bear, a Nanook.  She returned the pbi she had borrowed yesterday.

Kaerella managed to do a power hour from eleven to twelve, using the 50% experience boost from the dungeon time then.  As well as the platinum blessed iris and the platinum adrenaline and a crit potion she used the berserker and power potions too, for the full set, and managed to get through 38 experience boosters during the hour.  This gained her 31.17% experience, along with 11 skill points and 1023 pet points, which seemed pretty good, and took Kaerella safely into level 96.

NaOmi the level 100 archer joined us in the room, but was giving a new apprentice a bit of power-levelling, so wasn't able to join our combat party right away.  She was in the party by the time the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour started, and very kindly helped Kaerella with her next power hour, by twice getting a group of four or five ancient grey mummies together, getting their health down to about 10% , and using a "return to town" scroll - then teleporting back and paying to enter the Tomb again, and running to our room.  That meant that Kaerella was able to get through 46 experience boosters in that hour, so that 33.42% was gained in level 96, plus 12 skill points and 1053 pet points.

The work continued, with Kaerella remembering to give everyone the Charm or Encourage buffs.  I was back just in time from the early evening food break to do a third power hour from five until six o'clock, UK time.  This time BadFairy (Tuffsen's specialist sorcerer) was in action, and so was able to give NaOmi Recall when she assisted Kae again, and that meant that rather more conveniently she was able to do some similar work, so that 45 more ancient grey mummies got killed, with boosters active.  32.44% experience was earned, plus 15 skill points and 1030 pet points.

The session ended at around 8:15; NaOmi had already gone off to help some of her guildies, and Tuffsen was feeling too tired to go to the quiz, though she did turn up in the shoutbox later.  By then, Kaerella had added in all 101.27%, 83 skill points, and 8731 pet points.  RedRydeR hadn't used any potions, and had just kept fighting; instead of being 12% ahead of Kae, she was now 70% behind her, having added 18.23%, 85 skill points, and 9050 pet points.  She too did reach level 96 - and her drake levelled up too, to reach 44.  The large-size polar bear Nanook just managed to reach level 13 of its final stage by the end.

The Sunday Quiz went smoothly on Auzura-2, where MistressDomina and Kaerella went as usual.  There was no sign of Ratel, though the Twisted guild chat was pretty busy, and a few members were in the room.  The lag afterwards seemed worse than average, so that MD using a "return to town" scroll took ages, and MistressDomino logging in there to receive the loot took a while as well, complete with "timed out" messages.  Still, the items got transferred - and then RedRackham and CaptainScarlet logged in on Auzura-4, and were able to do some levelling, on their 42 and 32 drakes, for a nice relaxing end to the day.

The Crest of the Rainbow - October 18th

Tuffsen, alias BadFairy, and NaOmi got Kaerella and RedRydeR into the Tomb of Theos after coffee, straight to the ancient grey mummies room again - and so Kaerella was able to do another "power hour", with a platinum blessed iris, all four hour-long potions, and 39 experience boosters, from eleven until twelve o'clock, to coincide as usual with the hour of 50% extra experience from "dungeon time".  27.78% experience was gained, which got Kae into level 97, along with 13 skill points and 1062 pet points.

Reaching level 97 was useful, I found, as, although the (level 103) ancient grey mummies are still red-named for Kae, their deaths now count towards the "ignition" sequence, so that the new swoosh-bar below the health, mana and experience bars now gradually fills up, starting with green, then yellow, orange, red, and purple, for extra attack power, if only for 120 or 90 seconds, plus for the fourth and fifth levels more skill exp and experience respectively, though these don't stack with pssps and pbis.

After lunch, the two to three power hour added another 28.34% in level 97, from 45 boosters, along with 11 skill points and 1039 pet points...I was getting into a bit of a routine of one regular hour, one power hour, and one hour off.  That meant I was able to get the early evening food break out of the way in time for the five until six hour, and, thanks to a nice "ignition" sequence, I managed to kill 50 of the ancient grey mummies, for 31.49% experience, plus 12 skill points and 1050 pet points.

I had to dash away then, as a mid-level "Mad Monster Spawn" was just starting on Auzura-5, for players from level 46 to 90 - and I wanted to take my level 87 mage MistressBlaze along,  The first thing to do was borrow MistressDomina's armour and weapon - and then MistressBlaze got on her horse, and galloped out to the MMS location.

[GM]Darasuum had already launched the first couple of waves when I got there, but MistressBlaze was in time for a nice big group of the grand devilroad Kamira, and was able to be one of their main attackers.  A mage next to me, also in 85/87 armour, did die, but, while I used a few health potions, the only time my health got below 50% was when I rushed into the fire to attempt to grab some of the goodies that had been dropped.  I got a few things, but then had to run clear before returning to the battle. 

There were plenty of scorpionmantises, barren eises, skin walkers, boucu demons, endemic demons, wafes, and more to deal with too, though all they dropped for me was a little gold.  When I had time to check my inventory I saw that I hadn't picked up any moonstones, but I'd got a couple of crystals of experience (greater), fifteen lucky scrolls - and one of the rare accessories, a Crest of Rainbow, which gives 6 to constitution and 12 each to the other three stats.  I wouldn't say it was all that valuable, these days, but it's still nice to get it.

The GM gave us some loot at the end, though as usual with Dara it didn't go very far, so that I was lucky to get an item drop booster, a skill point booster, and a large defence potion, plus a tool aid or two.  I dropped the three medals of honor I'd picked up in the flames, and the hero's necklace - I did drop one lucky scroll too, but it was picked up by someone in one of the major guilds, which rather put me off the idea of handing out any more.

The Cariae event was scheduled for seven, but as I didn't really have an appropriate character to take along to such an event there at the moment, it seemed best for Kaerella and RedRydeR to log back in on Cariae-4, where they were still in the Tomb party - and soon got Recalled back in.

BadFairy's mighty "Nanook" polar bear did get killed by a screaming zombie, which gave me the opportunity to equip Kaerella's own rather smaller polar bear cub, but before long Tuffy, er BadFairy, equipped a junior bear she was also carrying, Thumper, so I put mine away again rather than halve the P2 pet experience.  Besides, Kae's trusty drake, SirFrancis, boosts her attack and defence power, and picks up the loot!

NaOmi helped BadFairy with the eight to nine power hour, almost-killing mummies for her and then taking Recall so that they lost aggro - and BadFairy levelled up to 102, which meant that she was able, once the hour had finished, to go back to town to learn her level 102 skill.  It also means that she will be starting grinding skill points for a couple of levels, so won't be available for combat parties.  NaOmi had also recalled in a level 102 specialist sorcerer Maurawan guildie of hers, theApt, which meant that the room was a bit busy; I had decided not to try to do a power hour then, which was probably sensible.

Things quietened down later, once NaOmi and BadFairy had gone.  theApt went afk too, so that, while i was starting to get this blog into shape, only RedRydeR was actually fighting.  Kaerella stood at the side - and re-equipped her poly, which managed to get into level 5.

RedRydeR again hadn't used any pots or boosters, but still managed to add 20.18% during the day, along with 112 skill points and10,457  pet points, since she actively played for longer than Kae.  Including the power hours, Kaerella added 93.02%, 126 skill points, and 8,595 pet points; I think she may have got more skill points because she was actually around a little longer, while Red did occasionally have to go out of range of the rest of the party to find enough mummies to fight.

So, that was about it.  Both Tuffsen and I were fairly active in the forum shoutbox again, though there seemed to be a bit more gamesage activity today.  At least I managed to get out of that Tomb room for half an hour...

Meanwhile on Auzura... - October 19th

SirGalahad made a trip out to Prokion Temple in the morning on Auzura-6, with my archer Kaerella back in Dratan City providing the solo party, and getting a little skill experience for herself (110 skill exp per orc soldier) and boosting Gal's skill exp gain by 5%.  By the time SirGalahad got up to 99% of level 23, he'd gained 217 skill points; back in Randol he invested all but 3 of them in special skills, mainly herb processing, and then visited the degraded golien commander in ebony mine to get back, by 34 death penalties, to the start of his level.

After that, it seemed time for MistressDomina to earn a few more skill points, so she formed a party on Auzura-4 with CaptainScarlet.  He went to do some pet-levelling on his level 32 drake with a death mask lancer in Maargadum Jail - and she headed for the Tomb of Theos, which, Kaerella had discovered, was on 100% easy.

The hour's session there wasn't perfect, however; it took me a few minutes to remember that giving herself the scud, haste and spell focus buffs helped MistressDomina's fighting speed, and at 10:54 both MistressDomina and CaptainScarlet got disconnected.  Once I'd got him back in, Cap just stayed in Randol giving the solo party for the rest of the hour, as taking him back to his death mask lancer would have been difficult while I was concentrating on MD - but my mage raced back to her ancient grey mummies to complete the hour.  Losing the connection meant losing the stored-up "ignition" of course, which is always annoying.

Still, MistressDomina managed to use 60 skill point boosters, and gained 329 skill points, as well as 0.79% and 981 pet points, so things weren't too bad.  It seemed that the whole game was having lag problems and disconnections - usually if I disconnect it's a few minutes after eleven, not before.

Undismayed, before lunch CaptainScarlet returned to Maargadum Jail, and after lunch MistressDomina went back to the Tomb of Theos, after stocking up on the medium-size mana potions in Strayana.  The first hour showed a proper return to form, including an ignition run and in all the use of 76 boosters, for 422 skill points, plus 1.40% and 1073 pet points.  The  Twisted guild master SacSalop came online fairly briefly, and at my request unfroze MD's experience gain - well, moving through half her current level she'd gained roughly 20k of skill points, so I reckon the job is nearly done.  I think Sac had done a web search for his name, as he mentioned that he'd seen the blog.

The second afternoon hour saw another 70 skill point boosters used, for 389 skill points, along with 2.02% experience, since it roughly coincided with dungeon time's 50% boost, and 1064 pet points.  Sadly, the lagging-out disconnection bug struck once more during the third hour, again snuffing out a promising ignition boost, but I still managed to get through 72 boosters, which gave me another 394 skill points, plus 1.50% and 1001 pet points.  That sort of disconnection does seem to take away some recently earned skill points, though without giving back the boosters they were earned with...

Tuffsen appeared in the shoutbox, declaring that she was feeling lonely in her solo party in the ancient grey mummies room on Cariae-4.  I had a nasty moment then, which may have been something to do with the lag problems, which I think some people said were affecting the Aeria website as well as the games.  The shoutbox logged me out, so that I couldn't reply, and then when I tried to log back in, I got the red-letter "no such account" notice, which is more usually to do with an account being banned than anything else.  I was still busily working on my power hour in-game, so maybe I didn't type something quite right, but still... Luckily the next attempt did log me back in, and I was able to assure Tuffy that, after the early evening food break, I'd be able to join her.  After all, the Auzura room tends to get a bit crowded, particularly in the evenings, so there was no point in trying any more sp-farming hours on Auzura today...especially with the disconnection threat.

RedRydeR and Kaerella had actually earned a little more experience last night after the blog went, as they say, "live" (or something) - for Red another 1.45%, 7 skill points, and  806 pet points, in fact, with Kae getting another 0.38% and 10 skill points, plus her polar bear cub reaching level 6.

Anyway, Kae and Red logged in, and I managed to contact BadFairy (Tuffsen's specialist sorcerer), and get a free Recall to the Tomb... NaOmi joined us soon afterwards.  Tuffy was in a different party, a solo one, once she'd got us in.  RedRydeR started fighting immediately, while, as I still had some internet and email stuff to take care of, Kae's contribution was, for a while, limited to supplying her buffs.

The evening passed in the Tomb there.  NaOmi logged out at a reasonable time, and an early-rising Australian, Fartimaeus, a level 99 specialist sorcerer in the Mythic guild, soon arrived, asked if there was room for him, and joined the combat party in her stead.  BadFairy decided to join the combat party halfway through the evening, and keep her solo sp-farming more for level 103. Tuffsen and I were both a little bit active in the forum shoutbox - as I happened to help someone at a rather busy time the GameSage Giovanna_X sent me a short personal message to thank me, and to say she'd given me karma, which was a nice gesture.

I decided against doing an experience-based "power hour" with Kaerella from eight to nine as the room was fairly busy, and really she is more in need of skill points than swift levelling up now.  By the time the end of the evening was approaching, she'd added 4.37%, more importantly 59 skill points, and 3,937 pet points, with her polar bear cub well into level eight from a couple of appearances, while RedRydeR was up by 9.82%, the same 59 skill points, and 5,453 pet points.

Storming Out of the Castle - October 20th

It looks as if the product managers of Last Chaos are busy in their consultations with the crack team of developers (or maybe I mis-heard that) from Barunson in South Korea, as this week's patch notes announcement was identical to last week's, as JediMike's little joke.  Certainly there was no new patch to download, and no sign of what for many people is the main in-game event of the year, the Halloween festivities, with pumpkin ghosts, pumpkin and "evil headband" headgear, special candies, and more.  So, we continue, led forward by promises of more big excitements to come.

I was a little later than usual getting online this morning, but SirGalahad just managed to fit two trips to Prokion Temple in before lunch, with my Auzura archer Kaerella in Dratan City getting a 2% bonus, skill exp-wise, on each of his kills (without the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff or Gal's own 5% bonus being taken into consideration).  On his first trip SirGalahad earned 225 skill points, and picked up a fine assortment of armour pieces and weapons for resale back in town to Geres; he then managed to spend all but 2 of the sp on assorted special skills, before going to the first degraded golien commander in Ebony Mine to lose his 99% experience.  Then, after getting the Elizabuff again, the second trip earned him 170 skill points, since by then the  eleven to twelve dungeon time hour was under way.  All those skill points got spent too, and Gal is now ready for his next trip to Prokion.

Tuffsen had used the Meebo messenger to get in touch straight after breakfast, but it was only a matter of saying "hi", and me mentioning that I was about to go out shopping - the first time this autumn I've seen somebody scraping their car's windscreen clear of ice.  Kaerella logged in on Cariae-4 before lunch, to see if her specialist sorcerer BadFairy was online - she was, but must have been away from her keyboard, as I got no response to the offer to join her afk for an hour while I had lunch.  When I got back, though, I did get a response, so, after trading some loot around, a combat party was formed, and a Recall to the ancient grey mummies room was accepted.

Today, though, I gave Kaerella and RedRydeR time off, and took my level 100 mage Keerella and my level 110 archer Barbarienne along, as they both need skill points - and in theory Barb ought to kill rather more quickly than my other Cariae characters, with her level 109 +15 bow.  The combat party with BadFairy was the same as usual, though.  It got very briefly changed to an equal party to allow Tuffy to Recall in the level 161 mage solyana, the fourth highest mage on the Cariae server, who traded across a platinum blessed iris to her, stayed around a little while just supplying the haste buff, and then went off to reset the Tomb, to keep it on 100% easy.

BadFairy had a "power hour" from two to three o'clock, so while Keerella just fought the mummies as usual, and provided the Haste buff for BadFairy (and for herself, to make it easy to see when it ended), Barbarienne helped BadFairy to get through her experience boosters faster.  This involved attacking her own ancient grey mummy, getting a Recall from Tuffy, and then, when the mummy's health got down to about 10%, luring it towards badFairy, and then taking the Recall... and then picking up recent gold drops and running off to start on a new mummy.

With a combat party, that worked fine - unlike when you are "power levelling" somebody a lot of levels below you in an equal party, and having to leave that party after taking Recall, then re-form the party for the next kill, still being in the party was not a problem, so Barb got her usual share of the skill exp, and the usual two or three million experience.  So, it was no great hardship to give BadFairy the credit for the kill.  She managed to go up by 29% during the hour, which can't be bad.  I did try Keerella doing the same thing and taking Recall once, right at the end of the hour, but the older computer does get "sticky" fairly soon at present, so it wouldn't be practical to have both my characters do it, with Keerella's screen tending to freeze for a few seconds whenever I needed to change the camera angle.

BadFairy had to log out soon after that, to allow her boyfriend MrLegendKiller to play for a while on her computer, so Keerella and Barbarienne continued without her, gradually earning a little more greatly-needed skill exp.  She had returned when I got back from my early evening food break, however, and for the five to six o'clock dungeon time we went back to power-levelling mode...though I warned Tuffy that Barb, at least, would have to leave before the end of the hour.  I did say ten minutes before the end, and Tuffy kindly reminded me then, though I managed to stay another couple of minutes - and Keerella did take over, delivering a couple more almost-dead mummies for her to kill, before the end of the hour.

Six o'clock, UK time, was the time for "Storm the Castle" on Auzura-6, so naturally I had to be there...with my rogue, Rage.  Twisted guildie EatfischZ, a level 117 assassin, picked me up for a party, which was useful.  [GM]Darasuum was waiting at the start, but when the event began, there weren't any monsters spawned outside the castle.  Just about everyone rushed forward, assuming there was a different spawning-pattern being used - so when after a couple of minutes Dara did manage the traditional spawning, we had to fight our way back to clear out the male assassinbugs, baals, death knights of iris, jumping devils, anubis archers, barren eises, and so on, before clearing out the outer and inner courtyards.

[GM]Darasuum had us gather around him for his usual rather small amount of loot, and then said that, while he couldn't give us any more drops, he could respawn the whole set of monsters for us if we wanted.  The general consensus seemed in favour of the idea, so, except for the people who had left rather promptly after the loot, we began with the sphinx commanders in the inner courtyard where we were, and did the whole event in reverse, storming out of the castle.

Barbarienne was able to return to the ancient grey mummies for a few minutes after that, before moving across to Cariae-6 for the "Storm the Castle" at seven.  This time [GM]AwesomeSauce was in charge; we started with just anonymous GM announcements, advising us on the timing and the position of the various mobs, but Awesome was actually there in person, wearing a "4th of July" top hat.  We got through the monsters in good time, and then the GM asked for requests, as to what other monsters we'd like, so naturally I mentioned kamiras - and we got plenty of those, as well as patriarch botises and flutons.  I did manage to pick up a few lucky scrolls and other bits of loot - and then we got quite generous amounts of the traditional "hands" loot in a number of piles.

We even had an invisible dragon from Strayana in the inner courtyard as part of the main spawning - and sadly the mechanics of the game seem to have changed on that.  In the past, when it was in the inner courtyard, while nobody who didn't have "shadow removal powder" from the item mall active could see it, you could still target it using the [tab] key, as the nearest monster, and use a skill, or "attack", to start fighting it.  That no longer works, so that there wasn't any way for me to attack it - but luckily there were enough people present who did have the powder active, since farming those dragons for new drops has been rather popular recently.

RedRyder, my level 39 rogue, went to the StC event on Sarissa-6.  As often happens, there were only about five of us there when the monsters first spawned, but gradually more people arrived, so that we did manage the clear the place out inside the 20 minute deadline.  The GM messages were anonymous, but we did again get some bonus monsters at the end, and I was careful to suggest kamiras - which, along with the patriarch botises and flutons did appear.  It was [GM]AwesomeSauce again, I finally discovered when she did make some remarks in local chat, but she didn't actually materialise.  I did have to be a little more careful around the big area of effect spells, so didn't get much in the way of kamira loot, except three crystals of experience (greater) and three hero's necklaces, one of which with better properties than at least one accessory that Red was wearing.  Red's share of the normal "hand" loot included 6 item drop boosters and 5 skill point boosters, plus 6 large defence and 3 large attack potions, so again Awesome was generous both with the monsters and the loot.

Tairen was the last server to have its castle-storming, at 8:45 UK time; Hatzring and Katar overlapped with the events on other servers, unfortunately.  My rogue Rage (or xRAGEx to be exact) is level 42 there, so once again some degree of caution was needed.  Our disembodied voice this time belonged to [GM]JediMike, and he just did the traditional spawning of monsters - and the proper old-time spawning of big heaps of loot outside the castle afterwards, rather than smaller amounts in the inner courtyard.  So, Rage ended up getting 5 skill point boosters, 3 item drop boosters, 6 large attack and 3 large defence potions, and no doubt plenty of the small HP and MP recovery pots, and tool aids.  It seemed a shame not to have flutons, dragons (invisible or not), patriarch botises, and kamiras, but Mike does tend to go for shorter events - but well-rewarded ones.  Rage once again survived, though it would have been a different story if my Snare hadn't kept working, as an anubis spear man did decide I was its target, and would have killed me in about two hits.  Luckily it only got one...

Once that was over, Barbarienne was able to log back in, and, thanks to Tuffy's Recall, rejoin Keerella fighting the ancient grey mummies.  While she hadn't quite managed to reach level 103 in that second "power hour", we had finally got her there, and after that she had left the combat party, since she needs to concentrate on getting as much skill experience as she can, and using some boosters with it, without any boosts to the experience she gains. There wasn't a whole lot of time left to the session, but the work continued, so that Barbarienne's total experience for the day reached 3.05% in level 110, plus 57 skill points and, since with the mummies blue-named for her, her drake wouldn't get pet experience, 3.99% experience in level 54 for our Scra-Chi pet, SkrappY.  Since she'd kept fighting the mummies, just about, during the castle-stormings, Keerella ended up with 4.56% in level 100, 80 skill points, and 7859 pet points.

I will only be able to play actively tomorrow in the evening... my plans for that are fairly fluid at present, but I suspect ancient grey mummies may well be involved.

Auzura Crashes - October 21st

The first thing I did in the morning after breakfast was to empty one character's inventory on the Cariae server, and then delete her.  It was a tough choice, but "NorcaineMerchant" never did much actual selling, and just had the usual mixture of accessories, weapons, pieces of armour, production manuals, and oddments in her inventory.  So, the storage space on that account had room for most of the armour, and a few other characters had their last inventory spaces filled, before that particular level 20 mage was deleted.  The process takes 24 hours, but then I'll have an empty space, which I would hope to use for a new apprentice, to get the new +15 event weapons and hopefully level up to become, well, a mid-level character, suitable to take along to mid-level events.

Once that was done, RedRackham logged in, and made his way to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail to spar with the death mask lancer there.  He did this in duplicate - on Cariae-4 the drake was just about three-quarters of the way through level 44, while on Auzura-4 the drake was only about a tenth of the way through level 42.  Red got a disconnection just after coffee on Cariae, but was soon back in action, and just after noon he started a pet experience potion, giving him double pet experience for three hours.  This meant that by two o'clock, UK time, the drake reached level 45, ten levels above Red himself, and started getting even hungrier. 

It was lucky that that particular RedRackham, using the pet experience potion, was on Cariae - the "Auzura servers are experiencing issues at this time" was an often-repeated announcement in the forum shoutbox just after lunch, from GameSage dinosue2.  "We have urgent messages sent to the GM/PM team.  We are waiting on word from them and have no estimated time of it being fixed.  Thank you for your patience."  Sure enough, not long after I saw that, Auzura's RedRackham got disconnected.  I would have got a second pet-leveller going on Cariae, but unfortunately he would have been on the same account as the disconnected Red, and trying to log back in on that account just got me the "Error Message 1: Account ID already logged on." pop-up.  That happens when a server crashes, people logged in are "locked in" until things are sorted out.

So, in the end it was SirDarth on Sarissa-4 who made the trip out to Maargadum Jail at around 2:30, and, after getting rid of the death mask soldier, started to spar with the lancer.  His drake soon reached level 24...while over on Cariae, by the time the three-hour potion had expired, just after three, RedRackham's drake was the equivalent of over two hours into level 45.  And in the shoutbox, the word was that Auzura's servers had finally been fixed....but I stayed with the set-up I had, which was just as well, as the "fix" didn't last.

SirDarth stayed in action on Sarissa until after the food break; by then his drake was two-thirds of the way through level 24, while on Cariae RedRackham's drake was almost a fifth of the way through level 45.  There were disturbing messages in the shoutbox, however, about empty inventories on Auzura, not to mention the storage chest and Roy's merchant mart.  The GMs were "working their tiny little GM hineys off" trying to find out what was wrong, the long-suffering dinosue2 reported.  The advice was definitely to refrain from buying anything from the merchant mart, and also not to log out while using potions, as you might well find they'd disappeared when you logged back in.

Kaerella and RedRydeR logged in safely over on Cariae-4, anyway, and were able to spend the evening with the ancient grey mummies.  BadFairy kindly used Recall to get us in there; NaOmi was already in action, mainly in the corridor, and was later joined by her Maurawan guildies, the mage cosma and the sorcerer theApt.  When we first arrived the room was a bit crowded, so that, after trying moving a little further along, we ended up with Kae in that "onwards" corridor, and Red off fighting sphinx fighters.  A night shadow, however, didn't stay very long, and soon Kae and Red were in charge of the main room, with Kaerella supplying people with the appropriate buffs.

BadFairy didn't stay late, as Tuffsen was feeling tired, so eventually it was just Kae and Red in the main room, plus a knight called FAROUK doing some pet-levelling in the corner with a screaming zombie; the Maurawan trio stayed in the corridor.

The shoutbox was pretty busy, with Auzura's problems; it had got up and running again as mentioned, but crashed again before too long, so the GMs and their technical experts had quite a time of it.  It wasn't long before ten o'clock in fact, UK time, when Auzura was finally pronounced safe to visit again.  Giovanna_X and dinosue2 had been kept busy with the stream of people enquiring why they couldn't log into, or indeed out of, Auzura, and I hope my contributions there were helpful.

Double pet experience was switched on at six o'clock, UK time, and the GMs were too busy to turn it off after two hours, so the two drakes benefited throughout the evening.  Kaerella reached 80% of her level, 97, and RedRydeR managed to get pretty close to halfway through 96.  By the time they logged out, Kaerella had gained, in all, 3.22% and 32 skill points, plus 8274 pet points, with her polar bear cub halfway through level 9, while RedRydeR had earned 7.07%, 33 skill points, and 9176 pet points.  Both the drakes levelled up - SirFrancis reached level 52, while Red's drake reached level 45.

Two Visits From Kamira - October 22nd

Greatly to my relief, when I logged Auzura's RedRackham on this morning, he still had his armour and all his inventory items, and that account's storage, shared with MistressDomina, still seemed full of its usual goodies.  Other people reporting their situations in the forum shoutbox hadn't been so lucky.  What I did notice was that Red's pet experience had been set back; when the crash happened, his drake had got 7609 pet points in level 42, but logging back in today the figure was down almost 4k, to 3659, which suggests that generally experience gain, skill exp, and pet experience had been "rolled back" by almost four hours.

I'd logged RedRackham in on Cariae-4 first, sending him down to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail, where SirMoe was already in action; his Auzura equivalent quickly followed, and, since with all their other excitements the game masters had forgotten to switch off the double pet experience, good progress was soon being made - and after a couple of hours, at 10:30, Red on Auzura had made good his losses.

There had of course been speculation about a repeat of the 600% experience (etc) event that the Cariae server got for rather bigger disruptions, but in the end the GMs just set Auzura up for double experience and skill exp, running until eight in the evening UK time, which wasn't a huge temptation to abandon the double-rate pet-levelling... so I kept on working downstairs until lunchtime.

Auzura's RedRackham had got his drake to 62% of the way through level 42 by the time I was ready to start more active adventuring; over on Cariae the level 45 drake was on 56%.  So, Auzura's Red switched across to the older computer and Auzura-6, to make a solo party with my level 48 witch, MistressSabina.  And she rode out into the Dratan desert, to fight the level 52 giants.

One nice thing about the giants, now, it seems, is that they drop level 61 weapons, and the knight shield for that level, so MistressSabina picked up some valuable loot, which she was able to sell back in town.  And Kamira dropped by soon after 2:30...so Sabina logged out, and Kaerella logged in instead, and rode out to deal with her.  Since Kae is level 101 on Auzura, the fight was a bit one-sided - Kae did lose a little health to Kami's flame skill, but her suction of life accessory soon reclaimed it.  The usual moonstones, tool aids, lucky scrolls, and potions were dropped - and a Pierce of Wind rare accessory.  Sabina actually uses one of those currently, with its 16 dexterity and 78 close range evasion; go back long enough and someone with three of those was really uber, but they aren't as good as a Stone of Shadow, which has 4 less dexterity but 34 more close range evasion, plus 93 long range evasion.  Still, it was a nice drop to get.

MistressSabina logged back in, and re-made the party with RedRackham.  Since the continuing double pet experience goes rather well with the one-hour triple experience platinum pet experience potion, not adding the 2 to the 3 but multiplying, to get 6 pet points at a time, or over 6,000 an hour, Red used a few of those, while I was around to make sure nothing went wrong; the drake reached level 43, and continued onwards, overtaking MistressSabina's drake during the early evening food break.

Sabina hadn't been back after the break for long when, at 5:22, Kamira arrived again, which rather shows that there weren't very many people active in the Dratan desert on Auzura-6 today.  Three minutes later Kaerella was on the spot, and a minute after that she was picking up the loot - there wasn't a rare accessory this time, but Kamira still dropped a medal of honor, 10 great healing potions, 5 moonstones, 5 scrolls of memorising, 5 tool aids, 5 lucky scrolls, a crystal of experience (greater), and a hero's necklace.  Logging out meant that, again, Sabina lost the amount of ignition she had built up, but that was a small price to pay.

Around about 6:30, however, I'd had some lag spikes, which with MistressSabina fighting the giants could have become a disconnection, which would have been rather bad news.  Chat was laggy, and indeed re-forming the party with RedRackham had been slow.  So, since the other servers now had double experience and skill exp too, for a "happy hour", I logged Sabina out on Auzura - and logged my cleric Kaerella in on Cariae-4.

I knew BadFairy was online, as Tuffsen had appeared in the forum shoutbox, so Kaerella messaged her, and got a free teleportation into the Tomb of Theos.  BadFairy was in the corridor, as another player was rather monopolising the main room of the ancient grey mummies, farming skill points with the help of a friend.  There was room for Kaerella, though, since she doesn't kill all that quickly.  RedRydeR would not have had enough mummies - but as my pet-levelling RedRackham was still not much more than halfway through a platinum pet experience potion, that didn't matter.

RedRackham's potion ended; the double pet experience continued, and he got his drake into level 44.  When the other players in the ancient grey mummies room finished their power hour and left, I was able to log one Red out, and the other one, RedRydeR, in; she too got teleported in by BadFairy, and we had the place to ourselves, though before long BadFairy had to go afk.

The double experience and skill exp lasted till about 8:40pm, UK time, so overlapped usefully with the dungeon time hour.  Kae and Red continued on until the end of the evening, as did the double pet experience, so that Kaerella added 3.87%, 36 skill points, and 6036 pet points.  RedRydeR, who started later but kept going a little later too, added 7.25%, 31 skill points, and 5808 pet points, though those weren't quite the final figures.  The sorcerer Fartimaeus arrived just as we were winding down, so we stayed a little longer than had been planned.

There were, however, continuing reports in the shoutbox of problems with Auzura, and vanishing items, so it looks as if the aftermath of yesterday's problems isn't over yet.

The "R" Word - October 23rd

You have to hand it to the Last Chaos game masters; the problem with the Auzura server was a bit of a drama, but they managed to turn it into a full-blown crisis.  After encouraging everyone to have a busy day grinding on Auzura yesterday, Friday, they finally decided that they did, after all, need to do a full roll-back - to early Wednesday morning.  So, all the work on Friday was lost, and a whole lot more.  MistressSabina lost her 22.67% (plus 118 skill points and 3702 pet points) session with the giants yesterday, and of course Kaerella lost the rare accessory and other goodies that Kamira dropped; SirGalahad must have lost a session or two; and RedRackham's drake, which he'd managed to get into level 44, was back to the start of level 42...and those are looong levels!  Rage's trip to the "Storm the Castle" event on Auzura must never have happened either, but then, [GM]Darasuum didn't provide much loot there...

To add insult to injury, when the GMs decided that there were so many people with missing inventories and storage, and problems with Roy's merchant mart, that they had to face reality and do a rollback, they started things off in a particularly ham-fisted way.  Apparently there were announcements and warnings on the Auzura server itself, but the other servers were brought down briefly as well, with no warning at all except for a flippant and insulting "Bye" a split second before they hit the switch.  This happened just at 3:00pm PDT, 11:00pm UK time, or perhaps a minute or two after - just as the dungeon time hour was beginning, and a few seconds after a large number of people on the Cariae, Sarissa, Hatzring, Katar and Tairen servers had clicked on a variety of expensive pots, pills and potions for a "power hour".  Personally, I was just about to log Kaerella and RedRydeR off anyway, but it must have been a bit annoying for Fartimaeus, who would have had to log back in and pay to get into the Tomb again.

And what apology and recompense do Auzura players get?  Just another couple of days of double experience and skill exp, without even double pet experience.  The rollback doesn't solve the problems with item mall purchases, so that side of things is being done manually.

With the Auzura debacle, and the product manager team off in South Korea to try and reason with the Barunson development team about the game's future, it is perhaps not surprising that there are no special tiered leveller offers, or similar, this weekend.

So, MistresSabina went back out to the giants to repeat her session from yesterday; it took some hours, but at last she had added 23.69%, 123 skill points, and 1857 pet points - or, to look at it another way, she was up by 1.02% and 5 skill points, and down by 1845 pet points.  Kamira did drop by once, to give Kaerella the usual moonstones, tool aids, and so on, but there was no rare accessory this time.  The action in the forum shoutbox kept things from being too boring, at least, and a similar number to last time of level 61 weapons dropped, to boost Sabina's store of gold back to roughly where it had been.

SirGalahad managed to fit in one trip to Prokion Temple before the early evening food break; he too had some ground to make up, from the rollback, and managed to earn 211 skill points while getting to just over 99% of level 23.  Then back in Randol he was able to learn 211 skill points worth of special skills again - and go out to the first degraded golien commander in Ebony Mine to die 34 times, to get back to the start of his level once more.

Tuffsen had been in the shoutbox, so I was able to get a lift from her for Kaerella and RedRydeR, after the break, over on Cariae-4, to the ancient grey mummies.  She didn't continue fighting very long after I arrived, though her character, BadFairy, did stand in the corner for much of the evening - she went off to mend someone's laptop, I think.

The room was pretty quiet through the evening, probably helped by the castle siege being on, which stops new people entering the Tomb, unless they are Recalled in.  The titan BRA1N was also in the room throughout the evening, but just stood there afk.  A couple of people did a power-level, or an aided level, in the corridor, but generally Kae and Red had the place to themselves.  Helped along by the dungeon time hour, and a couple of hours of "Turbo" giving 50% extra experience, Kaerella ended the evening up by 4.60% and 4479 pet points, while RedRydeR added 9.75% and 5916 pet points; they each gained 38 skill points.

Two Quizzes, and a New Auzura Problem - October 24th

RedRackham went out to do some pet-levelling on Auzura-6 soon after breakfast time, or the time I would have breakfast if it wasn't a lazy Sunday morning.  After coffee, SirGalahad headed for Prokion Temple, in a solo party with Red, and managed to get 232 skill points while reaching 99.78% of the way through level 23, helped along by a level 4 ignition sequence.  Then Gal spent all but 3 points on assorted special skills, which probably got him to around the stage he was at before the Auzura rollback, and went to visit the degraded golien commander in Ebony Mine to lose the experience.

A second trip to Prokion Temple brought in 182 skill points, as dungeon time had started, and those too got spent - on two 89 sp skills, leaving 4 remaining, though by the time 33 more deaths had been suffered in Ebony Mine, those had also gone.  There wasn't time for another Prokion trip - but SirGalahad did a quest to kill some dark goddesses, which led on to a couple more quest rewards, and one of the soft sand-collecting quests, which, given how long it takes for sand golems to drop that item, is probably not worth his time.

Over lunch RedRackham on Cariae joined in the pet-levelling too, so that his drake is now past 60% of the way through level 45.  On Auzura, Red's drake moved past the 75% point in level 42, but still has quite a way to go to get back to its pre-rollback level.  Talking of the rollback, I was surprised to see on his text that Discipline member LostSpeed had logged in and out, as she had asked to be kicked from the guild so that she could move on to Twisted.  MistressSabina had done that, but that action too had been rolled back.

Tuffsen was around, and lured Kaerella and RedRydeR to the Cariae-4 ancient grey mummies with promises of candy...and she did indeed give me a gift of ten pieces of that, which was rather a good present.  It was lucky she did help me to decide to go to Cariae rather than Auzura, as poor Auzura did have its problems during the rest of the day.  I don't think there was an actual disastrous crash during the afternoon, but at about 2:15, UK time, and  again at 3:50, there were reports in the shoutbox of mass disconnections, followed by the "account already logged in" message.  Some sub-servers lost the double experience and skill exp, too.

Anyway, on Cariae all went well while we were busy in the Tomb, though as the Sunday Quiz approached, there did seem to be signs of lag.  Kaerella did a "power hour" during the two to three o'clock dungeon time, using 39 experience boosters and going up by 23.22%, which took her into level 98, plus 14 skill points and 1030 pet points.  After the early evening food break she did another one, too, and as this included a level three ignition sequence (damage increased seven-fold for 90 seconds), followed by a level two sequence (treble damage for 120 seconds), and right at the end a level one sequence as well (double damage for 120 seconds), this time 46 boosters got used, giving 25.09% in level 98, plus 15 skill points and 1035 pet points.

BadFairy stayed out of the combat party, though the archer NaOmi and the titan BRA1N did join up.  By the time I logged out to go to the quiz, Kaerella's total experience gain had reached 51.12%, plus 68 skill points and 5863 pet points.  Without any boosters or pots, RedRyDeR had managed to add 11.96%, along with the same 68 skill points, and 6723 pet points, as Red does tend to be able to continue fighting at times when Kae is technically afk.

Given the Auzura server group's recent and ongoing problems, I really didn't think that going there for the quiz was too bright an idea... we might lag out and thus move too slowly, or disconnect, or emerge triumphant only to later get rolled back to before the goodies had been given out.  So, it was Cariae-2 that hosted Kaerella and MistressDomina, my merchant mage, this time.  I always stand on the "X" side of the quiz room, as, for as long as I can remember, the answer to the first question has always been "X"...that's saved me a time or two when I've not immediately noticed things starting up.  And this time it saved me, too, as suddenly, just after 8:30pm UK time, everyone waiting on the "O" side, or that half of the central carpet strip, vanished, booted out.

Some people say that the quiz window with the first question did appear for a fraction of a second, but I didn't see it.  The survivors soon recovered from the initial shock, and the rest of the questions all went smoothly for us, so that at the end Kaerella was able to trade her moonstones and heaven stones, plus her relatively recent oddments from the Tomb such as moonstone boxes and pan flutes, across to MD.  RedRydeR also logged on briefly, so that her loot could be moved across too.

There was plenty of indignation in the forum shoutbox, from innocent people who'd been booted out of the quiz on all servers before they were even aware it had started, so the GMs reacted swiftly, and announced a second, bonus quiz to start an hour later - or in 50 minutes time, by then.  "Sorry about the newb move earlier and enjoy the bonus quiz", they said, which was fair enough.  Everyone would be welcome.

So, instead of letting SirGalahad have a quick trip to Prokion, or something, I got ready for the second quiz.  This time I decided to see if I could increase my assets on the Tairen server, so my merchant mage there, Enchantra, logged in on Tairen-2 and headed for the quiz room... swiftly followed by Kaerella of course, who is only level 29 there, and still in need of a lot of skill points if she is ever going to go much further.  She has +11 armour, though her level 33 "pheonix" bow is only +10.

The quiz went much as it usually does, though I was struck by there being a bit of bad language beforehand, something one tends not to get on Auzura - or if one does, it's in a language I don't know.  Many of the questions were the same as before, as the GMs only have a limited number to choose from, but all went smoothly, though they paused after question 20, to stress that the "not giving someone your password even if he says he is a GM" question is important, before the final two questions, which are just used to help people leave the room.

Sadly, afterwards the shoutbox was busy with people from Auzura reporting a mass disconnection at the quiz on one sub-server, and also people losing parts of their inventory when they logged out and then back in again on a different sub-server...the first couple of inventory lines, or sometimes more.  Luckily [GM]AwesomeSauce was able to get on and reassure people that the problem was being worked on, but there were a lot of unhappy people out there...

A Cancelled Event - October 25th

"Auzura came back to life around 11:30 PM PDT with brand new hardware and a fresh outlook on life. The server required a rollback to early Sunday morning", was the report from product manager Xuse2005 in the forums this morning.  Thank goodness that [GM]AwesomeSauce was on duty yesterday, after the men had been flapping around like headless chickens for days, finally something positive had been done.  There was no talk of the insultingly-minor "double experience and skill exp" compensation, this time they are actually stopping to think about things, rather than rushing straight in.  I just hope that whatever we get includes some extra pet experience.

So, it wasn't long after Auzura restarted, if that was 7:30 this morning, UK time, that RedRackham logged back in and went back to Maargadum Jail.  Some of those hours he put in yesterday had vanished again, of course, but he keeps on trying, and one day with any luck he'll get his drake back to level 44.  His counterpart on Cariae-4 did some work on his drake too, which continues to move on through level 45.

When SirGalahad logged in, I found that he hadn't lost any progress, to my surprise, so the rollback can't have been to before noon yesterday, UK time; 4:00am PDT, that is.  So, he was able to go out to Prokion Temple and add another 128 skill points to the 35 he had already gained yesterday, and then spend all but 2 of them back in Randol, before getting killed 34 more times in Ebony Mine.  A similarly low-level rogue using a crossbow was bringing in some extra degraded golien commanders, getting them really close to the respawning area, so the deaths didn't take long at all.

Since his rollback had been minor, by the end of the lunch break RedRackham's Auzura drake was within an hour or so of level 43.  However, it was time for Kaerella and RedRydeR to log in, and head for the Tomb.

Tuffsen had appeared in the shoutbox, and when I contacted her BadFairy specialist sorcerer character, she was indeed in the usual part of the Tomb of Theos, though she cautioned me that some people were making full use of the main room.  They were indeed - a couple of people were helping a friend to power-level.  So, Kaerella and RedRydeR were banished to the corridor; not the end bit, where BadFairy was busy, but around the corner, so that as well as ancient grey mummies, some ancient screaming zombies had to be included in the mix, and an infected grey mummy, which RedRydeR generally fought.  As she had a quest to kill fifty of them, she was actually able to complete that.

Finally the power levellers' hour was over, and there was space in the main room at last, so we were able to spread out.  As usual BadFairy took quite a bit of afk-type time off; NaOmi arrived eventually, but was using a pssp, so kept to her own solo party while it lasted... she joined Kae and Red's combat party afterwards.

The cramped conditions had stopped Kaerella from doing a "power hour" from two to three o'clock, but for the next dungeon time, from five until six, after the food break, there were plenty of ancient grey mummies.  Kaerella used 44 experience boosters, thanks to a level three ignition taking care of seven mummies, and went up by 23.56%, 14 skill points and 1060 pet points.

Kaerella had to log out as soon as the hour was over, as the first of the evening's "Merac Run" events was due to start at six on Auzura-5.  So, Kae logged out, and my Auzura rogue Rage logged in, and took the teleporter to Merac village, where a few people were waiting.  I rode out down the usual route a little, but there were no giant soldier-statues visible... and when I checked in the forum shoutbox, I was told the event had been cancelled, news I passed on to the other people waiting.  Refreshing the website page did show news of a change to a "happy hour" with double experience and skill exp from six to eight, but it would have been nice if there had been some in-game announcements about the cancellation - there were no GM announcements about anything other than the latest BOGO offer all evening.

Luckily, NaOmi was able to use her Recall to get Kaerella back into the Cariae-4 Tomb, so the evening's slog continued, helped along by the happy hour bonus.  [GM]AwesomeSauce did turn up in the shoutbox, and explained that the GMs were too busy dealing with the aftermath of the rollback to host the scheduled events.  I did take the opportunity to ask her to make sure that extra pet experience  would be included in the special events promised for the Auzura server as compensation for its recent problems.  It looks as if people on Auzura who got their heaven stones, etc, from the two quizzes, only to lose them in the rollback, won't get any compensation, so I'm glad I was wary enough to go to the quiz elsewhere.

By the end of the evening, Kaerella had got up to 70% of the way through level 98, while RedRydeR was 96% of the way through 96 - so not long to go before she will start to get Ignition from the ancient grey mummies!  The infected grey mummies she'd killed earlier, plus a few ancient screaming zombies, did get her just enough Ignition for a level one run, which was a start.  Kaerella added in all 30.671%, 118 skill points, and 7506 pet points, with her polar bear moving on into level 12; RedRydeR earned 18.90%, 119 skill points, and 8476 pet points, which got her drake into level 46.

Two Captains - October 26th

RedRackham managed to do some more work on his drake in the morning, and after coffee, as someone was asking in the shoutbox if somebody could sell them a drake egg on Tairen, I logged my level 2 knight there, CaptainScarlet, in to see if he had one, after checking my merchant mage there.  I didn't have an egg, but as he was on, CaptainScarlet had a session, helped along by yesterday's compensatory "happy hour" having been left running, and got from level 2 to level 7 anyway.  The first three foxes he killed all dropped fox tails, which is a bit unusual, I suppose it has something to do with the new more generous drop rates, but usually I'm doing well if a character gets one fox tail before he'd too high-level to fight the foxes.

Just before lunch  my witch-in-training on Auzura, MistressSabina, had another trip out to the giants, in a solo party with RedRackham.  She was back in Dratan City over lunch, and then continued for a little while, but Kamira didn't drop by to say hello at any point.   It wasn't a hugely long session, but she got an inventory-full of level 61 weapons, or at least got all her spare spaces filled, while adding 9.77%, 51 skill points, and 821 pet points.

The main afternoon session though belonged to Auzura's CaptainScarlet, who had been stuck as a level 32 pet-leveller, which isn't ideal when a pet gets to a high level.  The idea was to level him up a bit, but before he could do that, he needed to lose his "maximum evil" red name.  So, once I'd remembered to get MistressSabina, the Discipline guild master on Auzura, to kick him from the guild (as people in the same guild can't fight each other), he went to Prokion Temple on one of the PvP sub-servers, Auzura-2, where he took off all his armour, and unequipped his weapon and shield.  My level 31 archer Memree then went along and, once he'd left the safety of the hallway, killed CaptainScarlet a few times.

That reduced CaptainScarlet's degree of naughtiness from about -155, and gave Memree a nice-as-pie blue name.  My level 27 rogue RedRider (the first to bear the name, before I checked up and found the proper spelling was "Ryder") then took over the killing duties, and got herself a blue name, and then, as only characters lower in level (or equal?) get credit for killing red-named players, SirGalahad took over, and got himself a blue name - and got CaptainScarlet a white name, so that now he would be able to attack monsters without having his physical offence stat reduced.

For the rest of the afternoon, with RedRackham back in Maargadum Jail providing the solo party, CaptainScarlet, after being re-recruited into Discipline by MistressSabina, headed out to Prokion Temple on Auzura-6, and went to my old favourite room of orc axemen and orc sergeants, level 27 and 29.  There was plenty of loot, and plenty or orcs - except when he got up to stage three ignition a couple of times, when there weren't quite enough orcs to keep him busy for the duration.  Still, even with the 50% experience freeze, which Sabina will probably switch off after a level or two, by the end of the afternoon he had added 32.97%, and 253 skill points.  The plan is to take him up to about level 38 or 40, and then he'll get his revenge on one of those three blue-names, and go maximum red again, for pet-levelling purposes.

After the food break, Tuffsen's BadFairy was able to use her Recall to take Kaerella and RedRydeR into the ancient grey mummies room on Cariae-4.  Red had teleported to the entrance, to get her reward for killing the fifty infected grey mummies.  The reward didn't include any gold or skill points, but did at least give a less-than-thrilling 0.06% experience.

The mummy room was a little crowded to begin with, as a night shadow called xBOBx was there, who apparently knew Tuffy's other character, the titan Shirano.  He kindly moved off a little way down the "onwards" corridor, though, so that, even with NaOmi there, Kaerella was able to have a "power hour" from five to six o'clock, UK time.  Kae used 41 experience boosters, and added 23.25%, plus, thanks to the continuing happy hour, 33 skill points, and 1048 pet points.

I was tempted to do another power hour from eight to nine, but in the end decided against it, since the extra experience and skill exp from the "happy hour" was continuing, which meant that instead of twelve times the experience, using those pots and boosters would just bring six times the experience.  Still, good progress was made...and Kaerella did manage to level up, to 99, at around 9:30pm, UK time.  BadFairy left soon after that, and NaOmi, who'd kindly been doing most of the necessary healing, headed off to Juno.  She had brought in a guildie of hers, cosma, but she was level 103, so had moved out of compass range to get the full benefit of sp-farming on her own mummies.

Just before ten the level 100 specialist sorcerer Fartimaeus arrived, and joined the combat party; for him in Australia it was early morning.  We agreed that the way our previous team-up had ended, with the "Bye!" and the server being switched off, hadn't been very nice...

Kaerella ended the evening up by 29.70% in all, having gained 145 skill points and 4182 pet points.  RedRydeR had also managed to level up, to 97, fairly early on, and so had been able to manage a couple of orange Ignition sequences, though only killing six mummies while each lasted.  She added 20.39%, 147 skill points and 5971 pet points, before it was finally time to log out for the night.  What, I wonder, will the new week's maintenance bring us...?

Unhappy Halloween - October 27th

The new week's patch notes were happy to announce that the Halloween event had finally started.  On the face of it, everything was the same as in previous years, with Halloween candy, pumpkin ghosts, empty baskets, and so on, with the bonus of a "Scream" mask to earn, but people soon found out that there was some unwritten "small print" involved.  Pumpkin helms from previous years do not, it seems, allow one to see and fight the ghosts; while shadow removal powder allows you to see the ghosts, it doesn't allow you to kill them; and, once you do get a new (time-limited) pumpkin helm, you will soon find that the possible rewards from your pumpkin-farming are drastically less, well, rewarding than in previous years.  The lucky scrolls, along with the effort and experience ones, have vanished, so apart from very occasional packs of heaven stones, and moonstones, all you get is some minor health or mana potions, or firecrackers.  So, it doesn't look as if people will be spending much time fighting the pumpkin ghosts this year.  Oh, and the pumpkin jester that the in-game announcement advises one to look for, to claim one's free "evil headband", is missing.

The report that our product managers brought back from their visit to South Korea seems hopeful, though of course every new change brings its own glitchy pitfalls.  Before the end of the year, we are told to expect a new dungeon in Strayana, a new pet, a new "monster card system", an "improved" user interface, a second Extreme Cube season, new costumes for castle owners, new guild skills, and the proverbial "much more".

What our brave product managers have requested from the developers include improvements to the two castle sieges, balancing changes to the arena PvP rules, more experience and skill exp from Mondshine monsters, a memory scroll that works in Mondshine, a return of that "attendance" system, though this time giving skill exp, and improvements to the skills for the more neglected types of character, such as clerics, elementalists, highlanders, and temple knights.  Whether the hopelessly lazy and only marginally competent bunch of Barunson developers had a quick laugh, yawned, and threw the list into the waste paper basket once our men had left, we don't know.

"We also discussed potential content for 2011 and new strategies to ensure more frequent bug fixes", product manager Xuse2005 concluded. "We will be working diligently to ensure that Last Chaos is a fun and bug free experience with plenty of exciting new content. The journey won't be a simple one but we're pretty sure it will be fun!"

While there were no item mall changes to report, the "Akan Temple" has been added to Egeha, an all-new Raid Dungeon (and thus only active on the third sub-server of each group), designed for players from level 90 to level 110, with brand-new monsters and special new armour that only drops there.  People in the shoutbox did report some problems there, but it does sound worth investigating.

I had work to do in the morning, and indeed the first part of the afternoon, which meant that RedRackham was busy pet-levelling on Auzura-6 from breakfast time, getting his drake past the halfway mark in level 43; his namesake on the Cariae server joined in at coffee time, to move his drake further through level 45.  He started a little later than I'd planned since, while the new patch downloaded easily, once I'd as usual "paused" the Kaspersky Antivirus, the actual launching didn't work, so that in the end I needed to restart the computer.  Thankfully, after that the game did launch without any further problems.

CaptainScarlet went back to the orc axemen and orc sergeants in Prokion Temple on Auzura-6, in a solo party with RedRackham, and stayed for a while - long enough to get a fourth-level Ignition run, though it seems impossible to use it fully there, as the supply of orcs runs out, and one has to wait for the respawning to start, which luckily it does before the buff ends.  CaptainScarlet gained 17 skill points during the run alone.

After that, Cap returned to Randol to sell his loot.  He hadn't got any of the Halloween "empty baskets", since the orcs are green-named to him, and, as before, the baskets only drop from monsters one's own level or above.  While in Randol, he was able to get some skills - the final level of Wall of Belief, increasing his defence by 50, cost 216 skill points, but the Captain was also able to learn the first four levels of Deep Wound Training, for 44 skill points, to increase his chance of making a "deadly" hit by 8%.

The next thing to do was actually visit RedRackham in the Jail, as he had a pair of the level 33 dual swords, +10, which he wasn't using - since CaptainScarlet has plenty of defence from his armour and skills, he doesn't need to use a shield, so dual swords, with more attack power, seemed a good idea.  Then the Captain started fighting the local berserkers and bandits which, at level 34 and 35, did drop empty baskets for him, as well as the usual loot, and by the time the food break was due, he'd collected 47 of them, which, exchanged at a scarecrow just outside Merac village, meant he had plenty of Halloween candies, and was able to get his pumpkin helm,  He did actually fight a couple of pumpkin ghosts, but neither of them dropped anything. That Merac part of his afternoon had added 58 new skill points, while the whole session got him up by 29.70%.

The evening's event was "Whack a Fluton", or "What a Fluton" as the website's header called it.  The website had the event happening on the fifth subserver of each server group, so MistressFelicia, my level 5 mage, who looks after my level 37 red dragon, went to the wrong place - when I finally noticed that the in-game announcement had said Auzura-6, things had already started.  [GM]Darasuum was at the Dratan arena, and spawned the usual monsters, as well as a few jokes.  What do you call a man in a swimming pool, with no arms or legs?  "Bob", apparently.  And a cow with the legs on one side longer than the legs on the other side produces "lean beef"...

Anyway, after the monsters had been vanquished, Dara spawned the traditional hands-loot, which meant that, not being worried about being pk-d due to her low level, Felicia was able to pick up 7 tool aids (useful, as before going out she'd used her last 4 to get some quality stones), a large attack potion, a skill point booster, and two item drop boosters.

Cariae's event was scheduled for seven, and this time we were again on the sixth sub-server...but we weren't in the Dratan proving grounds, the in-game announcements said Juno.  So, that's where my local level 12 healer KarambA headed.  I did fear that it would be a short [GM]JediMike event, given the easier venue, but, well, it was some anonymous GM or other, who provided lots of monsters, including nice low-level zombies that KarambA was able to kill, and also interacted, through the GM-style announcements, with people, responding to questions.  We didn't get any more corny jokes though.

What we did get, as well as masses of flutons and a few patriarch botises, were kamiras, which was good news.  Some of the usual goodies got stuck in the walls, but luckily no rare accessories - and KarambA, though she did get killed a few times by the monsters, managed to grab no less than 110 great healing potions, 70 medium mana potions, 35 moonstones, 40 lucky scrolls, and 5 crystals of experience (greater), plus memorising scrolls, tool aids, medals of honour, and six hero's necklaces, one of which, at least, seeming better than a magical necklace she had been using.

On Hatzring-6, as eight o'clock approached, my level 7 healer LadyJane arrived at the Juno arena to find [GM]Erock already there.  He certainly gave good value, as he conjured up flutons, darkmind terrains, baby apes, sphinx fighters, poison mists, purple dragons, and much more for just about 45 minutes before departing - leaving another mob of flutons as a parting gift.  There were some kamiras too - the first bunch were right in the far corner, so, with the flutons being active, LadyJane couldn't get to the loot, but a group at the end were a bit better, and she did manage, at least, a crystal of experience (greater), 10 each of the medium mana potions and great healing potions, 5 moonstones, 10 tool aids, and 5 scrolls of memorising, plus four hero's necklaces, not to mention plenty of medals of honour.

I  missed the start of the Tairen-6 event, which started at 8:45, UK time, as we were still dealing with the final flutons on Hatzring, but when my level 7 healer Barbarienne reached the Randol arena, [GM]Erock had things under control.  "A fluton has sensitive skin", he was telling people, as the monsters rushed around the arena.  "A fluton will never look in a mirror.  A fluton can eat an entire bucket of apples.  A fluton will never ask you for your password.  The life span of a fluton is longer than that of a chicken.  Flutons have their own encyclopedias called Flupedias.  A fluton will always remember the name of your mother.  A fluton's spikes can be used for an eloquent gift to your father-in-law.  The eyes of a fluton are made of metal.  If a fluton is caught in a dark alley way, it is searching for chocolate.  Flutons can easily be impressed with a box of chocolates."  In response to a question, he assured us that "Flutons don't change light bulbs, they eat light bulbs.  If a fluton asks for your keys, it has something in its teeth to pick out. When a fluton farts it says FLARTON.  To whack a fluton you need a flute.  The feet of a fluton can crush up to 10,000 cans at once - flutons have been known to be used in recycling centers across the world.  Flutons can make juice from the spikes on their shoulders, it's called fluton surprise."  He did ask us "How do you stop a fluton from crying?" - but no answer was forthcoming before he left, though the general consensus seemed to be that you should kill it.

After many different monsters, the farewell spawning ("GM erock says bye for now...") did include a generous number of kamiras; what with all the assorted monsters and all the kamira loot, the place got rather laggy for a while.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, and runs back from the respawning area, Barbarienne did manage to get across to where there was some loot, and, before a fluton or a patriarch botis could kill her, managed to pick up 4 crystals of experience (greater), 10 lucky scrolls, 5 moonstones, 5 tool aids, and 40 medium mana potions.  There was quite a bit of loot stuck in the wall - I even saw members of the Vendetta guild outside trying to grab some of the pieces.

So, while the pumpkin ghosts aren't our route to fresh supplies of lucky scrolls this year, fighting kamiras in the various arenas can get people some, at least.  RedRackham had kept busy pet-levelling right through the day; despite being ks'd during the evening by a German knight called Auren1982, who seemed convinced that "pet levelling without a weapon is not allowed", by log-out time he was only about ninety minutes away from getting his drake back into level 44.

The Quiet of the Tomb - October 28th

RedRackham hurried back to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 before breakfast, to spar with his friend the death mask lancer there - and before coffee, the drake safely reached level 44, nine levels above Red himself, and the same level as the lancer.  So, at last we are back to where we were before the series of rollbacks the Auzura server suffered last week, though of course if we'd not been rolled back, that drake would either be a level or so higher, or we'd have moved on to an entirely different pet-levelling project.

After coffee, while it was slightly tempting to bring MistressDomina in for an hour or two on Auzura-4, I decided that the short-term priority was to work on CaptainScarlet, so he went to work in Prokion Temple on Auzura-6; RedRackham moved over to that sub-server too, to provide the solo party.  As before, my favourite room in Prokion Temple, with its orc axemen and orc sergeants, was available, as most people do the majority of their skill point farming on the lower-level monsters there.  By lunchtime he'd added 27.78%, and 201 skill points, so, back in Randol, as well as selling his recent loot, he was able to get some more skill levels.

The afternoon started in Merac, continuing with CaptainScarlet.  He began with a session with the bandits and berserkers, and the particular pumpkin ghost that spawns in the same area, so managed to get a decent supply of empty baskets and quite a few pumpkins.  It does make a pleasant change to be out in the open, and that area brings back memories of lots of levelling sessions, back from before Prokion Temple's monsters got their experience and skill exp boosted, so that it became the only place to grind at Cap's level.  There were even three pandora's boxes, two of them yielding goodies and the third just the level 30 type of beast, rather, thankfully, than the level 50 type.

CaptainScarlet did level up, reaching 33, after a while. Back in Merac Caron village there was a new quest for him, involving killing bandits and pilferers; he also ran out to Rau at the column of magic, to conclude another quest.  Continuing the variety, he then moved across to Dratan, and got a quest there for "silver fox feathers", then teleported out to Prokion Temple, but didn't go in.  Instead he headed on south and west, killing enough of the local spiders to finish Healer Yabo's quest for them, and moving down to the silver foxes of the desert.  As far as I know, only the elite silver fox drops the necessary "feathers", so doing that quest took a little while, but after that Cap moved on to the death goddesses, as he had a quest to kill 35 of them, to stop them annoying innocent travellers.

I had heard the death goddesses recommended for loot and gold farming, but they didn't seem as good, to me, as the bandits and berserkers, with the added disadvantage of no convenient pumpkin ghost in the area.  So, once I'd finished the quest, I left that location - moving back across to Prokion Temple.

CaptainScarlet's new level meant that the orc axemen, on level 27, were now blue-named for him, but for one last level they still fuel his ignition bar, so Cap was able to do another Ignition run; in all, his afternoon session added 29.87%, along with 173 skill points.  Once he'd logged out, MistressSabina logged in briefly, just to "unlock" his experience gain.  Going half-speed through level 32 allowed him to grab some extra skill points, but now, levelling him up a bit is a priority.  Of course, as he is now only 15 levels behind MistressSabina, it would be possible for them to party together, perhaps on the beast flyers, but probably on the giants...

After the food break, Kaerella, my level 99 cleric, logged in on Cariae-4.  I got in touch with Tuffsen, or BadFairy, but she was still out farming pumpkins; mainly, she said, because of the possibility of getting books of melding, as she uses quite a few of those to meld costumes to her armour.  So, Kaerella and RedRydeR both had to pay to get into the Tomb - they were both in the ancient grey mummies room just in time for the five until six o'clock dungeon time hour.  Kaerella made it a "power hour", using all the usual potions, and managed to add 19.68% in level 99, from 41 experience boosters; 14 skill points and 1055 pet points were also earned.

The Tomb, or at least the mummies' part of it, was pretty quiet, I guess Tuffy wasn't the only one out pumpkin-farming.  A night shadow was there when Kaerella arrived (Red only entered when Kae had checked that NaOmi, with her Recall, wasn't there), but must have been carefully farming skill points, as he stopped fighting almost immediately after the dungeon time hour began, and soon left.  Later on another night shadow, Gr8BallsOfFire, was active in the onwards corridor for a while - and BadFairy, rather tired after a not very good day, did arrive eventually, though she didn't actually do much fighting and vanished before I finally left.

Kaerella just managed to reach a red Ignition run by the end of the evening, and ended up with a total of 23.59%, 81 skill points and 4676 pet points, with her polar bear cub having the chance to make a little progress through level 14 too.  RedRydeR added 12.55% in level 97, along with 84 skill points and 5924 pet points.  She comes out ahead on the skill points mainly because she managed to do her red Ignition sequence rather earlier, while two hours of double experience and skill exp "happy hour" was running.

Ghosts and Baskets - October 29th

The Last Chaos website was pleased to announce the return of master stones to the lootforge for the Halloween weekend - but the effect was slightly spoilt by an attack of greed, with the mention that "Due to the large demand for ore and the increase in value of the prizes per round the price the Demon Blacksmith of Eres has raised the prices of Ore", to 225 aeria points each.  So, over two dollars per attempt, with maybe one try in ten getting you a master stone of some sort, does sound just a bit expensive.  Or maybe there will be a "tiered spender" event over the weekend to take the edge off it?

RedRackham didn't rush out to Maargadum Jail before breakfast today, as I needed to move some things around; various bits of loot got transferred across to my merchant mages on Cariae and Auzura while Kaerella on Cariae also got some more experience boosters and platinum blessed irises from my reserves.  I had a look in Roy's merchant mart to see what sort of price level 97 cleric weapons, or indeed level 109 ones with a "-10" seal to allow a level 99 character to wield one, were being offered at, but there were no good cleric wands at all on offer.  I do have a useful supply of skill point boosters and platinum super skill pills, but really Kae needs a faster-killing weapon if she is going to be able to grind skill points when she reaches level 103...

Once the loot had been traded across, it was time to move a few drakes around too.  MistressBlaze traded her level 42 drake across to RedRackham in exchange for his level 44 one, and then MrChuckNorris traded his level 39 one to Red, getting the level 42 drake in return, so Chuck and MB have both had useful drake upgrades.  After that, RedRackham went off to Maargadum Jail to work on his new level 39 drake, giving a solo party on Auzura-6 to CaptainScarlet, who headed for Prokion Temple.  Red's drake was only a couple of hours into level 39 at the start, but made steady progress, using rather fewer quality stones per hour than before.

CaptainScarlet was able to take control of the orc axemen and orc sergeants room again, and managed to get up to a red Ignition run twice before lunch.  He had claimed a couple of quest rewards in Dratan City before teleporting to the Temple, which had given him 14.80% experience and 78 skill points; by lunchtime he had earned another 33.41% experience from the orcs, and 196 more skill points.

After lunch, and after renewing the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, CaptainScarlet returned to Prokion Temple.  The back room was in use now, but if anything the "corridor room" close by was more useful - especially after Cap reached level 34, which meant that the experience from the orc axemen fell further, and they were no longer any use for priming Ignition.  The corridor room may not be as crowded as my favourite room, but it does have a better proportion of the orc sergeants there.

Eventually CaptainScarlet went back to town, sold his loot, and then went to Merac, where he got a new quest to kill berserkers, and then did the previous quest to kill pilferers and bandits.  Farming the bandits and berserkers soon got the new quest finished, and as before plenty or armour drops were picked up, plus empty baskets and, from the pumpkin ghost, a useful supply of pumpkins too.  The afternoon session got Cap 49.24%, and 175 skill points; as he can use the drake he was previously levelling when he's out fighting in Merac, he got 1099 pet points too.

The early evening food break was slightly early, again, so that Kaerella and RedRydeR could get to the ancient grey mummies in Cariae-4's Tomb of Theos in time for the five until six o'clock dungeon time hour.  We generally had the room to ourselves again; an assassin-rogue called Zoradysis did an hour's sp-farming, but she was the only other player around at all.  Tuffsen, alias BadFairy, did get in touch, but she wasn't at her own computer, so I had to manage without her being mainly afk with her "Nanook" type polar bear, in a corner.  And NaOmi must still be out farming pumpkins, I guess.

The first power hour went smoothly enough for Kaerella, with 19.99% added from 41 boosters, plus 14 skill points and 1059 pet points gained.  Kaerella did a second power hour too, from eight until nine, UK time, and thanks to a bit of Ignition got through 45 experience boosters, which meant she added 21.54%, plus 15 skill points.  We had had double pet experience from six until eight, and it over-ran by the whole of the next hour, plus a few minutes, so Kae's drake, SirFrancis, gained 2120 pet points in that hour.

Progress between power hours is slow, so in all Kaerella went up 43.33% during the evening, also gaining 61 skill points and 7916 pet points (almost 15% of level 45).  RedRydeR, being two levels lower, added 9.62%, 66 skill points (helped by a red Ignition run), and 9416 pet points.  During the final part of the session, when Kaerella goes afk, with her polar bear cub equipped, while Red continues fighting, her cute little cub reached level 15.

And now the weekend approaches.  What special events will Auzura get, as compensation for those rollbacks?  Will there be a special Halloween tiered spender event?  All we know is that the gamesages will be around for half an hour per server tomorrow for "trick or treat" purposes, which should help us get into the right spirit.

The Silence of the GMs - October 30th

RedRackham was able to hurry along to Maargadum Jail before breakfast, on Auzura-6, and settle in for some pet-levelling.  Sadly, the GMs had remembered to switch off the second half of the double pet experience before leaving their office, so progress was slow - after coffee Red provided the solo party for CaptainScarlet, and so was able to keep going through until the end of the early evening food break, by which time the drake had just managed to reach level 40.

CaptainScarlet had a good long morning session, which continued after lunch as well, with the orc axemen and orc sergeants in the back room of Prokion Temple.  Once the Elizabuff had ended, he went back to Randol to get it renewed, and then headed for Merac, where the rewards for his quests killing pilferers and bandits, and then berserkers, got him 15.86% experience and 80 skill points - his Prokion time had earned him 25.53% and 188 skill points.

The main afternoon session was with the bandits, berserkers, and pumpkin ghosts.  A couple of pandora's boxes each gave him 50,000 gold - but a third released a level 50 beast, which initially I left well alone.  However, another knight appeared, and got it down to around 50% health before he died, so I attempted to finish it off... only to end up respawning back in town.  Before I got back, a passing high-level archer, presumably in search of the grand red dragon, had finished it off.

By the time I took the early evening food break, CaptainScarlet's Merac adventurings had added another 21.68% and 44 skill points, plus 1206 pet points; he returned there after the break, mainly to get to an Ignition level he was just short of, and added another 3.41%, 10 skill points, and 94 pet points.

I logged on to my Auzuran rogue Rage, ready to say "hi all" to my Twisted guildies...only to find she was no longer in the guild, to my surprise.  Checking the Tomb of Theos, however, showed it to be on maximum easy, so it seemed a good time to log in as MistressDomina.  It appears that there have been some changes in Twisted, in that the previous guild master, spazz, is now back, after being without an internet connection, or at least one good enough for online gaming, for quite a while, and when he did a little "spring-cleaning" of the membership, nobody remembered who Rage was, sigh.  I must say that the guild chat seemed a bit spikier, though it settled down as the evening progressed.  We can arrange to get Rage back in when convenient; I got the impression that the castle siege events weren't currently considered very important, just opportunities for people who enjoy PvP to go along and get involved in the fight.

RedRackham had had to log out, as he is on the same account as MD; instead, I logged SirGalahad in, and, in a solo party with MistressDomina he took his level 1 pony to Maargadum Jail, where he lured a spike canine back to behind the teleporter, a rather cramped space which was already a bit crowded with two other knights and a sorcerer.  With his good-quality armour, he was just able to keep his health up;  a level 23 character fighting a level 40 monster needs pretty good protection.  By the end of the evening the pony had got its sympathy up to 100%, and was in level 8, so next time, Gal will have the added protection of a bit of armour buff from it.

MistressDomina headed for the Tomb, and for the usual room with its supply of ancient grey mummies.  I took up position in the corridor leading into it, as someone was already busy in the main room, and started a "power hour" since, as it's skill points MD is farming, she doesn't have to stick to the "dungeon time" set-up.  With plenty of time left on the giant skill pill, I just added the platinum super skill pill and a small crit potion, both lasting an hour, plus of course the individual skill point boosters.

During the first hour I only got through 51 boosters, partly because it was a little while before I remembered that MD does move along more quickly if she uses her three buffs; she added 1.51% and 283 skill points.  Helped by an Ignition run, during a second hour 58 boosters were used, still a long way short of the "full-speed" hours MD has done in the past, for 1.73% experience and 321 skill points.

The evening's "Turbo" event had turned out to be 50% extra experience and skill exp, which was quite handy; I don't mind if MistressDomina moves on a bit more quickly through level 103 now, as she has a pretty good supply of skill points after all the work that has been done, and even without any additional boosts, that 50%, plus the 15% from the giant skill pill, meant that I still got 7590 skill exp per kill.  So, over the next ninety minutes or so another 43 skill points got added - in all over the evening MistressDomina added 5.62%, 647 skill points, and 3747 pet points.

A Twisted guildie, BlackenedSoul, did actually happen to arrive not long before I finished, but she, a fellow mage, is a few levels higher, and would have needed the whole room, as she'd be mobbing the place and using every mummy within range.  I did offer her my corridor collection, but that wasn't enough, with the room still being used by a couple of others, so she went off, perhaps to a PvP subserver where less people would be around.  When she said she'd give me a boost, I thought she meant a buff - but what she traded across to me, refusing payment, was one of the special pots that increases a character's total health and mana by 30% for a week.  As I commented when I thanked her, something that would be very useful later on, when MistressDomina has moved beyond the Tomb of Theos.

Once MistressDomina had logged out, there was just time to send RedRackham to Maargadum Jail again for an hour or so.  He didn't go down to the death mask lancer, though, he just got his own spike canine, and took up a position next to SirGalahad.  At level 23, with a blue name (+45 good), Gal hits the canines for 28 with no weapon equipped, while at level 35, with a red name (-154 evil), Red just hits them for 18.

I'd been too busy with the ancient grey mummies to get involved with the "trick or treat" event, which had gamesages in Randol, moving from server to server, handing out goodies to people who said the magic words.  Going by the Twisted guild chat, the treats were mainly soup, or chocolate, or cake.   Tuffsen, using the website's Meebo messenger, reported that she got some goodies, when it was Cariae's turn.  She also told me later that this time, the Vendetta guild had won back the Dratan castle, which may well mean that, for the coming week at least, the Tomb on Cariae doesn't get reset to the easy end.

There was no "tiered spender event" for Halloween; there was a tiny-chance raffle involving killing or being killed in PvP, and there was an "up to 50%" bonus cash sale, but, apart from the higher-priced loot forge and its (possible) master stones, things on the aeria point side were unusually quiet.  And, concerning special events this weekend to compensate Auzura for all the time and grinding lost to the rollbacks...not a peep from the GMs, which seems extraordinary.

Mainly Prokion and Merac - October 31st

There was another productive session for RedRackham in the morning, taking his current drake further through level 40.  After coffee he supplied CaptainScarlet with a solo party, while the Captain went to Prokion Temple on Auzura-6.  As the clocks have "fallen" back in the UK, and throughout Europe, this weekend, while the USA doesn't move to winter time  for another week, the times are out of joint, so that the dungeon time hour was from ten to eleven, UK time, instead of an hour later.  I had lunch either a half hour early or half an hour late, but there was just time for Cap to use one of his "beginner" platinum super skill pills, which can't be used once he has passed level 35. 

The titan xOAKSx decided to share the back room, with its orc axemen and orc sergeants; he was level 29 or lower, since the empty baskets dropped for him, and he was in Twisted, I saw.  Luckily he left just as Cap got up to a stage three Ignition run.  By the time the pssp ran out, and I logged off for lunch, CaptainScarlet had earned 14.98%, and 120 skill points.

CaptainScarlet did a further hour's pssp worth in Prokion Temple after lunch.  As he went up to level 35 early on, which brought the amount of experience per orc sergeant down rather a lot, he only added 4.00%, plus 90 skill points.  Back in Randol, he was able to learn "Candid" Fence 2's single level, which for just 60 skill points increased his defence by 120. He got the fifth level of Upgrade Mana too, and the reward for killing some spiders a while back from Healer Yabo, before heading out to Merac.

The berserkers are now below CaptainScarlet's level, so wouldn't drop the empty baskets that can be exchanged for Halloween candy; however, reaching 35 meant that there were a couple of new quests to be done, so Cap headed south out of town to acquire 10 red toenails from the gnolls for "materials of summon magic".  he also needed to get 5 each of the magical and strength-type dynamic bracelets, from the blood frenzies and doom slayers.

The toenails were easy enough to get, and fighting blood frenzies wasn't hard - the doom slayers though have a habit of living up to their name.  The first ones I found had rather too many blood frenzies within range, and even when I managed to lure out a couple, they didn't drop the bracelets, so I moved on to Mystic Swamp, where the blood frenzies and doom slayers were spread out a bit more.  There I did manage to collect the necessary bracelets, so went back to town, where Cap got his rewards.

In all, the Merac session had brought in 19.60%, and just 27 skill points.  Now it was time to try something different - so, after getting his drake about 60% of the way through level 40, RedRackham logged out, so that MistressSabina could go out to the giants in the Dratan desert...and take CaptainScarlet with her.

It was safe enough work, and as usual some weapons were dropped by the giants, but after a while it became clear that it wasn't exactly making Cap zoom up through the levels.  He did add 21.68% there, and 7 skill points, but unless they moved to the sphinx fighters and "speer" men, not a lot of zooming was going to happen - and for that I'd rather wait until Sabina had better armour, and a better weapon.

So, instead MistressSabina and CaptainScarlet headed for Maargadum Jail.  The beast flyers on the third floor were already being fought, so we went on down to the fifth floor. Nobody was pet-levelling, but we didn't have the place entirely to ourselves; still, both Sabina and Cap were able quite easily to fight the level 47 death mask soldiers and the level 44 death mask lancers.  If Cap's armour is good enough for him to pet-level there, he can certainly fight without having to worry about losing health.  I may well take him back there solo, next time.

By the time the Sunday Quiz was approaching, CaptainScarlet had added another 24.72%, and 19 skill points.  MistressSabina had earned the same 26 skill points from the whole session, plus 405 pet points and 9.00% experience.  And the cash from selling the weapons, and Jail drops, will come in handy too.  It's a shame that the ready-plussed items the death mask soldiers and lancers drop are from the 60/62 armour set, as everyone gets a free +5 set of that when they reach level 60, making a +3 or even +4 piece not very desirable.

The Sunday Quiz ran smoothly, though some people who hadn't realised that the US doesn't change to its winter time for another week logged in an hour late and missed it.  The questions were much as usual, with an emphasis on the fact that a GM will never ask for your account details and password.  I was back to my usual Auzura-2 room, since things seem now to be running okay there. Afterwards, once Kaerella had traded her winnings across to MistressDomina, various other characters of mine logged on and moved loot across to her... and then my merchant MistressDomino logged on, and got the whole lot.

RedRackham went back to pet-levelling on his death mask lancer on Auzura-4 for the final part of the evening, getting his drake past the two-thirds mark in level 40...and, with her supplies of goodies now topped up, MistressDomino tried a little bit of selling, in Auzura-5's Randol.  The first thing she sold out of was her 60 empty baskets, at what I thought was rather a high price, 250,000 each.  It looks as if CaptainScarlet needs to do some more empty basket farming!