Friday, May 28, 2010

Gregor Mendel pays a visit to Wizard101

Gregor Mendel, you say? Yes, Gregor Mendel! He was an Augustinian priest and scientist, who gained posthumous fame as the figurehead of the new science of genetics for his study of the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants. I totally stole that from wikipedia.

You know, I really do believe that Kingsisle has a good heart beating inside it's amorphous chest over there in Austin Texas. I think that at the end of the day, they want to teach us through play yet not make it seem like we're learning. That's kind of the difference here between games like Jump Start where it's overtly putting learning number one and something like Wizard101 where the learning is kind of hidden.

. . . and I could just be talking out my posterior.

The new pet breeding really has me going back to my high school memories when I first heard about Gregor Mendel. Gregor Mendel was cool. He's all planting his pea plants in his super secret experimental garden tucked away in some hip abbey trying to figure out how to make pea plants more awesome. Little did he know that we'd all be trying out genetic experimentation in a video game someday trying to get certain "dominate" and "recessive" traits to manifest.

Now all our little community needs is a nice clear list of all the traits that are possible.

As I envision this, it will be a four column entry.

This is probably the most desperately needed list from this expansion for those who are serious about breeding their pets. Miguel Wildthorn gave us a great head start with his petnome mapping; unfortunately, we need this petnome mapping effort times 50 since there are now so many pets in the game. AND, since you can't dance your pet to epic anymore, this is now going to have to be a community effort to uncover the hundreds of talents and derby talents out there. AND, knowing the name of a skill and the actual effect of the skill are both needed.

In other words, Miguel could do this on his own, but it'd go a lot faster with some community involvement.

. . .

You know, the major glaring difference I see here between Gergor Mendel's work and our Wizard101 breeding is cost. It costs a whole heck of a lot more gold to breed two epic pets than it does to breed two pea plants. It'd be like Gregor Mendel starting his genetic experiments out with Snowdonia Hawkweed that was expensively flown in from Wales within a climate-controlled, transportable atrium.

So whatcha gonna do about that? I'm sensing a lot of forum gold in someone's future over on Wizard101 Central if they have the time to organize a community thread and list out the pet derby talents and pet talents. Perhaps this is something the Pet Master would be interested in. Or perhaps Miguel himself would like to take the lead and guide the community to petnome mapping success! I look forward to your ideas and comments on this one, fo' sho'!

Happy Dueling!


Winicott1001 said...

I agree with this Mr. Fiendly. The cost is a major barrier to learning more about how pets interact. There is going to have to be a TON of farming going on for 80K a pop.

This is going to be a major undertaking for anyone, let alone a group in Central. Will all the trait possibilities your 2X2 box of dominant and recessive traits is not going to cut it :). I know that I am going to stay away from breeding until I can count on some sort of predictable outcome that will improve the pet that was used to breed. Why would I want to give up my perfectly good defender pig when I could end up with a pet that gives me neat traits, but not ones that I may value in the arena? The answer is, for me, I would not.

I think pets are going to go through the same changes that Craftig went through. With crafting we had the requirements reduced. I am sure that the same thing will happen with the pets. The number of required completion of Minigames will either be reduced, or more XP will be given. In the mean time I imagine we will be allowed to 'Grind' millions of Minigames while Celestia is being ramped up. Once Celestia comes out I am sure that they may make the changes to make pet advancement and breed less daunting. IDK, just a guess.

Despite the issues, I am enjoying (for now) the minigames. I am terrible at the dane game that you love (I hated Simon too) but Gobbler Drop is pretty much a lock for me to get the full XP. We will see how I feel about it in a month or so when my teen pet is only an adult and I am tired of the Mini games.

Great Blog BTW

Hawkwind said...

Excellent observations, Friendly. I spend a TON of time on Wiz 101 these days, and while I am not a high-level wiz I have managed to collect some pets and tend to be pretty (parental control)-retentive about record keeping. I would be happy to start firing off the results I am getting to someone who has the wherewithal to really make this thing work, like level 50 Wizards and all. So, anyone signing up?

- Hawk

Kevin BattleBlood said...

@ Winicott1001: No worries, breeding does not mean you are fusing your pets; you get to keep the parents after mating :) So go ahead and breed, you will still have your Defender Pig for PVPing.

Friendly, in addition to the information needed for mapping Petnomes, we have to include the requirement that only *First Generation* pets will be considered in the studies. Hybrids, according to Miguel (Wizard101 Mendel, rhymes nicely too, maybe a TFN rap line here), have their Talent and Derby slots randomly shifted around.

Pet Master, Miguel, and fellow pet researchers, I've got my gloves on....let's do this thing!

Alric Ravensinger said...

@ Battleblood I'm with you bro let's do this I got a bunch of pets I can provide talents on etc.

Hawkwind said...

A few more thoughts for those that will be recording all this data...

1. Rather than a spreadsheet, you might be better suited using a web-based database such as Baseportal/MySQL. This would give you a heck of a lot easier time in comparison and calculation than working it out with a spreadsheet.

2. You will need some baseline on how to identify the individual talents. Zoom-able screen-shots would seem to be the logical way to do it.

3. You will need some form of verification of the data you are bringing in. Invariably, someone will want to claim that their pet has a set of skills that it does not have, and someone else will be sending in the stats from their 3rd generation pet when you are looking for base line 1st gen pets only. Maybe only use pet skills you have two different sources of identification for?

Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

- Hawkwind

PS - Any chance of getting a link from your site, Friendly? My friends and family have NO clue what I am talking about here, kinda am experiencing "voice in the wilderness" syndrome :-)

Kevin BattleBlood said...

How about trying this one on for size?

Would definitely need a small team of people to:

-create visuals for results page (copying/pasting the Talents/Skills in the slots of the Pet Page)

-verify if submissions are in fact true

-maintain the form, preventing double submissions of what we already know


We would operate either on a website/blog together (perhaps Pet Master's page would be the best, if not on Central).

I'll soon email you the direct link to the database, Friendly. Maybe you can critique it, given that you're the Specialist :)

stingite said...

Love where this discussion is heading! Kev, the Google spreadsheet is cool. I've never seen that before. I like that you can port it over into a form.

That seems like enough to get going with phase 1 here of information gathering.

What about the little rectangle graphic that has the name and rarity indicated on it? That seems to be a missing piece of the puzzle and gathering that graphic from people would kind of suck.

Kevin BattleBlood said...

@ Friendly: Thanks! By the rectangle, do you mean the graphic of the talent/derby skills listed in the dual columns?

If so, we can have that indirectly covered through the "email" field of the form. We can ask the players who submitted the info to help us extract that image.

As for verity and confirmation that the image they give us is actually valid to the pet's genome, we can request for images from others, to make sure the overall "genome templates" match.

stingite said...

Great. Also, I don't imagine it will be too hard to get the basic skeleton filled in for a majority of the pets. I may post up a slew of empty (or near empty) pet maps tomorrow to help us get started on the skeleton.

12th Nightmare said...

this is a very cool idea, guys. I'll be happy to submit my 'findings' once you have it up and running.

Alric Ravensinger said...

Nice Kevin Battleblood I will for sure be submitting my Pets Talents to the program.

Anonymous said...

just learned about gregor mendel in science class! I am in sixth grade advanced tho. Its really cool to see what u klearned in real life

Anonymous said...

I SWEAR I JUST HAD THIS LESSON YESTERDAY IN BIOLOGY I SWEAR! But maybe could you explain if mender's ideas apply here?

Stingite said...

They "kind of" apply, but on a much simpler scale. We're dealing with a list of 20 traits and only 8 that manifest. Genetics deals with a number much greater than that. Wizard101 pet skills aren't always static either, meaning, you aren't breeding pets for the color of their eyes. You're breeding for four racing skills and four combat skills, and that's it. Each pet carries with them passive and dominate traits. Dominate traits have a much greater chance of manifesting, but passive traits still have a chance to show up. This is very similar to what Mendel had discovered. If you combined the same two parents a number of times, I think you would find their "offspring" (if you will) to be very similiar but perhaps having slight variations in their traits.

So, yes and no, but mostly yes. :)