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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Please Check Back Tomorrow!

Hello visitors!

Check back tomorrow for contest details regarding the Moonlight Ponies!

Thanks for stopping by!

Here's a link back to the page with all the contest information on Wizard101.com.

Happy Dueling!

Awesome Mount Contests

I've been having fun seeing all the mount contests popping up! It also makes me wonder why they are emphasizing mounts on all the fansites, there has to be some kind of improvement or something coming down the pipe about mounts, right? Maybe? Or maybe a ton of new mounts? I mean, remember the gobbler giveaway that accompanied Advanced Pets? What if this was advanced mounts! WOOT! :-)

If they do something cool with mounts, then I need like an additional 20 slots on my backpack . . . wait a second, didn't they just add 20 slots on backpacks? Hmmmm, something's fishy here. ;) Maybe they'll let your mount roam around your house like your pets? That would be awesome!

Anyway, I have no idea--it's probably nothing--but let's see who has what mount giveaway (that I know about . . .)

Central is sporting three giveaways.

Starshine Pony
Royal Lioness (courtesy of Paige's Page)
Batwings (courtesy of the central wiki)

Ravenwood Radio apparently is doing a Sunshine Pony giveaway.

Petnome is giving away Proud Lions.

Awesome Pyromancer is giving away Dark Redwing Dragon Mounts.

West Karana is giving away Manta Rays.

Homework in a Graveyard is giving away Swiftshadow Wings.

Valerian is giving away Chestnut Ponies.

That Pyromancer is giving away Bengel Tigers.

Kestrel is giving away Dream Fillies.

Diary of a Wizard is giving away Sea Turtle mounts.

And I totally expect more to be showing up soon too! YAY!

**UPDATE** Ditto has the Lobster mount! **UPDATE**

Where's your contest, Friendly?!

I don't knowwwwwwwwwww . . . . :) I'm still deciding what to do, actually. Stay tuned . . . April 1-7 is the magic set of dates for most of the giveaways and it's going to be huge (and awesome).

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Screenshots 30 March 2011

I just quickly looked through the screenshots that Bailey had took yesterday, and I found a couple of cool ones.

One was a 108 maze game score she had done.


Nice . . . I think my highest is somewhere in the high 90's. she's aMAZEing!

The other was where she saw Kiera Ravenheart and put Kyle's starlight pony and her moonlight pony side-by-side!


So, now where is the Sunlight pony, right?

Happy dueling!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crafted Wands - Moonlight Ponies - Triple A game from Kingsisle?

Heya! I have few things I want to chat about today.

~~~~~~~~~

Edward sent me a link over to Central where one of the topics at hand is crafted wands. It's an interesting idea for how someone would go about custom crafting a wand of their own.

Personally I think the first order of action really should be the ability to stitch your wands, but this is all stuff we've talked about before.

~~~~~~~~~

I've had a couple questions about Moonlight Ponies crop up here and there. Basically the promotion to get a moonlight pony is now over. It involved subscribing to Beckett's Online Gamer Magazine during a certain promotional period. Most people read about it on Facebook or in their e-mail.

Hope you got yours!

~~~~~~~~

This last thing I have to share with you today is an interesting find on KingsIsle's website. If you take a look at their career's page, you'll see some of these longstanding jobs have a bit of a cosmetic wording change to them. (WHAT? You mean you guys don't haunt the career's page at KingsIsle's website? I guess I'm the only nerd out there who does that. *grin*)

To quote: "KingsIsle Entertainment is currently looking for a" (insert job title) "to work on an exciting new family-focused AAA MMO video game."

So, Triple A is an interesting video game term that's a bit esoteric in its meaning, but I gotta say that a Triple A game out of the door from KingsIsle would be amazing. It's a pretty bold statement that I can't wait to see come to fruition.

To me, Triple A from the get go like this means slick graphics, killer game play, huge budget, and high expectations from everyone (and the hardware to back it up). It seems like Wizard101 wasn't really meant to be the Triple A game it became. Wizard101 is Triple A now because it went BOOM!

If you've never read the Wizard101 Post-Mortem article, now would be a good time to catch up on it. Case in point, modular world building isn't building a Triple A game out the door. It's definitely part of the reason why Dragonspyre, Grizzleheim, and Celestia look so much better than the other worlds.

To add to all that, it's interesting to see that they are seeking a new producer with some heavy background experience. Those just don't come a dime a dozen. I'm interested to see who they add to their team (that availability has been up there for a couple months now btw).

So it's my belief that Wizard101 is going to be starting work on a new game (perhaps a third game?) where all the post-mortem issues of Wizard101 are addressed and perhaps they have a few new tricks up their sleeves with some new talent. I'd love to see a really visually stunning game from KingsIsle with moderately high graphics requirements. If I was to also draw an assumption, it would be that perhaps the second game is drawing closer? What do you think?

Either way, it looks like good things are just getting underway at KingsIsle!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clarification Needed

. . . on that last post a bit. I've been reading all your comments, and I truly appreciate all of the warmth and friendship from everyone!

I don't have a lot of time to go into things this morning, but I just want you all to know that I'm reading and listening.

I didn't really know that my last couple of paragraphs would turn into a spring board of support messages. I appreciate that, and it does speak to the caliber of the Wizard101 Community. Thank you! I appreciate it. I'll try not to be too flippant when throwing around phrases like "wizard101 doesn't need me either" just to drive a point home. I'm sorry about that. :) But I do appreciate the support.

Also, everyone has challenges in life. I'm not exempt and neither are you. Many of you have helped me remember that fact. I'm sure if you think about it, your lives are all touched by some sort of tragedy or disability. But, I wouldn't really call Kyle's Autism tragic. Well, at first it was, but over the years I've learned that my son's high-functioning autism makes him awesome and unique. He's incredibly funny and, yes, challenging as well. There have been a couple of heartbreaking moments, but please don't look on his state in life as sad. He's wonderful, and his situation has taught all of his family more than we bargained for. It could have been much worse, and for those caring for a deeply autistic child, my heart and love goes out to you.

Kyle is like the rock star of the special needs class. For the most part he's integrated with the regular classroom environment, and he drops by the special needs class for a few minutes each day. When he does, he's treated with cheers from the other kids, who seem to look up to him and appreciate his friendship. He likes to read to 'em and they dig that. I worry about how things will be as he grows older, but we'll cross that bridge when it gets here.

Anyway, Autism is a hot topic button and one that's a little controversial at times. I'm not really here to talk Autism awareness though (although definitely a valiant cause), I'm here to talk video games, which just happens to be something that Kyle Skystaff loves. :)

Thanks again, and . . . hey . . . go have some fun in Wizard101 for me, would ya? I'm off to work. :) Regular posting should resume soon.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, March 25, 2011

World of Warcraft Doesn't Need Me

I've been getting a number of World of Warcraft comments on my blog, so, hey, let's talk World of Warcraft.

Traditionally I've avoided even speaking the name of the vile one here on my blog, preferring to call it "the game which shall not be named." Hey! That's just me being funny.

I surrendered a couple years of my life to World of Warcraft circa 2005-2006. I played a Female Human Paladin mostly. Why? Well, I asked my friend Brandon what the least played class/race combo was and he said Female Human Paladin, so Reverencia Sacerdote was born. My spicy Spanish nun. Awesome luck for me was that Arnold Schwarzenegger played a Female Human Paladin too (not really . . . that was also just me being funny).

Let's be honest why I started playing WoW. It was my friends. I was an EQ player before that, and let's be honest why I started playing EQ. It was my friends.

World of Warcraft pretty much destroyed Everquest when it came out. You know, it's funny because one of the comments that has recently been left on my blog was, does Wizard101 steal anything from WoW? (Specifically talking about the Nightmare, which I remember to be a mount option for level 40 Warlocks.) The answer to that question is, Yeah, of course Wizard101 steals stuff from WoW. The whole industry does that. In fact, WoW stole a bunch of its stuff from Everquest. Everquest stole a bunch of its stuff from Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons stole a bunch of its stuff from H. P. Lovecraft and J. R. R. Tolkien. When you're dealing with the fantasy genre, it's hard not to have a troll in your game, right? It's just the nature of the beast. Of course these games are going to cross paths once in a while.

I digress.

I wasn't done with Everquest when I started playing WoW, but I left anyway because the friends that were playing WoW were awesome and it meant more to me to play with them than sticking with Everquest, so I played WoW. Funny enough, it turned out to be a pretty great game, and the most fun was in chatting on the guild and raiding alliance message boards and of course, raiding, that awesome time waster where you get four groups or so together and destroy the big bad guys. When my friends and I were playing WoW, I had a great time.

So why did I leave WoW? Well, my friend one day up and sold his raid geared dwarven warrior for a few hundred dollars, and it was done. That little spifire of a dwarf was promptly turned into a bot for harvesting herbs by a third party. Sad.

The game lost its lure for me. My friend was gone. I didn't sell my character . . . I went back to EQ for a while and had more fun there until I was done with the game. What killed Everquest for me was finding out my son had Autism. I was done. The most important thing at that time was dealing with that. I couldn't hack the raiding lifestyle and be a good parent.

So the question at hand here is . . . is there any WoW left in me. Cataclysm changed everything and wouldn't it be a great game to go back and play?

No thanks.

It has nothing to do with WoW. There's plenty to do in WoW to keep you completely obsessed for years, but it'll never have my friend Brandon back. He doesn't play MMOs anymore. He's more into pen and paper these days with a few of his friends where he lives locally. WoW *is* Brandon for me. I can't go back and play it without feeling like something is missing.

But, the title of this post isn't Warcraft Equals Missing Friends, Friendly . . . Why'd you call it World of Warcraft Doesn't Need Me? Because they don't. That's reason number two why I don't care about playing WoW. They're vast and already have communities overflowing with Bloggers. They already have Blessing of Kings. They don't need me.

Things have changed since I started playing MMOs because my friends were there. Now I play MMOs because I love the genre and I like to write. When I contacted Blizzard's PR, did I get a nice personal note back like I did with SoE, Turbine, and KingsIsle? Nope. They stuck me on their distribution list and didn't say a word back to me. Not that I should expect that; it's freaking BLIZZARD we're talking about here. They're huge. They're busy. Friendly Necromancers are a dime a dozen (Here, take 20 TFN's, they're going cheap!)

They've got massive amounts of things going on, and there are already three people or so covering the beat for World of Warcraft in Beckett's. Even if it was an accidental (or to-be-expected) blow off, it's just plain to see . . . they don't need me.

Wizard101 doesn't really need me anymore either (never have actually), but I still believe in their product being the best Family MMO out there. :) I need them! I've mentioned the reasons before.

Hope you made it through your bag of popcorn! Sorry for the rant. It was just kind of how I was wound today. /shrug Hope that answers your questions about my relationship with the game which shall not be named.

Happy dueling!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Legendary Lionbloods

There we go! The family collectively now has one legendary wizard for each class.



Pictured from Left to Right: Myrna (Ice), Kyle (Storm), Amber (Life), Thomas (Death), Bailey (Fire), Iridian (Balance), and Rowan (Myth). All Level 60.

Thanks for all your help and support.

:-)

Happy Dueling

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A countdown?!

EEK! A TIMER!



What could it be?!

*gnaws on hand*

Could it be a bomb that blows up all the side quests in Marleybone?!

*chews on leather*

Could it be a brand new way of making April Fool's awesome?

*scratches uncontrollably*

Could it be EGGBERT'S RETURN?!?!?!

OH MY GOSH DON'T THEY KNOW WHAT TIMERS DO TO ME?!?!?!?!

Could it be a new Egg Plant Plant?

I JUST DON'T KNOW!!!!!

So . . . what do you think it is?

WHAT COULD IT BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(exclamation points extending out for like ever)!!!

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pet Egg -- Pet of the Day

I've been getting pictures of the Pet Egg from you guys, and thought we better make this thing the Pet of the Day!

Seth Hunter had an egg pet sighting back on 19 March, and sent over a few pictures. Check 'em out:




Then Nathanial Hexbringer was kind enough to send along a shot of the pedigree on 20 March:



Uber Wife ran into Paige Moonshade the other day and snapped a screenshot of her egg:



And then Blaze Shadowblood had a couple to share yesterday evening:




So as the picture says above, if you have access to a Colossus and a regular old Wizard City dragon (I've also heard that a Helephant and Dragon work and I've seen different pedigrees for the eggs as well on this thread) and want to have a cool break dancing egg, then make it happen! It's today's PET OF THE DAY! WOOT!

Next up . . . we need to put those rumors of the imp and wraith mix to bed. If you have a pet cow, send me your pictures. :) Before you undertake this rumor control, just know that people have tried this hatch multiple times and got nothing from it. I just want to see that it really exists. If you see the rare cow pet in game or have one of your own, snap a picture and send it to me.

Hopefully it won't be as horribly mutated as this cow specimen:


Does that even look like a cow anymore? Or is it just some horribly over-cute dog/cat/pig thing? *shivers at the cow mutant*

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NOTE Suspicious E-mail to Wizard101 bloggers

Fellow bloggers,

There's a non-legit e-mail from someone named Mike from "Kronberger Media" that seems to be targeting Wizard101 bloggers with the title "Potential Wizard101 job." If you receive any suspicious e-mails such as this in the future, forward it to community@wizard101.com. KingsIsle will keep your names confidential.

Thanks!

Happy Dueling!

Quick Plug for Other Bloggers (while I'm super busy)

I've been really busy lately and fighting computer woes as well, so it's been a little difficult to make posts. I also need to start writing another article for Beckett's, so besides my highly entertaining Twitter posts about Ice Cream faces, I'm a little out of pocket lately.

I just want to make sure that you all continue to take a look at the huge list of Wizard101 bloggers off the the right over there *points to the right side of the screen and down eight side bars*. In the past week, there have been over sixty posts made. It's been a good week in the blogosphere!

Please try to go through that list and check out the things that catch your eye. Once you read one or two of these bloggers, you may find you like their attitude or insight, and they'd LOVE it if you'd follow their blog.

There's both old favorites and new voices in that blog roll, and if you haven't gone through them in a while, I suggest checking them out! You might even find me getting bonked on the head by Cassandra. ;-)

So while I may not be very vocal lately, Chillanthropist has been chatting up a blizzard. There are a lot of interesting voices joining in the chant out there. Check 'em out!

(Divertimento, há um blog brasileiro para qualquer um que ousa lê uma língua estrangeira!)

Give 'em a read and I hope you find something you like.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NIGHTMARE on Helephant Street

Ok, so besides people freaking out about Wintertusk, yesterday was a two-for-one bundle of freak out!

Thank you to Seth Hunter for forwarding along a couple of pictures to me of the pet and its pedigree. Check these out:




Aww! He's super close to a death unicorn! It's the firey my little pony of death! I shall name you pet of the day, and I MUST have one.

From what Seth told me and from what I'm reading on Central, this fella is the result of a Helephant and Unicorn hatch. I can't wait to try it out!

Also of news yesterday was the "pet egg" pet. The thread to follow for information is right here. From what the rumors are saying, this comes from a Helephant and Dragon hatch. That seems to be unconfirmed at this point.

**UPDATE** It's now been found that the pet egg comes from a Collossus and Dragon mix! Thanks readers! **UPDATE**

The pet egg is interesting. I remember standing around with a group of KI people at GDC and they mentioned that at one time they thought about letting people equip their unhatched eggs and let them bounce around behind them, but that idea was scrapped.

Let me know if you find any more strange hatches! It definitely looks like KI has put a couple into the game . . . maybe more?

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wintertusk Will Be the Newest World on the Spiral

If you search the term "Wintertusk Wizard101" early this morning while I type this blog post, you're going to find nothing. After eight o'clock eastern time, however, the information embargo gloves are off from KingsIsle, and you'll start to find that Google search becoming a little more populated as the news from PAX East filters in . . . because that *is* the news from PAX as far as KingsIsle is concerned.

Central and Twitter are going to explode today. It's going to be fun to watch. :)

Check out this awesome concept art!


HAHA! I just knew Grandmother Raven would make an appearance someday soon in the spiral. YES! Do you guys remember my podcast interview with J Todd Coleman and Josef Hall? When I brought up Grandmother Raven they said she'd definitely be making an appearance. Here it is. We finally get to meet her in the world of Wintertusk. Awesome.

I think it may be time to revisit Grizzleheim my friends because Wintertusk is a continuation of that story in the spiral with some surprises thrown in. Similiar to Grizzleheim (we don't know how similar yet), Wintertusk is going to offer new areas for both high-level and lower-level students of Ravenwood, but it really feels like the level 50+ crew is getting more storyline and the lower crowd is getting more of a continuation of where Crab Alley left off. As KingsIsle put it, "A revamped underwater introduction zone for lower level characters. This area will continue the story of the Crab King."

We're also getting new spells and level 58 class pets! SQUEE! Care to place any guesses to what those class pets will be? No one knows yet, but information will definitely be forthcoming over "the coming weeks." (So, no, we aren't busting into the new content just yet . . . we have "weeks" ahead of us still.)

KingsIsle isn't giving away all their surprises! They're going to slowly let us find out "the best details" of this new expansion over time.

As always, as I find out more information, you will find out more information!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ditto at PAX 2011 (interview with Fred Howard)

I've just been watching Ditto's Interview with Fred Howard and a few of the other videos from Ditto as he heads to and arrives at PAX East. These videos from Ditto at PAX are just too good not to cross post-and share.

If you like these videos, be sure to drop by Ditto's blog and leave him some good comments. Also, follow his twitter and his YouTube channel.












LOL Fred almost said the "P" word. HAHAHA! Tsk tsk. Fred, it's "Fabricated American!" :)

Here's just a couple of quotes from the Fred Howard interview that you all might find interesting to discuss.

When asked about what the future holds for Wizard101, Fred responded:
". . . There's certainly new worlds on the horizon . . ."
and
". . . As our community continues to grow and give us such positive feedback we can continue to invest in expanding the Wizard101 world . . ."

When asked about what advice would you give a new blogger or someone who wanted to start a new website about Wizard101, Fred answered:
"There are a lot of neat and innovative ways to get involved with that [Wizard101 blogging and fan] community. It's a friendly community. Part of it is just going with your passion. I think part of it is working within the community to be helpful. Part of it is to do outreach to understand how a new blogger can help people, and really I think it's to have fun! One of our core tenants at KingsIsle is we have fun. we have fun building and making the games and we have fun with the community. I think if a new blogger keeps that concept of just having a good time and going with their passion, there's a lot of opportunities."

Awesome interview with Fred, Ditto! Thanks so much for posting these. It certainly feels like we're right there with you. Well done!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Myth School Pointers?

Question here from Nathan:
Dear friendly

I have recently made a myth character and was wondering if you had any experience with myth fighting. I am not the best fighter and wondered id you could give me a couple of pointers

P.s. What does p.s. mean?
Thanks for the question, Nathan! I've actually answered this question a long time ago, but it was aimed at tips for soloing with a Myth character. Uber wife and I leveled our Myth characters up and those still seem like pretty solid tips.

The next place I'm going to send you is over to Ravenwood Radio to listen to Mythspent Youth and Steve and Leesha as they host the Myth School Study Hall. Fast forward to about this area of the podcast.


The third place I'm going to send you is over to Central to read BWildheart's Guide to the Myth School. This pretty much covers everything. Be sure to look at his links at the bottom of the post because it'll link you to other Myth School items of interest over at Central.

For the fourth place . . . just look to your instincts. Every person is different and will play a myth wizard slightly differently than the next, and that's cool. The best way to learn most times is by getting out and doing it yourself . . . all tips aside!

Happy Dueling!

p.s. . . . p.s. means post script! It's an afterthought after you've written your message!

p.p.s. . . . p.p.s. means post post script! It's an afterthought after you've written your post script!

p.p.p.s. . . . oh you get the idea. :-) Thanks for the questions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Five ????? from Fallon Ravenshade

Five questions from Fallon Ravenshade:
okay i love love love your blog and i have been reading it since advanced pets and when i entered on your gobbler giveaway. i read all your posts and now i have a couple questions for you ( sorry if they might be personal )

1. how come its daylight in a lot of places on the game but we never see the sun?

2. KI has the ability to make it rain such as in the tutorial but why dont they make it rain in other areas of the game?

3. do you prefer moving with the mouse or arrow keys?

4. did you ever get a stormbat pet?

5. do you know any future plans for wizard101? ( new worlds, crowns items, pets, features, ect.)
Thanks for the questions, Fallon.

1&2 - Let's see, I'm going to lump questions one and two together since they're both talking about environmental effects in a game. You're right, there's areas of darkness and there's areas of sunlight. And, yes, even a cut-scene with rain.


The question really is why can't we have an area with all three like in other MMOs . . . I mean, even Everquest has a night, day, and rain. There's even a druid spell in Everquest to turn off the rain called "Wake of Karana."

And it's that Wake of Karana spell that brings it all back for me. Computers were far less powerful back in the early 2000's. Once it started to rain, you'd hear the voices shouting in the out of character and shout chat channel, "Please any druids, can you stop the rain?! I'm lagging!"

And that's the only reason I see why something like that might have been avoided. KingsIsle tends to pat themselves on the back for making a game that can even run on junk computers. So, I'm going to blame it on the processing speed it takes to run a game when you add environmental effects.

I agree with you though. I love little things that make you feel more immersed in a game. The eternal night of Marleybone is a little sad actually. It would be kind of cool to see those streets in daylight once in a while.

~~~~~~

3- I use both the mouse and WASD to move my character. For a long time I used the mouse and the arrow keys as I talk about in this thread, but I switched to WASD because it's available in most games and tends to centralize my hands on the keyboard.

Funny, when I went back to play Everquest classic a few weeks ago, and WASD wasn't available . . . I had to go back to arrow keys and mouse.

Uber wife uses the mouse . . . and especially when she's playing that Maze game. My word, uber wife is so stinking good at the maze game.

I'm more of a dance game person. arrow arrow arrow arrow!

~~~~~~

4- No! Not on Thomas. But now that you mention it, I have access to at least two different storm bats through Amber and Bailey. I think Kyle might have even got one. I may just mix one of my pets with their storm bats and try to get one that way. My pet collection is now pretty much out of hand. When I get a pet now I'm thinking . . . well, where can I hide this thing? Remote corner of a house I don't use any more? Ok!

~~~~~~

5- haha! Well if I did, I can guarantee you I'd be under embargo to not say anything. Once you've gained KI's trust, you don't want to lose it.

BUT, let's take a quick look back at all the updates from the past.

● 2011 Feb-Celestia Housing
● 2010 Dec-Gardening
● 2010 Oct-Celestia, New Schools, Level 60
● 2010 Sep-Celebrity Guest in the Spiral
● 2010 Jul-Celestia Preview
● 2010 May-Advanced Pets
● 2009 Dec-School Housing
● 2009 Oct-Mounts, Crowns Shop
● 2009 Jul-Grizzleheim, Bazaar, Crafting
● 2009 May-Castles & Lands, Voiceovers
● 2009 Apr-Quest Help, New Spells, PvP
● 2009 Mar-Voiceovers, Shared Bank
● 2009 Feb-True Friends, Booster Packs
● 2009 Jan-Dragonspyre Opens
● 2008 Oct-Access Passes

That comes straight from the top of the page of the latest update notes.

With each of those updates there have been a lot of little tweaks and modifications to Wizard101, and I have to say that I'm impressed that updates have been steadily rolling in for us. It will never be fast enough for avid gamers, but you have to admit it's kind of cool to see that update after update, they've been making this a better game.

Historically we've seen that major world updates take a long time. It took us about 15 months to get to Celestia from Grizzleheim, right? But in between we had housing and advanced pets and Selena. So far we've had gardening and Celestia housing between Celestia and whatever comes next.

As much as I'd like them to hurry up and put out the next world, I think we have a wait in front of us, and I would LOVE to be wrong on that. I'd love for them to surprise me.

Who knows, maybe we'll see what Autumn was all excited about yesterday come to fruition before we see the next Wizard101 world? I'm not sure . . . Maybe Wizard101 will leak some information at PAX East next week? Again, I'm not sure, but it would be a good opportunity to bring something new to the table.

Thanks for the question!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Myrna gets Snow Angel!

Yes! At long last, Myrna has secured her Snow Angel spell.


That's a cool tanking spell there, isn't it? Too bad it takes eight pips to get there, but no matter! It's a cool spell regardless. I love how it works a bit like Fire Dragon for fire wizards only with an additional taunt component.

I'd love to hear some recommendations on using that spell from the ice wizards in the house!

The battle to get Snow Angel was not as bad as some I've completed, but it was still a nice long fight with some hairy moments, and by hairy I mean furry!


Awww, get over here Volkir and give us a hug!


Andrew Dragonshade had some wisdom to add before the fight, and it was a good strategy. Use minions. AND use minions I did! I think by the end of the fight I had used three of them to be exact.

I'd add to that strategy that, once again, I'm totally amazed at the power of the Treant polymorph. Best reason to polymorph!

Soon after the fight it was just a hop skip and a teleport (since Myrna never completed Grizzleheim) over to the ledge here in Ravenscar, and the flying table napkin had arrived to say hello.


Thank you table napkin head! You never cease to creep me out.


As you can see we even invited Alric to the party. hehe.

The Boom Kids are now on the Science Center and are ready to rock it out. We're getting close to finishing up Celestia again and reaching legendary with three more wizards.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Did Black Pearl Replace Golden Pearl?

Question from Rachel:
Hey Friendly, my name is Rachel IceHeart and I have a question about pearls in the Grotto. I was farming for reagents after the update when I came across a black pearl hiding among some normal white pearls. I was wondering if they are replacing golden pearls, or if they're just another rare thing to find with pearls. Thanks!

Heya Rachel,

No, you've probably already realized this since it's almost been a week since you've asked this question, but black pearl hasn't replaced golden pearls as the rare drop from pearl nodes in Celestia.

Now when you harvest a pearl in Celestia, you have a chance to get all three types of pearls: white, black, and golden!

Same thing happened to Uber Wife back on February 6th (according to the date on the screenshot). She was out goofing off on the test realm and noticed that black pearl harvested from a pearl node.


She's all whoa! And she's all NO WAI! And she's all I wonder if Golden Pearl has been replaced with Black Pearl?!?!

So uber wife went farming, and farmed and farmed and farmed until . . .


Whew.

:)

Happy Dueling!

Procyon's . . . Allies?

Question from Mark Stormhunter:
Hey friendly Mark Stormhunter here and I have a strange question. When you go up to Procyon his speech says "I do not tolerate such healing magic, you would be wise not to cast such spells" but if you listen it says "my allies". Who are his "allies"? Thanks and your blog is awesome.=
Thanks, Mark!

For those who may not know anything about Procyon, he is one of the cheating column bosses in Stormriven in Celestia. Basically you can't heal during the fight or Procyon will unleash a meteor storm on you and your party. If you heal, you're better off casting a Bartleby spell (for the shield on each group member), relying on your pet's spritely, or maybe something like casting a quench on Procyon before healing. Column bosses don't have allies.


Now, on to Mark's question . . . here's a bit of a quick history here on Procyon. Procyon's dialog and method of cheating were reused from Unimatus in the Stellarium; however, a recent patch removed cheating from Unimatus's repertoire.

**UPDATE**
Heya, I made a stab at trying to answer this question, but I only knew half the story . . . Johnist in the comments provided the truth to the matter, so I'm going to repost his response here instead of mine:
"Regarding Procyon:

When Celestia first went live, Procyon, and the other Stormriven Pylon bosses had Minions. Procyon's Cheat was if he had 2 or more Open minion slots when you healed, the next round he would have 1 Hydro-Mech and 1 Water-Maton to go with whatever you had had left.

Procyon's Cheat (and Unimatus's) was later changed when they removed the minions and upped the Pylon bosses health to be a Meteor strike (should have been a 750 Meteor in my opinion) when a heal was cast instead of 2 minions coming out. Unimatus never cheated until the change to him using meteors."


And THAT helps clear up the mystery!

**UPDATE**


Happy Dueling

Friday, March 4, 2011

J. Todd Coleman is Number 1

:)

Something I forgot to mention from the most recent Beckett's MOG was that our own J. Todd Coleman was listed as THEE most influential person in MMOs for 2010.

Check it out:


And do you know why he's number one?

Oh sure the article cites 15 million registered users and growing company and whatnot, but we all know the real reason . . .

It's because of his cameo in my Selena Gomez video.



J TODD COLEMAN!

Gratz, Headmaster Ambrose!

Happy Dueling

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is Level 32 to high for Marleybone? And What Happened to your Fan Fiction?

Questions from Talon Nightshade (who is apparently Lord Nightshade's brother ;)
Dear friendly,

I know you don't have that much experience in the pyromancy department , but should a level 32 pyromancer be in mooshu? I'm stuck in the ironworks!!
Secondly, I was reading some of your older posts and started reading some of your fan fiction. It said that they were going to be 5 more installments but I haven't seen that in any new posts. Those were really awesome, by the way, and I just want to see if you're still making them.

As everybody knows, THE FRIENDLY NECROMANCER ROCKS!!!

Thanks a lot ,

TALON NIGHTSHADE,
LORD NIGHTSHADE'S BROTHER
Dear Brother to Nightshade,

I think that you're doing great where you are. You're probably level 32 because you've been doing a lot of side quests, but honestly, the low 30's are all about Marleybone and not Mooshu. If you skip too many of those side quests you'll end up asking me if level 39 is too low for Dragonspyre. ;-)

Ironworks can be a little intimidating, but I have faith in ya. :) Use a Hand of Doom pack to call out your brother, Lord Nightshade, to come help you out. hehe. Just be sure you don't forget to get your stray cat before leaving so you don't have to do the whole thing over again.

~~~~~

. . . oh yeah, my fan fiction. Yeah, I haven't thought about finishing it lately. It's just kind of one of those things that keeps getting slipped to the bottom of the pile that I never get to the bottom of.

According to my notes I never fully fleshed out Chapter five since I have a section called chapter 5.5 that I snuck in between my notes about chapter six and chapter five.

Hmmm. What to do . . .

Thanks for bringing it up! I may have to pull that out from the bottom of the stack here one of these days just to finish it up. :)

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Balance Gear Recommendations?

Question from Garrett:
hey friendly, sorry to bother you, but its a question about gear, soloing, etc... and i thought, who'd be better to ask than the great soloing necromancer himself? (besides ditto monster, but he's fire)

anyways, i recently made a balance wizard, and i normally role with fire wizards, so playing him will take some getting use to. on my fire, i can solo some things, but i want my balance to be a soloing machine, and i'm not really good at picking the right gear for my wizards, and i usually go with the crowns gear that gives you loads of health, but... i asked people which gear i should go with, and they said go with the gear that increases your damage, but i tried going with that, and it didnt turn out so well, i'm thinking of just sticking with the gear that gives you a lot of health. do you have any ideas? thank you for listening.

P.S.- i love your blog, read your post every day ;)

Thanks, man!

In most MMOs, poor gear can be compensated with good strategy/timing/skill. And actually, after you get really nice raid-level gear, you can play a little sloppy and still be ok depending on the situation.

In Wizard101, I've found that wearing NO gear can be compensated the same way. So, if you're good with strategy, then you don't really need the best gear out there. If you're not so good, better gear definitely makes things easier, and that's almost always to the tune of more health. It's my number one stat.

After soloing Angus with no clothes on, I can honestly say the things I miss most are Health and Power Pip. So, if you have to choose, those stats are where I'd go . . . unless you're casting outside of your class, then power pip is meaningless. (You really shouldn't be casting outside of your class for damage after Krokotopia.)

Mana is pretty insignificant outside of levels 1-10 . . . most rings come with it bundled with health, so . . . not a worry.

Universal shielding is super nice at high levels if you can get a hold of it, but I wouldn't trade health for universal shielding unless it was a high enough universal shielding and I was taking a lot of damage. For example, say you have a piece of gear with 4% universal shielding alone and you're wondering if that's better than a piece of gear with health alone. You have to figure how much damage you're actually blocking with the universal shielding during a typical fight. Say you take two hits for 400 points of damage each, a 4% universal shielding rating would only block a total of 32 hitpoints of damage . . . you're better throwing down an elemental or spirit shield. Now if you can bump that up to 20-30% universal shielding, that might be a different story. (part of the reason old school crowns gear was so hot.)

You are a balance wizard, so until you get Judgement, your spell damage is average. +damage rating is nice, but not nearly as nice as taking the extra round to blade and trap stack when needed, and because of that, I highly recommend that if you're looking at amulets or pets, go with some gear that has a blade or trap card. Blade cards are definitely > than trap cards . . . especially if you're using "AoE" spells like sandstorm. If you can get your hands on a dragonblade casting balance pet, then you're doing really well!

To recap, here's my order of importance with stats:

1- Health and power pip
2- Blade and trap card gear
3- Damage
4- Universal shielding
5- Class specific shielding (unless you're a death wizard, then move this up to the number three slot)
6- Mana

After a while, when you get up near the Celestia range, you'll find that some of these shift position a bit and you'll start seeing gear with +healing incoming and outgoing and +crit block and +to crit. Pay attention to the amount of power pip percentage your character has because if you go over 90% power pip, then you'll be cheating yourself out of some other stats you could be mixing into your gear profile like these because at this point damage and crit rating will edge over power pip. If you have a pet with spritely (which is highly recommended) and play with healers, then +healing incoming gear will overtake shielding.

*insert small rant: KI seems to have forgotten that death shielding is uber important for death wizards and with some of this new high level gear criting death with no death crit block and with no death shielding, it can make using sacrifice and empower extremely painful*

Hope that helps and thanks for reading. :) Be sure to check the comments for the discussion that's bound to happen.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beckett's (#30) Came in the Mail WOOT!

And now the traditional mag shot . . . except without me in the shot . . . I'm still sick and really not feeling up to showing my face today.


The Celestia's Chiefs of Cheatin' was a fun article to write, and getting screenshots of all the badguys at just the right moment was an interesting challenge. Procyon was a particularly awesome screenshot. It was right at the moment he was casting a minotaur spell, right before the minotaur appears. All my other screenshots of him were cutting off the top of his head for some reason.

I also loved going back through the history of cheating bosses at the beginning of the article as well. Remembering how it all unfolded was definately a trip down memory lane.

I hope you guys like the article. :)

The free in-game item you get from the magazine this time is . . . not my favorite, but getting free cosmetic clothing is better than nothing. ;-) Maybe I'll throw the no-stat Celestia robes on Angus and give him a new look. hehe. (I wish I had a say in what you guys would get for a free game item, but unfortunately I'm just the writer.)

. . .

As it turns out, I never took a shot of the previous article from issue #29 either . . . so here you go:


When I was writing the Gardening article, it was completely embargoed information. I was probably the first person outside of KingsIsle to know about gardening coming to the spiral. Of course, when you're writing an article that's two to three months out from hitting the shelves, it's really hard to "scoop" something. By the time the magazine hit the shelves, gardening had been out for a few weeks and was even on the test realm.

It's a little hard to write articles like these blind . . . I mean, when I was writing about Gardening I hadn't even seen screenshots of the plants let alone played it, but thankfully the people at KingsIsle are totally awesome with answering my questions and clearing up my misconceptions. Articles like those that are cutting edge definitely require a lot of trust and communication.

We worked it out, and I think the article did a pretty bang up job of explaining how gardening works if you ask me.

Again, the free in-game item was kind of a /boggle with issue #29, and again . . . wasn't my favorite. /shrug

Either way, it's been great adding another couple of articles under my belt. I haven't yet begun to write the next article, but I imagine in about a week, life will become very busy for me. :)

Happy Dueling!

Angus's Server of Choice? Gardening Tips?

Question from Nitasu987:
Heya Friendly! I've got a few questions (No duh) Ok so i was wondering, what realm do you usually play on as Angus??? I have a lv 36 Death guy ( Cole ShadowThorn) and maybe we could fight some bosses sometime. and also, do you have any tips for gardening? I'm rank 3 and i have a moderately sized garden.
Thx a lot

- Nitasu987
YO Nitasu! Thanks for the note and thanks for the kind offer to play Cole side-by-side with Angus. Angus is kind of a loaner (and a rebel) since I'm trying to solo this whole gosh darn thing without none no clothes on.



If someone runs into my battle, it's no big deal, but his friends list is pretty much closed. He usually hangs out on the Unicorn server (he is a UNICORNpants after all), plays early early in the morning, and basically tries to avoid contact with other wizards . . . if you happen to see him, SURE, run in and say hi. :)

Tips for gardening?! Hmm, well I wrote this up a little while ago; although, I gotta say that the new placement of the circles has me a little thrown off.

I had a cool system for growing plants in a circle, and now KI has gone and removed the "snap to" feature from gardening. All I used to have to do was run into the middle and put my mouse over the snap dragon in the middle. Now you just hover your mouse anywhere to cast with no "snapping." I was tending to my frozen fly trap garden this morning and totally missed one of my plants because of this new method! GRR!


I wish they'd make "snap to plant" a toggle option for gardening instead of just removing it. meh. I'll get used to it. /rant off

Pink Dandelions will take you a long way in the early ranks of gardening. Spending any amount of time farming bosses in Krokotopia will yield a number of them. If you can shift to Silver Trumpet Vine to level up at rank 4, then you've hit gold. I'm sold on leveling up gardening with crown plants. It just goes so much faster.

I avoid growing more plants than my energy can handle, and I clump them all together in a nice circle. Uber wife is under the impression that you can skip the middle gardening spells and save yourself some money, and she's pretty much right. I've only used the medium-sized plant circle for situational reasons, like three or four plants near each other with an odd similar like.

The main thing I tried to do is try to get as many liked things to surround my plants as possible so I get that elder harvest faster! I've heard of some people planting stinkweed near their garden to slow everything down so they "maximize their rewards" as it were, but I'm not a proponent of that. The elder harvest is the harvest you want!

I'm working on a spreadsheet for gardening like I have for the pets and housing items that I may add in the future.

For you, Nitasu, at rank three, Rye Bread Bushes, Helephant Ears, and Baby Carrots are your best bet for the "free" plants for leveling (or at least the ones with the most exp rewards).

Kevin Battleblood has a good series of gardening guides going over on his blog, that are an interesting read. If you're interested in Wizard101 Gardening, you'll find some interest there for sure. (Note: Some of his older information involves floating plants, which I believe no longer works.)

I'm sure my readers will have lots of tips as well. :)

Thanks for the note and questions!

Happy Dueling!

Amber and Kyle Get their Level 58 Spells!

Well, yesterday wasn't all bad. Yeah, I spent most of the day sleeping after going to the doctor and getting a prescription for this head cold. It's nasty. This was me yesterday:


But, something to turn my frown upside down was that uber wife had plans to finish off Amber's level 58 spell quest. After switching out a deck with some converts and a dracon polymorph or two in it and after escaping out a couple times until she was going first in the battle (simple genius there, right?), she finally was undergoing her fight with Gristletusk, a 13k hitpoint life boss.

Note that previously we had completed this fight with a group because it *was* the only level 58 spell quest that could be done with a group. That all seems to have changed now as we couldn't port the other Boom Kids (Kyle and Myrna) to help Amber out.

After a few rounds of fire attacks and a prismed Centaur spell, Gristletusk fell in defeat.


WOOT amber!

After that it was just a quick run over to Mooshu and Amber was soon hanging out with her own personally wookie.


GRRGRRGRROOOWWWMWMWMWMWMMMFFF!

Late last night I finally woke up and muddled around the house, but Uber wife pretty much demanded that I give Kyle's spell quest a go, so I did.

Kyle was up against Khai Tengri, a 7k fire boss with a 2k life minion. Easy, right? Dang, took me three tries! I should have used more strategy with my deck the first time through, but my I care button was broken due to being sick.


What finally won it for me was a series of storm minions until I could take out the life minion and then a Triton followed by a charged up Tempest. Here's a video of the last half and kyle getting his Leviathan spell.



WTG Boom Kids! All that's left is for Myrna to eek out another half a level and finish that level 58 spell quest. POWA!

Happy Dueling!