Friday, January 30, 2009

Part I: Nelson Everhart & Todd Coleman, The music of Wizard 101

Part I: Nelson Everhart & Todd Coleman, The music of Wizard 101 (Interview by The Friendly Necromancer)

On Thursday, January 29, 2009, Todd Coleman and Nelson Everhart joined The Friendly Necromancer on a conference call to informally chat about the music of Wizard 101. The following is Part I of the Q&A session.

Friendly: I just want to thank you from the player-base for making Wizard 101 a game that is easy on the ears. You’ve created something fantastic that really adds a new layer to the game.

Nelson: You’re welcome.

Todd: Thank you!

Friendly: Before we start the meat of the interview do you have any initial comments on the feedback you’ve received on your music for the game?

Todd: The feedback has been universally positive. We’ve received extremely good feedback from my standpoint on the game and the soundtrack specifically. I do agree with you that it adds a layer of atmosphere that kind of accentuates and punctuates all the other layers. I have to give a lot of credit to Nelson on that. (Pauses) I do believe this may be the first time that Nelson and I have ever been on the phone together as far as I can remember.

Nelson: This is one of the first times if not actually the first time we have ever been on the phone together.

Todd: It’s kind of interesting. We worked almost entirely over e-mail. I kind of started my career as a writer. But, I would basically write up a general feeling or thought, that would not necessarily be coherent, of “here’s the kind of feeling I’m going for.” I would sometimes reference, you know, movies or send some screenshots of the general architecture, mood, or atmosphere, and then Nelson would just immediately start iterating and coming up with music, and it worked really well, which is actually kind of surprising (laughs). Because really, I don’t think we ever even spoke, it was all over e-mail. I would write and he would iterate--I would write and he would iterate--and the result was fantastic.

Nelson: I believe Todd is just a really good communicator; out of the gate he would give me everything I needed, and when it was difficult he would help smooth things through the gate a little bit, you know, by giving me input, like here’s a movie or a soundtrack for you to consider or here’s a screenshot for you to consider. It was a lot of material that was motivational or inspirational.

Todd: I recall a lot of times when writing Nelson a paragraph, I would tell him, “Here’s what this world is about. . . .” I would include visuals and describe emotions. I would tell him, “Emotionally this is the kind of feeling we want to give . . . .” I was surprised by how powerful the results were when the music would come back. Even the initial cuts of the music, when they came back to us, they were so close to the mark that a lot of it was just tweaking the music from there.

Nelson: There was a lot of good information conveyed about the emotion and the specific vibe of the track and also about what they wanted the player to feel in any particular world or part of the world. This information was really integral in nailing that feeling quickly. We did well working that aspect over e-mail.

Friendly: This question is for Nelson, and Todd, you can chime in as needed. How did you come upon this great job?

Nelson: There is a gentleman by the name of Jools Watsham who was working for Kingsisle at the time; he’s since moved on. And, I had worked with him at a company called Acclaim entertainment. When the company went bankrupt around 2004, everybody kind of went their own direction. We just sort of stayed in touch. He wound up working at Kingsisle and asked me if I was interested in the project. That’s how I became involved.

Todd: Jools came in early on as our producer and then he left us to go start his own company called Renegade Kid. William Haskins from the AP slot took over, and he and Leah Ruben have been on the production side ever since. But, Nelson has stuck around through the whole thing! (laughs)

Nelson: (laughs)

Friendly: (laughs) I am very happy that he did and I think the rest of the fan-base is as well since it turned out fantastic!

Todd: I am delighted actually with the way things have turned out. The music does a great job of setting things apart, and it does a better job tonally of setting the mood. Music is the red-headed stepchild typically for a virtual world, and I think we’ve done a really good job of elevating that up to a much higher level.

Friendly: I agree. It’s sad when people tend to tune that out and turn on their own MP3 players.

Todd: Well, at some point it is bound to happen. If you have a game that is hundreds of hours of game play, how many people will turn it off? And I think generally we have music that is engaging. It’s interesting. It doesn’t get too repetitive. We have a variety in our mix of tunes, and it makes for a great longevity.

Nelson: That was definitely one of the considerations when we made the music for this game is that people are going to play it over and over and over again. We tried to change tempos a little bit, modulate, and present different keys throughout yet keep it consistent and keep it delivering. It was one of the music’s goals. You hope that somebody gets something out of it.

Todd: Nelson I don’t know if you realize this, but in the office we’ve taken the Wizard City Commons music (sings the tune) . . . People have actually come up with words to that!

Nelson: (laughs)

Todd: So I’ll hear people singing around the office, (sings) I want to go to Wizard School, to Wizard Wizard School. I want to go to Wizard School. Wizard School is cool, yeah!

(laughter from all)

Todd: So people have come up with their own lyrics, which is pretty humorous.

Friendly: That’s awesome.

Nelson: That’s awesome. I love that people did that.

Todd: Even though you’re recording this, you’re not allowed to play me singing. You don’t get my permission for that.

Friendly: (Laughs) Don’t worry, you’re safe.

Friendly: So, Nelson, you use to work at Acclaim, is that right?

Nelson: Correct.

Friendly: What other music titles would you claim as your own?

Nelson: Hmmm, which ones should I claim?

Friendly: (laughs)

Nelson: The first one I did for Acclaim was called South Park Chef’s Love Shack, which there’s no real cross-over in that game’s music to this game.

Friendly: (laughs)

Nelson: Also, Vexx for the PS2, XBox, and Gamecube. The score for Vexx is the one I sort of compare to Wizard 101’s score. However, in that game I kind of used more techno elements mixed with orchestral elements, and that worked well for an adventure based game.

Friendly: So you obviously have played Wizard 101 before then, you had to in order to come up with the sound track.

Nelson: Yeah I played. Todd got me on early, and it wasn’t like I spent a large amount of time leveling a character. It was more like just running around and getting a sense of the vibe and the wonder and what I personally heard inside my head as I was running around the levels.

Todd: It was definitely more challenging for Nelson to play the game before I got him the ability to teleport to different levels. We didn’t want it to take him 60 hours of game play to get to where he needed to be to do his job.

Friendly: (laughs) that’s great. Ok, so, Nelson, since you had told me earlier that use a Macintosh, do you want to plead your case to have the game released on that platform so you can play it again?

Nelson: I will be the first person in line to play the game when that happens.

Todd: There actually is an emulator out there. Some players brought it to our attention. They downloaded it and were able to bring up the game on it.

Friendly: Wow. Well there you go, Nelson, you’re one step closer to playing the game now. I’ll add you to my friend’s list.

Nelson: I’ll have to check that out.

Todd: We don’t want you to get addicted though! Believe me, we can’t let people even here get too addicted because we need them to make the game.

Friendly: (laughs)

Todd: They’re not allowed to play it too much.

Friendly: (laughs) ok, so what made you all at Kingsisle choose the more orchestral sound when you were creating the score for Wizard 101.

Todd: It’s a good question. I remember early on that some of the music was a little more electronic sounding, and I’m not sure what caused us to shift to go more orchestral. Do you remember, Nelson?

Nelson: I remember initial conversations about what sort of vision we wanted to portray. When you write music for other media there’s so much of pop culture that can play in terms of evoking or even avoiding a certain style. And, orchestral music can be used to evoke this particular environment because the fantasy genre or world in film has a lot of orchestral elements to it. To some degree, and coming from a different point of view, the scale that you’re trying to convey of a world is enhanced by the powerful sound of an ensemble. And it’s very flexible because you can do so many things with it. You can take the music and really kind of roll it out to look forward to the last encounters. It’s great to be able to keep some of the power of orchestral music in reserve for the last stand.

Todd: I know that we definitely wanted to get more cinematic in combat and maybe the fact that it was cinematic combat was what took us that direction as he was saying. Film and the orchestral sound are very married to each other. So when combat came into focus maybe we leaned more that direction. I know that we wanted to lean away from being too electronic because we definitely wanted the world to be grounded in fantasy. We wanted to set ourselves apart to a degree to the idea that the wizard city world and the rest of the spiral were not mixed too heavily with the identity of players from earth trailing into this world and feeling like they're in a different place—not carrying too much from our world into Wizard city. You don’t see things like baseball caps and pop culture . . . in anything other than the writing, you won’t see pop culture references in the Wizard City world.

It’s hard to remember this all correctly, we started working on this what three and a half years ago, so some of those initial inspirations have faded over time.

Friendly: Well I definitely have not missed the European Band influences in the Prospector Zeke quests. All of those are very good pop culture references in the game. You did a good job!

Todd: And they keep that in the writing. I told people that puns are fine. Keep it in the quest names and keep it out of the world as a whole. I drew a weird arbitrary line in the world: here’s where you put your jokes; don’t put it over here.

Friendly: Right! Good decision, good decision.

Friendly: So, Nelson, was it a demanding process writing the songs? It sounds already like you had to go back and rethink things at least once to change from electronic to orchestral. How much input did you get from your fellow employees that played the game? What was the collective looking for and maybe what you had to sacrifice personally for the game?

Nelson: Well at the end of the day it’s all about serving the vision of the game and trusting that Todd was directing the vision for the best possible outcome. And, at the end of the day, it’s really about making him happy with how the music sounds--not me. I couldn’t really see on a daily basis how it was coming together. So it was about trusting him and when he was saying, “Yes, this is working.” As far as the stylistic considerations that went back and forth, I didn’t really look at those as setbacks. It was like an exploration of trying to find the voice of this game, rather than asking what kind of voice I was going to have in the music.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm typing Part II up during this week as I can! Set those RSS feeds up if you haven't already!

In Part II Todd and Nelson talk about the theme music for Wizard City and their favorite pieces of music from the game. Nelson also touches on a few technical aspects of his job.

Interviews Incoming! (DUCK!)

I just wanted to put a quick note here that I interviewed Nelson Everhart (composer for Wizard 101) and J. Todd Coleman (executive director for Wizard 101) yesterday regarding the music of Wizard 101. It was really . . . really . . . really . . . really cool (was that enough really's?).

I think everyone in the community will like some of the personal insights that Nelson and Todd shared with me. I had a great time talking on the phone with them. They are great guys. And as it turned out, it was the first time THEY had talked to each other on the phone. All correspondance for the music of Wizard 101 was done through e-mail.

So, bear with me here as I transcribe from a very garbled audio source. I may end up releasing parts and pieces of the interview as I get them typed out. I'm about a third of the way through now. Unfortunately, the audio source is such that I can't provide a podcast of the interview as I had wanted.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dragonspyre Mish Mash Part II

I've been having fun messing around in the Chasm and also in the first two parts of Necropolis.

I needed to clear off all these video files, so I could have some hard drive space for an interview I'm doing tomorrow . . . (hint, stay tuned--good stuff incoming to this blog soon!!)

SOOOOOOOOOOOO,

Here's another mish mash from Dragonspyre.



Happy Dueling!

Monday, January 26, 2009

kkthxbye test server. :(

Well, the test realm will now close its doors for the time being.



Here's the note from KI. I wonder if they'll reset our characters when they open the doors again?

Test Realm Temporary Shutdown

We really appreciate that all our Subscribers enjoyed playing on our Wizard101 Test Realm!

Now that we have launched Dragonspyre and Player vs Player, we will be taking down the Test Realm, but only temporarily.

Don't worry, we'll be calling on you again to test out new features that are coming to Wizard101 soon, so watch the notifications on our website and our Sneak Peek page.

Player vs. Player information from KI

Kingsisle released this information about Player vs. Player, and I thought I'd pass it along.

PLAYER vs. PLAYER
There are two types of Player vs Player in Wizard101:

Practice
Anyone can participate in a practice match. They are practice only and there is no reward for winning and no penalty for losing. Practice matches help you with your deck strategy, are lots of fun, and you can do them as much as you like!

Ranked
Right now, only Subscribers may participate in Ranked matches. Soon, Ranked matches will be available to Free Players with a small Crowns purchase. Ranked matches count towards your ranking in the current Tournament Season.

To start a Ranked Match, simply click the “Quick Join” button from the PvP menu.

Tournament Seasons
A Tournament Season lasts between 3 and 4 months. During Ranked matches, players will be teamed up based on their level and their rank for the current season.

At the beginning of a season, the difference between players you duel against and your team may seem like a lot - their level may be much higher or lower. If there aren’t very many players that want to duel when you’re looking, you might also see some large level gaps in duels. As the season continues, you will see that less as the ranking become more sorted out as the teams and opponents adjust based on their rank, level and win/loss ratio.

When you’re competing in teams, the Tournament system will take into account the level, rank and win/loss ratio of ALL the participants to try to create the most even duel it can, with the players that are available at that time.

At the end of the Tournament Season, all the Rankings will be erased, the Arena Ticket items will be changed for new items and the adventure starts all over again!


Thanks for the info, KI!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tres de Smarmy

Haha! The Life Wizard school is getting a lot of smarmy loving from Thomas Lionblood today. Seriously, it's my day to get death wands: THREE in one day.



I was helping my buddy Caleb SpiritWeaver do some quests in Moo Shu and wouldn't you know it . . . Otomo coughed up his staff of dreaming for me.



Meh. Throw it on the pile of weaponry.

Happy Smarminess!

Smarmy part duex

Hey! Today has been Thomas's day for collecting wands.

The Hoarder coughed up this nasty looking thing, so I decided to go look smarmy infront of the life school again.



Wicked looking, eh? Reminds me of a rogue's blade. Nice look.

Unfortunately I can't show you what it looks like when I attack with it, because . . . um, it's a wand/sword without charges.



Happy Posturing!

TERMINUS!

I got the voodoo stick of death this morning! yay!



Here I am posing infront of the life school just to be smarmy.



To top it off, it has a pretty freaking awesome effect when it casts.

video

I need to invest in some software that will let me pan and zoom in on stuff like that. meh.

Last night my friend Tara (/wave Tara) grouped up with me to start the Sunbrand quests in The Drake Hatchery (you don't have to be at any certain point in the quest line btw . . . you could go here and get your staff asap if you wanted). The result from completing his quest line is that you get a wand from your school. Unfortunately, I may hardly use Mr. Terminus . . . I can't be using a death wand when I have to use death traps to kill stuff. /shrug.

But it is definitely backpack worthy.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Joined Wizard 101 Central today

I honestly don't know what I haven't joined this site before now:

http://www.wizard101central.com/

Tons, tons, TONS of good info there. If you haven't signed up, you should do it.

Happy Dueling!

Dragonspyre Mish Mash Part I

Here's a video I made of Thomas Lionblood (with some helpful assistance from Kyle Skystaff) rocking the first two or three zones of Dragonspyre.



I hope you're all having a good time with the new content! The battles are longer, the foes are stronger, and the puns are wronger (oo . . . *editors everywhere wince at the most wrong mistake that just happened).

I must say that I have a new favorite quest name out of this whole free content that Kingsisle has graced us with.



Love it. I hoisted one of those trapper keepers around with me everywhere I went in junior high. All the girls were wanting to "go with" the mullet-sporting, brace face that was walking tall with the red trapper keeper, yo. All of my class information perfectly sorted, neat, and in place . . . so hawt. On the inside fold you might have found some graph paper with a D&D dungeon I was crafting for my buddies.

Ok, I'll stop typing now since the video has finished uploading. whew. You're lucky that uploaded fast.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That was fast!

Well, we were back up and running in around an hour! Thanks, Kingsisle! Very prompt service.

Happy Dueling!

Dot dot dot

. . . well, I'm on hold until Kingsisle can restore our characters on both accounts. Apparently my 4 year old got very delete happy while my back was turned.

/shrug

Whatchagonnado . . .

Happy Dueling!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My first odd bug found in Dragonspyre

Well this was interesting. a fellow student, Dugan, and I were fighting for our ghouls and somehow super-imposed our playing fields for a few minutes in two completely different battles in the same area. strange. I slowed the video clip down so you can see what I'm talking about.

video

Anybody had this happen in other spots in the game? It just happened the one time, but it was very strange.

Happy Non-confused Dueling!

PATCHING IS DONE! GO LOG IN!

But, uh . . . it's going to take a bit to download this patch. Seriously. It's huge. Wake me up in a few, ok?



Happy Snoozing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Activate Dragonspyre Switch!

I'm not going to reprint this announcement.



NOW ENGAGING DRAGONSPYRE SWITCH!

*push*

*distant cheers in the background*

Have fun out there and stay tuned!

**UPDATE: Ok, I logged on just to check that this hasn't gone live yet . . . nope, I shall be there at 7 am CST seeing if I can get into the game. Apparently it may stretch beyond the 3-7 am window they are currently advertising.

ALSO, don't miss that Felix Navidad will be exiting stage right, tonight is the last chance to buy his pets . . . and just so you don't miss it: "Spells have been added to existing Jack Frost and Santa's Little Helper pets." Pick up those pets tonight, kids!**


Happy Dueling!

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 6

Amber and Kyle finished creating their jade scepter and have now wrapped up the Cave of Solitude! I had to grab a video clip of the main water area in the Cave of Solitude because it is so awesome: waterfalls, water elementals, krakens, a strange calm despite the scary pathing of said water elementals and krakens, Goat monk ghosts, etc.

video

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Research--W101 from the horses mouth

So tonight I got a wild hair and decided to do a little google research on Kingsisle employees and specifically what I could find out about what has been said from the horse's mouth.



Tamir Nadav:
http://www.notesongamedev.net/people/design-interviews/tamir-nadav/

J. Todd Coleman:
http://www.gamezone.com/news/08_15_08_08_41AM.htm
http://www.massively.com/2008/06/30/massively-interview-kingsisle-on-wizard101/
http://www.worldsinmotion.biz/2008/07/qa_kingsisles_coleman_on_turni.php
http://www.whattheyplay.com/features/wizard-101-first-look/
http://assets.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2008/02/25/story14.html

Tom Hall:
http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3142603
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_32/197-Tom-Hall-Makes-His-Move

There's also of course the now infamous 4-part series of the making of Wizard 101 on youtube that's a good watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In0daY1oIv8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKwfah3y2Fg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goArQ-WcrcY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiSHi2-aeiI

And the kiwibox interview on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBvXWLjNHf4

I'm sure there are more, so feel free to add to this list if you have a good link.

I also found the KingsIsle LinkedIn profile, which also lists a lot of cool heavy hitters for the company (including my favorite! -->points at Kiersten):
http://www.linkedin.com/companies/kingsisle-entertainment

I found out a lot of things I didn't know about in that mini-research session, and I hope you will to! For instance, for some reason J. Todd Coleman reminds me of Matthew Perry. Haha! I think it might be the way he says, "magical" at the end of the first "The Making of Wizard 101" youtube and then pauses for a bit . . . smacks of Chandler Bing; meh, maybe it's just me. :-) Also, Tamir Nadav has some AMAZING hair--I'm not worthy. Tom Hall's chess and B&W photograph fascinations were interesting to read about as well.

These people at Kingsisle seem like a very genuine bunch . . . good people.

word.

Happy Dueling!

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 5

What we have here is some video footage from Amber and Kyle's adventures in the Cave of Solitude. In particular they are working the "Hut Hut Hut" quest, where your characters check out a few huts and, of course, get ambushed in the process.

video

My son is loving the Hydra spell. Interesting how the spell uses the lightning buff even though the cow had been tipped.

They're almost done with the Cave of Solitude! woot!

Happy Dueling!

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 4.5

I managed to guide Amber and Kyle into the Crimson Fields last night, and with my help they completed the instance!

video

I hadn't noticed those banners before. Cool! When you click them, they slide up and announce your presence. During the stage where you fight random trash out in the open field (defeat 13 on the battlefield), a boss mob will show up if you have those banners flying. At least that appeared to be what happened. /shrug. Did everybody know that? I felt like such a noob for not noticing those before.

Looks like it's onward to the Cave of Solitude now! Go kids!

Happy dueling!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 4

I don't have much time to blog today, but here's today's video journal from the Crimson Fields! I just love using lightning aoe's against myth-based ninja pigs.

video

More from Crimson Fields tomorrow I'm sure. haha. No time to complete the instance today for me at least! Maybe my kids will hit this instance tonight. /shrug

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 3

Today was one of those clean up days for Amber and Kyle. I'm sure you've had them, you mostly just go to the shop and sell all the junk loot in your backpack and bank. BUT! They did get a chance to do one of my favorite quests, and here is a video clip from it.

video

When a cow hands you a match, take it.

Those towers stay on fire for a long time too. It's quite cool to be completing a few quests in the background while the towers stay burning.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wagering Gold in Wizard101

So, I can't remember if I mentioned this in my blog before, but on the test server you had been able to wager money on the non-ranked pvp matches. This has now gone the way of the dodo.

This came through the news-wire today:

After testing the wagering system for Wizard101's Player vs Player Tournament feature, we have decided that the ability to wager gold in PvP duels will not transfer from the Test Realm to the Live game. There is no need to implement parental controls for this system, since we have eliminated the gold wagering in PvP duels.

Thank you for your feedback, and see you in the Arena soon!


Sorry kids, it appears the arena now has two rules.



(picture from this photo sharing page)

Happy Dueling!

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 2

Today's video features Amber navigating through the overthrown Tatakai Outpost. This is a run that will sometimes make you grit your teeth because the mobs path a little odd here and getting caught means a 5 minute or so battle.

video

I don't know if you'll be able to read Amber's chatbox or not, but while I was finishing up a quest involving defeating 8 ninja pig couriers, a couple of people started having a lively conversation to the side. LOL. Here's a reprint in case it's too small to read.

I love it. I may have to start something similar here to the "overheard at PDX" blog my friend often links to.

Jason Fireweaver: I can only do it on me
Fiona Fireheart: I'm not gonna touch that comment
Fiona Fireheart: I'm gonna
Fiona Fireheart: behave

(Mr. Fireweaver was talking about casting a pixie fyi.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Video Journal Moo Shu . . . Day 1

Hello Duelers,

So I have a new idea for Amber and Kyle, who are slowly working through Moo Shu at the pace of around an hour a day. I'll be recording a video clip each day of their adventures and hopefully by the end, we might have a pretty cool Moo Shu Montage.

Since my Fraps is the unregistered version, it naturally takes small 30 second clips. I'm good with that, and hopefully you'll find these 30 second clips entertaining! (Going to be fun to see them all strung together.)

Today's clip shows Kyle casting a tempest to finish off Do-Daga and his companion. Amber had (just before this clip) let loose with a centaur that got Do-Daga to the point that the wave blast from tempest would finish him off.

video

I hope everyone is enjoying Dragonspyre. I'm actually avoiding it at the moment. I kind of don't want to get too into it yet until it goes live. /shrug I'd rather not have the feeling of repeating content too much.

Feel free to leave me a comment on your impressions of Dragonspyre or just to say hello.

Peace.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fell Asleep, but here's what I got (SPOILER)

Ok,

I fell asleep while formatting this video of Dragonspyre. It's just freshly uploaded to youtube, so I hope it comes through. It's a spoiler, so don't watch it if you don't want to see me running around Dragonspyre on the test server. HAHA!

!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!

Don't watch this if you don't want to see Dragonspyre on the test server. I video taped and screenshot what I could for you all, my fantastic readers.



Peace.

Happy Dueling!

Now stop watching that and go have fun on the test server yourself! :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dragonspyre to be released on the Test Server

This just in . . .

"Dragonspyre Launches on the Wizard101 Test Realm"

For our Subscribers who have completed MooShu and received the Dragonspyre Key, you are invited to preview the newly released world of Dragonspyre on our Test Realm as soon as it is available!

You've been waiting for this, now the challenge awaits you...through the Spiral Chamber door.

Please remember this is a Test Realm. Not everything is in place yet, and anything you do here will not affect your live characters.

For more information about who can play on the Test Realm, and how to access it, please visit our Sneak Peek Page

See you in Dragonspyre!


I'm going to go load up the test server now at 12:30 am (that's after midnight) and go see if Dragonspyre is available. More to come!

Happy Dueling!

Free the Plague Oni's Loot Table!

I was reading over at Tipa's blog this morning about her horrible luck with the Plague Oni's Loot Table.

I had some spare time, so I took Thomas Lionblood and Kyle Skystaff down to pay the Plague Oni a visit.

Oddly enough, The same "trash loot" shoes dropped for me as well.



Here's a conspiracy theory for you! LOL! The game senses when you hit "print screen" and pops out the most appropriate loot: The footwraps of pictures. Indeed, the picture will last longer than the shoes will in my backpack.

ON THE OTHER HAND . . . there's always the other hand isn't there? . . . Kyle got a really nice storm caster robe . . . exactly what he needs when he's level 40.



Weird. I'll keep running tests and reporting results.

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dads are a Dime a Dozen

. . . but moms! Now that's something to write home about!

Wizard 101 is looking for you, mom . . . here's the skinny from our esteemed Wizard 101 contact:

Looking for Moms that play Wizard101
Moms out there that play Wizard101, we want to hear from you!

If you are a Mom who is new to gaming, and plays lots of Wizard101 with your family, we'd like to hear from you.

Please contact us at community@wizard101.com as soon as possible.


I don't feel slighted because I'm a dime a dozen.

seriously.

*shuffles feet*

ok, then.

um

bye.

HAPPY DUELING!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Friendly's Event Ideas

Hello friends!

I contacted Kiersten, the W101 community correspondent, and asked her if I hosted an event, could I give away a prize of crowns to one of my readers. She said that not only is that possible, but Kingsisle *may* front the crowns for the event.

So I’ve jotted down a few possible events I could host. Let me know if any of these pique your interest.

Event ideas:

1- Find the Friendly Necromancer (basically I sit in one spot during a certain time and release clues to my location over a couple hours . . . the first person to find me and do a specific set of emotes, wins!)

2- Screenshot Scavenger hunt (a one day scavenger hunt for screenshots, e-mailed to me for judging).

3- Random drawing of readers on a specific given day.

4- Gold card collecting event (would involve buying a specific deck and loading it with specific gold cards, including one of the more rare cards).

5- The Friendly Necromancer Quiz event (I give you a Wizard 101 quiz . . . winners drawn from a pool of those that gave the most correct answers).

6- Make a Wizard 101 game (invent a game—board, video, card, whathaveyou—that revolves around the Wizard 101 theme, winner judged by the community through a polling system).

7- Wizard 101 poem writing contest.

8- Riddle me this (answer a number of Wizard 101 based riddles, winners drawn from a pool of those that gave the most correct answers)

9- Real-life picture contest (find objects in real life that reflect objects in game . . . for instance, you know how you always have to touch plaques that have pictures of birds, trees, bugs, and dogs in the game to unlock doors . . . take pictures of those iconic items and submit them . . . etc. still hashing this one out in my mind.)

10- Lego building contest (build a Wizard 101 prop in Legos and photograph it . . . winners judged by community)

11- Youtube contest (create a Wizard 101 youtube video . . . winners judged by community)


I’m just brainstorming here. Feel free to leave your ideas.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Conflicted

Gah. I'm so conflicted.



There's Amber. And that's where she's going to sit. Right there on the third stone ring in front of the Wizard City Spiral Door. She's going to sit there until my daughter logs on and opens the door to Moo Shu on her character for the first time. Despite my temptation to just keep going . . . I think I'll just wait and let her be the one to do it.

My son is still really loving W101. I think my daughter's interest has really waned though . . . especially since the crash of Christmas Presents from Nana-claus (her grandmother is lovingly titled Nana-claus because she over does it on Christmas presents). Who has time for that old game when there's a lot of new things to play with? Can't blame em. Kids love new stuff.

I guess adults are the same way. A lot of the players of this game can't wait for Dragonspyre. It's hard to play the same game over and over when there are so many great games out there. A company's ability to push out code and thoroughly test new content can never match the thirst of some hungry gamers.

I can see it happening now. Dragonspyre is going to come out and some players are going to beat it in under a day or two and then boom. hungry for more. PvP is going to keep them somewhat happy since there's the goal of the PvP gear to shoot for.

Perhaps community sponsored events is the answer?

Whoa. That was a brain tangent there . . . sorry.

So yes, my daughter will be sitting on the third ring. Let's see how long it takes her to go through the door. Maybe tonight? Maybe tomorrow?

I may have to start a new character while I wait . . . hmmmmm . . . balance school is looking hot.

*wanders off muttering to himself*

UPDATE 7 January: Well, I didn't have to wait long! She logged on 6 January and ran around the introductory quests and even went over to Hametsu Village to put out some fires. awesome.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Anonymous Posting Now Available

Whoops! I thought I had anonymous posting already enabled. QuantizeVids brought it to my attention. Thanks, Quantize!

The only problem that could possibly happen is an influx of spam . . . I highly doubt that it will become a problem.

Happy dueling!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Katzenstein's Lab / Dance Floor

Well, I got a little fraps happy when I was running my kid's characters through Katzenstein this afternoon. So, here's the youtube of it. I have the remix playing in the background . . . man, I need to lengthen that!



Hands down the best underground club scene in the game. word. ;-)

Happy Dueling!

Amber Deathsong Joins Malistaire!

This just in . . . Amber Deathsong just joined the Malistaire team. Apparently she is a rogue life wizard who likes chocolate ice cream. The bad guys have a lot of chocolate ice cream.


Stay tuned for more news at 11.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Vote Wizard 101

Yup . . . I'm liking Kingsisle's new newspage that I mentioned below. Go cast your vote for MMO of the year at MMOHUB for your favorite game. I registered and cast my vote on their forums, but it looks like you can respond right on the page I linked to.

/shrug

I'm not sure how it works, but it would be cool to see Wizard 101 make the top list.

I'm sure my faithful reader Brenda would have an amazing list. In fact, you can read about all the MMOs she played in 2008 on her blog.

Peace.

The Wizard 101 news page

I received an e-mail from Professor Greyrose today and she wanted to let y'all know that Wizard 101 has their own blog! (Well . . . they're calling it their news page, and they're right . . . no RSS feed . . . if you want a newsfeed for Wizard 101 stuff, you'll have to click here). So without further adieu, here is the link!

Ravenwood News (You can also get there by clicking on the "News" link from the main site and then selecting "Ravenwood News.")

As Greyrose said in her newsletter, the news page is for "all our fans who want to keep up to date on everything that’s happening in Ravenwood . . ." It sounds like a shortcut from visiting the forums, AND it sounds like they're going to keep it updated as well. I think you'll probably find mostly downtime and patch announcements, but who knows what cool stuff you may find there in the future!

More power to ya, Kingsisle!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Spell Quests Poem

A poem (pronounced Poe-em today since I'm feeling kind of upper crust) for you since Amber and Kyle just finished off a couple of class defining spell quests this morning.

Ahem . . .

Freddy Nine Lives in Chelsea Court,
loves the dueling type of sport.
Defeat him nine and not one short.
then to Moolinda you must report.



Hand Moolinda your golden coin.
And magic powers will then adjoin.
A heal that is a finger point,
surely could not disappoint?



A trip down to the throne of fire,
to get a tail, yes, to acquire,
then boil at a temperature higher,
Cool, the storm bird has what you desire!



Mr. Balestrom was so pleased,
at how his task you easily breezed,
and how the day you briskly seized!
Now your tempest won't be appeased. :-)



I know dear reader this poem was grueling,
wipe the spit from the chin you're drooling.
But, the Wizard 101 we keep refueling,
will burn brighter now with your . . .
happy dueling!