Best Blowout Support Event 2017 until July 04 (Europe) or Aug 23 (USA).  

Korean GE has released v3.4 update preview here! For previous updates (v3.0-v3.3), see 散歩道. The following is my attempt at deciphering the machine-translated data... so certain elements may be wrong.




1. MASTER PROMOTION
Lv.10 Expert characters (i.e. Expert 100%) can now be promoted to Master. The promotion grants an additional 10 stat points (10 points in v3.4 = 1 point in v2.9) and AR/DR +2.



2. PREMIUM FAMILY SERVICES
There will be 3 classes of premium services, which provide special buffs and passes. Translation in this section is somewhat shaky, so certain parts might be wrong.

  • Low Class: Forgotten Area/Territory Pass (30); +10% EXP/Stance EXP/Drop Rate
  • Mid Class: Forgotten Area Pass (30), Ancient Area Pass (30); +20% EXP/Stance EXP/Drop Rate
  • High Class: Forgotten Area Pass (30), Ancient Area Pass (30), Hidden Ancient Area Pass (30) [Possibly the Special Map for Internet Cafes]; +30% EXP/Stance EXP/Drop Rate



3. SECRET GUARD REVISION
Secret Guard contract has been revised. The guardian family receives 120% buff on reputation points, while the apprentice family receives 200% EXP buff. There seems to be a bit of other stuffs I don't find intelligible.


4. OTHERS
Some stuffs about constellation vouchers and veteran chips...
Spinelles are restricted to channel 1... or is it colony-related?
Something about premium buff (Internet cafes?) increasing EXP bonus from 20% to 50%.
2009 GE diary on sale in January.

-FIN-

Master level... and I'm still struggling to get to expert. Is it even possible to grind that far? Thinking about it makes me giddy...

If you think a Lava Leaf Spinelle is bad, think about what happens if this one is released...

For those can't read the characters, it is a Lv.127 Novia Spinelle. Found this picture in the forum signature of a Chinese GE player, who also wrote "如果你想开红杀我 举报 我会放她出来在", i.e. "If you try to PK me, I will let her out". LOL.

Two premium characters dropped out of the Mystery Boxes. So, the family recruited Adelina the Pirate Skank (Lv.44) and Soho the Flatulent... um, the Wind (Lv.40). Meanwhile, Emilia the Slut is still teasing me and playing hard-to-get. Maybe I should just buy her off from some pimp.

Adelina the Pirate is given the name Titania, after the fairy queen in Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. On the other hand, Soho the Wind is named Pazrael, which is an alias for Pazuzu, the Babylonian demon king of the wind, in Dungeons & Dragons RPG. (Maybe I should have named him Flatulus, the Ephebian God of the Winds in Discworld novels.)

Pazrael gives Titania much-needed support for her titanic... um, knockers.
Thelandira tries out her Le Blanc costume and looks on in surprise.


Now, I have the same old line-up problem. Which characters should I use as a main team to get to expert? I'm currently using Romina-Musketeer-Elementalist. (I started with Fighter-Musketeer-Scout, then replaced Scout with Catherine for power-leveling. When I got Elite La Ventisca, I can't help but use Elementalist and threw Catherine out. Then, I got sick of having no res, so I threw out Fighter for Romina who's probably a better Equites user... Yes, I know. I can't make up my bloody mind.)

I could replace Romina with Pirate Skank for melee combat, but then there will be no res for the dead. Same problem with Soho. Well, ETS can res and protection field might help to make the characters more survivable, but I'd have to spend quite a bit to buy and equip her. (On the same week I got Pirate and Soho, I also looted Vampiric Edge and Carbon Gaiters, so their equipment is somewhat set.)

Should I buy ETS to replace Romina? Forget ETS, and replace Romina with Pirate Skank? Or just keep Romina, and sell Pirate and Soho off as soon as possible? Ugh. Help. *Headache*

As previously announced, K2 injected Mystery Boxes as Christmas gifts into the qualifying accounts. I received the boxes for Christmas Eve yesterday, and the ones for Christmas today. The injection was supposed to take a week, and so considering how long it took to get their official Christmas announcements, it was much faster than I expected. Well done. Keep it up, K2!


I opened several boxes and got the following stuffs:

  • Adelina the Pirate Skank [Stats]
  • Soho the Flatulent [Stats]
  • Lv.80 Enchantment Chip x20 <- FAIL
  • Ancient Area Pass (7-days)
  • Ancient Area Pass (7-days)
  • Lucifer Wings (7-days)
  • Le Blanc Costume
  • Otite Perfume x5
  • Triumph Filler x20
  • Survival Manual (+20% drop rate; 30-days)

I have heard of players with 30+ Otite Perfumes. Gosh. Who wanna live in the poorly-lit, super-laggy Land of the Dead? I guess Ancient Area is going to be really crowded, since many people got the free pass. If so, there will probably be players who release spinelles on AFK-ers just to get training spots. Maybe I should hold off going there for a while to avoid the jam. But then, if everyone thinks like this, it'd be the same at a later date. Ugh.

For a list of drops that other players received, see Premium Mystery Boxes.

The Launch Notice of Giovanni server in sGE mentioned EXP rate will be doubled for 30 days. However, some players noted that EXP rate in Giovanni does not seem to be better than other servers. Soon, players started investigating. The EXP test consists of creating a new Lv.1 character (0% EXP) and using her to solo-kill one Grassland Crocodile (Lv.4) in the Stone Pits. (Note: The HP differences are due to family level and Max HP stat from pioneer armor.)

Demetius started the test with Beth in sGE's Giovanni server (which is supposed to have x2 EXP):

He repeated the same test with Beth in sGE's Rembrandt server (which supposedly has normal EXP rate):

Where the heck is the x2 EXP? Both characters ended up with the same EXP. Long-time players in Rembrandt do not experience x2 EXP, so it can't be both servers getting x2 EXP rate. I tested it independently and got the same results. Essentially, a Lv.1 character needs 121 EXP to advance to Lv.2. One Grassland Crocodile (Lv.4) gives 96 EXP (96/121 = 79.3%) while its name is still yellow.

So.... the players in the new sGE server got cheated. Fascinating, but who didn't see it coming? Then, I ran the same test in Sword of the New World's Orpesia server:

Pathetic. In SotNW, the character only receives 80 EXP from the kill. The standard EXP rate for sGE is 20% more than SotNW. I'd quote Demetius from the forum topic here about this test result:


Interesting. Looks like the SotNW folks got cheated too.
K2 claims that they have the highest base EXP rate and uses that as the excuse for not having 100% combat manual. (They only have 20%.)


Aww, weak! Just to add salt into the wound, here is the same test by Demetius in Korean GE test server...

Lv.3 requires 300 EXP, while Lv.4 requires 589 EXP. So, that's about 398 EXP per kill! (Okay, it's a test server, so maybe it doesn't count.)

Update: K2-Neume said here concerning SotNW EXP rate:


As I said, other versions do increased situational XP. For example if you don't have a level 100+ in the Korean version you get a slight XP boost until you do. We don't do that. Also, I never said we have 2 times other versions.


Situational EXP? Interesting. So, GE EXP rates are tweaked according to various levels instead of applying wholesale throughout. But then, the x2 EXP for Giovanni wasn't mentioned as situational. Maybe someone can set up more tests for different levels (Lv.20, Lv.40, Lv.60, Lv.80, Vet, Expert, etc.).

While grinding in Bahamar Wetlands, the veterans found Grim-Wight, Elite Plate Mail Recipe x2, Elite Albaes Recipe, Summon Black Reaper Ring, and Siege Cannon-Turret Ring. They also defeated Swamp Angler (Lv.99), Elmorc (Lv.90), Sabre Tiger (Lv.98), and Sunflower Dandelion Gorilla (Lv.95) in Bellem's Ruins, gaining Pizarro and Carbon Knuckle.

The veterans joined one of the Christmas events where mobs from Glacial Fortress (aka Ice Wizard's Tower) were spawned all over the map. As usual, it was a mega-lag fest. Just lying dead on the ground was enough to cause a disconnection... Eskarina (wiz) joined 2-3 hunts for missing GM, but failed miserably. (Those who found the GM received 2 free Mystery Boxes.)


Telos clan lost both Zona Uno and Dos colonies to Maelstrom clan this week, so no more colony buff for the family. On the other hand, Anahita (sco) went on 2 treasure hunts, but Erisia family found both of them in the Free Zone. On the 2nd time, he/she found the treasure, but didn't have the key to open it. Hahaha.

This blog entry compares the feso shop in both sGE and Sword of the New World, introduced in v2.9 patch for both editions. The following information is accurate as of 28 Dec 2008.



Both feso shops sell certain items at the same price, such as pet food x10/100/200, starter kit, grand/master valkyrie crasher, stance rings (30-days), back costumes (7-days), face costumes (30-days), hat/hair (30-days), triumph filler, soul crystal, hermes potion, boost potion (hrin's ampule), AM's boost (hrin's potion), health/soul regen potion (progressive health/soul filler), and most portable ammo boxes. The differences in prices are noted in the table below (where "-" means not available).

Feso Shop ItemSGESNW
Portable Gunpowder Bolt Box27-
RNPC/UPC Permanent Costumes* 700k-
Stock Permanent Costumes* 900k-
Tactics/Combat Manual 50%-1 day 12k-
Tactics/Combat Manual 80%-1 day 20k-
Tactics/Combat Manual 100%-1 day 32k-
Ring Box 140k-
Eyewear Box 50k-
Andre's Costume Box 50k-
Karja's Vanity Box 50k-
Sagitta Stance Book60k100k
Pet Food x1 - 3k
Temp Costumes* (30-days) - 300k

Note (*): The permanent costumes are sold in SNW Cash Shop, while the temp costumes (DEF +10, Max HP +500) are sold in SGE Cash Shop.


Update (22 Jan 09): As listed in v3.0 Patch Notes, all 4 boxes and permanent costumes have been removed from SGE Feso Shop, and all temp costumes have been removed from SGE Cash Shop.

I stumbled upon a random up-skirt shot of the elementalist in a forum topic here. Pervs are everywhere...


元素mm居然是红色内裤,哎哎呀呀。。。买了一套元素MM的,跑步的时候发现,居然是红色,太喜感了。。

Finally, K2 released an official Christmas announcement on 25 Dec 2008 (7 pm PST). The following are the line-up of freebies. See K2-Neume's Merry Christmas for details. Since K2 injects items into accounts instead of letting players get them as "premium items" from Leonardo, it is going to take a while...

24-28 Dec 2008: Free Santa Hat and Rudolph Hat for every player.

29 Dec 2008-4 Jan 2009: Free 5 Mystery Boxes for all players who logged in on 24 Dec; and another 5 boxes for all who logged in on 25 Dec. Premium players will also get 1 Le Blanc costume and 10 additional Mystery Boxes.

5-11 Jan 2009: Free 3 Lucifer Wings (30-days) and 1 Veteran Promotion Scroll for all players who logged in on 31 Dec; and another 3 wings and 1 scroll for all who logged in on 1 Jan.

15 Jan 2009: Free Diabolic Horns (30-days; max. 1 per account) for any player who purchased $10 or more from 25 Dec 2008 to 1 Jan 2009.

If pic doesn't load, Imageshack sucks.
A Horny Calypso...
Item Description FAIL

A forum event was organized to design forum signatures for some of the new K2 staff members, ending on 26 Dec 2008 with a unknown prize. See the submission threads for K2-Guinn and K2-Amatol/Adoncia. The following are my entries.




There were also unannounced in-game hide-and-seek events, with the winner getting 2 mystery boxes. Some families received Rudolph Hat and/or Santa Hat, while others received none at all. The epic fail part is that until now, there is still no official announcement of what exactly are the plans for Christmas... and it is already Christmas Eve (PST)!



Anyway, Merry Christmas to any one who happens to read this blog!
That's you!

The GE Family Signature site, Another Lonely Soul, is no longer accessible. I happened to download the base images (i.e. without the levels and red/blue backgrounds) before the site went down. You may download them from the link below to make your own signatures.

Sample Base Image

Download

You can also get the full-body images from the older site Nouveau Monde. Apparently, Rysas of Orpesia e-mailed the creator of the website, Hishiryo/Zanshin, and got the following reply here:


I actually wouldn't mind somebody else hosting the generator since I've grown tired of the game itself and I don't see a reason to keep doing it if I'm not interested in the game anymore. The site can use up to 100 GB of traffic a month, if you think K2 would allow that, we can work something out. It requires that much bandwidth because all the pictures are in png and users from all versions of Granado Espada use it (5,700 accounts registered, although I doubt that many people really use it).


Sword of the New World Database may be making the signatures in the future, but nothing is confirmed at the moment.

As expected, IAHGames is trying to get new players in the new Giovanni server to rush to veteran/expert status by providing some incentives. See Giovanni Opening Events for more details.

All families that reached veteran status by 22 Jan 2009 (i.e. 1 month from server launch) will get Expert Combat Manual x1, Expert Tactics Manual x1, and Expert Field Manual x1 (all 1-day duration). If they completed the pioneering quests up to Ustiur, they'd also get Lucifer Wings (7-days) x1, Devil Wing (7-days) x1, and Epic Glazium x100.

The first expert character in the server to complete Bahama pioneering quests will get 3 serpent weapons, 3 Le Noir armors, or Selva RNPC card. Naturally, to be the first, players will be burning lots of Combat Manuals and Ancient Territory Passes. Another money-making strategy. Ka-ching! $$$



Why pay to get me, when I'd be in next update scheduled in Jan 2009?

Adorabelle (ele), Thelandira (mus), and Romina moved on to Bahamar Wetlands to kill Giant Snails. Cthulhu, the family's furry pet, picked Snail Shell x2, Elite Albaes Recipe x2, Elite Striform Recipe x2, Elite Peacemaker Recipe, and White Tiger Strike Ring.

After 2 weeks of finding nothing, Anahita (sco) found her 8th Fire Island Treasure in Zone 1: Bracelet of the Great Soul (aka Bracelet of 3 Kings), Elite Peacemaker, and Elite Sniper Rifle!

Two more Hell Breaker raids failed due to losing firecracker bid to other clans. Telos clan captured Ustiur Zona Uno and Zona Dos colonies during this week's Colony War, granting Max HP +19% to all clan members.

It is now less a week before Christmas. The team for sGE has already announced several Christmas events/gifts. White Christmas included free Ruldoph Hat and Santa Hat. Hrin's Blog mentioned the upcoming Angel Hat and Ruldoph Back Costume.

Naughty Or Nice? Event offers 1 out of 3 items chosen from a list for posting some Christmas-related art pieces in the forum. The list includes Le Blanc, Lv.92 Elite Armor Recipes, Lv.92 Elite Weapons, Lv.100 Standard Elite Weapons (AR30), RNPC Cards (Catherine, Adelina the Pirate, Romina, Claire), Old Journal 10, 70k G-Points, etc.

The healer/buffer pet has also been released in sGE. See Button-Eyed Broomy.

On the other hand, Sword of the New World still does not have an official announcement about Christmas. There will be no holiday patch. All there is so far is a sneak preview by AM-Neume in SNW Holiday forum topic. Sword team needs to get their act together.

Update: The Angel Band hat and Rudolph Doll back costume are free for every 70,000 G-Points top-up from 22 Dec 2008 to 12 Jan 2009. See here.

Yesterday, I encountered Broche, clan leader of Arachnid, in Bahamar Wetlands. He suddenly showed up near my team (probably warped over), then started to kill and loot. I was using a pet then, so my family probably looked AFK. I tried using a few skills to show that I'm active. But after a while, it became evident that he is botting, probably with basic modified AI since the advanced botters can relog and warp back when dead.

This is why I think he is botting...

  1. He doesn't respond in any way when I tell him to please move on and not to KS.
  2. He picks up all loots, including a rifle bullet that I dropped despite using a Claude-Fighter-Scout team. (No pet is used.)
  3. He still doesn't respond when I summoned Thoracotomy x3 on him. (I wanted to report him, but no AM was online then.)
  4. He doesn't use skills when fighting the 3 bosses.
  5. He doesn't say anything (not even a "wtf!") or logout after he died. He just stayed there rotting in the swamp.
Now, I don't mind him botting so much. There will always be botters on MMOs. I tend to ignore bots so long they are not bothering me. KS-ing in my spot is another matter. The map is so damn big, why can't he bot elsewhere?


Moral of the Story:
If you wanna bot, don't bot in other people's spot!
Otherwise, players who normally ignore bots might feel compelled to do something about you.

sGE is opening its Giovanni server on 22 Dec 2008 1700h, with x2 EXP rate for 30 days. The 3rd civilization Zeia (aka Errac) will be released in Jan 2009, probably with the v3.0 contents (expert stances) along with it.

See Launch of NEW Server, Giovanni! However, it seems like most existing players aren't thrilled. See more on the discussion thread.

During v2.6, sGE client used a font which supports ASCII characters, which are often used in family and faction names. Later patches changed the font, rendering most ASCII characters into unsightly square boxes.


But it is possible to restore the old v2.6 font, so that the client displays this instead:


Simply download and uncompress font.rar with WinRAR, then copy font.ipf into Granado Espada\ge folder. Backup original file, if desired. The game client must be closed during this operation. Thanks to Brugal of Bach for this file!

Download

MegaProblem With MegaUpload
If your ISP proxy causes "download limit exceeded" problem, register a free account and login to MegaUpload. Click "Transfer Settings" and change from Port 80 to Port 800 or 1723, then reload the download link.

The veterans continued training at Scorching Plateau, finding HQ Ruby x3, Sword Breaker x2, Lv.96 Enchantment Chip x2, and Atomic Glacial Strike Ring. The family received a Mystery Box for participating in a forum contest. Sadly, the box dropped Expert Survival Manual (+20% drop rate for 30 days), instead of Emilia the Sage (INT 8).

For the first time, the veterans managed to find Gerero before anybody else did. (When v3.0 comes, it is going to be even harder to find him, since everyone then would want to kill him... The poor thing.) The family managed to fight him solo. Gerero died and dropped Lv.96 enchantment chip, Lv.96 bracelet, and other assorted stuffs. No elite equipment though. Well, at least they will help in making a Lv.100 chip.


The family went on 2 treasure hunts this week, but both treasures were found by another family named Erisia instead. Ugh! Adorabelle (elementalist) went and bought Elementalist Hat from Andre out of sheer frustration resulting from the failed treasure hunts. On the other hand, Gracielo began his Warrior's Path to Humility.

Gracielo is one of the characters who has a more developed personality and storyline. (The other notable one is Adelina.) Although I don't really like him, I like the plot involved in his quests. I wish more characters have developed story lines, instead of just "feed-him-50-MP-and-grind-him-to-vet" approach for the recent drug-addicted characters. This is a summary of what happened. For the actual quest guide, see Wiki of the New World.

... ... ...

Gracielo is a young punk who came to the New World in the same ship as the family. After arriving in Coimbra, he bummed around until the family came over and fed him some bread, milk, and chocolate. Thereafter, he made a scene in Camille's shop, forcing the girl to employ him. (Aggressive job interview...) The family defeated him, with some help from Hippolite, Camille's brother. Gracielo then joined the family.

After joining the family for some time, Gracielo started to loiter in Coimbra and beat up some thugs at the observatory platform. After being provoked by Camille, he challenged the combat squads of Reboldeaux and Coimbra, accidentally killing Hippolite, the Coimbra Combat Instructor.


His apologies were rejected by Camille. After beating up a few more thugs (what's his problem, man...), Gracielo's guilt eventually brought him to Hippolite's grave, located at the cemetery in Thueringenwald.


While he was feeling sorry for himself, Fritz (one of the ten nobles) showed up and started quoting Yoda, thinking it was original and totally cool. The old fart then invited Gracielo to seek him out in Porto Bello Deserted Quay...

WTF are you talking about, old man? Lightning bolts?!
Hate leads to suffering, you noob Yoda-wannabe!

To be continued...

A fan picture of Bernelli in her v3.0 costume...



Very nicely done. Compare this to the actual screenshot.

Most players are familiar with the chat command to display a clan profile, as such:

/partyprofile clan_name .... display the clan profile.

But there are several other chat commands (entered into the chat window) available. You must have the proper authority for some commands, i.e. you cannot kick a member unless you are the leader or vice-leader. (Clans are also known as factions in other editions of GE.)

/partycreate clan_name ... create a clan.
/partyban family_name ... kick a family from the clan.
/partyinvite family_name ... invite a family to join the clan.
/partydestroy ... delete a clan.
/partyout ... leave an existing clan.
/partyprofilesave profile ... save a profile (description shown in clan profile) for the clan.
/partynoticesave notice ... save a notice (message shown in clan chat whenever a member moves to a new map) for the clan.
/partymembertitle family_name clan_title ... save a title for the designated family in the clan.
/partymembermemo family_name clan_memo ... save a memo for the designated family in the clan.
/partyviceappoint family_name ... appoint family as vice-leader of the clan.
/partyvicedismiss family_name ... dismiss family as vice-leader of the clan.
/partydeclare clan_name ... declare war on the specified clan.

Some more chat commands involving the cash shop:

/cashshop ... open the cash shop window.
/getcashitem ... load premium item.
/takecashitem ... receive premium item.


The Simurgh, Truth's last flawless jewel, the light in which you will be lost to mortal sight, dispersed to nothingness until once more you find in me the selves you were before.

-Mantiq al-Tayr (The Parliament of Birds)

Simurgh, also called Angha, is a raptor-like bird in the Persian myths. It is said to be large enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion; sometimes however also with a human face. It is benevolent and always female.

Simurgh is so old that it has seen the destruction of the world 3 times, and possesses the knowledge of the ages. It is sometimes said to end its life in flames, much like the phoenix. As the representative of the union of heaven and earth, its task is to purify the land and bestow fertility. It nests in Hōm the Tree of Life, sharing the tree's essence of purity and divinity.

In the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), the Simurgh raised Prince Zal, and delivered Rostam, the Persian hero. It healed Rostam and advised him on the way to defeat the near-invulnerable Isfandiyar. In perhaps an alternative version, Isfandiyar killed the Simurgh (or perhaps a different Simurgh) as part of a series of heroic labors.

Isfandiyar struggles with the Simurgh

Sources: WikipediaAbout Alternative ReligionsIsfandiyar Struggles With The Simurgh

The veterans revisited Scorching Plateau, finding HQ Ruby x3, Elite Albaes Recipe, Elite Gaiters of Storm Recipe, Rising Swing Ring, Frost Cloud Ring, and Tierra Choque Ring. Of course, there were the standard drops of crap Shaft Hammer Recipes and Pizarro Recipes.

Thelandira (musk) bought a Lv.100 Corsair Rosso for 15m and enchanted it with DEF 14, DR+3 using only 3 chips! Now she is happy and less envious of Adorabelle (elementalist). Now, at least they have decent armors.

Adorabelle sulks at having less DEF than Thelandira.

Romina was AFK-ing in Topolo Durga... and when I return, there was an Insistendo (aka Intensify) Ring on the ground. She hurried to pick it up. The veterans also entered Bellem's Ruins again, fighting Giant Cockatrice (Lv.92), Captain Sharffenberger (Lv.97), Phobitan General (Lv.93), and Swamp Angler (Lv.94) for Elite Laranja e Preto and Elite Royal Guardian.

A pity to have these scout equipment though, since I only use Anahita (Lv.100 scout) for cabinet piece hunts and treasure hunts. Anahita went for 2 treasure hunts at Fire Island, but unfortunately someone else found them first. The family also bought 200 pet food to start feeding Cthulhu.

I stumbled upon a post by nzi in a sGE forum topic, which mentions the direction the game is going. Quote for truth:


I still feel like there's a Hack-yu Kim conspiracy to force people to play a more hostile fight-mongering game than they signed up for. Most of the new content is about either rewarding the players who want to kill each other or imposing forms of PK on people who explicitly chose the server where they wouldn't have to deal with that. I have enough stress in my daily life, Mr. Kim - I don't need it forced onto my leisure time as well.


The forced-PK maps include La Tierra d'Amor, and the various Super Fights (e.g. Poison Yard) where the newly added (v2.9) sun stones and rough stones drop. For PK servers, Fire Island is another forced-PK map. I wish there are more contents for casual, non-competitive players as well.

It's probably just my personal idiosyncrasy, but I always found it anti-social to go around killing other players unprovoked. Getting PK'ed is a nuisance, and if I PK someone, I'd actually feel bad about it.

Plus, sometimes you have to deal with all the bragging (if you get PK'ed) or whining (if you PK) that some players do. Of course, it is just a game, but just because it is a game, it doesn't mean you have to be a nuisance to other people by behaving in an anti-social manner. I guess that makes me an in-game hippie?! Haha.

See also NineMoons Talks About Fatigue. Peace out!