Monday, February 28, 2011

Celestia Housing goes live!

That's right, go log in and start your downloads, kids!

Celestia housing is now out of the test realm and into the live game, along with all the other goodies that are a part of the patch message.

Enjoy those hand of doom packs! :)

Happy Dueling!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grendel Weed, Money, and Megasnacks?

Preguntas from Elijah Light thief:
1.Friendly do you know where to find Grendel weed?

2. Do you know where you get gold the easiest in Celestia or any where in wizard 101?

3. How do you get mega snack packs besides crowns in wizard 101?

Thanks, Elijah light thief.

p.s. follower of your blog and your blog is awesome
Hey! Thanks for reading, Elijah.

1- Grendel Weed is the rare harvest from a Frost Flower. You can find it mostly in cold places or damp places in the game. Example, there's a Frost Flower node outside of the ice school. Personally, there's only one place I go for Frost Flower, but it's not a secret, so there are always one or two people here jumping servers looking for Frost Flower/Grendel Weed. Take the red teleport stone in Mirkholm Keep and run back to Herkir. This spot:

Here are a couple other tips/suggestions:
- Remember that those Frost Flowers can be transmuted into Grendelweed as well.
- Frost Flower is a Harvest from Evil Snow Peas.
- If you have the money to blow, sniping in the Bazaar is always an option.
- Always consult the reagent map guide when in doubt.

2- The general rule for farming money in Wizard101 is to try and pick a target you can easily kill over and over quickly. The go to mob for farming circa 2008 (and even now) was Oyotomi in Mooshu. Circa 2009 the way to farm was solo bosses (no minion) in Dragonspyre. Circa 2010 the go to mob was the Raven$ in Grizzleheim, and then the drops from the Raven$ kind of dried up a bit, and they became less popular. The "popular" place I find people farming in Celestia here in 2011 are the column bosses in Stormriven.

To me it's like that Column boss area is kind of like the new Kraken Pad. It's out in the open, so there are always people hanging out there and willing to join in. The bosses don't have a minion. You just kind of have to know the tricks to farming them since they are cheating bosses, and you could end up with a cool level 55 wand or two.

Outside of that, I'd say that what I like to do is pick a target that has something in their loot table that I want, like perhaps the Brain Coral or Turtle pet from Tempus Stormfist, and just hit that boss over and over until I get what I want. In the process I'll have made a lot of gold from selling drops I don't want at the Bazaar.

3- Megasnacks? Three weeks ago I would have suggested the Prickly Bear Cactus, but it seems like the harvest of Mega-snacks was nerfed a bit right after the auto-harvest exploit was discovered by KingsIsle.

Basically you can get Megasnacks as a rare harvest from Baby Carrots, Pink Dandelions, and Prickly Bear Cactus. After the current patch goes live, you should also be able to get them from the Elder Harvest of Evil Magma Peas and Deadly Helephant Ears.

Hope that helps, Elijah! And as always, readers, if you have some good ideas for Elijah, please leave them in the comments! Thanks!

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BOOM KIDS in Stormriven

That's right the trio of boom is now hanging out in Stormriven. Check 'em out here with Leland, gettin' their quest on.

(Totally the cover of their first CD release.)

They're all 55+ now and headed toward Legendary at a good pace. These silly Celestians don't stand a chance against the boom kids.

(Totally the remix cover of their first CD release.)

And to ensure the boom kids live up to their name, Uber wife crafted all their crit gear post haste!



Sing us out Spongebob!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Press Release for DDO's Fifth Anniversary Event

Heya all,

I know we mostly talk Wizard101 around these parts, but as most of you know, Dungeons and Dragons has a special place for me. Skip this post if you're not interested. :)

I've managed to land myself on the press release list for DDO, and so I thought I'd share MY VERY FIRST press release from these fine folks.

Check it out!

~~~~~~begin cut and paste~~~~~~

Turbine celebrates fifth anniversary of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE®: eBERRON UNLIMITED™

Turbine, Inc. today launched the latest content update to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™ (DDO Unlimited), recently named the Most Innovative MMO of the Decade*. DDO Unlimited’s newest update introduces a special two-part in-game event, new cosmetic items and a special gift for all players.

DDO’s 5th Anniversary Event:

To Celebrate DDOs 5th year in service, all players will be invited to travel back to the first port visited by early travelers of Stormreach – Smuggler’s Rest – and assist Euphonia in a treasure map hunt. Successful server wide completion of the first phase will unlock passage to Crystal Cove for a limited time.
· Smugglers Rest (All Levels)

Players from years past will recognize some of this besieged harbor, now overrun with eager pirates searching for pieces to a strewn pirate map. Adventurers can barter with Euphonia for rewards and access to the treasure of Crystal Cove – but they must all work together to open passage there. Players will explore the region, fight various Pirate-type monsters and collect dropped treasure. On occasion, a treasure map will appear revealing a hidden chest …but beware of nearby pirates.

· Crystal Cove (All Levels)

Crystal Cove is a hidden mine full of crystals for the taking. Players, solo or party, will protect and manage a team of Kobold miners that will collect the valuable minerals for you. Players will manage resources such as barrels, torches and a team of kobolds while protecting them from invading pirates. Most resources will cost crystals or can be purchased in the DDO Store. Once the crystal collection quota is met, everything else will be distributed as profit to the player party and can be traded with Euphonia for powerful goods. Crystal Cove will offer players to select from levels 1 to 25 to set their party difficulty and scale rewards appropriately.

Special Player Gift

Players who visit Sailor Calatin in the Harbor and sail to Smuggler’s Rest will receive a new pirate hat that provides players with better luck playing DDO including the special 5th Anniversary event in Smugglers Rest & Crystal Cove. Pirate hats will be distributed based on amount of time played and relative accomplishments, based on character. Players will also receive free Traveler Tokens and Blessings of the Traveler to join in the Marketplace Scavenger Hunt live event.

~~~~~end cut and paste~~~~~~

OK, so this is actually pretty fun. I logged on last night and ran through the special preview of the event they had. I didn't get to stay too long, but I did manage to pick up a new hat for my Sorcerer, Mr. Gleek Wondertwin to you.

Here's a pretty cool picture of a warforged wearing a pirate hat similar to the one I got.

Gleek doesn't look nearly as burly with his hat. LOL. Actually, it kind of looks like an empty fruit bowl on this fella here.

Happy Dueling!

New Frozen Fly Trap Garden!

Just a quick picture today of my new Frozen Fly trap garden. WOOT! (snap dragon and evil snow pea plant in there too for "like" purposes)

You know, there has to be another hidden like other than the Snowflake Obelisk and Garden Gnome. Anyone have any ideas of other furniture items that might be a hidden liked item? None of the other pictured "icy" things were liked . . . hmmm.

I was wondering if the other fly trap hidden likes might work on the frozen fly trap plant . . . might need to farm the Vault Protector a few times or so. ;-)

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Character Birthday Presents (in Guild Wars & Beyond)

I didn't play much this morning (or I haven't yet). Instead, I logged on Guild Wars and claimed all my unclaimed birthday presents.

It's funny, I've mentioned Guild Wars on this blog a handful of times. It's a solid game, and in fact five (almost six) years ago, it was my number one game. Before DDO, it was my static group's Sunday night game. Originally, I bought it and played it on the day it came out back in 2005. What this means now is that every year on each character's birthday, they get a little package in their inventory. Inside each of these packages is a free pet from ArenaNet/NCSoft. yay! See those two blue gift icons in Chachi's inventory below? Yeah . . . it's been a while since I've logged on Chachi ;-)

Happy Birthday, Chachi Happydays! Chachi Happydays is the best character name ever. The thing about Chachi is that I've never really even played him. I mostly just made him so I could get a pet when his birthday rolled around. Funny enough he has a gold rare pet. Here's the two pets he claimed today.

Hooray raptor thing and beetle bug guy!

My first character in GuildWars is up to his fifth present and in just a couple of months he'll be celebrating his sixth birthday. Woot!

Anyway, pets in Guild Wars are nothing more than cosmetics, but still it's a collectible item in the game. What's awesome is that it looks like when Guild Wars 2 is released, ArenaNet will actually hunt through your inventories and give your Guild Wars 2 character some kind of benefit if they have a nice collection of pets (among a plethora of other accomplishments in game including badges and hall of monuments). You can read all about it here.

The rewards calculator doesn't seem 100% working correctly at the moment since I know my character Wallace Stevens has a few more monuments than what they are indicating he is eligible for, but it's no big deal (it's still in beta anyway). Heck, just the fact that if I make a Guild Wars 2 character and that I would get anything of benefit from all the fun I've had with my regular Guild Wars character is AWESOME!

So, let me extend this out to Wizard101 a bit.

1- In a way, here's a different example of "badges meaning more" in another MMO. Although cosmetic pets and badges really don't do anything for a character in Guild Wars. For a character in Guild Wars 2, they will mean special sets of gear or unique pets from day one when you re-create your character from the original Guild Wars. That's huge.

Imagine if KingsIsle came out with a Wizard201 game, and now you were basically forsaking all the things you had done in Wizard101 and moving to a newer and better game. It would be cool if all those collections and badges somehow translated into a reward for your new character in Wizard201.

(Sidenote: heh. It's funny, ever since I've been doing this Wizard101 blogging gig, there's always been this looming "second game" for KingsIsle. I know there's a team devoted to getting this second game out the door, but it just hasn't even been revealed yet. The only thing one can dig up about the second game from KingsIsle is rumor and conjecture. They are infamously tight-lipped on this information.)

2- I want a birthday present for my Wizard101 character! YES! I mean, I know that we get a present on Wizard101's birthday, but it would be some kind of awesome to get a loyalty reward on my characters' birthdays. Guild Wars does pets. Everquest does Veteran AA abilities. City of Heroes gave out a loyalty character emote. Aion is even giving loyalty rewards on a monthly basis! How awesome is that?

I just think it would be cool to get some kind of loyalty reward in Wizard101.

So here's your question for the day, if Wizard101 gave out a loyalty reward each year on your character's birthday, what would you think would be a good present? Do you think the reward would be different for free players vs. crowns players vs. subscription players?

Let me know what you think!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Angus Finishes the Crimson Fields


You asked, and here he is, ANGUS UNICORNPANTS!

I couldn't believe how harsh those last two or three fizzles were against the War Oni. haha! OH well, Angus still pulled out a win. :-)

So as of today, Angus is sitting in the Cave of Solitude at level 35.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What do you do after becoming Legendary?

Question here from Chase Skullmask:
Hi friendly! I was just asking, what can you do after you have gotten one of your characters level 60? I dont really wanna start a new character or quest anymore. So what do you suggest.

Thanks, Chase Skullmask level 60 storm

You can always follow the flowchart!

That needs updating now. ;-)

It's a problem. Let's be honest. You're playing an MMO that's story-based, you've reached the end, and now you're faced with what next. It's something that I've battled for a long time. Back on December 9, 2008 I faced it after beating MooShu when that was the end world. Here's a quote from that post:
"Well, after beating the Moo Shu area, all that seems to be left for him to do is to goof off, and that's exactly what I've been doing with the ultimate power that is a level 45ish necromancer."

I even fretted about it a month later in this post. Quote:
"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?"

And jumping into the community really seemed to be the answer for me. Getting involved with the Wiki and Central staved off boredom, and making a CCG and getting really into building my blog up has kept me going. For a while it was all about various challenges like highest hit record or what can I solo. For a while it was about collecting items. For an hour it was all about Jordan Skybane.

In the end, there's a lot in here, but a lot of it is about vanity goals . . . like "collecting" . . . you know where you aren't really rewarded by the game for completing a collection, but the reward is more about having people drop by your house to say "OOooo!" and "AAAhhhh!" when they see your cool collection.

I feel that KingsIsle should direct this play more and ENCOURAGE it with rewards so that it's not just the vanity you're seeking after, but there's an actual game reward for completing a vanity-esque goal. I've barked that badges should mean more. Others have had ideas that furniture collections should affect your players stats. And you know recently, I was even asking that they delevel my character and provide me with new incentives to work through the game again.

What do you all think?

Honestly, housing; farming for money, gear, and furniture; gardening; badges; pvp; derby; advanced pets; helping lower level characters and friends; and collecting can help stave off the boredom for a little while, but eventually the answer always seems to be to start over and level a new character (even though you don't want to do that) or go play another game until they update this one with a new world. :/

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spooky Bob Clothes and Wizard101 Fonts!

Here's a question and an observation from Belgrim GiantTalon:
Hey friendly, I know you are the all knowing wizard 101 fan *bows in presence*, so could you tell me what this hat and robe are? I tried to see by mousing over them, but they had the clothes "stitched" so I could not know the real name.... Please tell me if you know

Thanks for your time
~ Belgrim GiantTalon level 56 grandmaster necromancer ~

P.S. In an earlier post I saw that you wanted the wizard 101 font, the closest thing I could find was a font called shermlock, just wanted anyone that did not know, it is the closest thing out their.

Thanks for the note Belgrim!

That there be o' couple o' Crowns clothes only available at Hallowe'en from Spooky Bob. The hat is called the Hallowe'en Hat. The robe is called the Hallowe'en Robe. I'll let you guess the name of the unpictured Hallowe'en shoes. DANGIT, think I just gave it away. ;-)

You can find all that information on this page over at the Wizard101 Central wiki.

As for the font, thanks for the tip! Shermlock indeed looks very close . . . maybe just a little thinner than the original. All their real fonts are custom made as far as I know.

Ever made your own font? I did once with a Font program like those supplied by Fontlab. Basically my crappy handwriting in font format. :)

I should redo my blog's header with one of these fonts from Chank. Chank is hip.

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reincarnation in Wizard101?

In the game Dungeons and Dragons Online there is an option to reincarnate your character so you can choose a new build if you messed up and you don't like your choices. Here's a link to read all about it if you're interested.

In Wizard101 we have the ability to pretty much do the same thing. We buy back our training points from Mr. Lincoln and we can re-train all our secondary spells points in whatever we'd like.

But there is something exciting at the end of the rainbow in DDO that we don't have. In DDO there is an option for greater levels of reincarnation where you can add additional abilities to your character. Here's a quick quote to get you thinking in the right direction (just read it with Wizard101 in mind).

"True Reincarnation allows you a fresh start as a more powerful character. You must start at level 1 again, and it requires a little more XP to level from that point on, but you gain several attributes and may change more about your character than the other types of Reincarnation. It is an excellent choice if:

■ You’d like to upgrade a 28 point build to have more ability points
■ You’d like to change your race
■ You’d like to completely redo your character, including what class they are
■ You like prestige and recognition for your accomplishments
■ You’d like to gain extra perks for your character"

First of all, if this idea was to be introduced into Wizard101, it wouldn't be called reincarnation. I'm guessing that's too political in nature and since there's really no death (only defeat), it wouldn't really work out. For us it would have to be an option once you hit Legendary to "Invigorate your learning." It would be an opportunity to become a level 1 wizard again and return to school all over again.

Imagine if you got to start over, but based on your previous class you now had access to a special spell or two that only those who had "invigorated" could train? The first thing that comes to mind are the mutate spells, but I'm imagining the ability to create an epic version of a level 48 spell would just put it over the top: Epic Skeletal Dragon!!

Imagine gaining a couple extra training points for your decision as well!

Imagine getting the ability to visit the salon. Since it's a new you at school, you'd get to change your hair and starter clothes.

Imagine getting access to a special badge only available to those who have "invigorated."

Imagine getting to start over at Level one so you can play your character with a new friend that you've brought into the game without having to make a new character!

You know, it would totally take the sting away from when they release a world that isn't level 60+, and as an invigorated character, you'd want to explore it because yeah . . . maybe you'd need the experience from a Grizzleheim or a Candyland to make up for the extra experience needed as an "invigorated" character.

Personally I think it would be the most exciting thing to happen to this game in a long time. I think KingsIsle would keep all their old playerbase active and playing through different levels of their game.

Honestly, if this were available, done properly, and had a decent price tag, I'd jump on it faster than you can say "Merle's your uncle."

Happy Dueling!

Farewell, Leesha Darkheart, Hello Fallon Deathslinger

It wasn't long or drawn out . . . it was just a quick note that Leesha Darkheart needs a break from Wizard101 podcasting due to time constraints and other conflicts.

It did hit the chatroom a bit and took us all by surprise.

It's usually bad form to screen capture chat and re-post it, but I felt this one was apropos. We will miss you!

I blurred names in that picture so as not to offend anyone, but I left mine. It was my pleasure to meet Leesha in real-life and share a week of GDC sitting next to her when I could. She did a lot for this community, and maybe someday we'll see her back. (She already told me that a Death Students vs. The Trial of Spheres is in order someday.)

Ravenwood Radio quickly rebounded from the announcement when we learned that Fallon Deathslinger would be Leesha's replacement. Fallon has a lot of experience with the game and a lot of passion for PvP. She has a blog with no posts on it btw. But it does tell a little bit about her. And of course, you can follow her on twitter or check out her Diary of a Wizard page.

Welcome to podcast hosting, Fallon!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ravenwood Radio 34 Tonight

Heya! Here's just a quick plug for the Ravenwood Radio podcast tonight. Be sure to tune in at 8pm Central By clicking here! I can't wait to see who the winner of the FOG Unicorn is!

I don't have a segment in this one, but I'll probably be dropping by the chatroom for a bit.

See you there!

Happy Dueling!

Everquest Nostalgia Time

I highly doubt there will ever be a time, 12 years down the road (in the year 2020), when Wizard101 will open a "progression version" of their game where you get to play Wizard101 as it was in 2008 and slowly unlock all the expansions after the end boss of each expansion was defeated! *GASP*

Completely ridiculous.  That would be the lamest thing ever.  The Wizard101 pros would unlock the game blindingly fast.  You'd have Dragonspyre, Grizzleheim, and Celestia open in like a week or two and there’s really no benefit to that.  Wizard101 just isn't built like that, but Everquest, that dusty old first generation MMO where it took years to level your character and where you'd need 50 or so people to raid the end boss of the world ... Yes, in Everquest they WOULD do that and ARE doing that . . . for a second time even.

Yesterday Sony revealed the Fippy Darkpaw server, where you get to play Everquest as it *kind of* was back in 1999.  Since I'm an old Everquest hand, I thought . . . ok . . . I'm in.  I missed all the hubbub with the Sleeper Server when they did this exact same thing maybe four years ago? Should be fun! Right?

Indeed, I had every plan of joining the fray immediately after work yesterday!  WOOT!  A NIGHT OF OLD SCHOOL EQ!  BRING IT! Then uber wife called and told me I had to tote the kids around to karate. OH, PAINS OF PAINS!  I moped and whined and didn't want to do it at all.  I even twittered about having to break my date with EQ. Uber wife was not impressed.

As soon as I was done with the whole karate thing for Amber and Kyle, I raced home and logged on Everquest . . . only pausing slightly for dinner! EXCITEMENT!  OLD SCHOOL EQ HERE I COME!

Uber wife thought this all was extremely dumb, and it was.  I was being dumb.  The moment I logged in to Qeynos with Stingite, my moustache-clad level 1 human necromancer, I was immediately lost.

When I was playing EQ the first time around, I avoided Qeynos like the plague anyway.  It’s a freaking maze—complete with false walls. I even had to make a second necromancer character just to remember how to get back to my guild master (silly me, I forgot to get my free starter robe!) to buy some additional spells.

There we go, that's better (like 3 hours later . . .)

The hilarity of being killed by a shark while totally lost in the sewer of Qeynos was not lost on me.  I was sucking big time at this game I felt was my old mistress (again uber wife was not amused).

Anyway, when I finally made it outside the gates of Qeynos and killed a number of rats, it was easy to see that it was a rat race, literally.  It was freaking hilarious to see all these people jogging around killing stuff in classic Everquest on the opening night of the Fippy server.

Uber wife was cruelly persistent with comments over my shoulder as she watched. “People actually played this crappy game and thought it was fun?”  LOL.  Hey, she’s honest.  The starting game there was pretty crappy.  It didn’t get awesome until you were grouping with your buddies and making jokes.  You know?

Someone in out of character chat rambled on about how Everquest was turned into a “D grade” raiding game from the “A grade” grouping game that it was.  That person was immediately told to go back to WoW by all the people listening in.  But, hey, he was honest.  I don’t know about the D grade.  Maybe B grade . . .

Speaking of the grouping game . . . what had me really laughing was seeing people run past me four-boxing their newbie characters on four separate accounts.  Then it struck me . . . this *is* completely ridiculous. This *is* pretty lame (not the lamest thing ever, but ... ).  The Everquest pros will unlock the game blindingly fast.  You’ll have Kunark open in like a month or two.  Everquest, that dusty old first generation MMO where it took years to level your character has a talent pool that’s every bit as deep and experienced as it should be.  This is their game.  They still play it.  They know how to win it.

People joked about how there were already level 11 players farming experience in Unrest.  Level 11!  When I first played Everquest, it took me at least a month to get to level 11!

Meh, I’ve changed.  Times have changed. I don’t have the steam, time, or lack of real-world commitments to play that kind of a game anymore.  It was fun for a night, but I doubt I’ll be back for more.

Hmmm, maybe if I had a full group of people that wanted to play with me every night in Everquest until heck froze over . . .  but I don’t have that (My two-hour long Sunday night DDO group is as close as I get anymore).  I’m definitely not up to doing the pickup group scene, and I definitely don’t have four Everquest accounts at my disposal, so best of luck Fippy server!  You were fun for a night!  You’ll have your champions.  I know you’ll do well without me. (Why is it that when I type that I got the itch to log on again? That Everquest is such an old addiction for me.)

Happy dueling

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Angus / Dark Crow / Soccer Star


Someone asked how Angus was doing yesterday, so I logged him on after a long long hiatus yesterday to see what was what with Mr. Unicornpants.  HECK, I even finished a couple more quests with him to get myself reacquainted.  It was a good break, and one that I needed after that grueling run through Marleybone and Meowiarty.

I read a great article a week or two ago about punishing game play vs. challenging game play.  It's a great read.  At some points I have to tell you that choosing to play this way with Angus really feels punishing as I go along.  At first it was challenging . . . now it's starting to get painful.  I would never ask anyone to develop a game that was as unforgiving as playing through Wizard101 with none no clothes on . . . especially in Mooshu against those freaking ninja pigs that cast fire spells.  LOL.

I’m glad I wasn’t recording audio last night during my Angus session.  Such hate was spewing out of my mouth for those Oyotomi Supply Runners in Tatakai Outpost. It's so hard to defend against back-to-back-to-back fire elves.  It took a quick monstrous card + tempest or two to finally get through those DARN DANG DAGNABIT DIDGERIDOO ninja pigs. XD

If I can build up the speed to play Angus again, I will definitely keep you informed on his progress.  Just looking at his quest log, he probably was a little hasty in going to Mooshu, and maybe he should head back to Marleybone to finish up a bunch of little side quests that he skipped.  It might make things like the Oyotomi Supply Runners a little easier. (Easy being a relative term)

Timothy Icegem yesterday asked me if I could YouTube a video of my Dark Crow Derby pet casting up his Dark Crow card.  SURE I SAYZ! HERE'Z ONE FOR YOU KID!

With a little Fire Elemental polymorph on the side . . . felt good to fry a couple Ninja Pigs after playing Angus.

And my final offering today comes from Free Realms, not Wizard101.

Woohoo!  Level 10 Soccer Star, y’all!
If you remember from a few posts ago I was going to go with Pet Trainer as my next job of choice, but come to find out . . . Sony broke their Pet Trainer class. *snicker*  I wonder what they have in store for pets?  I mean, I don’t get into claiming sides between Free Realms and Wizard101 like I’m part of some street gang or something . . . I just like both games actually.  It’s just, I know and you know that Free Realms and Wizard101 are competitors, right?  So I'm now looking at Pets through the eyes of Free Realms vs. Wizard101 . . . It’s kind of a "duh" at how Wizard101 currently blows Free Realms out of the water there. One would expect Free Realms to amp their game in response . . . not break it. 

So, since Thomas Lionbolt of Free Realms will be stuck at level 8 pet trainer until its gets fixed, I decided to give the Soccer Star job a go.

FUN!  It’s a fun minigame.  It’s starting to get a tad difficult, but definitely not punishing by any means.  I’m interested in seeing what levels 10-20 look like. :-)

Happy Dueling!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Insect Tablet and Status on Amber and Kyle

Heya Super Friends,

So Thomas got his Insect Tablet!

. . . not by farming mind you, although the extra 30-40k worth of loot from trying was nice. No, Destiny Mistshard played benefactor for me and had me snipe one from her reserves. THANK YOU MOTHER MISTSHARD!

Now my Prickly Bear Cactus should zoom with three likes (and hopefully four likes if one of those will get a pixie--all the others went elder).


So we've been getting a number of questions about the status of Amber and Kyle's characters in Celestia. Sigh, see, as a gaming parent you want to give your kids ample opportunity to level their characters on their own if they want to, and we have, but they just seem far too caught up in other stuff right now to want to level their characters.

Amber was kind of like, yeah . . . just go ahead and level mine for me *skips away*

It seems like Kyle kind of doesn't even consider Kyle his main character anymore. If he plays Wizard101 he'd rather just level Sean Ogrehead, his ice character. It's still his character though.

On the other hand, we've got a healer and a storm character right there just waiting to be leveled. ;)

So Bailey and I are going to be leveling Kyle and Amber for a bit and then once again, turning the keys to the car back over to the REAL Kyle and Amber when they're leveled. (And then borrowing them whenever we need DPS or heals hehe!)

Long story short . . . Amber and Kyle (and Myrna too) are currently hanging out in The Grotto. Expect to hear more about those characters leveling up to Legendary in the near future.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crafting the Winter's Wrath (DDO)

This post is about Dungeons and Dragons Online.

In DDO there is an adventure pack called the Sentinel's of Stormreach, and in various chests of the missions in Sentinel's of Stormreach there are items you loot that you can combine to craft a weapon or a piece of armor that is slightly above the average quest reward.

All of this information can be found over on the DDO Wiki page here.

I gotta say that unraveling the unraveling enchantments wiki page took a little bit for me. I'm a sorcerer who works off of the Charisma score, not intelligence, after all, but it was enough for me to ascertain that the first thing I needed to do was collect the sigils of the goat, lion, and dragon. Those didn't drop like candy like I was hoping, unfortunately. Between the Sunday night static group runs and some soloing, it took a few times running the Bargain of Blood, Black Loch, Storm the Beaches, and Spies in the House quests to get all three. Luckily that wiki page really points you in the right direction.

Sure enough, yesterday, I got my last sigil to drop and finally had all three sigils. WOOT WOOT!

At that point it appeared that all that was left was obtaining the Splintered Winter's Wrath and doing the combine. As the wiki page stated, "Items with the 'Unraveling Enchantments' attribute are found in the The Tide Turns end chest and the quest chain reward list." To me that meant I needed to do that Tide Turns quest and GET MY LOOT!

The static group had that mission unlocked up to hard, and since I'm an insane soloing Sorcerer type, I thought I'd give it a shot with a Cleric henchman in tow. This ended badly on the very final fight since . . . well . . . my cleric and I both ran out of mana. I'd still like to solo this just to say I did, but at that point, there, hovering around as a defeated ghost, it occurred to me that . . . Hey, I wonder if this Splintered Winter's Wrath wand is in the auction house?


You can see where I'm going with this . . . it *was* in the auction house. In fact I bought one for 900 plat, which seemed to be a bargain compared to the others up for sale.

WHEW. Now I had all my components, and I was ready for my final combine, which again was slightly confusing. I mean, I was left wondering, "Wait? Does the final combine happen in the Tide Turns instance or does it happen out in the House Deneith City Area?" Because all it tells you on that wiki page is "Combine this item in 'Visbane's Folly' atop Sentinel's Tower in House Deneith Enclave . . ."

The answer was, as it turns out, yup, in the House Deneith City area there is a little grassy ramp that leads up to the top of the Sentinel's Tower. It's just kind of hidden off to the east of the tower.

I did my combine . . .

And I got my upgraded weapon.


Sadly, after all that work, the stats look great in pixels, but color me a little unimpressed in practice. HAHA. The damage output seems a little weak, but it is nice to add another eternal wand to my collection and at least it seems it's one of the only AoE attacks from an eternal wand before 20th level. It'll also be good to swap in this wand if I'm casting any lower level cold spells for a little boost to damage.

It's cool lookin' and looks like you could roast two hotdogs at once with it. WOOHOO! I'll keep it. :) (plus it appears at max level you can upgrade this thing even MORE and make it truly Epic)

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bailey's Definition of Fun!

Hey all, it's a Bailey blog invasion! I'm taking over for Friendly today.

What's the definition of "Fun" you ask? Why, it's clicking and pressing X of course!

Yes, I have been having a lot of FUN lately, and I have managed to get two of my alts to LEGENDARY!!! Here's the gang:

That's Iridian Legend (also known as Captain Pinky--my sorceress), Bailey (you all know and love her ;)), and Rowan Ravenshard (named after the fabulous Ronan Ravenshard, Friendly's biggest fan).

And as every Legendary wizard knows, part of the FUN of getting to that level is doing your level 58 spell quest! It's pretty cool that I've got to experience three of these fights now. I've really enjoyed seeing how each school's battle plays out and the differences with them. So far, out of the three, Fire was still the hardest for me! Balance was surprisingly painless compared to Fire! But, Myth . . . yeah, I will admit that Myth's level 58 fight was a very good fight. I died the first try due to lousy luck with my cards, but on the second time I got my Minotaur minion out, and he was a rockstar--loved me some Minotaur!!

Ya know, in a way, I kinda liked dying in that Myth duel. As strange as that may sound, it gave me a chance to really experience that fight in depth and remember what it was like later and the challenges I had to overcome to win. It's too bad that we cant redo these battles after the spell quest is over. That's why I gotta say, who cares if you don't have a victory the first run at your level 58 spell? Sure no one wants to get defeated in battle, but if you do, it's no big deal. You go back, you make adjustments, and you figure out a better strategy for the next time through. In the end, it's going to be the first and last time you get to do that fight, so just enjoy it.

Anyway, since I haven't posted in a while, I need to tell you that I've been a very busy crafter as well! Iridian and Rowan are both GM crafters and are both sporting their crafted critical gear. WOOT! And, I also have some crafted crit gear I've made for Kyle; it's ready and waiting for him to turn 55, which is definitely next on the agenda! GO Kyle! (Still working on Amber's though :))

And as my better half said in another post, I have everything ready now for the New Celestian Observatory house when that hits live. Just one problem though--I don't know which wizard wants it the most? LOL

So yeah, I could go on and on and tell you all about my countless hours of farming for the Gong of the Oni. (WHY OH WHY do you keep your gong from me Mr. Death Oni?!) Or I could ramble all about how I am loving the new colors for the Fierce Hound on the test realm! But I'll try to save some stuff for another post. XD

Ok, I just have one correction to make to my previous definition of Fun . . . Fun is spending time with AWESOME people *while* clicking and pressing X. :D Here's a BIG thanks to Destiny Mistshard and Blaze for being willing to go much much slower than they normally would to quest with me through Celestia! And thanks to all of my friends who take time to say HI!!

It's my friends (including the "Friendliest" friend of all) that really make this game a FUN experience for me!

Happy Dueling!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Install Internet Explorer 9! (just yet)

**UPDATE** Click here for a possible fix from Jester **UPDATE**

This just came across the news wire from KingsIsle a few hours ago.


IE9 Compatibility Issue

There is a known compatibility issue with the most recent IE9 release candidate. If you download and install IE9, you will not be able to run Wizard101. Please know we will address this issue soon, but until then we do not recommend you install IE9 if you wish to play Wizard101.



Happy Dueling!

Crit Gear and Pixies Galore

Uber Wife loves Crit Gear. It's kind of her thing. She wants to craft the Celestia Crit Gear for all of our characters, so I am definitely not gonna hold that lady back! GO BAILEY!

Crit Gear basically doubles my crit chance numbers and triples my block chance numbers, so it's definitely fun and high on fun for farming sake.

My only guff is that you lose a bunch of power pip chance. I have to swap out my Briskbreeze ring (which I wear for the +death damage boost) when I wear this crit gear to bring my power pip chance up a little higher; a +21% power pip chance ring seems adequate for that--life is good.

I had to stitch the outfit though; I'm just not really a fan of the hood, sports bra, armband, and moon boot look. /shiver

Seriously, did they fire the guy who originally came up with the outfits for Wizard101 because I'm having a hard time falling in love with the Celestia looks. In fact, I'm not really a fan of the Grizzleheim look either. KI, WHERE DID YOU HIDE YOUR OLD FASHION DESIGNER?! Lack of awesome new fashion is my new number one rant. *snap* *snap* & *snaps that Z*

Making any guy wear a sports bra is a crime. (or would you call that the armored tankini? Either way, I'm not wearing that to the beach . . .)


You can kind of see my new stitched crit gear look in this picture I took to show off my newest pixie friends that have joined my prickly bear cactus garden, which is progressing to elder super fast.

. . . still don't have that insect tablet . . . .

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gardening Update Information from KI

This just came across the newswire from Professor Greyrose . . .

As many of you know, yesterday we experienced some technical
difficulties which required us to temporarily lock our players out of
their dorms, Castles & Lands. We realize that during this time many
gardens may have suffered from some neglect. To apologize for this
inconvenience, and to help you get your plants looking spry again we're
giving each player TWO Energy Elixirs at no cost the next time you log
in to the game!

To receive your TWO Energy Elixirs, simply log in to the game between
now and 11:59pm Central US time on Friday February 11th 2011. Please
note that each account will be able to receive this gift only once. The
Energy Elixirs will appear in your Gift window and you can claim them at
any time.

There you go! Have fun with your Energy Elixirs. :-)

Happy Dueling!

CALM . . . DOWN . . . sheesh

Ok, yes, I get it . . . you can't get into your housing for a day. *gnaws on hand*

AND, YES, I know I know . . . it was an exploit that caused this. *GASPSERS THE FRIENDLY NECROMANCER'S GHOST*

The majority of you probably don't know anything about this exploit and how it worked. No worries for you guys whatsoever. Life will return to normal soon, and I'm sure KI will make everything good for the innocent.

Just . . . chill.


Do you hear that wonderful ocean wave in the background? Here you go, listen to this for a second or two:

Ahhh, the real world is awesome. There . . . don't you feel a little better now? Most of you will, but there are most likely a few of you who won't.

It's all about perspective with stuff like this. Here's mine:

Remember that nasty wing exploit? I tried to tell you that you shouldn't do this again, and if you discover an exploit, you need to report it, but did you? nope! (remember this exploit lecture you ignored back in episode 10 of Ravenwood Radio) Guess what . . . for some of you it's strike two! You're out!

What kills me is that it's Wizard101 we're talking about here. Like, do you guys realize that if you're going to exploit a game, this is SO not the game to exploit? We have a gold cap here and you can't trade items outside of bazaar sniping and treasure cards. If you're going to exploit, go to a game where you can at least make real money from the exploit.

I remember going over to a friend's house circa 2003, and we got talking about Everquest. He said, Oh yeah, well I have Everquest running on three computers right now actually. I was totally boggled, "you multi-box Everquest? I did't even know you played!"

No no no. He was running a macro on his computer to duplicate gold, then he and his cousin would turn around and sell the gold to a guy named Yantis, and Yantis would turn around and sell gold at a marked up price to the Everquest addicts. What this did to the common player was create mudflation. My friend wasn't playing my game, he was basically ruining my game. LOL. It was ok though, I still liked him and Everquest. He was small potatoes compared to what some exploiters were doing. Don't make me bring up the Methical Everquest2 Dog Pet duping story . . . .

So, guess what? That Yantis guy is still around only now there's about 20 times more Yantis-ish people in the world because of WoW, and he doesn't even sell Everquest gold anymore. Selling gold is almost mainstream now. I don't know if you're even aware of the gold sweat shops. I'll never forget being jumped on nodes by a Chinese gold farmer using exploits in WoW. I was furious.

The difference here for us? Kingsisle took care of every minute detail in their game to discourage this type of behavior from outsiders, which makes it so we live in a Gold Farmer free world. You have gold caps, you have fixed prices at the bazaar, and you have limited item trading. Gold farmers don't want to touch Wizard101 with a 10-foot pole. INSTEAD, KingsIsle controls all the money through their crowns shop, which means, unfortunately, the rule breakers are all players.

Don't worry. It's not the end of the world.

Best of luck to you all who were banned because of that whole auto-harvest bug or what have you. Luckily it's not hard to re-level a character in Wizard101. Think of it as a new challenge set before you! And if you go to a different game, you know, have fun and try to remember the awesome times you had in Wizard101. When you start to get spam in your inbox from gold farmers and malicious people hacking your account in extremely inventive ways, maybe a part of you will understand that Wizard101 is actually a pretty safe and awesome MMO that way.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interesting New Crown Gear on Test

The new crown gear seemed to be all the buzz on Twitter yesterday in the Wizard101 circles, and it's also definitely being discussed on Central and on other blogs, so I thought I'd throw out some commentary and present them to you all in case you haven't seen them.

NOTE: Remember this is the test realm and all things are subject to change before implementation into the game. So, hey, if you've got a guff with this crown gear, now is the time to speak up!

First up we have the Elven Attire coming in at the price of 1500 crowns on Test.

You know, these are not horrible for level 5 crowns gear. I do like that we have access to fire elf mutates out the door. That should have happened like 3 years ago!

I am a little underwhelmed with pretty much all the looks of the new crown gear. It feels a little like someone just slapped stats on a preexisting outfit and then they stuck it in the game. Why not make the fire elf costume look even more like the costume that the elves on Firecat Alley wear and bump the price a bit? Over sized elf shoes? Exaggerated Robin Hood feather cap? No?

Next is the Puppetmaster gear for 5000 crowns.

If you could cast all three minions from this set at one time, it would be a soloists dream come true. You're definitely not gaining access to minion cards too early with a level 35+ requirement . . . in fact if anything the level requirement on those is five levels too high. The sacrifice minion for pips card is somewhat a waste on this set. By level 30 you're wielding a +power pip wand and the small benefit of cast a one pip death minion back to back with the sacrifice minion spell wouldn't really help you out much for powering up.

The +11 universal resist from this set is VERY interesting and is probably the most awesome feature of this set. The Masquerade look is . . . ok . . . but again, I'm kind of underwhelmed by the look of this set. Meh. Could you at least put some cool pattern or tattoo on that face mask. Yeah, I get that it looks kind of like the puppetmaster, but . . . wouldn't a zoo keeper outfit be just as apropos?

For you sneaky types there's the Swindlers gear for 2000 crowns.

I like this set. Krokotopia is when mobs start putting up shields . . . especially tower shields, so those shoes are pretty nice. I like that they are basically granting us access to a lot of great utility spells from other classes. If you look at the spread here, you have a fire spell, a death spell, and an ice spell all in one set. I dare say if I was a level 15 necromancer again, this would be a crown set I'd spring for.

I like the look, but again, it's recycled. A new look to go with a new crowns set would be amazing. Gimmie a cool gambit look any day.

The lost Ninja Pig outfit is back and better than ever--here is your Baconator outfit going for an astounding 12500 crowns.

Ok, by far the best gear for just heading in the right direction. You've got crit, you've got power, you've got a cool look, you've got universal shielding, you've got a polymorph card . . . this set just does it all.

This set does it for me.

Keep heading in this direction, KI, and you'll make a lot of money. In fact, go back through all this new crown gear and tack on power boosts to ALL of them NOW because that, my friends, is inspiring. Much MUCH more than the old Beastmaster set.

Here's the bird caller set at 3000 crowns for you flighty types.

Meh. The shoes are great for an ice wizard. BUT, imagine this set with large feathers running down the sleeves instead of this recycled Grizzleheim look.

And finally, hello Lifeforce Blade! cha-ching 5000 crowns please!

OH YEAH, look at that compared to my Cursed Staff . . . difference? Block. Nice change. PVP'ers will eat this sword up.

So, that's enough from me . . . what do you all think about the new crowns gear? I hope I wasn't too harsh or sounded too cranky, but I guess I just expect that if they're going to do it . . . why not do it right? Why just tack it on and throw in it the game? Why recycle these looks and not really give us something unique?

You know what set I'd love to see them dump into the game? A blade runner set that has some super awesome blade spell cards on every piece and gives me an Ironman look ala the speed boost shoes. That thing would sell like HOTCAKES, YO!

Here's my next question for readers . . . (first question was what you think of the new crowns gear, remember?) If you were to mix and match different pieces of these five sets, what would your resulting combination be?

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ravenwood Radio 33 & Icywiz Attacks!

Hey! I just got done listening to Ravenwood Radio 33! They have a contest going where you can win a rare pet *cough* Fog Unicorn *cough*.

Shhhh, I didn't tell you this, but the contest information is about this far in:


OF COURSE, the entire podcast is well worth the listen. They digest all the latest updates in the test realm and there's a lot of good segments.

Ohhhhh, yeah, and Christina Icedreamer had one of those "segments" on there this time where she roasts me pretty good. I'm not going to post the entire transcript, but listen to these burns she was giving me :)
"Did you know that Friendly's real wizard name is Thomas Lionblood? Well, of course you did, but I heard that he tried to pick the name Thomas LionPuke but KingsIsle wouldn't let him, then he tried Thomas LionSnot and then Thomas LionPhlegm, and then finally he got an e-mail from Professor Lincoln telling him to stop being gross! What's with the bodily fluids, Friendly?

Did you know that Friendly sports a Teal Mullet? As in the Billy Ray Cyrus business in the front, party in the back, I want my mullet back mullet? And, in Wizard101, Friendly's Thomas Lionblood cartoon also has a teal mullet!

Do you think that Friendly gave Thomas Lionblood a teal mullet to look like him in real life, or do you think Friendly cut and dyed his hair into a teal mullet to make himself look more like Thomas Lionblood?"

Haha! Ok, we'll stop there. OUCH! IT BURNS!

She ends up saying that she's left with more questions than answers and wants an interview with me to clear things up.

What do you think? Should I do it? After listening to that segment, I'm pretty convinced that an interview with Icywiz is like an invitation to a barbecue where I'm the main course. ;-)

Happy Dueling!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fixed Image From Previous Post!

Man, those turnovers just destroyed the Steelers. I don't know about you guys, but I thought it was a fun game to watch. Hope you all had a great Superbowl Sunday!

The Sunday Night Game team had a great time in DDO as well last night. We won Sentinels of Stormreach expansion in overtime. ;-)

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WOOT My first pixie!

Yay! I was so happy to see my new friend this morning. :-)

I was also happy to see that all of my nearby prickly bears picked up a "like" from it as well. Nice!

Now if I could just get that insect tablet . . .

*SMACKS HEAD* Here's something funny, after farming Manu Nirini long enough to get four fire salamanders, I decided to look up this insect tablet again. haha! Yup, I was farming for the Krok Insect Plaque instead of the Krok Insect Tablet, 'doh!!

Well, at least those fire salamanders I farmed had a few unknown talents in their petnome. *looks for silver lining* :)



Happy Dueling!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Psyched for the Game Today!

No no no . . . not this game where the Steelers destroy the Green Bay Packers.

(You might want to click that to enlarge it to truly witness the destruction there.)

But, YES! THIS GAME: Dungeons and Dragons Online! For us it's appropriately named, "The Sunday night game." Us? Yup, you may or may not have known this about me, but on and off for the past ten years or so, every Sunday night I play a game with some buddies of mine. Here's a quick summation of the past 10 years: Diablo, DiabloII, Dungeon Seige I and II, Guildwars and all its expansions, Neverwinter Nights 2, and now DDO, and check it out, we finished off a dungeon last week where we got to school a bunch of undead pirates and took out the necromancer's apprentice!

BOOM! He must be the Friendly Necromancer's apprentice since he uses ellipses . . . almost . . . as much as . . . I . . . do . . . .

After taking him down, we got to rush into a room full of gold where we could loot, loot, and loot some more!

It's like I'm Dirk the Daring in the final scene of Dragon's Lair.

Seriously, I love quests that have you ending up in a giant room full of gold. That's the best! I feel like Mr. Krabs in Atlantis Squarepantis where he sings about wishing he had sewed more pockets on to his pants when he woke up in the morning.

We're doing the Sentinels of Stormreach expansion over the next couple of weeks.

I mean, in a world where it's hard to choose between zombies and pirates, why not take the hybrid model? eh?

Speaking of hybrid models, take a look at this beauty I get to play alongside every Sunday night:

*whistles* Yeah, that's my friend Tony . . . .

If you're interested in reading more about our adventures, many of the recent ones are catalogued over on Tipa's blog under the DDO tag.

Happy Dueling!

Happy Birthday Amber Deathsong!

Just a quick note that it's Amber's real life birthday today!


We're headed to a puppet show with a car load of kids. Puppet shows rock!

No time for a post this morning, but be sure to check out Feedback Friday and would someone PLEASE POST ON THAT THREAD THAT WE WANT A DEATH UNICORN ALREADY?!?!?!

What do I have to do to get a death unicorn in the game, KingsIsle? HUH?!?!

Happy Dueling!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dating in Wizard101?


This question from a reader has controversy written all over it:
So, I have a question. Recently I’ve seen a ton of “daters” on the game. And my friend who had an “online girlfriend” got reported and muted for about 2 days. So is it reportable to date on Wizzy101?

Ok . . . so listen . . . yeah, people do freaky things on Wizard101 sometimes, and when I hear about it, I just want to plug my ears and sing, "LALALALALALALALALALALA!!!" at the top of my lungs.

You all remember the reasons why someone would get muted/banned, right? No? Let's review . . . . From the terms of use:
" . . .any defamatory, indecent, obscene, harassing, violent or otherwise objectionable material . . ."

". . . solicit, provide or exchange any personal information, including but not limited to user names or passwords; (12) “stalk,” abuse or harass another user, or attempt to do any of the foregoing; or (13) engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Site, or which, as determined by the Company, may harm the Company or users of the Site or expose them to liability. Without limiting any of the foregoing, you also agree to abide by any code of conduct applicable to the Site or any service available on the Site."

From the FAQ:
" . . . creative profanity (swearing around the filters), solicitation of usernames/passwords, predatory threats, racist comments and other such actions . . ."

So, to answer your question directly, No, you can't get banned for dating, but dang, this ain't a dating site, yo. I get that it's human nature, but by the nature of "dating," you're most likely going to exchange personal information, right? So, yeah . . . my recommendation is don't date over Wizard101. AND, you never really know who that creep might be on the other end of the cute and fun avatar. You are online, remember. Be safe. (Ditto had some good rules today.)

Just be friends and hang out with people here . . . must be why KingsIsle calls it Friendship Festival around Valentine's Day.

As for your friend . . . read between the lines . . . something else must be the reason why your friend was muted, and I'm guessing exchange of personal information would be the reason.


Happy Dueling!

Out with the Old Vines, in with the New Cactus!

Here's what my final haul for my Silver Trumpet Vine Garden looked like:

Not bad . . . not bad.

And now I think I'll try my hand at some Prickly Bear Cactus. :) PLANT OF THE DAY!!!

Let's see if I can get some of those mega snacks! I've put a Gnome and a "pile of sand" down by them since I know they like those. I also found out that I need to find a Krok Insect Tablet as well to add to the growth speed. KROK INSECT TABLET HOUSING ITEM OF THE DAY!! ;-)

So guess what? It's time for me to put Manu Narini in the Throne Room of Fire on farm status! I guess that also means a Fire Salamander pet or two in my future as well. ;-)

Looks like there are still a few talents to find on him over on Petnome as well. PET OF THE DAY!!!

Happy Dueling . . . OF THE DAY!!!!! ;-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celestia Housing Test Realm Redux


So there has been a lot of information sharing going on across the Wizard101 information super-highway, and I just want to point out a few of those and maybe discuss them a smidge.

First up is Kevin Battleblood's well written blog post. Kevin talks about the changes in the test realm that he finds pertinent: Floating pots and plants, petnomes, stun block, and gardening towers.

In particular I feel for Kevin (and all of us) in regards to the bugged petnome numbers. It's confusing enough to try and analyze pet abilities through a community site like Petnome, but a broken (or bugged) counting system really messes up trying to track these things . . . especially when already dealing with different generations of pets. I really hope that gets fixed.

Although I really liked the idea of gardening towers and getting more bang for your energy globe out of building your garden up instead of out, I personally never had a garden tower, so I won't miss this. *comfort* to those who will. :/

I liked Pyromancer Jonathon's review of the new Celestia crafted house. Although Jonathan mentions this is now the second house to have a dueling circle, he doesn't mention that this is the first house to have a dueling circle that doesn't require the purchase of crowns! Uber wife tells me that one of our characters already has everything she needs to craft one! Awesome.

If you're looking for a good list of ingredients that you'll need for this, I again refer you over to Battleblood's place. (Uber wife was all psyched that she could help Kevin out with a small error on the list. *giggle*)

For me, I just can't get over how much I really REALLY wanted an underwater house for Celestia ala Calypso's sunken ship. It's what I was hoping for. Dangit.

Of additional note: Stellarium got dumbed down. My video here, is no longer applicable, and I may take it down soon. Don't worry, all the other cheating bosses in the game are still there and cheating.

There have been a number of interesting posts over on Wizard101 Central about the new changes.
- Fierce Hounds have different appearances. (click!)
- Polar Cat gift card only gives one dragonblade now. (click!)
- Efreet is now a charm-class debuff instead of a damage-class debuff. (click!)
- Guide to the bosses in the Hand of Doom pack. (click!)
- Orthrus animation has changed. (click!)
- Can't use Gargantuan on Efreet. (click!)
- The let down on the new side quest in Grizzleheim. (click!)

For me, it's all about the Hand of Doom pack this time around. I love the new boss minions. It's just SUCH a cool new addition to be able to summon up one of these to help you out. I'm not all together thrilled that I get five or six junk cards with each pack I buy, but I do like where these minion cards are headed.

You know what I liked about casting the Lord Nightshade minion? He started with three power pips and crit on his vampire spell. A minion with a chance to crit is awesome.

Thumbs up KI for this addition! Just . . . PLEASE, I don't want any more junk cards. If you lowered the cost and gave me one minion card and no junk cards, I'd be happy. If you upped the cost and give me seven minion cards and no junk cards, I'd be happy. I just think this current method of giving me one or two good cards and junk that I have to sell off feels . . . old school . . . and if you're going old school, then I need a stick of gum with each purchase. ;-)

AND FINALLY, one last note before I let you go . . . the Indiana-Jones-esque Boulder rolling trick with the new small Celestia house? Epic! Just make the boulder roll more often or upon cue! (Like when I trip a switch or something) :-)

Happy Dueling!