Level 30

  • September 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm in

Dio and I just reached level 30 in Guild Wars 2. We’ve been doing all of the starting areas first which might be a slower way to level but we’re getting the gathering mats needed to level our professions. I’m doing cooking and jewel crafting. It really pays to do the discoveries as you level so you don’t miss out on the experience from learning them.

Additionally, the pattern system for crafting is really convenient. If you find a pattern that is beyond your skill or even a profession you don’t have active, you can still learn it for later. I passed up a few influence patterns before I realized this but going forward I won’t have to hunt down patterns I’ve seen before as I can just buy them and learn them as I bump into them.

Level 48.5

  • January 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm in

I wrapped up this double exp weekend at 48. I’ve got about a level and a half before I ding 50 and I’m super happy that the grind is almost over. Most of the weekend was spent grinding but a trip to Theo Labs left me just one campaign quest away from unlocking the Hidden Truth Quests. In Theo Labs, I was rather amused by the “Ghostbuster’s” boss (bottom right).

Aion Cracked Nuhas Tree'dAion Nomura
Aion Theo LabsAion Naughty Pocaching

Dio and I also hopped in a few Dredgion groups. However, we had some rather unfortunate pairings including hitting a pre-made of the highest ranked Asmodian guild. Our non-50 group didn’t stand much of a chance but it still wasn’t horrible AP.

I spent time leveling Philomela’s alchemy and armorsmithing, which had been on hold for cost issues. She’s up to 370 alchemy and 238 armorsmithing; getting double exp for the levels was especially nice. I’ve also been rounding up the mats for her alchemy 400 quest. It’s been really expensive and just how expensive will depend on luck; I’ve got to proc a proc to make one of the quest turn ins. The other turn in I have waiting in the bank; I felt lucky to have that craft proc on the second try. I’ve also maxed out vitality extraction though I’m only at 325 for the aether extraction skill.

Level 37 and out of the Rut 

  • December 7, 2009 at 10:14 am in

Dio and I spent way too long at level 36. It was such a miserable level with no good grinding areas (better now that bots got the ban) and we were in the wrong range for instances and group grinds. Between it being such a miserable level and hosting Thanksgiving, it’s been weeks that we were stuck at 36. After hitting 37 early on Sunday, we’ve been blowing through the level.

Aion KHQ 4-Man Farming

At level 37 we started the Kaiden Head Quarters (KHQ) grind and it was super productive both in terms of experience and loot. We spent most of the day in a 4-man farm group that was getting some lucky drops. In addition to a few greens and fluxes, Dio landed his Unwavering Devotion I Stigma currently worth 6mil kinah and I landed a rare blue pattern and Splendor of Recovery I stigma which is selling for about 400k kinah. It went really smoothly too thanks to the excellent pulling capability of our tank, Arstan. He was superb at breaking apart groups and getting single mobs. Later in the evening we joined up with our guild and completed the Keeper of the Kaiden Key quest. I’m glad to have done it with a guild group because that quest would have been a pain to complete in a pug. Dio collected enough krall molars (by adding mine to his) to turn in the first round of the Guardian Commando’s set. The quest requires level 37 and I highly recommend doing it right away because the shoe reward has a 20% speed increase which is great for leveling.

Aion Fortress Red Sea Death

After the Key quest, the guild headed into the Abyss to participate in a keep capture. It was going rather well until the Asmodians overwhelmed us at about 30% of the boss health. By some miracle, I was one of the last people standing in the sea of red so I snapped off a screen shot as I was being taken down. I logged after that because I’d been playing for 12 hours straight and wanted to sleep.

Pumpkin Bread Bundts

  • November 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm in

Pumpkin Bread Bundt
Pumpkin Bread Bundt with cream cheese frosting made for Thanksgiving Day to set at each place setting for decoration. Dio gave me the pan as an early Christmas gift.

Bacon, Chocolate & Gelato Dessert – What could go wrong?

  • November 20, 2009 at 11:00 am in

After finishing a great meal at the Goose Island Brewery last night, I ordered a desert that promised Belgium Chocolate, Salty Bacon, and Gelato thinking what could go wrong wrong with a winning combination like that. The answer is Salty Peanut Butter Gelato. While I was envisioning stripes of bacon radiating out of chocolate with a scoop of gelato, I was served a fair sized bowl of a very salty gelato with some bacon bits and chocolate shavings. My love of ice cream would normally have made this an equally awesome option except for the flavor. The gelato was VERY true to the taste of a salty peanut but that’s not a quality I like in an ice cream. A few of the more chocolaty bites were like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup which wasn’t too bad but over all I decided I didn’t care for it.

The most unnerving part of the dessert was the number of times I took another bite after deciding I didn’t care for it. I would take a bite then after about three minutes I would feel compelled to take another bite. My husband acknowledge he had the same compulsion. We discussed the possibly of MSG but ultimately I’m going to attribute this to the power of bacon.

The waitress commented that she’d had the peanut butter gelato before but it was in a float with grape soda. That combo is no longer being served and I don’t need to guess why; PB&J float /shivers.

Salty Peanut Butter Gelato with Bacon and Chocolate

Upper Abyss

  • October 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm in

Last night Dio and I spent some time questing in the upper abyss. There’s quite a few pretty areas up there so I took some screen shots. I’m using the second in the series as my desktop wallpaper at the moment.

Aion Upper AbyssAion Upper Abyss
Aion Upper AbyssAion Upper Abyss

Towards the end of the night I got a chuckle out of a Russian spamming player named “Bitchslap.” I have no clue what’s he’s saying but I’m guessing between the volume of non-English spam and his name that someone reported him.

Aion Bitchslap

We ended the night having just reached level 32.

Fire Temple Fail Tank

  • October 14, 2009 at 11:01 am in

Fire Temple Fail Tank
Last night I had a fail tank for Fire Temple. His character’s name is Xzou. He would charge forward skipping pulls that we should have taken because he aggro’d them anyway after pulling another group. He was so bad that after announcing he was going to pull the Silver Blade Rotan (a boss), he instead tab targeted another set of mobs pulled them and then allowed the Rotan to path into us. Extra mobs wouldn’t be THAT bad except he was completely incapable of tanking more than one mob and completely ignored any additional mobs that he had aggro’d leaving them to beat me and the chanter to death. I might have cut some slack in giving this tank a bad wrap because for most of the instance the character was being played by Xzou’s hunter friend who while as bad as I am describing was depressingly better than the owner of the account who after wiping us on more than 50% of the pulls disconnected and did not return. I highly advise dropping group if you find him as your tank. I finally threw in the towel without clearing even half the instance. I lost more experience and gold to deaths than I earned all last night. It was terribly depressing especially after previously having successful wipe-free runs with the tank being level 30 and the rest of the group not above 31.

Aion Armorsmithing

  • October 9, 2009 at 4:58 am in

Aion Armor
I hit 199 armorsmithing today and I’m too broke to buy the upgrade to 200. While crafting, I saw a level 32 cleric, Freiya, sporting a nice looking armor set. If I wasn’t so broke I would consider changing the look of my armor as I don’t really like my current top.

Into the Abyss

  • October 2, 2009 at 10:15 am in

Aion AbyssAion Abyss
Yesterday was the first time I’ve logged into game this week since Dio and I’ve been busy. We banged out the Abyss quest in no time and then headed into the Abyss. After a little bit of questing a group of Asmodians began patrolling the area we were in. Knowing that we weren’t going to get much done with them around we took up grinding back in Thembolas.

Yesterday I learned that the resurrection quest that I thought was priest only, was able to be picked up by Dio. Now he can earn experience and gold off my deaths by using one of the stones for resurrection.

The final picture I have for you today is of a character named Blasterboobs. He (because only a guy would make a character named that) really did manage to make his toon’s chest rather torpedo like. I’m not even sure this picture did his character’s chest justice but he ran away before I had a chance to try for a better shot.


Sonata Arctica Concert

  • October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am in

Sonanta ArcticaSonata ArcticaSonata Arctica
Last night’s concert was great. The headliners might have been Dragonforce, but Sonata Arctica could have been the main event for as great as their performance was. Not only were they highly energetic but they looked like they were having a hell of a lot of fun on stage and the crowd was right there with them. After a fake-out playing the intro of Total Eclipse of the Heart, they played Full Moon. Full Moon has a similar sounding intro but it’s a ton more awesome because it’s about the girlfriend of a werewolf with the chorus being: “She should not lock the open door, run-away run-away run-away, Fullmoon is on the sky and He’s not a man anymore, She sees the change in him but can’t, run-away, run-away, run-away”. This was likely the highlight of the night for me as Full Moon is one of my favorites. When they finished their forty minute set and encore song, the audience was still chanting for more.

Taking Dawn

While Sonata Artica was billed as the only opener, Taking Dawn kicked off the evening. The audience was pretty dead when they took the stage and I suspected it was going to stay that way for their entire performance as the crowd didn’t even reply to their “Hello Chicago.” The lack of crowd response didn’t stop them; their enthusiasm was through the roof and they were giving it their all. I’ve seen few bands spend that much energy trying to engage an audience this dead but it paid off for them. After about two songs, they started getting the love. When their first album releases in January, I’m going to give them a second listen.

Dragonforce Jerk

While listening to Sonta Arctica, I pulled a guy up who fell down in the mosh pit. This being the normal culture to prevent trampling, I wasn’t expecting this guy with a baseball cap to get in my face and called me explicatives. He then proceeded to shove his way towards the front waving a CD and a Sharpie. I write him off and am please when he doesn’t get his CD signed.

Later, during Dragonforce’s set-up, I see him standing a few feet away pissing off and talking at everyone nearby him, I poked the guy in front on me and asked him what’s the deal. I asked him because he had the unfortunate position of being directly behind the guy and being subjected to the guy’s conversations. So I get the full scoop which is beyond ridiculous. The CD that the guy is waving around is a copy of an old Sega game called Dragonforce, and this guy’s been insisting that the band picked their name because of the game (a fan of Dragonforce declared this false while eavesdropping). If this wasn’t bad enough, he was telling everyone that the reason he was trying to get the signature was so that he could sell it on ebay. But wait! there’s more and it only gets more nuts. The guy’s got the super annoying nasally voice and he’s standing around telling people that he’s making friends while in the same breath he’s calling all of the people there poser metal heads (keep in mind he’s not the least bit metal and he mistook Sonata Arctica for Dragonforce already). He would also pull out a copy of Machiavelli from his Border’s sack and write a website on a page. He would then rip out that page and hand them to people. If this wasn’t funny enough he also had a can of Axe deodorant in his Border’s sack. He would rather visibly smell himself and those near him, declare loudly that he didn’t want to smell because there’s girls, and then spray himself and those nearby.

This guy had the full set-up time before Dragonforce to completely alienated himself from the crowd and he made the most of it. By the time Dragonforce took the stage, he had pissed everyone off enough that there was a full blown plan to get him back in the mosh pit and get his CD smashed. Thirty seconds after Dragonforce took the stage, the crowd around him exploded and the guy was swept into the pit. This time instead of lending him a hand, three people were low punching him in the sides; too low to be caught by guards. Another movement managed to get the CD knocked to the ground. The CD was the last straw and the guy started taking swings back. His high and sweeping punches caught the attention of the guards. Even though the guards were already walking towards him, everyone took the extra effort to point directly at him. I’m not even sure a whole song was finished before he was tossed out.
Dragonforce Lead SingerDragonforce GuitarsDragonforce Keyboard
I’ve already admitted that I wasn’t there for Dragonforce, but they were better than both Dio and I were expecting. While they are primarily classified as “power” metal, their tempos were definitely fast enough to also be called “speed,” a typical selling point for me. They were high energy and fun to watch. Their guitar solos were plentiful but not overdone and were appropriately awesome. I also have to give props to the purple pimp hat with the leopard print hat band and green tee that read “I’m sorry I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.” Dio’s requested a CD and I will be adding it to my iPod.