Kaerella's Blog - stardate December 2010 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so our final month begins here at the top!
Levelling Pets - December 1st

There seemed to be no new patch at all this morning, and the weekly patch notes post was similarly minor.  "Our submitted bug list is still with the developers. We have not yet received feedback or any fixes for these issues" product manager Xuse2005 reported plaintively.  Concerning yesterday's slow-down, "There have been a couple lag spikes recently that have affected a few of Aeria's games. Our team is continuing to investigate the matter".  "Our efforts against gold spammers have increased as they are proving to be quite a challenge. We are initiating a new strategy this week to annihilate them", Xuse tells us, before adding, more realistically, "Or at least tame them a bit."

We are also promised that with some new procedures, the weekly maintenance will in future be a lot speedier when there isn't a new patch to be applied, which must be good news for people in the US, who have the downtime in the early evening - though they still won't know how long things will take, until the servers are once again up.  They appreciate our (hoped-for) patience as they slowly restock the website's item mall... and there's a "sneak peek" at a new skin for the Knight character, and a new armour, though I think there are those among us who would prefer bug-fixing, and getting skill power more equal between different classes, to be a higher priority than cosmetic changes.

So, the moon cake event continues into a third week, which is handy, as MistressDomina didn't manage to sell any of her ingredients for them before she logged off last night.  This morning my usual seven characters logged on for their half hours; SirGalahad was the last of the group, and, as I wasn't able to play actively, headed for Maargadum Jail and did some pet-levelling behind the teleporter on the ground floor, next to another knight called ecinuj2.  On the older machine, CaptainScarlet went to the Jail too - on the fifth floor xStrithx was already fighting the death mask soldier against the side wall, so Cap lured the death mask lancer further along past him, and set to work.

Unfortunately, while I wasn't looking someone lured a mass of dire spike canines onto ecinuj2 and SirGalahad, and my horse had died pretty quickly - I think ecinuj2 had been alert enough to unequip his hatchling in time.  I only had one dire spike canine attacking me, which I dealt with - ecinuj2 had half a dozen, but he was higher level than SirGalahad, and was dealing with them okay.  "Sigh, back to town to get my pet unsealed", I said, and teleported out.

At level 21, it only cost 61,740 gold to get the horse back in action, so I was able to return to the Jail and continue.  ecinuj2 said that he was levelling hatchlings to level 16 and sacrificing them, getting a pet part roughly every other time - he wanted to get the materials needed for a dragon sword. Another pet-leveller knight turned up before long, warning that he seemed to be the object of a vendetta from one player, who was persistently ks-ing him.  As lunch was getting near, I decided that it made sense for Galahad to leave them to it - and for RedRackham to come online instead, and head for the comparative safety of the fifth floor.

So, CaptainScarlet and RedRackham continued their pet-levelling.  I was busy getting my new computer set up and online for a while, as the morning's main excitement had been having a cable connection installed downstairs, but eventually I got SirGalahad working on the new Windows 7-running computer, Last Chaos being one of the first programmes it installed, along with Google Chrome, VLC, and my website builder.

Galahad headed for Prokion Temple as soon as the two to three o'clock dungeon time hour was over, though he only fought the ghouls rather sporadically, as, as part of my "winter upgrade", my new "ready to assemble" computer chair and computer desk had arrived.  Putting the chair together took a while, and the result is rather luxurious...it had a tendency to lower itself to its minimum height as soon as I sat down, but I think I've found out how to avoid that.

In the end, before I had to close down the application for something else to install properly, SirGalahad had just added 2.34% and  44 skill points, but he had picked up some relatively useful loot for resale.  The whole of it wasn't worth a quarter of the price of one of the weapons the giants drop for MistressSabina, but I hate to see a messy floor...

Later SirGalahad logged back in, still on the new computer, and did some more pet-levelling work, since I could keep an eye on him while I wrestled with assembling the computer desk.  That meant I was levelling three pets at once. Tomorrow morning I'll need to work out which desk goes where, and with which computer, but it will be fun, at least for a while, to have LC running on three computers, even if they aren't all in the same room.

A rogue called GummiBaerchen invited SirGalahad into a party, which was fine as long as he was on a different floor - if he had fought within compass-range that would have been disastrous, as Gal would have got way too much experience and very little skill exp.  He didn't speak English, and I don't speak German, so the party ended rather soon.  It was possible he was just checking that I wasn't away from the keyboard, of course...

As usually happens on a Wednesday, I had other things to do from eight or so, but RedRackham and SirGalahad were able to continue their pet-levelling, so that, while CaptainScarlet stopped on around two-thirds of the way through 47, SirGalahad got his horse to 23, and RedRackham's pony reached level 16, becoming a horse.

Computer Problems - December 2nd

The next stage in the "new look" for my computing set-up was to move the Vista computer downstairs, and the old XP machine across to the proper computer desk upstairs, as opposed to its previous rather makeshift set-up.  First of all the new Windows 7 computer needed to be moved across to the newly-constructed desk downstairs.  This wasn't as easy as it should have been, as the space in its internals for the tower unit wasn't tall enough, and the alternative position, if one removed an adjustable shelf, had a plank across at the back which obscured the top of the back of the tower, where the power plug needed to go.  Sawing a piece out of that plank took a while, but it was finally done, and the various bits were moved across and plugged back together.

Next, the Vista machine's various bits were moved down, and it was connected to the new cable router.  And then the XP computer was unplugged from its bits, moved into the official desk, and had its peripherals plugged back in.  By now, we were halfway through the morning.

The new computer started up brightly enough, with lots of updates to install and a restart needed - but that was the only good news.  The Vista machine wouldn't to anything when the power button was pressed - though I finally checked the on/off switch around the back, and found that somehow that had got into the "off" position, so once I'd rectified that, Windows did launch, and it even discovered that it was part of a new network.

Things upstairs were a bit more serious though - the only thing that switching that one on got me was a whirring, and a beep code - two quick, followed by three not so quick.  So that machine at least needs, once again, the attentions of an expert.  And with the snow thick on the ground and freezing conditions, I doubt if they are making house calls this week...

I had an "invalid password" scare when logging MistressDomina in for her half hour, but that was due to something being wrong with the "caps" key on that keyboard at that point; re-setting the keys, which are a separate overlay with a Z-board, cured that, thankfully.

Anyway, the attendance half hours started a bit late, but got going with the two Kaerellas, MistressDomina, and the rest.  SirGalahad, the last of the group, stayed mining for a while after his time finished - while on the newer computer CaptainScarlet headed for Maargadum Jail to work on levelling his drake.  When SirGalahad did log out, RedRackham was able to go to Maargadum too - and, working through the lunch break, the afternoon and the early evening food break, and for a while after that, he got his pale blue horse up two levels, to 18.

Both  RedRackham and CaptainScarlet had plenty of pet-levelling time, while I worked on preparing for my busy Sunday, weather permitting.   However, finally I was able to log SirGalahad on in his skill point farming capacity, and head for Prokion Temple - in a solo party with CaptainScarlet, who moved from Auzura-4 to Auzura-6 for that.  A "double skill exp" event was in progress, so for every 336 experience he got from killing a ghoul, he got 4125 skill exp.  The place was, understandably, pretty busy, though, so the killing rate wasn't particularly high.

SirGalahad stopped when the dungeon time hour began at eight, as that would have increased the experience per kill; by then he had added 3.20%, and 98 skill points.  His inventory was full, so he had plenty of loot to sell back in Randol.

MistressSabina took over, and made a party with CaptainScarlet - a combat party, since they are ten levels apart now.  As an experiment, taking advantage of the 50% experience boost during dungeon time, if you are in a dungeon, she too headed for Maargadum Jail.

Death mask lancers are level 44, and now blue-named for MistressSabina; in a solo party they give her 6,240 experience and 1,100 skill exp, with the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff and the attendance bonus running.  However, having CaptainScarlet, on level 40, within range meant that Sabina got rather more - it varied, but a typical kill gave 69,980 experience and 1280 skill exp.  The death mask soldiers, on level 47, were green-named, but having Cap within range probably helped a little.

Still, it wasn't as easy or speedy a place for killing as the desert area with the giants - Sabina did actually almost get killed once, when she must have killed one beast crawler with another one within "protective" range, and I didn't see I was being attacked until this second beast crawler had damaged her pretty hard - and her with no health potion on her task bar.  Stone failed, and her health-suction skill didn't do much, but luckily she managed to kill it while she still had a couple of hundred health left.

Once the dungeon time hour was over, she went out to the giants to use an ignition run, and indeed a second run almost immediately afterwards.  The loot was a lot better, and the killing rate.  She didn't stay long, though, so only added 135 pet points (she'd not equipped her drake in the Jail); the total experience gain for the session was just 8.06%, plus 33 skill points.

CaptainScarlet moved back to the quieter Auzura-4 server, and went back to Maargadum Jail, accompanied by RedRackham, and they finished the evening with a little more pet-levelling.  Red's horse made good progress through level 18 - and Cap's drake got to only an hour or so away from levelling up.

Keeping Busy - December 3rd

With the two downstairs computers leaping into action after breakfast, my usual seven characters put in their attendance half hours, though MistressSabina did get a disconnection during her time out at Teleporter Elveen's mining area.  They have now notched up seventeen consecutive days each, it seems.

For some reason the weekend's festivities seem to have started a day early, with a miniature tiered spender event - spend 1 ap for a strong medicine, 100 ap for 50 large defence potions, 200 ap for 100 large attack potions, and 300 ap for 5 large crit pots.  It's good that they have got the system working again (though I did hear reports that early buyers weren't seeing their purchases on the tier page), though the prizes aren't all that enticing.  Master stones are back in the Lootforge too, for three days - however, hearing someone complain that he'd spent a hundred dollars' worth of aeria points and not got anything does rather put one off feeding 199 ap at a time into the system, only to see everything  break, or possibly just get a lucky smelting stone at the end of the fifth round.

Once again, SirGalahad stayed on to do a little extra mining after he'd got his attendance sorted, while CaptainScarlet went off to Maargadum Jail, and began sparring with his death mask lancer.  Cap soon got his drake to level 48, a level that, at the normal speed, is liable to take him 36 or 37 hours to get through - that means a lot of quality stones will be used.

MistressDomina had killed a fox on the way to the mining area, and got 1 experience and 2 skill exp, showing that the GMs had forgotten to switch off last night's double skill exp "happy hour" when they left the office.  But I had too much work to do to take advantage of that today...

At six o'clock, however, CaptainScarlet logged out, with his drake a fifth of the way through level 48, and MistressSabina took over the newer computer; then RedRackham logged out, with his horse a sixth of the way into level 21, having gone up two levels during the day, so that Cap could move in over there - on sub-server six, to give Sabina a solo party.

The double skill exp was already switched off, but today's "happy hour" of double experience was a bit late being switched on, starting about 6:30, UK time - increasing the experience MistressSabina got each time she killed a giant from 77,550 to 96, 937, as 150% extra on the basic 38,775 is the maximum you can get, without using experience boosters.

There was still some work I needed to do, so MistressSabina logged out a bit early; she had gained 16.95% and 79 skill points, plus 951 pet points; selling the weapons she had dropped for her brought in around 7.5 million gold, and she also picked up a couple of heaven stones.

After that, RedRackham was able to get back online for a little more pet-levelling, while CaptainScarlet continued his work.  By the end of the evening, Cap's drake was approaching a third of the way through level 48, while Red's horse was approaching the top of level 21.  At least horses don't have to go beyond the start of level 37, generally...

Levels 106 and 50 - December 4th

The usual seven suspects did their half hours of attendance; I did kill a fox or two, but they just gave one experience and one skill exp, so the double experience event from yesterday was safely switched off.  Just as well really, as it hinders as many characters as it helps.

CaptainScarlet got back into pet-levelling action after that, and once SirGalahad had finished his half hour of mining, RedRackham went along to the death mask lancer too.  He had actually managed to get his horse into level 22 just before logging off last night, so the horse was able to learn another level of the Armour Increase buff (or "amor increase", as the game rather charmingly calls it for a horse) before Red set off for Merac.

I was far enough ahead with my preparations for tomorrow for MistressDomina to be able to log in ahead of the two to three o'clock dungeon time, and check the condition of the Tomb of Theos on Auzura.  It was at the 100% easy end of the scale, so my archer Kaerella logged in too and joined her, making the combat party at the entrance.  They went in - and while that first corner after the main anubis spear man room was being used, the room itself was deserted, so we settled in there.

As usual, MistressDomina concentrated on the spear men, while Kaerella farmed the sphinx fighters.  When the dungeon time hour began, MD started the berserker, adrenaline, and small crit potions, swiftly followed by the platinum blessed iris when the current anubis spear man's health was approaching zero.  After about 45 minutes, MD levelled up, reaching 106 - by the end of the hour, she had used 62 experience boosters on the 62 spear men she'd killed, going up by 29.03%, and 9 skill points.

After running across to the ancient grey mummies room, finding it fully occupied, and running back to the spear men, my duo put in almost another hour's worth of fighting, unboosted; the whole afternoon session gave MistressDomina 29.83%, 16 skill points, and 2065 pet points - which towards the end of the session got her drake into level 50.

Kaerella got a few weapons as drops from the sphinx fighters, and completed the quest to kill fifty of them again; she went up by 2.54% in level 101, and got 14 skill points and 1517 pet points, as she did take a little time off while I concentrated on MD.

The food break was a lengthy one, so RedRackham and CaptainScarlet got back into Maargadum action; Red's horse reached level 23 then.  And after that, MistressSabina replaced Red on the newer computer, and headed out for the giants.

Double pet experience was due to start at six, UK time, but as usually happens the GMs forgot all about it.  Luckily a GS appeared in the shoutbox eventually, and was able to pass on a message to remind them - so the event began forty minutes late.  CaptainScarlet immediately popped a platinum pet experience potion, to boost his pet points up to six at a time.  Things went smoothly until a little after eight, when Aeria got another of those "lag spike" network issues, and everyone, except merchants or people just standing around in town, got disconnected.

CaptainScarlet was on his second platinum pet experience potion by then - and MistressSabina was two-thirds of the way through fighting a giant at the time.  Nobody could log back in for two or three minutes, and then Cap did manage to get back on, and hurried back to Jail.  The forum shoutbox was running awfully slowly, with any new post taking quite a few seconds to actually appear - people reported problems logging in to the site, too.

When I finally managed to log back in to MistressSabina's account, her health was on zero - the disconnection had got her killed.  With the problems with the shoutbox showing that the problem wasn't over, and people reporting continuing log-in and disconnection problems, it didn't seem a good idea to risk Sabina getting killed again.  So, with the death penalty - with a disconnection there is no opportunity to use a resurrection scroll to avoid it - MistressSabina's session ended with her up just 11.99% and 1545 pet points - and down by 214 skill points.

That ended my active playing for the evening; it was just as well the mass disconnection hadn't happened while MistressDomina had been on, as 2% of her skill exp would have been around three times as much as Sabina lost.  And for many people the timing was terrible, as they would have only started a dungeon time "power hour" a few minutes before, complete with expensive hour-long potions.

Anyway, RedRackham's pale blue horse made useful progress through level 23, two pet points at a time, and despite losing some time to the disconnection, CaptainScarlet got his drake to almost 85% of the way through level 48 before that second pet potion ended, and then continued with just the event's double pet points.  By the end of the evening, Red's horse had reached level 24, thanks to the continuing double pet experience, and Cap's drake was only about three hours away from its next level.

More Disconnections - December 5th

One of my "Busy Sundays" didn't leave much time for playing Last Chaos - I was hoping to have enough time for the attendance allowances, and to get to the Sunday Quiz, but that was about all.

However, with the double pet experience running, I did leave RedRackham and CaptainScarlet hard at work pet-levelling overnight.  Red's horse had reached level 24 before I left the computers to it; I couldn't leave Cap working on his level 48 drake, as it would have reached its starvation level after an hour and forty minutes, but he was also carrying a level 34 one as well.  He hadn't equipped it for so long that its Sympathy had dropped to zero, but he doesn't need the armour buff, so that was no problem.

By the (rather early) end of the night, Red's horse was nearing the top of level 25; Cap's junior drake was two-thirds of the way through level 35, and, as I'd been able to put the higher-level one back on for an hour or so, that drake had just reached level 49.  The double pet experience had been switched off on time. But then the computers had to be switched off for around eleven hours.

The attendance half hours went through smoothly, except for my archer on Auzura, Kaerella, who got disconnected soon after 7:30pm, UK time; SirGalahad was still online, with a view to taking a short trip to Prokion temple if I had the time, and he disconnected too.  Judging from the talk when I logged back on, and in the forum shoutbox, it was another game-wide "lag spike", so I was right not to risk sending MistressSabina out to the giants again.  The duo got disconnected again twenty minutes later... and Kae got disconnected again five minutes after that, while I was still trying to log SirGalahad back on.

Things weren't looking to good for the Sunday Quiz, but Kaerella and MistressDomino logged in for it on Auzura-2, and got into the quiz room, with twenty minutes to spare.  The room seemed fuller than usual, and things did seem a little laggy, but Kae and my merchant mage, and indeed almost everybody else, did get through to the end.  The duo respawned in Randol after deliberately getting question 22 wrong, and Kae transferred her prizes, and other recent loot, across to MD junior, who hurriedly logged out.

So, the Quiz, at least, was successfully completed today, though all these disconnections are worrying - I wasn't in a risky situation, but other people reported losing skill points from dc-induced deaths.  There were reports from Cariae of a disconnection straight after the quiz for some people at least, with, of course, their recently-gained prizes no longer in their inventories when people logged back in, as every disconnection has its own minor "rollback", since the game doesn't save inventory and stat changes immediately.  It's too bad that those undeserved deaths don't get rolled back too...

CaptainScarlet headed for the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 after that, and started sparring with the death mask soldier; RedRackham followed soon after, and lured the death mask lancer along to the side.  Red's horse soon levelled up to 27, while Cap's drake started on the long slog through level 49, which is liable to take about forty hours... not counting disconnections!

A Bit Of An Anti-Climax - December 6th

It was a relief to be able to get back to normal, with no more "busy weekends" due until the New Year. My various characters were able to go out for a half hour of random mining each - though before SirGalahad could take his turn, a Twisted member, the level 99 witch munchie, was asking for some combat party members, so Rage enquired if recall was available, and when she was assured it was, moved across to Auzura-6.

llKurkurell, a level 92 assassin-rogue, had also answered the call, so for a combat party MistressDomina was out of range - but once her half hour was finished, I logged my level 95 warmaster-titan MrChuckNorris in, and he too joined the party and took Recall down to the anubis spear man room. The level 97 archer twen joined up too, though was afk for much of the time - and 22gofer and 222gofer, not Twisted guild members, joined the party, though only one of them played actively, just as Chuck didn't do any fighting, just the occasional buff.

llKurkurell did get a number of disconnections, including a power cut, but generally most of us were attacking anubis spear men, getting them down to about 5% health, and then accepting the party recall that munchie put up. It worked pretty well, and munchie reported afterwards that she'd added at least 50%, which was probably more than twice as much as she would have got solo, though of course it meant that a lot more experience boosters were used.

Rage and Chuck remained in the spear man room over lunch, and found that munchie was back, and ready for another dungeon time hour, afterwards. However, the room had other people fighting there, so munchie went off to try other sub-servers; she soon reported a clear spot on Auzura-1, so we moved over and were recalled in. This wasn't the same room, though, we were further in, in the column-lined wider corridor leading to the "swimming pool" area.

llKurkurell joined us again, and llGEMATRIAll, and someone's friend, a knight called Cradle, and munchie's power hour began. The main trouble with that corridor is the number and placement of the sphinx fighters, so Rage spent most of her time killing those, either for being a bit near or because they were attacking her or munchie. There were still a few occasions when Rage could help kill a spear man, or even start on one herself, though often a sphinx fighter would join in. llKurkurell had further disconnection and power supply problems, due to the weather, but by the end of the hour munchie was on 97%... so we kept going for a few minutes, until munchie reached level 100.

MrChuckNorris did actually do a bit of fighting, mainly towards the end; he went up by 1.74% in all in level 95, and got 6 skill points. In all Rage got 6.19%, the same 6 skill points, and 2432 pet points.

After Rage had sold the level 97 weapons, and a piece or two of armour, and traded her other loot across to my merchant mage, it was finally time for SirGalahad to put in his attendance half hour, with a little mining - while CaptainScarlet went down into Maargadum Jail for a little pet-levelling.

The Monday event was to be a "Merac Run", so Rage got to Merac on Auzura-5 in good time, to wait for the start - preferably a little way down the trail, as the first monsters of all are a bit low-level. I got invited to a party with Lavina, johntravolta and KnightofLight21, but they were generally a bit low-level, and didn't stay around all that long after the monsters spawned.

The hands of loot were spawned on the path down from the village, and, since the beasts protecting them were mainly wafes, sphinx spear men, and dark bogles, Rage was able to concentrate on grabbing loot, ignoring their ineffective attacks. I did that a little further down too, but the monsters were a bit more high-powered, and eventually I had to retreat - but by then I'd got around 14 each of the four good items, the item drop and skill point boosters and the large attack and defence potions. I diden't even see the kamiras, just the death goddesses they spawn when near death, and a medal of honour or two left on the ground, so somebody else was ahead of the pack there.

The only Twisted guildie there was Rage's fellow rogue llGEMATRIAll, and we did team up on a few monsters. The whole run went pretty smoothly, and the patriarch botises at the far end were all despatched within 22 minutes of the start. [GM]Darasuum was at the end too, and spawned a little more loot, but it was minor compared to the drops at the start.

Once the event was declared over I headed back towards Merac Village. What surprised me was that, when I attacked an occasional remaining monster that had been overlooked as we ran down - a wood ghost, a screaming zombie, a dark bogle - my first hit caused them to vanish with a puff of virtual smoke, giving no experience whatever.

Katar's run was scheduled for seven, so my level 31 rogue Memree went along there - she may only be a third the level that Rage is, but she has the advantage of not having any skill points unused, so has nothing to lose when she does get killed. Annoyingly, her one death was right at the end, after all the high-level monsters had been dealt with - one of the elite cerberi that normally respawns in that area targeted Memree just as [GM]Darasuum had spread out all the loot on the ground, so that all she could do was resurrect back in Merac Village, far away from all that loot. Still, she had helped kill a lot of monsters, especially with Snare, and picked up two large attack and a large defence potion along the way, along with five moonstones from the kamiras, and got a little bit of gold too. And not lost any skill points...

Katar's run had taken at least half as long again as Auzura's one; Memree had been a junior member of a group of players at the far end, and it seemed almost as if it was just the five of us, but the monsters we were picking off had just been run past by the main wave, who were taking on the botises I guess.

Anyway, I wouldn't have to worry about elite cerberi or any other regular Merac monsters on the Cariae run, as Barbarienne is comfortably above their level. The Auzura and Katar runs had been held on the fifth subserver, as the website had said, but the Cariae announcement was for C6, which is the more normal number for such events these days. I'd logged Barb in on Cariae-5, but swiftly moved her across, and was in position to hoover up some early drops again. I was distracted by kamiras, however, so didn't pick up much - and although Barb fought her share of kamiras and grand golden dragons, only had five moonstones and two crystals of experience (greater) to show for it.

We had reached the end, and were fighting the high-level golems etc, when I had a disconnection - in fact, it seemed that not only had I been disconnected, everyone else had been, too. I rode back down, but all the giant warrior statues had vanished, and there was no trace of any monsters along the way. I was the first person to get back to where we'd been fighting - the monsters were all gone. And, no GM came along to replace them, or give us any loot - with the "mini-rollback" a disconnection gives, some people lost recent drops they'd picked up, though my small amount of kamira loot was far enough back to still be with me.

We waited, but nothing happened... and eventually we drifted off. There was some hope of loot back in Randol, but nothing appeared. It was all a bit of an anti-climax.

Sarissa was different; my level 39 rogue RedRyder got recruited into a party by TitenPawer, which also included YouGMoney, level 91, and Justin420, who was level 122. My main job was to supply horse buffs, and do some Snare and general support... that, and not dying. We got to the end successfully, and killed all the flutons and patriarch botises and so on, and then, after nothing happened, everyone rode off back down the path. I was tempted to follow, but in the end was one of the dozen or so people who actually saw the loot being spawned, rather belatedly.

So, RedRyder, who managed to dodge the elite cerebri, was one of the lucky ones who got lots of loot. I saw that TitenPawer had picked up a heaven stone, but assumed it was something a monster had dropped - but no, when I moved around, picking up loot, I saw potions of haste still scattered on the ground, for the first time in what must be over a year a GM had spawned hands of the warrior, which include heaven stones, as part of an event's reward.

RedRyder actually levelled up, reaching 40; that and useful quantities of the main loot items made it a nice compensation for the Cariae problem. CaptainScarlet had kept busy pet-levelling through the evening, of course, and got past the 20% mark in level 49 before he too had to log out.

Sabina Levels Up - December 7th

I was out almost all morning doing some shopping, but I got four of my "attendance" septet qualified for the day before I drove off, with another pair sent out to do some mining while I was out.  There was just time before lunch to put number seven, SirGalahad, up with a little mining... so that completed the set.

After getting some advice that computers that just bleep when switched on often just have a memory stick, or other item, a bit loose, while I was out I bought an anti-static wristlet, and, suitably equipped, managed to open the side of the old XP-running computer.  Nothing seemed particularly loose, but I pushed memory sticks and anything else that was obvious, trying to make sure things were firmly lodged - and when I'd closed the case up again, and turned the computer on, it just made the usual cheerful single bleep, and started up.  It didn't actually want to connect to the internet... but maybe I can fit it in downstairs for that at some point.

There was still a little talk of lag in the shoutbox, but I dared to take MistressSabina out to the giants in Dratan desert, in a solo party with CaptainScarlet, who of course went off to Maargadum Jail for some pet-levelling.  Luckily there weren't any disconnections, and by the time I went off for the early evening food break, Sabina had added 10.05%, reclaimed 55 skill points, and gained  666 pet points.

MistressSabina stayed logged in, and went out for a short continuation of her session after the break; she added another 6.06%, which was enough to get her into level 51.  That doesn't give her access to any new skills, but does at least mean that she was able to put on the level 56 Kirnitooth's skirt and shirt.  Like the level 51 "Bluses" pieces, they are both +13, so the increased defence is just 34; a bigger boost will come at 52, when she can wear the new boots and headgear.  She will also be able to learn the second level of Burning Flame then, doubling its power, so that it "bleeds" 400 hit points over ten seconds.  Further levels of that skill will follow, adding a further 200 hit points a time - which is just as well, as higher level monsters have a lot of hit points.

Apparently the Vendetta guild own the Tomb of Theos on the Cariae server at present, and have managed to get some of their officers banned - so the Tomb there is not being set, and has drifted dangerously low.  That foiled my plan to have my cleric Kaerella put in a dungeon time stint from eight to nine there - so instead Rage went to the Auzura Tomb, which was set to easy.  The Auzura Tomb was fairly busy, of course, so Rage just spent the hour in the anubis spear man room, generally just battling the sphinx fighters.

Two pairs of players were doing guildie power-levelling; nearest to me the night shadow QueteShadow was helping the archer CleoPatre, who certainly seemed to add plenty of levels - they even went off and got her new armour at one stage.  QueteShadow did disconnect once, leaving the poor archer running for her life - but I managed to take the spear man off her, and kill it, though for some reason I managed to attract a pair of sphinx fighters while I was doing it, so lost a bit of health.  A single sphinx fighter does Rage no damage at all, but an anubis spear man can hurt her, and takes ages to kill, so when Rage does some more "power hours", they'll probably be in the ancient grey mummies room.

Including the quest reward for killing fifty sphinx fighters, Rage just added 3.26%, on top of the 0.12% from yesterday's Merac Run; she got 6 skill points and 1159 pet points.  Weapon drops were a lot less frequent than Sabina was getting with the giants; since they sell for less than twice as much, Sabina is a better earner at the moment!  The knight shield the giants drop is worth less than the weapons, but the one the sphinx fighters drop is worth more, curiously.

With the ending of another LC week, I suppose it is quite likely that the moon cake event may end, finally; instead of trying to sell the remaining ingredients, I decided to try to make a few moon cakes.  In theory the success rate from that ought to be 70%, but I had 29 lotus seeds, plus plenty of egg yolks and flour, across four characters, and ended up with 18, which works out at 62%.  Assuming the cakes don't vanish, they ought to be useful as a "mini adrenaline", though I assume they only last 5 minutes.

CaptainScarlet had continued his pet-levelling across the evening, passing the 40% mark in level 49 for his drake; once Rage had logged out, and the moon cakes had been made, RedRackham was able to do a little work on his pale blue horse too, making a little further progress through level 26.

Just Call Me Ks-rella... - December 8th

I was impressed with the way the new computer handled its updates this morning - I chose what I wanted from what was available, including new graphics card drivers, and then was informed that the updates would be applied at 3:00am tomorrow morning.  What was slightly less impressive was to come back after breakfast and find the computer frozen, with a "no graphics card drivers" notice and a few other blurry windows on a black background, so that I had to do a manual restart, but once that was done, everything seemed back to normal.

That did mean my cleric Kaerella lost a little time in her attendance half hour, but not much, and the usual group soon got through their times, with a little mining along the way.  Zenderfly (spellchecker suggestions: Underflow, Underfloor, Thunderflash, and Wonderful) got in touch with Barbarienne, and we checked that she did have a character in Norcaine over on Auzura as well as Cariae, so that we can keep in touch.  She is level 114 now, and feels she has outgrown the Tomb - she has been busy getting rich in Strayana lately.  When MistressSabina was on a little later, godofbeasts was chatting to her - he too is making good gold, from Egeha quests, about 14 million over the last couple of days from each of his two characters who are the right level there.  He remembered having fun with the giants: "between 2-4 million per full inventory of drops."

The new patch was again tiny, if there was anything at all.  "The developers have responded with a list of bugs they are reporting fixed", Xuse2005 reported cautiously.  "We will be checking to confirm these issues are resolved", he added, which seems very sensible.  "These fixes will be released with the new content.  More fixes will follow."  As for the new stuff itself, he assured us that "Testing of the new content is in full swing!  We're working as hard as we can to make sure the massive amount of updates will be released nice and clean!"  Let us hope their efforts are successful.  A screenshot showed a new SWAT-type "Police" costume for a titan... and as for the problems with the web item mall, well, they appreciate our patience...

As an experiment, SirGalahad didn't take a spike canine on the ground floor of the Jail to pet-level on - with horse buffs active, he ran down to the fifth floor, and, luckily avoiding the death mask soldiers, was able to start sparring with the level 44 death mask lancer.  While the horse buffs lasted he had no problems, and even when they ran out, leaving Gal with a physical defence of 1260, his health bar remained full.  Not many level 24 characters can pet-level on a death mask lancer, I'm sure!

CaptainScarlet followed SirGalahad down; he got ambushed by both death mask soldiers as he entered floor five, but managed to kill one, and lured the other off to the side, for his own pet-levelling stint.

SirGalahad logged out after lunch, with his horse just having reached level 24.  MistressDomina logged in, and, once she'd found that the Tomb of Theos was on 90% easy, Kaerella, my level 101 archer (Auzura has my archer of that name, Cariae has my cleric - simple, eh?) logged in as well, instead of CaptainScarlet.  There was a disconnection just as I was doing that, but I didn't think much about it, and MistressDomina logged back in and they both went to the Tomb entrance, where Kaerella had her small quest reward for killing fifty sphinx fighters.

They went in, and found the first corridor corner after the main anubis spear man room free, and settled in - or started to settle in, anyway, as at that moment there was another disconnection...from what other relogging players said in Randol, and reports in the forum shoutbox, it was a mass disconnection for poor long-suffering Auzura again.

MistressDomina and Kaerella returned to the same spot in the Tomb - Kaerella had to get her quest reward and new quest from Atum again, so hopefully the small "rollback" returned the money Kae and MD paid to get in the first time.  By the time they got back to the corner the dungeon time hour had started, but I was unwilling to risk expensive potions and a PBI with frequent disconnections...so in the end MistressDomina, supported by Kaerella, did a kind of unboosted "power hour", before moving across to the ancient grey mummies for around 50 minutes.  By the time I went off to start on food preparation, MistressDomina had added just 1.58% and 20 skill points, plus 1796 pet points, while Kaerella was up by 2.08%, 17 skill points, and 1513 pet points.  The archer laavaa was there, someone we'd known from MD's times fighting the screaming zombies, looking very smart in a new armour set.

Kae and MD stayed in the mummies' room over the food break, and then returned to the spear man side in time for the five to six o'clock dungeon time hour.  That corridor corner was already taken, so my duo ended up in the main room. over on the far side.  We were sharing it with the level 91 titan Netharel, and MistressDomina started her berserker, platinum adrenaline, and small crit potions when the "dt" hour began, plus the platinum blessed iris, and began using the experience boosters.

Unfortunately a night shadow called LilMitchyy95 came in, and also started fighting the anubis spear men - and there really aren't enough spear men for three people.  "Please move further in, LilMitchy, there are not enough spear men for 3 in this room", MistressDomina said, but he ignored this.  So, Kaerella started to target the spear men that he was fighting, which of course isn't good news if you are using boosters.  "Heyyyy - ksing man?"

"You have been asked politely to move on", Kaerella said, and Netharel added "Can you see the room is taken Lil..."  The response was "I have?  K, 2 sec... sorry", and he did, thankfully, move further into the Tomb.  Always polite, MistressDomina did say "Thanks", but he may have been out of range by then.  It's handy to have a supporting character there like Kaerella, who can do such things while MD concentrates on trying to get full value from her potions.  If a sphinx fighter attacks MD, she is able to deal with it, too, while MD concentrates on the spear men.

The hour wasn't quite at maximum strength, then, as we lost out on a few spear men until things were sorted out, but MistressDomina still managed to get through 56 experience boosters, which meant that she gained 26.38% in level 106, which isn't too bad - plus 10 skill points.  We didn't stay long afterwards, but the few kills before the hour began meant that MD's early evening session added 26.58%, 11 skill points, and 1371 more pet points, while Kaerella added another 1.67%, 10 skill points, and 838 pet points.  MistressDomina's 15% extra "skill pill" will run out soon, and then they will both get the same number of skill points...until Kae takes her turn to start one, when she gets to 103.

I had to leave Last Chaos soon after that, to make some preparations for my usual Wednesday evening entertainments - but I was able to keep CaptainScarlet going, pet-levelling on a death mask soldier, so that by the end of the evening his current drake had reached the two-thirds mark in level 49.

A Visit to the Commies - December 9th

The attendance half hours got seen to in the morning in the usual way; once the other six had been finished, SirGalahad went to floor five of Maargadum Jail again, accompanied by CaptainScarlet, and they both stayed there until after lunch, levelling their pets.  Once two o'clock, UK time, was approaching, though, it was time for Gal to log out so that MistressDomina could log in.

MistressDomina checked the condition of the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-4, and found that it was good, so my level 101 archer Kaerella logged on instead of CaptainScarlet, and went out to join her.  Luckily the first corner of the corridor after the main anubis spear man room was free - and luckily today there were no disconnections.

MistressDomina did a full "power hour" from two to three, and managed to use 64 experience boosters, as well as the usual potions, so that she went up 29.47%.  I hadn't realised that last night's "Turbo" event, double skill exp, had been left running, but MD got 17 skill points, about twice as many as an hour with the spear men usually gives.

To make a bit more use of the double skill exp, my duo moved across to the ancient grey mummies for around an hour or so, before it was time for the early evening food break.  The whole session so far had given MistressDomina 30.28%, plus a total of 51 skill points, and 2153 pet points, while Kaerella earned 2.73%, 45 skill points, and 1849 pet points.

My duo stayed in the mummies' room over the break, and then, about twenty minutes ahead of the next dungeon time's start, went back to my favourite corridor corner, on the feeling that the earlier one got there, the more likely it was to be available.

I was in time to get the spot again, so another "power hour" was run, from five to six o'clock.  This time MD just managed to use 61 experience boosters, which gave her 28.14%, and 17 skill points again.  Once the hour had finished, MistressDomina and Kaerella returned to the mummies room; a trip back to the spear men side when the eight o'clock dungeon time hour was approaching showed the whole area to be rather busy, so my duo returned to the ancient grey mummies for a few more minutes.  By the time they left, the evening session had given MD 30.11%, 77 skill points, and 3149 pet points, while Kae had gained 3.80%, 67 skill points, and 2666 pet points.

The double skill experience, left running by mistake from yesterday, continued until about half past six, and was then switched off... which seemed a bit unnecessary as today's happy hour, starting at six, was supposed to be double skill exp too.  Whichever GM was doing it got a bit confused, apparently there was some ambiguity on the calendar, and briefly put double experience on, before messages from in-game, via a gamesage in the forum shoutbox, sorted things out, and double skill exp was restored.

Talking of game masters, there was good news today, with the Last Chaos crew being returned to their full six, after a week or so down at five.  While we are losing JediMike, we have been allocated a new name, Super - and Ozymandias has been returned to us.  He was always a sensible, friendly type, so the return of "Ozy" is something to celebrate.  JediMike has done a lot for our game over, well, probably a couple of years; I did get the feeling that he might have become slightly jaded, though, so a move to a different Aeria game is probably just what he needed.

As eight o'clock approached. I asked on the Twisted guild chat channel if there was any combat party needing a little extra moral support, and, on finding that llGEMATRIAll, the level 106 assassin, and Luda4axD were getting a party together, MistressDomina moved to Auzura-5, registered for a combat party, and was soon teleported into the Tomb - into the Sphinx Commanders' room.  Dropkick also joined us as a supporter, sitting on a safe corner with his pet jaguar equipped, and I got Kaerella into the party too.  A couple of people from the GatesOfOblivion guild joined too, and we did in fact reach eight people at one stage.

Kaerella equipped her level 37 polar bear cub before long, and it added around 40% in level 37.  Where we were standing wasn't quite 100% safe. so MistressDomina did fight a "commie" or two - and when the dungeon time hour was over, and llGEMATRIAll had safely reached level 107, MD fought a few more, getting her up to a second-level ignition run, as just standing there had got her most of the way to that.

It seems that the experience from sphinx commanders has now been increased, so that they give 33 million experience, compared to a spear man's 28 million or so; in the combat party, with four or five of us there, MD got from 35 to 39 million, unboosted, which actually seems pretty similar to what a spear man would give.  I must investigate further, but I think the spear men are rather more convenient for MD for a few levels yet.

MistressDomina just added 0.85% and 10 skill points, plus 134 pet points, while Kaerella gained 0.57% and 8 skill points.  It seemed quite fitting that MD's 15%-adding giant skill pill finally ran out while she was fighting one last sphinx commander, that was going out with a flourish.

There was just time for RedRackham and CaptainScarlet to head for Maargadum Jail and do a bit more pet-levelling before the end of the evening.  Red's pale blue horse made a bit more progress through level 26, while, by log-out time, Cap's drake was 80% of the way through level 49.

When Two Become Three  - December 10th

RedRackham and CaptainScarlet had looked so safe and busy in Maargadum Jail last night that I decided to leave them to it until morning.  CaptainScarlet switched over from the level 49 drake to his level 35 one, while Red continued with his horse.  I checked up on them just before seven; Cap had recently been disconnected, so I took him back there, and switched back to the level 49 drake.  By the time they logged out at breakfast time, useful progress had been made, with Red's horse up by two levels, and Cap's lower drake up by a level too.

Cariae's Kaerella and Barbarienne then logged in for the 24th days of the attendance allowance.  Kae looked at a merchant or two, and was tempted to buy a necklace of wind from the Vendetta night shadow LUCYFER; at 15 million, 10% suction of life, 5 magical defence, and 16 swiftness of reflexes seemed worth getting, particularly if I do start a new phoenix-type character on Cariae before too long...

MistressDomina and Rage were next up for their attendance; MD was in a shopping mood too, but there were no tempting pieces of armour from the mage level 105/107 Orlwin set for sale in the merchant mart.  There were +13 boots and a circlet, but her current level 87 ones are both +15, and thus still give better defence.

After a little mining, my Twisted guild members were replaced by Auzura's Kaerella, and MistressSabina, who both did quite a lot of mining, as I needed to go shopping, taking a quick train trip to Harrow to buy a new computer "patch cable for networking", on the feeling that the only cable I could get locally, while it did have an Ethernet-type plug at each end, was a bit different from the cables connecting the more modern two computers to their hub, modem and/or router.  Once home, I plugged the new cable in, switched on the old XP-running machine...and it connected to the internet without any problem, the first sign being the notice that the anti-virus had updated itself.

So, over lunch, not only did SirGalahad do some pet-levelling work to get his attendance sorted, but he was joined on floor five of Maargadum Jail by both RedRackham and CaptainScarlet - the first time I've ever had three characters playing Last Chaos at the same time.  Gal's pale blue horse reached level 25, so is now one level ahead of him.

MistressDomina checked on the Tomb's condition after lunch on Auzura-4, and found it at 90%, so Kaerella logged in and joined her - and Twisted guildie munchie, the level 101 witch, volunteered to join the combat party.  When she put Recall up she was in the anubis spear man room and MD was a few yards further in at that first corridor corner, so MD temporarily moved back a short distance, but we soon got set up at the corner, and munchie recalled Kaerella in.  munchie was generally afk to watch tv, but did give us both the superior witchy kind of Haste.

MistressDomina soon reached level 107, and used 63 experience boosters during the dungeon time hour, so that she went up by 29.05%, and added 8 skill points - MD's total, including the few minutes before, was 29.12% and 9 skill points, plus 1096 pet points.  Once the hour was over munchie logged out, but Kaerella went across to the ancient grey mummies, and was joined by my level 94 ranger-rogue Rage there.  By the time the food break came along, Rage had just added 1.19% and 5 skill points, plus 643 pet points, with Kaerella's figures at 2.30%, 15 skill points, and 1567 pet points.

Kaerella and Rage weren't alone there, though - on the oldest computer, now back in action, MrChuckNorris, my level 95 warmaster titan, logged in and hurried to join them.  He didn't do any fighting, but gave the others a little extra combat party boost. 

The three of them moved across to the anubis spear men after the break, in good time for the five to six o'clock dungeon time hour - the corridor corner was free still, luckily.  As Rage doesn't kill quite as quickly as MistressDomina, and doesn't have to keep spamming a skill like Terra Spear or bother about buffs (though Chuck supplied his attack and hit rate buffs to both Rage and Kae), it was a more relaxed power hour, but Rage still managed to use 51 experience boosters, and went up by 57.80% in level 94, plus 3 skill points.  For the whole early evening session Rage managed to add 58.69%, plus 4 skill points and 1340 pet points, while Chuck gained 1.26% in all, plus 7 skill points.  Kaerella added another 2.55%, 1096 pet points and 12 skill points - seven of the skill points came from a red ignition run right at the end, fighting ancient grey mummies well away from the others and getting 9900 skill exp per kill.  It was hard to find enough mummies for the run, and Kae ended up in the wider, column-lined corridor close to the end of the mummy area.

CaptainScarlet logged back in after that for some more pet-levelling, on the XP-running computer, while I got up to date on other web things.  RedRackham logged on for some more pet-levelling too; and MistressSabina finally went back out to the giants, since the server hasn't been doing any nasty and potentially lethal disconnections lately.

MistressSabina's session went smoothly enough; the evening's double experience had been switched on by then, and the double skill exp was still running as well, I discovered when I killed a fox.  At around ten to eight I stopped Sabina's giant-killing, and logged in as MistressDomina again, to volunteer for joining a combat party, if anyone needed a few extra members within range - but there were no takers, so Sabina was able to log back on, and, after browsing through some of the accessories in Roy's merchant mart, head back to the giants.

In all, MistressSabina just added 15.77%, 82 skill points, and 925 pet points, which at least gives her a start through level 51.  Once she reaches level 52, and increases her physical defence a bit, it will probably be time to move on to the (outdoor) sphinx fighters, and their friends the sphinx "speer" men.

CaptainScarlet finally got his drake into level 50, so that particular pet will probably be traded across to a new owner soon.  He might possibly take temporary control of Kaerella's drake, SirFrancis, to move it on a little from level 46.  RedRackham's horse was approaching level 29 as the evening neared its end, so still has a fair way to go. But now, a new weekend approaches - do our friends at Aeria have anything special planned, I wonder?  An announcement of "7 Days of Winterfest" rather got my hopes up, earlier this week, but all that involves is shuffling around which high-level gems are available from the Lootforge, day by day.

Two Levels for Rage - December 11th

With three computers able to play Last Chaos, it didn't take too long to get the attendance system worked through for another day.  Barbarienne transferred her loot from the last Merac Run across to my Cariae merchant mage; Auzura's Kaerella stayed on a bit longer to do a little mining, after exchanging drakes with CaptainScarlet, but got a disconnection before long, though SirGalahad kept going with his mining. 

CaptainScarlet went down into Maargadum Jail for an hour or so, and got his new drake, SirFrancis, past the halfway mark in level 46.  After his regular mining, SirGalahad took some extra tool aids out of storage, bought 31 pick axes from Merchant Geres, and stocked up on quality stones.  He also took some lucky pet boxes out of storage when he was back in town; the first one he opened gave the jackpot, five of the platinum pet experience potions.  He then moved to Merac Village, as did CaptainScarlet, and traded 1,000 quality stones, the five ppeps, and the remaining lucky pet boxes across to Cap.

The Tomb of Theos on Auzura was still being kept in excellent condition by its current owners, so Rage, Kaerella and MrChuckNorris went in in good time for the eleven to twelve o'clock dungeon time hour, and took up residence at the first corner after the main anubis spear man room.  The room itself was already being used by one night shadow, or I would have invited some guildies along to share it; munchie was looking to do a power hour too, but ended up on a different sub-server.

Rage did her eleven to noon power hour smoothly enough, with Kaerella as usual fighting the sphinx fighters there, and Chuck supplying the hit rate and increased attack buffs.  Rage used 52 experience boosters in the hour, for 51.59% experience and 3 skill points; including the preliminary kills she earned 52.20% and 5 skill points, plus 1473 pet points, while Kaerella got 2.04%, the 5 skill points, and 1123 pet points for her borrowed drake.  MrChuckNorris got 0.96% just from being there - and the 5 skill points of course.  Within the first quarter of an hour, Rage reached level 95.

My trio stayed there over lunch, and I soon had Rage back in action, to show that the spot was in use if anyone happened to pass by.  The two to three o'clock dungeon time passed pretty similarly, with another 52 experience boosters used, for 49.20% and 4 skill points; Kaerella took some time off to just provide the combat party boost from just standing there after that for an hour or so until the food break, with her pet polar bear cub getting a few percent experience.  By the time I went afk again Rage's total for the afternoon had reached 51.95%, 6 skill points, and 2773 pet points, while Kaerella got 1.82%, 5 skill points and 874 pet points, and Chuck added 1.13% and 4 skill points.

Again Rage did some solo work before the next dungeon time hour, and then managed to get through 54 experience boosters, as well as the hour-long potions, while adding 45.16% and getting well into level 96.  By the time she logged out, shortly after the hour ended, she had added a total of 45.85%, 4 skill points, and 1666 pet points, with Chuck adding 0.95% and 5 skill points.

Rage is too many levels below the anubis spear men still to get any "ignition", but by the end of that third power hour Kaerella had managed to reach the red run, giving extra skill exp from each kill, so hurried across to the ancient grey mummies, where she found just enough spare ones to do her run.  That meant that her figures for the early evening session went up to 2.00% and 14 skill points, plus 906 pet points.

Today's special bonus was some double pet experience, so my next step was to send CaptainScarlet back to his death mask lancer on Auzura-4.  The double pet experience was already running when he got there, so a platinum pet experience potion was swiftly started, and a second one followed an hour later - though the double pet experience was turned off rather quickly, so that the last few minutes were just triple, from the ppep, rather than sextuple.  RedRackham also headed for Maargadum Jail, but on Auzura-6, and did some work on his pale blue horse too, as well as providing a solo party for MistressSabina.

MistressSabina headed for the giants, of course, for a fairly non-intensive session; by the time her Elizabeth's Enhancement buff ran out she had added 11.10%, 73 skill points, and 1119 pet points.  CaptainScarlet and RedRackham kept going after Sabina logged out, with Cap getting SirFrancis, Kae's drake, into level 47 before the end of the evening; Red's horse was getting fairly close to the top of level 29 by then too.

Reaching level 96 didn't make any new skill levels available for Rage, we'll have to wait for 98 for that.  As for special weekend events, well, there is a "hunter gatherer raffle" running for a day from tomorrow evening, where picking up loot dropped by a monster counts as an entry.  There is also a "boosterlicious tiered event", but to get anything useful in the way of packages you need to spend 4500 aeria points or more - which is a little difficult, as the web item mall is still essentially empty, except for its special packages and current BOGO offers.  So, there really isn't anything that tempts me to start spending ap at the moment.

125% - December 12th

RedRackham and CaptainScarlet both continued their pet-levelling overnight successfully, so that Red's pale blue horse was halfway through level 31 by morning, having added two levels.  Cap had got the drake SirFrancis safely into 47, though overnight he worked on his other drake, which managed to level up too, just reaching 37 before Cap was able to switch back.

Cariae's Kaerella and Barbarienne began the attendance line-up as usual; MistressDomina and MistressSabina were next, but a little after ten o'clock they both had their mining operations interrupted by a disconnection.  That does seem to be the time of day when these things happen, now.

Auzura's Kaerella and Rage didn't do their half hours with any mining or standing around in town, instead after coffee they headed for the Tomb of Theos, which was still in excellent condition, and headed for that corner of the corridor just after the main anubis spear man room.  My titan MrChuckNorris followed, and joined them there - and when eleven o'clock arrived, Rage started her power hour, with as usual a small crit, a platinum adrenaline, a berserker potion, a platinum blessed iris - and for this hour 53 experience boosters, so that Rage added exactly 44.00% during the hour, plus 4 skill points. 

Twisted guildie Luda4axD, our level 100 witch, was in the main room, I discovered when I'd finished the hour; I had mentioned where I was, but she'd not responded.  She was still fighting the spear men and fighters, so my trio moved into the main room to provide a combat party boost for her, while I went off and had lunch.

My trio were back at their corner in good time for the next dungeon time hour, from two to three, and this time Rage got through 52 boosters, and added 39.91%, which got her safely into level 97.  Luda generally fought the sphinx fighters within range, and we had another guildie or two turn up as well - MzTickle1, and munchie, though they spent most of their time afk just providing the combat party bonus.  Rage just got a couple of skill points, as the skill exp was shared out rather widely.

We generally kept fighting for the following hour or so, before I took my brief food break.  Munchie brought in a friend and did some semi power-levelling of Luda in the main room, while Rage did another power hour from five to six.  This hour wasn't quite as good for me, as Rage's game had an error, so she had to respawn in Randol and hurry back; nobody with recall was at their keyboard at the time. This meant that Rage only used 49 experience boosters, adding another 34.81% in level 97, plus 3 skill points.

Luda's power-level was still continuing for a few minutes after that, so my threesome went into the main room to add our combat party bonus to the mixture.  By that time, on the oldest machine, MrChuckNorris was a bit difficult to move, I ended up managing to click him on to Kae to auto-follow, which he did manage, in a few instalments.

Kaerella had got up to a second red ignition run by then, and went across to the ancient grey mummies to get the extra skill exp; she certainly got more skill points there than from the long hours with the anubis spear men and sphinx fighters.

People started to log out, but MzTickle1 stayed in the room with Chuck, Kae and Rage, who kept going on the spear men until the Sunday Quiz was approaching.  Rage's supply of the stun-removing Remedy was running low by then - she generally didn't bother to use her remaining ones, as there wasn't any great health loss, and the time lost wasn't important, with no pots being active.

By the end of the session, Rage had gone up by in total 125.16%, plus 22 skill points and 7500 pet points.  Kaerella had gone up by 6.40%, 42 skill points (thanks to her two red ignition runs), and 3259 pet points, while MrChuckNorris had added 3.44% and 20 skill points.  So, a useful day's work. 

A level 102 sorcerer in the XxPhoenixxX guild, xPROx, had asked if I was staying into dungeon time, and I'd assured him I wasn't, and that I'd be off to the Sunday Quiz; he was looking forward to reaching level 103, though that means he will need to farm 25k of skill points from the ancient grey mummies...

The quiz went smoothly enough, with the GMs asking the question about game masters not demanding to be told passwords a lot of times.  I didn't try to run three characters there, it was just Kaerella and MistressDomino; I sent CaptainScarlet down to Maargadum Jail to do a little more pet-levelling, which meant that by the end of the evening SirFrancis was about a sixth of the way through level 47.

Once the quiz prizes had been won, and traded across to MistressDomino along with other recent useful loot, it was time for SirGalahad, finally, to do his half hour's attendance.  He did this in Prokion Temple, once the dungeon time had ended at nine, getting 336 experience and 3464 skill exp per ghoul... which rose to 336 and 3810 once the thirty minutes was up.  I really don't see why the first half hour of one's time doesn't include the bonus earned from previous days, but that's just the way things are.  He earned 3.04% and 80 skill points; as she was standing in Dratan City, his guardian, Kaerella, got 33 skill exp per kill too, so gained another skill point.

Disconnections and a Cancellation - December 13th

Auzura suffered another disconnection soon after ten this morning, while my second group of characters were doing their attendance; it was the more serious kind where for a few minutes you get the "account is already logged in" message when you try to get back online, but luckily things did settle down after that.  This seems to be the time when the servers do their daily full back-ups, so it can often be a bit tricky - thank goodness that it's earlier than it used to be, having it just as a dungeon time hour was starting would be really annoying.

Anyway, my trio logged back in and completed their times, and then SirGalahad logged on to complete the set.  While he was mining, Rage moved over to the main computer and checked out the Condition of the Tomb of Theos; it was on 80%, and while a guildie did try to find a guild master or guild adviser for the castle-holding guild, none were available, so it stayed that way.

Still, I decided that that was just about do-able, so Kaerella and MrChuckNorris joined Rage, once SirGalahad had finished his time, and the three of them went in, and headed for the anubis spear men.  After that relatively recent disconnection the place was quiet, and the corner I tend to aim for was suitably vacant when my trio got there.

The Tomb's condition meant that the spear men hit harder, but that wasn't a problem, as the 10% suction of life accessory easily handled any damage Rage took; however, it also meant that Rage didn't hit them as hard - a critical hit did around 6650 damage, while at 100% easy she'd do 7290.  So, she only killed 45 anubis spear men in the eleven to twelve o'clock dt power hour, using an experience booster each time, earning just 32.44% in level 97, plus 3 skill points.

Luckily by two o'clock the Tomb had been set - though I was warned on the guild chat channel that this may be a one-off, the castle owning guild may go "on strike" due to the continuing ban on GoksReturn, who was, apparently, one of the victims of whoever was making incriminating screenshots on a different server using the names of various high-level players - having "them" admit to hacking, offering to sell accounts, or otherwise confessing to bannable offences.  I suppose it is human nature that the GMs don't want to admit that they have been made to look like fools over this, but my sympathy is with the victims.

So, the two to three o'clock dungeon time power hour was back on track, and soon got Rage into level 98; in all she used 53 experience boosters, and went up by 32.93%... the new level is longer than the old one.  Rage also added 4 skill points.  Rage continued for another hour, though Kaerella just stood next to Chuck for almost all that time.  A wizard called Cat5 kindly gave my trio the haste and chakra shield buffs as she passed; she did mention the blog, in fact, but had moved on by the time I responded.

It was shortly after that that Rage got disconnected, though Kaerella and Chuck survived.  Rage hurried back, and continued to fight the spear men for a few more minutes - but then, just after four o'clock, UK time, all three of them were disconnected.

Back in Randol, Rage was able to learn the sixth and final level of Controlled Shooting for 1000 skill points, which increases her attack for 60 seconds, though it decreases her defence and stops her from moving.  It's not a skill she had ever actually used, but I decided that it might come in handy...

My trio went back in in good time for the five to six o'clock dungeon time hour, and once it began, Rage did try using Controlled Shooting as much as possible, though she couldn't keep it on all the time as sometimes she needed to be able to move forward to get the nearby third spear man.  Almost 600 less physical defence didn't seem a problem, her armour was still good enough, coupled with that suction of life accessory - and getting on for 600 more physical attack raised her critical hit by almost 2300, from around 7290 to 9570.

Using Controlled Shooting as much as I could meant that during that hour Rage used 60 experience boosters, so that was roughly 15% better than usual; she gained 37.98% experience, and 6 skill points.  Rage logged out after that; her whole session had earned her 107.02% experience, a mere 17 skill points, and 6603 pet points.

At six o'clock UK time on Auzura our one GM-hosted event of the week was scheduled: a high-level mad monster spawn, to which I intended to take Rage.  However, it looks as if the GMs are a bit overwhelmed at present, and without any announcement, at the last minute it was all cancelled, to be replaced just with a "Turbo" event, with "mysterious XP and/or SP changes", which is a bit weak, and a great disappointment for those of us who like to go along to such community events.

Kaerella and Chuck stayed on in the Tomb; Chuck's old computer was already a bit "sticky", but he managed to tag on to Kae for a run across to the ancient grey mummies room, since Kaerella is more interested in skill exp than the regular experience at the moment.  That earlier disconnection meant that Kaerella couldn't manage a red Ignition run until near the end of the session, but it looked as if the "Turbo" had at least increased the skill exp for a while.  Cat5 was in a corridor as Kae and Chuck ran along, and joined us in the ancient grey mummies room, kindly giving Kaerella a level 97 y3 bow she'd identified... she insisted that I should keep it and could sell it.

From the guild chat I'd heard earlier, I had thought SacSalop, MzTickle1 and some others were planning a combat party in the final room of the Tomb, where the sphinx commanders hang out, so MistressDomina logged on about a quarter of an hour before the eight to nine dungeon time hour.  There was, however, no sign of such a grouping, so MD ended up helping the level 111 temple knight Dropkick, by giving him a combat party in Floriam's Cave.  He had recall, so I just specified a "safe but legal" spot, and he teleported me in, to some strange little sub-cave, where MD was able to just sit within range, and get the occasional five million or so experience.  With his pbi and boosters, Dropkick was apparently getting around 380 million, for each level 132 Morakes he killed.  Luda came along towards the end of the hour, and actually did some fight-and-recall assistance for Dropkick... though afterwards, she did seem set on trying to act as "cupid" for MD and Dropkick, which was a little off-putting.

That trip for MistressDomina just added 0.19% experience - but Kaerella, backed up by Chuck, had kept busy, and had actually reached level 102 - so I need to shop around for the archers' skill book for that level.  By the time she and Chuck logged out, Kaerella had added a total for the day of 8.65%, plus 55 skill points and 5943 pet points, while Chuck himself had got 4.07% and 49 skill points.

RedRackham had logged in when MistressDomina logged out, and was able to give his pale blue horse an hour or so's levelling in Maargadum Jail; on the way there Red got the horse the last two levels of armour increase, since it has now reached level 31.  By the end of the evening, the horse had passed the halfway mark in that level.  Once Chuck had logged out, CaptainScarlet was able to head for the Jail too - but today SirFrancis would have got more pet points if he had been with Kaerella, for sure.

A Change of Tomb - December 14th

As had been suspected, the condition of the Tomb of Theos on Auzura was right down to maximum hard this morning, when MistressDomina checked.  MD's western "widowmaker" costume had run out, too; such covers are only supposed to last thirty days, if MD doesn't have any pressing social engagements this week I guess I can wait a little while before buying a new one.

My usual seven characters did their attendance half hours in the morning, anyway, and then Barbarienne checked out what the Tomb was like over on the Cariae server; luckily, it was at a comparatively mild 90%, though it did fall to 80% by the time my cleric Kaerella was able to join her.

There was no point in having a third character with Barbarienne and Kaerella, as that would just have diluted their skill point gain, so I was able, back over on Auzura, to send CaptainScarlet down to the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail, to work on his current drake - so he had a good long session, getting SirFrancis past the halfway mark in level 47 by mid-evening.

The sorcerer Nhyrium was in the room when I arrived, but not actually fighting, though his pet panther was equipped. Before long the level 103 rogue Rebelcat was fighting there too, mainly in the corridor next to the room; she told me that she was actually a ranger, though she was using daggers.  We chatted off and on, and Kae made sure to give her the Encourage buff as well as Barb.  I wondered how a cat got along in a guild called BRITISHxBULLDOGS, but of course cats are better than bulldogs at climbing trees.  "I shall have to reward you for your buffs, lol", she said... and to my surprise she insisted, when she finally left early in the evening "to go beta testing a new character in another game", on giving Kae a platinum adrenaline - and she gave Barb one too, which was very generous.

Kaerella just added 0.83% experience in the morning's hour or so, plus 26 skill points and 1489 pet points, while Barbarienne earned 1.49% and 25 skill points.  Somehow, one recent day's attendance didn't register for Barb, so she is just on a 3% skill exp bonus at the moment.  The afternoon session was more of the same, and saw Kaerella add another 1.70%, 63 skill points and 3235 pet points, with Barbarienne getting 2.93% and 60 skill points.  Barb did actually equip SkrappY for a while, so my "Scra-Chi" type cat-pet added a few percent in level 54.

Nhyrium had another fairly short session with us, but otherwise the ancient grey mummies room was pretty quiet.  Zenderfly got in touch; she was with the wood ghosts in Strayana, farming skill exp, experience, and useful drops.  We agreed how useless the "kill 50 of" quests are, and made a date to meet up on Thursday at 7:00pm, mainly to help her move things between accounts.  She mentioned that the German Last Chaos now has some guild skills operational: "not overwhelming, but useful."  There is actually a thread about that in the forum - it looks as if guilds need to be about level 40 to benefit, which is a bit out of my range for Discipline...

The evening session continued Kaerella and Barbarienne's fighting with the ancient grey mummies.  Kae did actually get up to a red ignition run, for extra skill exp, which gave her an extra 5 skill points; in all during the evening she went up by another 2.93% and 64 skill points, plus 4744 pet points, while Barbarienne earned 4.56% and 55 more skill points.

So, today Barbarienne moved from 47.75% of the skill points needed for her level 112 skill (level six of Rise Focus 2, adding 44 to her long-range physical hit rate) to 56.5%, which has to be a step in the right direction - 140 skill points in all.  Another five such full-time days would get her there, and into level 111 at least.

My duo logged out at around the same time as Zenderfly, when she'd finished her three-hour blessed iris.  I had one more thing to do, and that was to use up my supply of lotus seeds by attempting to make some more moon cakes, on the assumption that that particular event must end with tonight's maintenance.  Once Kaerella had moved across her recent loot (and Barb's) to my merchant mage on Cariae, she just had three lotus seeds, and only managed to get one cake from Lorraine successfully - but over on Auzura, after getting loot from MistressSabina and Rage, MistressDomino had better luck, getting 15 out of 19 successfully made cakes... and SirGalahad was able to get a cake from his single lotus seed, too.

Will there be the long-awaited "new content" in the post-maintenance patch tomorrow morning?  Will the Christmas event start, or will that wait for another week?  Only time will tell!  The last character of mine to log out was CaptainScarlet, after his marathon pet-levelling session; by the end of the evening, the drake SirFrancis had just passed the 60% mark in level 47, so he made good progress today.

A Quiet Evening - December 15th

Yet again, there was no new patch at all for Last Chaos last night.  "We hope to have our big release very soon", they say, beneath a headline saying "Almost There".  The bug fixes supplied by the developers "appear to be working", so we ought to get them at the same time as the new content.  Xuse2005 even supplied a small screenshot of a verdant new "dungeon", to whet our appetites.  No updates to the item mall are reported.  As someone called zeniam in the forum shoutbox commented, "Wow, still no web mall, it takes, what, 3-4 weeks, and still no fix?  The idiots should be sacked, I guess it's time to go to a new game..."

My characters went out for their attendance half hours, anyway; Auzura's Kaerella went to the Tomb entrance, and found, to no great surprise, that the place was still on maximum hard.  Once there was room, CaptainScarlet headed for the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail again, and continued with his pet-levelling.  As I had some work to do, I logged RedRackham in over on Cariae, and he went to do a little pet-levelling on his level 37 drake as well.  And then, once SirGalahad had finished his half hour, Auzura's RedRackham took his level 31 pale blue horse down there too.

RedRackham on Cariae got an "error report" crash, and that meant that, with Red in-game not attacking the death mask soldier, the monster turned its attention to his drake, and got its health down to 51% before the game finally disconnected.  Still, it didn't take long to get Red back in action, this time being careful to choose the less aggressive type, a lancer, and around an hour later the drake reached level 38, automatically regaining full health.  Over on Auzura. Red's horse had also levelled up by then, reaching 32.  CaptainScarlet, meanwhile, had got his drake past the two-thirds mark in level 47.

RedRackham, on the new computer, got another crash of the game, and so I followed prompts to install new AMD drivers for the graphics card.  This of course meant that the computer restarted and reported that it had no drivers at all for the card, so I installed the new drivers again... which left me with no option for the proper wide-screen resolution, and no "aero" type window edges etc.  Installing some new windows updates was the next thing I was led into, which led to a new restart - it was just as well that my Auzura pet-levellers were keeping busy on the other two screens.  For a miracle, the restart got me back to the right screen resolution, and the semi-transparent window edges.  And by then it was time for the early evening food break.

RedRackham on Auzura had got his horse about 60% of the way through level 32 when he finally logged out - to allow Barbarienne to join Kaerella in the Cariae-4 Tomb of Theos, which was on 80% at the time.

The evening session proceeded much like yesterday's session, though it wasn't as long.  Our old companion NaOmi, the archer, turned up before long; she was fighting alongside a couple of her guildies, a sorcerer and a mage, so Barb and Kae mainly fought in the corridor for the first hour or so.  Later on the sorcerer Nhyrium was around... but there weren't really any exciting happenings to record.  The evening's event was a "Turbo" thing, which turned out to be 50% extra experience.  It continued beyond the two hours into the eight to nine o'clock dungeon time hour, and the bonus did "stack", so that each kill brought in about 58 to 68 million experience then.

Barbarienne equipped the polar bear cub, which generally belongs to Kaerella, and the little guy added 162.13%, reaching level 17.  He attacked Barb's targets, but missed most of the time, occasionally hitting for just "1" - but he was useful, as Barb picked up three pieces of armour, two heaven stones, and some minor loot, items which she wouldn't usually get from a monster seven levels below her.

By the end of the evening, Kaerella had added 3.58%, 43 skill points, and 3860 pet points, while Barbarienne had earned 5.81% and 41 skill points.  And at about the time they finished, CaptainScarlet over on Auzura got the drake he is working on, SirFrancis, safely into level 48.  The new level will take about 37 hours to work through, I see...

A New Recruit - December 16th

My usual crew put in their attendance half hours before coffee; some mining was involved, mainly by the second three - and by SirGalahad, who tends to come along last.  Gal actually used 30 tool aids and 30 pick axes, to mine a good quantity of quality stones, which he then traded across to CaptainScarlet - who of course headed for Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 for some serious pet-levelling.

Over on Cariae, Kaerella headed for the Tomb, and found it at an acceptable 80%, so she and Barbarienne went in, and headed for the ancient grey mummies.  There was a night shadow there when I arrived, but we soon scared him off...or at least, he left us to it.

The morning session just added 0.88%, 16 skill points and 1784 pet points for Kaerella, and 0.74% plus 15 skill points for Barbarienne; to stop Barb from levelling up too soon I'd put her experience gain on to a 50% freeze, which was easy to do as she is currently the guild master of Norcaine on Cariae.

I was fairly active in the forum shoutbox today, including telling FogDew about "Last of the Summer Wine" and Foggy Dewhurst, since his name always reminds me of that character.  He actually paid me a visit in the Tomb, as the temple knight SirGwainne.

A little later the sorcerer XxAvatarAptxX arrived, followed before too long by NaOmi, and they played for most of the rest of the day, though NaOmi left at about nine, to be replaced a little later by another Maurawan member, the mage cosma.  Neither Avatar nor NaOmi really still need skill points, they just find the ancient grey mummies fun to hang out with apparently...Avatar is 103, and NaOmi is level 110 now.

During the afternoon session,  Kaerella added another 1.77%, 36 skill points, and 3376 pet points - and Barbarienne gained 1.41%, and 34 skill points.  She had the polar bear cub equipped, which meant she got a number of drops, including armour pieces and heaven stones.

Zenderfly got in touch a bit earlier than expected to trade items from Itura and Damor across to HeavenKnight; I was just thinking that I ought to log CaptainScarlet out for a rest, so that fitted in rather neatly.  My level 92 royal knight SirKit logged in on Cariae-6, and did the trade for Zen; some of her items "stacked" with things he was already carrying, so I'm not sure she got all the health or mana potions she gave Kit, but she certainly got the main items.  He then moved across to Cariae-4, and headed for the Tomb, to make his own visit to Kae and Barb... with the drops they'd been getting, their inventories were just about full, so they both traded their armour drops across to him, and he then logged out.

That was more convenient than Kaerella or Barbarienne going back to town - and cheaper too, as admission to the Tomb is normally 3,000 gold per level, and SirKit is eight levels lower than Kae.  After that, I closed and then restarted the game on the old computer, and then CaptainScarlet was able to go back to his death mask lancer in Maargadum Jail.

As usual the evening session was the longest; we were scheduled to have a couple of hours of double skill exp starting from six o'clock, which was one reason for me wanting to be playing Kaerella and Barbarienne at that time.  As usual, the GMs hadn't set their alarm clock, but we managed to get the message through, and the double skill exp started just after 6:20, UK time.  Luckily, it kept going until ten, when my duo finally logged out.

The evening session had let Kaerella earn a further 2.71%, 97 skill points and 4819 pet points; Barbarienne was up by 2.13%, and 89 skill points.  Our polar bear cub had done well, too, going up from level 17 to 21.

I thought that was my lot, but just as I was about to log off, MexiGer, who I'd been chatting with in the shoutbox, and who had been busy all day getting the game downloaded and sorted out, with the help of andaro and others, managed to get the game working properly at last.  He wanted to get one character power-levelled in the guardian system, to get the +15 weapons, so Keerella recruited him as an apprentice, went out to the Tomb entrance, and used her last summon book to get him there.  Kee fought enough screaming zombies to get him to level 25 - 31 would have been ideal, for the +10 armour set, but there are limits to how late I can stay awake!  He plans to farm skill points on a different knight, GerMex, so he was invited to join the Discipline guild on that character by Kaerella, and had his experience gain half-frozen.

By the time all that was sorted out, it was pretty late... but CaptainScarlet had faithfully kept working, so that his drake was more than 40% of the way through level 48 by then.