Bento: Red Pepper & Snow Pea Flowers

  • September 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm in

Bento: Red Pepper & Snow Pea Flowers
When Dio and I ordered our bento tools, we also ordered a book on making decorative bento boxes. The book is great with the only downside being that it’s all in Japanese. We knew this ahead of time and picked it up because the pictures in the book are amazing. There are enough detailed diagrams that if I can just figure out what the food they are using is, that I can duplicate the design. Today Dio’s bento box features one of the rice topper patterns from the book. They used red bell peppers and snow peas to create the flowers. The top of his bento box is filled with dishes from the Mitsuwa Japanese market that’s about an hour outside of Chicago. The market sells fresh prepared dishes so we picked up some seaweed salad, spicy octopus, and a pickled vegetable mix. I included a cherry bottle filled with soy sauce for the rice.

Aion Level 25

  • September 28, 2009 at 9:42 am in

I didn’t get to play nearly as much as I wanted this past weekend because Dio and I had some other things to take care of. However, we managed to get to level 25 and get a set of assassin alts started.
Eltnen PvPEltnen PvP
On Friday, the Asmodians invaded the lakes of Eltnen Fortress in mass. After a few minutes of picking us off as singles the Elyos replied in force. Not more than 10 minutes after the first general chat announcements were made, the Elyos banded together and demolished the invaders. We then followed the reports to head to their kisk (portable obelisk); meeting up with their force again and wiping them out. It was really nice to see that not only were the Elyos amassing but that there were people other than me healing the group. I was personally healed at least three times by other clerics and saw at least two heals land on Dio that were not mine. We ended Friday at level 22 and almost halfway to rank 8.
Aion Level 22Aion Abyss Points
Saturday I woke up several hours before Dio so I began leveling crafting. The goal was going to be to level using the crafting mats we had been gathering to make pots, etc and clear up some inventory space. I ended up dropping more than 60,000 kinah to get to level 60. While I ended up with a ton of mana and flight potions, I had been shocked by how quickly making a several hundred potions ate up kinah in the cost of bottles and vendor bought materials.
Aion Crafting Alchemy 12
We spent the morning questing on our mains before we took a five hour break to go to a Japanese market to get some groceries. It took more time than we intended and by the time we got home it was dinner time. After dinner we quested some more.
Aion Fat Athos
We finally turned in the dye maker’s quest after wasting inventory space carrying around three kinds of quest items and was rewarded with our choice of dye colors. Dio gave me his dye so I’ve been using it up and coloring everything turquoise. It’s amazing how much dying your garments the same color makes them look like they belong together as a set.
Aion Level 23
We were just a hair away from 24 when Dio and I decided to start our alts after feeling restricted by the overpopulation of our questing area and limited bank/bag space. We’re leveling duel assassins and it’s really funny to watch. We flank the mobs and alternate backstabs and mobs just fall over in seconds. Though I am really gatheringed out leveling extraction on Philomela, I’m trying to be good and make sure that Mela gets her skills up. It helped that I found it amusing to have Mela picking mela. We ended the weekend with level 7 alts.
Aion Mela Picking melaAion Mela Level 7
On Sunday we had an evening concert so we were only able to play until mid-afternoon. The final stretch of level 24 was completed by grinding repeatable quests. At first we spent some time killing Molten Blade Spirit in hopes that we would see another spawn of the boss Bored Bamnodase. We managed to get him twice in an hour and each time we got a really nice pants upgrade – one for Dio and one for me – and earrings for Dio. When we decided it had more to do with luck in channel changes than fast spawn point, we ground on ghosts which had high value grays.
Aion Bored Ramnodase
When we hit level 25, we returned to Sanctum to turn in some stray quests and pick up skill manuals. One of the new quests was a trek across the colosseum where Dio and I made easy work of a sorceress and an assassin that were cooperating to gank people. However, we then took on a single level 25 cleric who did nothing but spam heal. It’s truly amazing how durable clerics are. While I understood that I lasted through both the sorceress and the assassin beating on me, I didn’t really appreciate just how much of a pain I was being until we had this other cleric down to slivers more than five times before we just stop bothering. This lead me to march over to the auction house and buy the Festering Wound Stimga before other people realize how important it is and inflate the price. In three levels, I will have the equivalent of WoW’s mortal strike, a 50% reduction of healing done to the target that lasts for one minute and has a one minute cooldown.
Aion Festering Wound

Brewmaster Philomela

  • September 27, 2009 at 6:01 pm in

WoW Brewmaster Philomela
While I haven’t been terribly active in WoW recently, I haven’t completely abandoned my druid. This past week I have been logging in to do the Brewfest quests. After earning the 350 tokens to get my complete outfit to dance drunk in Dalaran, I promptly returned them to the vendor for a full refund. I then purchased the Brew of the Month Voucher and my Pint-Sized Pink Pachyderm. With the completion of Brewmaster, I also completed “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been” and am now the happy owner of a 310 speed Violet Proto-Drake.
WoW Violet Proto-Drake

Leveling Aion Extraction Skills

  • September 25, 2009 at 12:56 pm in

Aion Extract Aether

While there was a lot of quests to pick up at Eltnen Fortress, most of them seemed like gathering quests – get me 20 ore, 6 fishes, or 15 fruits. This means that we didn’t make it past level 22 yesterday because we spent so much time running around picking quest items and leveling extraction that we didn’t get much actual leveling done. The most annoying of these is the extraction of Aether. Aether comes from tiny shards of floating rock that typically have one pick more than you can do in a single flight timer. This leaves you picking most of a node, landing, waiting for your timer to fill up, then flying back up for the one pick. The nodes are typically far enough apart that you can’t make that one pick and then fly over to another node with enough time to make any progress. This has become an exercise in patience and figuring out something else to during the flight cool-down. Dio’s also complaining of huge lag issue where you rubber band off of the trees and the platforms that he lands on causing his death. I avoid this issue by just landing on the ground every time which is only slightly less annoying. I’ve found that I can squeak the most out of my air time by using the Krall Hunter Title (+1 flight time), popping flight time pots, and clicking off my wings and hitting glide right before I land.

Aion Teleportation Apprentice Quest

The other slowing factor to last night’s leveling was the PvP. However, this is not a factor that I am annoyed by. We got our first PvP action since launch after the teleportation apprentice “screwed up” and sent us to Asmodian territory rather than Poeta. We glided down into the outskirts of the Asmodian town and began picking off players. After about five kills we saw war-band of more than a half dozen coming our way (I wish I’d thought to take a screenshot before I died). They made short work of us and we rezzed back at the Elyos base. Later in the evening, we had the opportunity to take out a couple more Asmodians while questing in the Elyos zone. By the end of the night I was at 357 Abyss Points which is a quarter of the way to rank 8.

Aion Resurrection Quest

I picked up a quest yesterday that rewards me for resurrecting people. It amuses me on some level that I get gold and experience points if I resurrect a hundred people because all of the people getting resurrected are loosing gold and experience.

Aion Heal Spell DetailAion Heal Spell DetailAion Heal Spell Detail
Right before logging out I took a few detail shots of my heals. Not really sure what compelled me to take the pictures but they looked great so I wanted to share.

Alliances & Mission Glitches

  • September 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm in

Aion Level 21
We ended yesterday at level 21 in Eltnen Fortress. Finishing the Krall quests and moving to a new zone was such a relief. I was so sick of the area by the time we were done that I just bought the last Krall Ration off the AH for 10,000 kinah (Aion gold) just to get it done.
Aion Krall Fly OverAion Krall Portal
One of the more frustrating aspects of the Krall area was having one of the final quests bug out. Apparently if you try to complete the Sealing the Abyssal Gate mission while in an alliance, you find yourself unable to teleport into the Abyss to kill the final guy and polish off the mission. Unfortunately, we discovered that leaving the alliance does not fix the zoning issue. We stood there for at least ten minutes trying different things like changing zones before we just tried relogging and hoping that we didn’t get caught in a cue. The first person loaded in from relogging wasn’t able to zone in. However, we found if we relogged and then joined a group before trying to zone through the portal it seemed to fix the issue. Once inside it was easier than the pulls we took getting to the gate.
Aion Verteron Observatory
On a random side note, the flight path from Verteron to the Observatory has a very Myst like quality as you start the final landing trajectory.

Aion Release Day

  • September 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm in

Aion Pre-Order Gear
Launch day arrived and the head-start’s over.  Since I wasn’t able to take off work and make the most of it, we only reached level 19 yesterday.  On the upside this also means that my collectors edition arrived in the mail and I was able to add on all of the niffy in game stuff to my account.  Since we ordered through Dio and I have a toy that gives us a wind resistance buff and puts a flashy circle at our feet of wind swept leaves which imho looks much better than the other elemental circles which are just a bright color.  In the above picture, I am also sporting the exclusive hat and title “Settler of Aion.”  Among the other fun bobbles we received two dances, the Hip-Hop and the Aion Boogie, a pair of earrings that I can’t wear yet, dye, an experience increase item, and a pair of wings with a longer flight timer that I can equip at level 30.

The wings were one of the biggest perks since the flight timer never feels like it’s long enough.  Flying is a nice over compensation for not being able to jump in Guild Wars (something that received a lot of flak).  They have even gone so far as to improve your abilities while you are in flight; for example, my cleric healing improves while flying.  The downside to flight (besides the timer) is that you can’t fly everywhere in game.  You bump into invisible force fields and you have to hoof it on foot through many zones.
Aion Flight
Legions are in full swing and from my understanding there are three that already hate each other on Siel.  Thankfully, the rivalry is on the Asmodian side.  On the Elyos side we have been blessed with a guild called “Benny Lava” lead by a character called Naruto who shouts “Believe it!” in general chat and another guild called “Surprise Buttsec” that’s just asking for the ban-hammer.
Aion Guild Ban

Aion Day 2 (still in headstart)

  • September 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm in

Aion Level 17Aion Ardus Shrine Level 17
Dio and I made it a good chunk of the way through level 17 last night (left). I think we might have made it further but we hit a lull in quests and the leveling rate slowed a bit. We ended back up at Ardus Shrine (right) which we spent a lot of time doing coin quests while playing Chinese Aion. While I feel burned out just being at the shrine after the grind in Chinese Aion, we didn’t need to do nearly as many turn ins in order to get to the point where we had quests available again.

We also worked on crafting a little bit. I’m leveling armor smithing and he’s leveling weapon smithing. I am taking notes atm and am considering making a guide to leveling armor smithing. Right now I learned that while you can save money using the level 1 work order to reach level 40 you do so at the cost of time and lost chances of better patterns and it isn’t seeming worth it.

Tip: Beware Bubblegut
The other tip I have for people so far is to watch out for Bubblegut. He is a named slime hiding among a bunch of slimes in a pond. Last night I saw a bunch of people pull him and die. I don’t know if they mistook him for just another slime or if they failed to read the quest which explains that he has a protective shield that makes him near if not impossible to solo and a Slow process for a party. Since your quest giver is in the know, he provides you with 2 vials that remove the shielding and make him soloable. You get 2 vials because he recasts the shield if you drag him out of the water or the minute you aggro him (so you can’t use the vial then pull). The quest giver will also give you more vials if you use up the ones you start with.
Aion Bubblegut
Pictured above is the inspiration for this tip. Dio tried to explain to them about the vials since it took us less than a minute to kill him. However, this group spent over 15 minutes to kill him through the shield just to give you an idea how much harder he is without the vials.

Aion’s Live for those with a Pre-Order

  • September 21, 2009 at 8:03 am in

Aion Level 15
After yesterday, Diomedes and I are level 15. We had to catch some sleep and stop around midnight because we both had work today. If it wasn’t for my new job, we would have taken the week off. We want to get as much of a head start as possible before the servers open up to everyone. If you are looking to catch up with us in game we rolled on Siel as Elyos. We were lucky to reserve our names in time to get Philomela and Dio for our cleric and gladiator.

Talk like a Pirate Day Party

A grand festive celebration of Talk like a Pirate was held fer Me and Captain Diomedes’ Mateys.
Pirate Party
Libations fit fer a Captain
Pirate Party Libations
A Mighty Grand Booty
Pirate Party TreasurePirate Party Turtle
Great Grand Treasure Chest and Badge fer t’ Best Pirate Talk
Pirate Party Booty
Festive Dishes
Pirate Party Dishes
Cupcake Tower with more of the yummy Chocolate Rum Cupcakes that were featured yesterday.
Pirate Party Cupcakes
Chocolate Rum Cupcakes with Pirate Ghost Picks
Pirate Party Pirate Cupcake GreenPirate Party Pirate Cupcake Orange
Rice Krispies with Edible Pirate Decals
Pirate Party Rice KrispiesPirate Party Rice Krispies
Skull Suckers & Gummy Pirate Teeth
Skull SuckersPirate Party Teeth

Pirate Cupcakes

  • September 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm in

Pirate Cupcake
Fast & easy chocolate rum cupcakes with chocolate rum frosting to celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day. Slide a skull ring into the cupcake in the top half and make the bones by drawing an X in icing below the skull and finishing the ends with two round balls of icing. The skull rings can be found amongst Halloween supplies and frequently at dollars stores. I used a number 5 tip but if you don’t have cake decorating tools you can fill a Ziploc Bag with icing and jut trim a corner for an easy and disposable decorating bag. Don’t forget to use pirate themed cupcake wrappers!