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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Digmoore Station

Digmoore Station. The smell of the air is like steam and oil churning in your nostrils. From the first time you enter its gates there is a sense of excitement, of movement, of reunions, and of exits. Airports often feel to me like how it must feel the moment you either die or are born: transition.



Why is it that all airports promote the city they reside in? Taxes! That’s why! The fine labor of the people that reside there sweats from every brick. And so the passing stop at digmoore station is complete with misery, joy, and pride in the works of the Marleybonians. The royal tapestry hangs from their wall to show the heritage of their kings and the desires of all their hearts: the golden bone beneath them all, terrier and daushund alike. It speaks of value, desire, and savings plans. It truly makes sense that Marleybonians are excavators, museum curators, and a bit stuffy.



Tracey Castleton at the ticket booth resonates with the fashion sense of the modern Marleybonian. The modesty of the canine-sapien is in full swing in Marleybone. Long dresses that barely skip from the ground. They excel in expensive formal wear that denotes station and hopes to accelerate the experience of the eye rather than give truth to the nose (a dog is a dog after all).



At the back of the station we see the local advertising space. Hairdini the great magician of Marleybone. It is not in their nature for Marleybonians to be wizards, but the imitation of one is big money.



The other advertisement is for the latest dramatic play “A tale of two Bostons.” Assuredly a fine reenactment of the classic by Charles Barkins. A tale where Lucie Dogette finds herself in the midst of turmoil, revolution, and awakening in Marleybone and . . . hmmmm, I guess if Marleybone is to England, then what other city is to France? . . . Dragonspyre I suppose. Yes, A tale where Lucie Dogette finds herself in the midst of turmoil, revolution, and awakening in Marleybone and Dragonspyre and as equally thrust into the turmoil, revolution, and awakening of love between her suitors. Tragic and beautiful. Although the poster kind of makes it look like a dance hall number. /shrug



Through all the pomp and transition, however, there is one pathway in Digmoore Station that an adventurer might miss: Air Dales Hideaway behind the Mayor. If all you look for are the figures who will send you on your adventure, you may miss an important discovery that could help you on your travels. It isn’t the strong drink of the bar you are after, it is the humble and somewhat dark trainer who yokels there.



And of course, you can’t have an airport without airplanes and destinations. Their engineered perfection and glorious statement of advanced civilization.



And it all leads to one goal for Amber Deathsong: Flexing for Mr. Personality. His hands never leaving 3 and 9.



Happy dueling!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who's reading?

Leave a comment to say hello (anonymous is ok with me if you don't want to register)! I hope your Holiday season is treating you well.

Peace.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

More Sneak Peeks!

Kiersten, our esteemed community contact from Wizard 101, has bestowed upon the community four more screenshots for our enjoyment! Thanks for the virtual Egg Nog, Professor Greyrose!







Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Remixin' for fun

Well, I'm currently coordinating for a surprise Q/A interview that I hope to have loaded on my blog in the near future.

(begin hint) It has to do with the music of Wizard 101. (end of hint)

In celebration I've begun making a laid back Wizard 101 remix. word.

So Happy Holidays everyone!

Here's a track to keep you grooving to the Wizard 101 vibe.

click here for mp3

Happy Dueling and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I will now eat my shoe

Hot off the presses . . . (click that to see the full picture)


Dragonspyre is expected to launch in January 2009. I had earlier been pessimistic about it because Kingsisle had said in a previous press release "early 2009."

Here's the new press release.

KingsIsle Entertainment Reveals Wizard101 World: Dragonspyre

PLANO, TEXAS- Dec. 19, 2008 - Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc. today officially announced Dragonspyre, the first new 3D world to be added to the popular virtual world Wizard101 since the game launched this fall. Dragonspyre is a large, high level world expected to launch in January 2009.

Dragonspyre continues the storyline of Wizard101. It is an ancient haunted world in which renegade professor Mallistaire has recently been spotted. Once an advanced militant society, Dragonspyre had an esteemed Academy rivaling that of the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts in Wizard City. It is a dark world where the inhabitants held a special interest in Fire Magic. Legend has it that in the summoning of a great Dragon Titan, the world was destroyed.

Wizard101 features spell-casting adventure and card style game play. The game's family-friendly safety features include a collaborative play style, a chat system with many options and a character name selector. Wizard101 was recently awarded a 2008 Parent Tested Parent Approved Media Seal of Approval and has an ESRB rating of E10+.

Shoes never tasted so good . . . .



Sorry to those I may have misinformed . . . .

Picture of the shoe burger graciously borrowed from this

Now check out a few of these screenshots, y'all . . . /drool





Monday, December 22, 2008

Obligatory note about a Christmas Deal

Just a quick note, the holiday $60 for one year special . . . right . . . that's going to end 12 noon CST on 1/9.

And for other ideas of what to do with your money:

Marleybone at Long Last!

Wouldn't you know it, my kid's characters have finally wrapped up Krokotopia. They found that krok wearing pink lipstick and soundly defeated her.



It's amazing how easy this game can be when it is duo'd instead of solo'd, you know? . . . especially when you're duoing with a life mage like Amber. She's awesome. Her brother Kyle agrees.

Sergeant Major Talbot deemed the Amber and Kyle team worthy of proceeding into Marleybone and handed over the key.



Thrilling. He seemed a bit tipsy when he handed over that key . . . I quote, "I ruff you guys. *hic*." Maybe it's best if we do the driving. You adults should remember to be as responsible as Sergeant Major Talbot during the holidays.

And, yes, of course I've been helping my kids out where I can (a lot of help, believe me . . . sometimes I think they'd just play tag if I didn't focus them on task and play their characters wee in the morning hours) and, yup, their quest logs are full of side quests. Oh well. Kids. Whatchagonnado.

Amber decided to spend a few of her crowns and bought this fantastic robe to celebrate. It's awesome. I'm once again jealous. I might just have to go buy me one as well for group pvp. LOL.



Then--

it hit me--

like a ton of bricks.

You know what this means?

Do you?

I don't think you do.

Do you?

Oh man this is hard to do to you all.



More face time with Mr. Personality.

Somebody save me.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, December 19, 2008

To School and Be Schooled

Ok, a few match results to report.

myth vs. me = myth won
necro vs. me = other necro won
different necro vs. me = I win
fire caster vs. me = fire caster won
a guy at 300 health vs. me = I win
different necro vs. me = I win


So, I'm splittin' it 50/50 atm.

Can I just mention something here? (sure I can. It's my blog.) There were always jokes in World of Warcraft about how insanely long and boring paladin vs. paladin duels were. It kind of became a big joke. "That's about as interesting as watching a paladin vs. paladin duel": This was the catch phrase playing on the old standard joke, "That's about as interesting as watching paint dry."

In two of the three necro vs. necro duels, I've played a full deck and had to reshuffle with the balance gold card. That gets to be ridiculously long. One of the fights I actually crashed out and came back in and won.

It might be a good idea for the 1 vs. 1 battles to have a simple toggle box that says, "disallow same class duels" I'm pretty sure both death and life casters will find it useful as a toggle.

2 cents.

p.s. Here's a PVP poster advertisement for the new arenas.

Postcards from the Test Server

Ok, I don't have a lot of time, so I will come back later and correct spelling and other atrocities when I get back from work. They say a picture says a thousand words, well here are a few thousand words from my morning adventures on the test server. Consider them postcards to you all. :-)

First, go to the wizard 101 website and download the test server and install it. Nothing you do on the test server will reflect on your real game.



Next thing to do, visit the spiral door and get your worlds to start loading. Then run back to the minigame area of whatever land you're in and go play the new Dueling Diego game . . . you need to beat my number 2 ranking. LOL. Found a bug though . . . after you play the game, the music from the minigame keeps playing in the main world. I guess that's really the point of a test server though, eh? Find those bugs!



. . . One of the benefits of being one of the first in the test server I suppose.

Next, run to the dueling arena on Unicorn way. You'll find a couple guys there. The left is for "ranked" battles, and the right is for "practice" battles. Go in and make a game or join one. There weren't many options when I went in this morning, but I did find a nice guy who dueled me (and schooled me).



To give you a leg up, I'll let you in on the secret that soon became apparent to us both (you may need to click that picture to enlarge it):



On a personal necromantic note, sacrifice just became a whole lot less effective in the arenas unless you have a death shield up. tsk tsk. Since it is the test server, maybe they'll fix it. Doing 375 damage to gain 700 back is not nearly as effective as doing 200 and getting 700 back. Might as well cast a pixie and save your death shields for empower.

Alex there unleashed a ninja pig for 1,800 points of damage on me and won the game, but I had him down to a thread of life at the end . . . darn ninja pigs.



My prediction is that you shall soon see a flood of youtube videos of battles from these arenas. People are going to absolutely love this. Thanks for the sneak peek, Kingsisle!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Fuedin'

Like all faithful wizard 101 adventurers, Amber and Kyle have stumbled upon a mysitical place known as the Temple of Ozarks, er, Storms, in Krokotopia.



You see you have these two families of Krokotopian ghosts, each holding a piece of a key that you need to get to that pesky Queen Krokopatra, and these guys have grudges that go wayyyyy back. Kind of like the good ol' Hatfield-McCoy fueding.

Your wizard ends up playing a little bit like bugs bunny in the following cartoon, well, minus the cross-dressing.



Wish us luck with the peaceful negotiations.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, December 15, 2008

PvP . . . time for the smack talkers to come forth

On a personal level I've always been a tad conflicted about PvP. I definitely have a love hate relationship.

I love it because it is far FAR more challenging to duel a living and breathing opponent who most definitely has a lot of feelings and emotions. You know . . . when you win a pvp match, you really feel a bit more like you won. When you lose a pvp match, well, you can kind of feel like you suck . . . and usually the other person's victory dance over your corpse kind of emphasizes that reality.

Oh, and there's the pre-taunting to. I'll never forget hopping into the duel arena that's already there in Wizard 101 now and getting called out by a fellow RMT clothing wearer, "Thomas, prepare to be schooled." LOL. I don't respond well to that stuff. I am a friendly necromancer after all. And on that note, I guess I do like a friendly pvp match that ends with a "good game" though . . . and maybe a friend invite. That would be ok I suppose.

So, I give you this press release from Kingsisle to let you know that pvp is going to get a whole heck of a lot more interesting in this game. Here it is

KingsIsle Entertainment to Launch Enhanced Player vs. Player Spell Dueling Arena in Wizard101

Plano, TEXAS - December 15, 2008 - Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc. today announced the pending launch of full featured wizard vs. wizard card duels in the highly immersive 3D virtual world Wizard101 (www.wizard101.com). The newly expanded Wizard Arena will enable players to participate in practice or ranked spell-casting duels against each other. All other aspects of the current worlds in Wizard101 are collaborative, and community members play spell cards that come to animated life in order to battle zany creatures like Ninja Pigs.

"If you prefer questing or mini-games, great... you never have to duel another player," said Todd Coleman, Director of Wizard101. "But families -- and a lot of core gamers that are playing Wizard101 too -- are going to have a great time competing against other players in the Wizard Arena."

KingsIsle will launch the enhanced player versus player (PvP) Wizard Arena this week. Players will be able to access the Wizard Arena from any of Wizard101's worlds. Upon entering, one of multiple Arena looks in the style of Wizard101 worlds such as Moo Shu, Marleybone and Krokotopia will be generated. All dueling in the game is turn-based so that victory is more about strategy and deck building, rather than button mashing or internet connection speed. The new launch will give players two ways to compete against each other using the characters they have developed in other areas of Wizard101:

Practice Duels (non-ranked)

* Two teams of up to four wizards compete against each other
* Players can either quick join a duel or set up their own team and chose opponents
* Free for all Wizard101 players
* Players may elect to place wagers of in-game gold on the outcome of their duel
* Any in-game gold winnings are split evenly between team members

Sanctioned Duels (ranked)

* A matchmaking service assigns duels based on Arena ranking and character level of individual players
* Players are ranked based on duel outcome
* Winners get Arena Tickets, redeemable for loot, some of which is unique to the Wizard Arena
* At the end of each quarterly Wizard Arena season, a top Duel Master will be crowned
* Free for Wizard101 subscribers or purchase by microtransaction for 80 Crowns (equivalent to 16 cents or less depending on quantity of Crown purchase)

Wizard101 contains no blood, and characters don't die if they are defeated in a duel of spells-they simply go to a safe area in the game to regain health. The game was recently awarded a 2008 Parent Tested Parent Approved Media Seal of Approval. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has given Wizard101 a rating of E10+. Anybody with a Windows based PC can play the Free-to-Play areas of the game for as long as they like. KingsIsle lets players choose subscription or microtransaction methods for advanced content. Family plan subscriptions are $6.95 per month and general subscriptions are $9.95. Micropayment zones give permanent access to particular streets or areas within the game for as little as a $1.


Makes you wonder what that "pvp only" loot is going to be like, doesn't it?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Golden Fang

First, a bit of background:



*scene begins*
*cue 70's spy music*
*the scene cuts to inside the krokosphinx*

Boss: hey, hey, I think we made it
Lefty: yeah, yeah, right
Boss: yeah, the coast is clear
Lefty: yeah
Boss: yeah, we made it
Lefty: yeah, yeah, right
Boss: We got the golden Fang
*Lefty shows the fang*
lefty: yeah, yeah, right
Boss: Look at it, ain't it Beautiful
Lefty: Beeeutiful, yeah, right
Boss: yeah, apparently it wields great power to any krok who holds it.
Lefty: Power, yeah, right
Boss: But it's ours now
Lefty: yeah, right, yeah
Boss: So here's the harangue . . you take the golden fang, which could be used to enslave the whole krok chain gang, and you take it into the krokotopia Pyongyang (aka the tomb of storms in slang), you'll have to bang the obelisks with the scarabs for which they pang, so they know you rang. You get what I just sang?
Lefty: uh, lay it on me once more, just a few parts, uh, I, uh,



Ok, so I think I'm on the right track with this story now.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a small hint

So I was digging through my e-mails from December 10th and opened up the community newsletter for Wizard 101. I hadn't read all the way through it as I assumed it was just an announcement of the Wizard 101 store. If by some weird chance you haven't been to check it out yet: click here!

at the very bottom of the message was this little paragraph I had completely skipped over:

Coming Soon!
Wizard101 will be launching Player vs. Player duels in the Arena in Unicorn Way and in the other worlds of the Spiral very soon! And the highly anticipated, new world, DragonSpyre, is launching in early 2009!


Ok, so what this is telling me is 1 vs. 1 battles not only on Unicorn Way, but throughout the spiral. So I'm imagining an arena in every world . . . a Krokotopia arena, a Marleybone arena, a Moo Shu arena, and a DragonSpyre arena. I'm also reading early 2009 to mean the first quarter of 2009. So by the end of March at the latest for Dragonspyre. We can only hope for sooner!

Keep giving up sneak peaks, Kingsisle! We love it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

THE FROZEN FORGE OF DOOM

Sure, you've dueled your way through countless ghosts, pixies, skeletal pirates, cyclops, minotaur, fire elves, banshees, ghouls, scarecrows, manders, krokotillians, and golems of every type, BUT CAN YOU FACE THE FURY OF THE FROZEN FORGE!



oh, you just press X. ok.

You know if this was one of those other MMO's, that right about now you'd be cursing up a storm because you'd have to spend all your gold buying tidbits like crafting tools and soldering supplies, and then you'd have to sweat for hours building your crafting skills until you finally had the gusto to forge a krokotillian army's weaponry. here? oh, you just press X. ok. yay!

The general was pleased.

Now it's on to one of the most fun areas of Krokotopia for my kids. The grand arena! I should make another fraps video like I did for Thomas Lionblood when he entered this area. Only this time I won't cast a bajillion cyclops spells. LOL. here's a repost of that video in case you missed it last time . . . man, this video is a little blurry . . . oh well . . . the music rocks.



It's all about the battle.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chief Hangswithnoobs

First things first. Here's the new video for Wizard 101 that will be hitting kids saturday morning TV everywhere:



What's the Frost Giant in that clip? Is that new? Why have I never seen that before?

Anyway . . .

I think I should have bought an indian headdress for Thomas Lionblood. I'm really regretting it actually because I have a perfect "indian name" for my character these days. Not "DancesWithWolves," or even "DealerOfDeathCards," no friends, "HangsWithNoobs" Although I'm 100% sure the chat filter would block that.

So, why am I, Chief HangsWithNoobs, called that? Well, after beating the Moo Shu area, all that seems to be left for him to do is to goof off, and that's exactly what I've been doing with the ultimate power that is a level 45ish necromancer.

One night I decided to just kill Blackhope over and over and over for kicks. Besides discovering that Blackhope really doesn't drop much of interest at all (I was confused and thought she dropped a dark fairy pet, but I should have just looked here . . . I guess you can call me Chief Isanoob), I also discovered a couple new friends. I did the normal routine where I cast empower and then lay down either a humongofrog, an ice storm, a minotaur, or whatever pops up. This led to many oohs and awws. I also coined my new catchphrase, "This is what we call overkill." I use it often now.



I'm finding myself answering a lot of questions like,

Q: "What is an oni slayer?"
A: The title you get when you beat the onis in moo shu

Q: "What is the order of the fang?"
A: A series of banshee bosses in krokotopia (. . . I didn't get into the lore aspect of it too much *note* see Brenda's comment below for a more accurate response if you're really interested *note*)

I've managed so far to be able to answer most questions generically.

Q: "What do you do after you beat the mill?"
A: It took a second for me to realize what this fella was asking me, which was what to do after he had beaten the free game (subscribe to the real game and GRATZ!).

Oh, this was a good one!

Q: "What is a mastermind?"
A: The title you get when you beat the final bosses in marleybone.

So I start thinking that, wow, most of those questions I've already answered in my blog over here in one form or another. I'm sure there are at least two or three wikis out there for this game by now (One I already linked to up above, you might have missed it . . . scroll back up).

/shrug

Seriously though, what is the order of the fang?

I've been busy helping my daughter and son run their characters through krokotopia. Here they are jammin' with General Khaba and de-sheeting the spooky ghost boss Soul Scavenger in the Hall of Champions.





seriously though, what *is* the order of the fang? I should get deeper there. And what's this golden fang all about? Is that like a pimp grill for banshees or krokotillians or something?

I need to read those quest texts more carefully.

p.s. I'm so jealous of my son's character, who got the dark fairy pet to drop from Lord Nightshade

Q: "Who drops the Dark Fairy pet?"
A: Lord Nightshade in the tower of the Haunted Cave . . . but only if you're not Chief Isanoob.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oo! Christmas Tree!

For some reason I had totally missed these decorations out in the main area of Wizard City!



Check me out, heatin' up the joint.

word.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Felix Navidad everybody!

Clever name on our new NPC, Kingsisle. Thomas Lionblood approves.

So I get a note that the winter festivities in Wizard 101 are to begin. Awesome. Amber Deathsong decided to go pay our new NPC a visit. He was surrounded by other magic students wondering what he had for sale.



Amber has a few crowns to burn since winning the pumpkin carving contest, and she decided to purchase a couple of fun holiday items.



In that picture, you can see her holding her brand new gingerbread man wand and showing off her new festive Christmas elf pet, Duke Misty. She's hoping he knows how to wrap presents for her family.

Amber decided to entertain her new pet by playing go fish with Alicane Swiftarrow, the fire elf boss in the Firecat Alley area of Wizard City.



and after Duke Misty danced upon the ashes and cleared the way to the theater's stage, Amber and Duke Misty put on a wonderful rendition of the Charlie Brown Christmas Story for her brother, Kyle Skystaff.



Here's to hoping you all have a wonderful season of joy and happiness!

And as always . . . happy dueling!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two-boxin' Like a Pro, Yo

Today was my first day really hardcore two-boxing on Wizard 101. What I’m trying to do here is get Kyle Skystaff up to Amber Deathsong’s level. Check it out:



There it is, the laptop next to the main computer . . . man, I need to clean off my desk.

I’ve never really two-boxed any game I’ve ever played. It was always a dream of mine to two-box when I was playing Everquest. I use to play a cleric in Everquest back in the day, and let me tell you, it use to not be an easy class to solo . . . almost impossible. When the Beastlord came out, I was all over that scene. They were excellent at soloing and had great versatility. They didn’t bring much to raiding and grouping outside of DPS and a buff spell. (I’ll stop digressing into games made 10 years ago . . . )

I liked my experience two-boxing this morning. I liked that I could easily port between one character and the other character to move around quickly. Talk about slick and easy. We'll call Thomas "slick" and Kyle "easy" since I had chose to two-box Thomas and Kyle together. Let me tell ya', things died quickly; almost as quickly as my paragraph on Everquest I just wrote above. (I'm a bit groggy still from my roadtrip to Colorado last week. haha! I don't even know if i'm making sense to you at all. C'est la vie.) The end result of this morning was Kyle did indeed crack into Krokotopia. Yay!



It must have looked a little strange to have my necromancer hanging out on Triton Avenue because I had a guy ask me if I was “farming” with Thomas. Haha. Farming. I hadn’t even considered that in this game. I guess you could farm rare pets, but I don’t think the gold comes any more quickly off of rank 2 banshees than it does off of rank 7 ninja pigs. Maybe I’m wrong. /shrug I guess stuff does die in one or two rounds on Triton Avenue.

Happy Dueling!