Saturday, May 22, 2010

Revisiting the Test Realm Rants

Ok, my last post I talked about some of the new things that KI has done since the most recent update to the Test Realm, and I have to say I'm impressed with how KI has made changes based on what the fans want with this Advanced Pets expansion. Things have changed, and I wanted to go back to what I wrote and see if I could make sense of the changes.

1- Pet Hatchery Complaint 1: Previously I was complaining about an egg I hatched with Bailey that resulted in an unusable fire-school only Helephant that cost 80,000 gold, which basically turned him into a housing item that almost costs as much as the house itself. ouch. Also, I was bummed that the pet hatchery didn't produce any hybrids.

KI's FIX: Kingsisle has now made it so that either your own class-specific pet is returned to you or you will now possibly get a hybrid.

Comment about KI's Fix: I combined Amber's Satyr with Thomas's Wraith last night hoping to get one of the new Life Spectre hybrids. I spent 98,000 gold in this combine. Unfortunately I was returned a Wraith, which I could use, but it's value went down from a 52 of the parents to a 50 for the child for BOTH the satyr and the wraith. shouldn't this number go up if I'm paying 98,000 gold? OR shouldn't I be given the option of receiving a higher value wraith or a life spectre? Where's the improvement there? This is still a very expensive housing item in the end. At that price, there's still too much risk vs. reward. If that would have been around 40,000 or 50,000 gold, I think I could accept that risk more, but almost 100,000 gold, and I get a pet with LESS potential and only a *chance* at a cool hybrid pet? I'm so confused. In the game now, 100,000 gold gets me a land of my own and that's a sure thing. Risk vs. Reward.

2- Pet Energy Complaint: It was taking 12 hours to refill your pet energy (1 every 15 minutes).

KI's FIX: pet energy is now 1 every 10 minutes as requested.

Comment about KI's FIX: None. Good Job. Thanks! Some are still going to bark that the games cost too much from ancient to epic . . . I'm perfectly fine with it.

3- Mini-game complaint 1: I was complaining about the lack of awesomeness ala Dance Dance Revolution. I didn't like the random-based Simon says approach. I didn't like the volume level of the music. I didn't like the orchestra hit sound for the arrows. I wanted WASD support for the controls.

KI's FIX: The volume of the music seems to have come up a bit in the mix. We now have WASD controls.

Comment about KI's Fix: thanks for those fixes! Apparently there will be no DDR Wizard City any time soon. /shrug I can live with that now that I know that the dance game is the fastest game to level my pet. It's nothing more than a grind machine for leveling my pet and the Mooshu dance level will most likely give my pets the most even progression of stats and I'll try to make it up with strength/will food and the gobbler drop game.

3b- Mini-game complaint 2: I wanted a practice shot for the cannon game. I wanted WASD support for the controls.

KI's FIX: first shot now called a practice shot. WASD controls implemented.

Comment about KI's Fix: Apparently I was confused. You always had a practice shot and they didn't call it that. The game used to simply drop off your worst shot out of the four, generally, this was your first shot. Now they're just being more blatant about the practice shot. That's cool, although, I think in this attempt to help, this might have made it worse for the people that were able to score a bulls eye on the first shot. whoops. Also, guys, this is still buggy sometimes. Sometimes I'll hit the target and it'll tell me that I missed badly. It's a rare occurance, but it's happened more than once.

3C- Mini-game complaint 3: I wanted enough time to finish the maze. I wanted more opportunities to gobble ghosts. I wanted the ghosts to change color. I wanted a magic fruit snack to appear in the middle like pac-man.

KI's FIX: More time was added to the clock. There were three clocks added around the maze that add +10 seconds to the clock each.

Comment about KI's FIX: Well, it certainly is easier to get a perfect game now! /shrug I think I liked Google's pac-man better, you could even make google's pac-man two player!

3D- Mini-game complaint 4: I wanted to be able to jump to grab food when I'm under it. I didn't like how the shadows looked. I wanted them to match what was falling.

KI's FIX: Your pet can now jump to get food.

Comment about KI's FIX: cool! I want to jump higher! You know, so I get up there by the gobblers! :-) BOING!

3E- Mini-game complaint 5: I didn't like how the pet derby had lag to the point where I lost control of my ability to jump. I didn't like that the courses were so static, i.e., I wanted the ground cover and jumps to change for each match to make it more unpredictable.

KI's FIX: Lag bug seems to be fixed! Jump pads added to the game to help you see when you need to press jump.

Comment about KI's FIX: Great work! I haven't played this enough to see if there's more randomness interjected into the course, but I think you'll get more people wanting to play the derby now that you've added the new derby reward pets! More rewards = good!

4- Pet Experience Complaint--I didn't like how each pet didn't have its own energy level.

KI's FIX: none. Deal with it Friendly.

Comment about KI's FIX: Come on! Keep the fun going and let me show some love for all my five pages of pets! ;-) I know . . . pipe dream.

4a- pet decorations complaint-- I wanted more blatant controls than emotes that could be pet decoration specific.

KI's FIX: none. Deal with it Friendly. (btw, here's a cool new sound when you put a pet down on the ground in your house!)

Comment about KI's FIX: ok. But MORE controls than just the three I have would be awesome. *dance*, *scold*, *clap* . . . meh. How about salute makes them all stand still? How about bow makes them all jump? MORE! MORE!

5- Pet Assistance in Battle--I didn't like how pets wouldn't become more trained as they fought along side me. I wanted a battle system that would allow for me to choose their attack and reward them with a treat for their actions.

KI's FIX: . . . I have no idea . . . readers? Was any of this addressed? I've never got a cool pet attack trick I don't think, so I've never been able to try it out. I have no idea. /boggle

Comment about KI's FIX: I can't complain if I've never seen it. /shrug

6- Pet Hatchery Business Complaint-- I didn't like that I saw a real-world business opportunity based around the game supplying rare breeds through money transactions.

KI's FIX: Sheep + Sheep = Piggles, yeah, the free kind you get for entering the pet pavilion at level 7. Olivia and I got our piggles together last night and tried it out at the mere cost of 20,000 gold or so. Randomness, extreme risk vs. reward, and lack of ability to transfer unique pet skins now make this a non-issue.

Comment about KI's FIX: Problem solved. /wipes hands clean. I still think you guys need to look at the risk vs. reward aspect of things, but the fact that you can't transfer unique pet looks takes care of the problem. p.s. Sheep + Sheep should = baby friendly necromancer pet . . . jus' sayin'

WHEW! What are you guys thinking of the changes?

Happy Dueling!

31 comments:

witchwarrior said...

another good thing they should fix:
This weird glitch that erases all of your pets' stats back to zero after you play maze, maze, dance, and maze.
Fix it, KI!

P.D. (Luke GoldHorn) said...

I like your suggestion about them making you able to chose for a new hybrid or a higher skilled pet. I've bred five times and only got 1 hybrid. That's what I really want to see...

Blaze Silverfist said...

I'm very glad you're requests (well most of them) were implemented into the game. Hopefully they'll lower the price for hatching more. (I only have 15,000 gold. I: And you know my whole crowns thing.) I also have one question: Can you play the mini games for free or are they a crown only type of thing? also can you buy a gobbler from the new pet vendor? Thanks for the new info.

TTYL

~Blaze

@P.D. I agree. I haven't tried the test realm (I'm not subbed, and haven't bought crowns in a while.) so I don't really know the entire risk vs reward business on it, but from what my bud, Friendly, here says, it doesn't seem too good.

cactusflinthead said...

If they don't produce hybrids more often I am not going to invest the amount of time necessary to get 100K+ gold together to get another helephant. Not worth it.

I was one of the ones that could get a bullseye on the first try. I have noticed that you need at least a red hit plus two bulls to get a perfect score. A blue and two bulls just yields an awesome. I like the cannon best of all the games by far. I can play it almost exclusively with a side trip to the maze to chase apples for intellect. Dancing is faster, fine, but it bores me to tears. I will try the Gobbler Drop again, it was nearly impossible.

I have noticed that since Troll TCs are required for Ambros Cereal they are becoming less available at the bazaar. Speaking of snacks, I have found it very useful to keep a running list of the likes and loves of the various pets in hopes that I can figure out where to either find the recipes or where they are most likey to be had as drops.

stingite said...

@Cass: another thing to fix are your lies about this glitch . . . just kidding. ;p Good to hear you've bug reported this a couple times.

@PD: Ugg, I don't like those 1/5 chances.

@Blaze: Yeah, I don't know if they realize how hard it is to get all that money when there's so many distractions and other goals in the game. It makes it really exclusive, and, well, a time waster.

Mini-games cost pet energy points. You only get 48 pet energy points. Once you run out of energy, you either buy more or wait for it to regenerate.

You can buy the "nibbler" (gobbler) pet from the crowns shop.

@cactus: Good information all around. thanks!

Fist of Fire said...

I agree with your ideas. I especially think they should address hatchery costs and risk vs reward. I want to get some of those hybrids, but there's just too much chance that I'll just pay 100,000 to get another helephant back...

I would be exited if they gave each pet there own energy. I have my four pages of pets that want attention!

P.D. (Luke GoldHorn) said...

@Stingite: Yeah, I don't like those chances either. lol. I don't know a person who would.

@cactusflinthead: See, I'm terrible at the game lol. Even with the "practice shot", I can never hit it lol. All of my pets' wills are extremely low lol.

@Blaze: Everything in the Pet Pavillion is free. However, I noticed an interesting catch with this:

KI said they wanted to open up another area where crowns or subscription isn't required. HOWEVER, in order to use the Pet Pavillion to its full extent, you kinda need to. So they're very contradictory on that.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that everything in the place should be free. But I think they should lower the price so it's available to the common subscriptor...

Heather Emeraldflame said...

@Cactus: I feel the same on the spending there. For the most messing around with hybrids will not be worth it...although the Satyr-Wraith Hybrid would be, to me anyhow. I have an obsession with those undead wizard-type monsters....there is something almost cute about them with their little glowing eyes xD
I will still be trying to get the one dropped version from the Gurtok Demon, of course :D

Friendly: "Sheep + Sheep should = baby friendly necromancer pet"

...Yes!..ROFL!

In the maze game: I still wish they would change the color of the ghosts or give you more indication on when it's ok to chomp ghosts. I mean right now when you eat the purple stars that allow you to eat the ghosts you get a very light dust trail behind you pet, BUT if your pet is eating snacks all the stars/glitter come out of the snack and you really can't see that dust trail anymore.

Cannon game: Eh...still not my thing. Sorry, but a waving flag in a breeze along with a speed indication...instead of just a solid, unwaving arrow with a very vague speed written next to it, would really help. The cannon, itself, isn't all that touchy when you move it so you really have to get a feel for exactly how much more you need to boost. It just hasn't been that fun when I've tried it and I can do much better on the Gobbler Drop and Maze...Maze being my favorite.

The Dance game: not with my eyes :(

Gobbler Drop: Just about the same as before. It's not my favorite but I can at least deal with it. I do pretty good at it, really, but I just hate doing the same thing over and over...which is what all these minis are about. It's all just a mini-version of Neopets with training being included in the games instead of training your pet outside the games.

The minis are a ok break from battle/farming/questing...but they get boring real fast.

I can't really see me spending a whole lot of time on this stuff. I mean maybe one or two pets per wizard, but really don't care much. My favorite part of it all is having the pets in and around the house and how they all come up to greet you when you arrive at home. Also watching them dance when you dance...kinda puts a smile on your face :)

M.W.S said...

Wow a lot of comments hope no more rants hopefully lol...

Miguel Wildthorn said...

RE: Point#1.
I think you're missing some key points about how the Hatchery works.

The Hatchery mixes slots such that the 20 slots of the child are a combo of both parents. Only 4/10 Talent slots will manifest. It's very likely that the first child might only manifest Talents of its like-parent. It's still a hybrid petnome; it's just that the cross-school slots were not the ones that manifested.
Subsequent children have a better chance of manifesting a Talent from a parent from a different school.
So, match the child with the parent from the other school and you will have a good chance of the next gen child manifesting the Talents you want.
The Hatchery is actually a great learning tool about basic breeding.

If you end up with a pet with Talents that aren't in your school, you can usually equip an amulet with a card that will benefit from the bonus.

Also, because it's the slots that transfer, it's possible that some children will have a lower or higher pedigree than either parent.
If more Rare slots happen to transfer from both parents, the child's pedigree will drop a bit. If more ultra-rare slots happen to transfer, the pedigree may be a bit higher.

But, what's important is that you get the specific Talents or Powers you want.
That's why it's more important to match with a pet that has already manifested Talents or Powers you like than it is to focus on the Pedigree number.
In the end, a pet with more ultra-rare slots that did not manifest is of lesser value to me than a pet that manifests the Talents I want.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

RE: Complaint #5 Pet Assistance.

The primary way pets aid us in battle is by boosting our stats for damage, resistance, accuracy, health and mana.
Those are the combat Talents that most commonly manifest. If your pets manifest these Talents, the bonuses will increase as you increase the stats of your pets via training.

Other Talents allow pets to cast spells, like Ice Ward, during combat.
The tool-tips for these Talents don't indicate whether the chance for the pet to cast is increased with training (increasing stats).
I still need to test that.

The only way to choose the spells the pet can cast is to try to match your pet in the Hatchery with a pet that has already manifested the Talent/spell you want and hope and/or wait for that Talent to manifest in the next generations.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@Luke GoldHorn
You always get a hybrid from the Hatchery. It may not seem like it, depending on what manifests. There's a good chance the Talents you want are a part of the the child's petnome - in one of the 6 slots that didn't manifest.
So,it's best to use these hybrid children in the subsequent matches.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@Blaze Silverfist
Matching high-pedigree pets is very expensive.
It's probably best to start by purchasing several low pedigree pets from the schools you like, training them til the adults have the Talents and Powers you like. And then matching those adults in the Hatchery.
That's the quickest and cheapest strategy, I think.

Once you have a low-pedigree pet with Talents you like, you can match them with the high-pedigree pets.

One thing to remember is that the Talents and Powers that have already manifested in the parents have a greater chance to manifest in the children.

There is some risk, yes.
But, it's not too difficult to plan for the traits you want once you understand how it all works. And know what to expect.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@cactusflinthead
I strongly advise that every one start with low-pedigree pets in order to learn how the system works. It's only about 12,000 gold to match low-pedigree pets.
That way you don't waste 100,000 gold on each trial match.

Even with the tons of crowns we've been given, it only takes about 2 matches in the Hatchery to burn through all the gold with high-pedigree pets.
And it's unlikely to end satisfactorily if you don't know what to expect or how to plan for the results you want.

stingite said...

Thank you, Miguel, for your insightful explanations . . . I think I finally understand the big picture now.

A follow up post will definitely be made because of this.

. . . And then probably another one after that . . .

wild.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@Heather Emeraldflame
I'm not familiar with the Satyr-Wraith hybrid as an existing pet, but...
A few things to keep in mind:

1- Our hybrid pets will always look exactly like one of the parents. Matching a Satyr with a Wraith will never result in a hybrid appearance.

2- If you want Wraith with Myth Talents, it's probably easier and cheaper to match the Wraith with a Bloodbat.
Unless, you have a Satyr available that has already manifested an Epic Talent you want or has manifested a specific Ultra-Rare or Rare Talent you want that isn't part of the Bloodbat petnome.

The pet system is primarily designed for us to train from level 7 to level cap. And as something to keep us occupied during the months we are at endgame. It's meant to be spread out over time, rather than something we do all at once.

If you have a pet that manifests Health-Gift or Mana-Gift fairly early, you can increase your Health and Mana fairly significantly via training the pet each time you level - rather than just relying on clothing or rings.
Same with the other Talents.
You aren't intended to have a pet at level 10 with a Death-Giver Talent trained to 50% Death damage.

If we train the pets as we go, they should provide bonuses appropriate to our levels.

Cost of snacks might be a bit of a problem. But, we do get snacks as drops, so it shouldn't be too much of a strain.

stingite said...

Miguel, I think you're going to want to check out this page: http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70625

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@stingite
Glad to offer some insight.
My research project is on my FB wall.
Miguel Wildthorn

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@stingite
Ah! Very interesting. I have no access to level 48 pets.
All my research is with purchased and dropped pets.

So, yes.
The level 48 pets appear to be a different breed altogether. And it is likely to be very expensive to match them with the exact results you want.

I'll have to examine that page in more detail.

Thanks!

stingite said...

Miguel, it's sounding like really I should only be breeding epic pets with epic pets so I can be sure I know what skills have manifested with both parents, would you agree?

Also, Does the offspring inherit an unmanifested skill from both parents as well? In other words:

4 revealed talents from the parent
4 revealed talents from the other parent
1 unrevelaed talent from each parent

?

Anonymous said...

What's the new derby reward pet?

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@stingite
*ack*
I wish people were sharing pics from the pet UI in the Spellbook. Shots of the parents in the Hatchery would be nice as well.

*sigh*

I think people starting with these "grandmaster" pets may be getting a misguided view - expecting results that are actually rare to be the norm.

Hmmmn.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@stingite
It's best to match pets that have already manifested Talents or Powers that you want in the child.

If you have Epics available that have manifested Talents you like - YES. Use the Epics.

If you are starting with eggs...
It's probably better for you to only train until you get two Talents you like at Adult.
Too much effort to train all the way to Epic when you may not end up with two Talents you like even in the pet you hope to use as a parent.

...............

The child will inherit a mix of slots from both parents. Should be 10 slots from each parent.

The child has a new petnome (template of slots). KI says that traits that have already manifested in the parents have a better chance of manifesting in the child.
I imagine that means that traits that have manifested in the parents will be among the 10 slots that have transfered from each.

I'm not sure that it's an even split: all 4 manifested talents plus 1 un-manifested from each parent.
Maybe I should try to test for that.

Which 8/20 slots actually manifest in the child still seems pretty random.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@Anonymous
Seems to be quite a few that I don't recall from last week and some from last week are missing?

Current list is:
Striped Boar
Blue Spider
Dastardly Magician
Dark Crow
Crimson Spectre

Anonymous said...

Nathan StarBlood
I hate that the lowered the ages of all the school pets to teen, Friendly Btw! if u train a pet DO NOT I REPEAT NOT let it run around in your house. it makes all the strength will etc go back to 0, i learned this the hard way. my guardian piggle was giving me 8 defense, awesome right? i let it run around and now it only gives 1 tear tear

John Lifeglen said...

Miguel, the 4 arena pets are not missing, they have been moved to Diego. The 5 pets you just listed require pet derby ranks as opposed to actual Arena rank. Hope that clears things up :)

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@John Lifeglen
THANKS!
Yeah, I meant missing from Nigel.
I didn't think to check Diego.

That sounds great.
I'd rather duel than Derby.

John Lifeglen said...

Lol...I'm glad both are still the same arena tickets. I'm not so hot on the arena scene but derby I can do ;). To get all 9 pets all you will have to do it this:

1: Have no life for a very long time.

2: Reach Warlord in Arena AND Pet Derby.

3: Play whichever game you prefer upon reaching rank to get whatever your heart desires.

My quick guide for everything arena-tickets you can think if :D

Taji34 said...

I think there should be a game or a treat or something to fill up your pet energy other than crowns and waiting. Because without something like that it makes it almost impossible to level our pets at a reasonable rate if we don't have access to a mass amount of crowns.

Miguel Wildthorn said...

@Taji34
Primary design is to train pets as we move from novice to grandmaster. If we could quickly and easily refill Energy, novices would have pets that provide bonuses that are too high.

Refill time also helps prevent grandmasters from having tons of uber pets.

Best strategy for refill is to empty Energy in the morning, empty Energy at night and empty Energy right before you level.

It's supposed to take weeks to train a pet to Epic; not hours.

smvb said...

All I can say about the pet breeding (after skimming all the comments about how it works), is that I hope KI comes out with a pretty comprehensive guide for it. Otherwise, they'll have a ton of angry kids, and if they have a good guide, at least they'll be able to point to that when answering complaints.

I also agree that they ought to better balance the risk vs. reward as Friendly has mentioned. You can bet that when I try out the hatchery for real, I'll learn all I can before hand. Or I might not try it out at all when it goes live if the cost is still too high.