Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nominate Wizard101! (You "industry professionals" You!)

I just finished nominating Wizard101 for the 2nd Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards. Wow, was that difficult. I had to establish a Gamasutra account and received a warning that I should only be an industry professional to nominate. I figure being a Freelance Writer for Beckett's Massive Online Gamer is . . . kind of . . . well . . . qualifying? I guess we'll find out! LOL. If you're a video game industry professional and love Wizard101, then by all means go out and nominate our favorite game for a few awards!

You may remember the video footage from last year that I got of the Online Awards. :/

It was amazing being there last year . . . if I close my eyes, I can still see myself hanging with Wu, Leesha Darkheart, and Beau. Good times regardless that Wizard101 didn't win. As Kiersten put it last year, "Having our Community and Customer Support team judged along side industry heavy hitters like Blizzard, Sony, CCP and ArenaNet is an honor in itself, and both humbling and awe-inspiring to us all." I'd love to see that happen again (only this time win ;)).

Best of Luck, KingsIsle! I hope you get some recognition out there in the gaming world for all your efforts.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ravenwood Ball 2011 Redux

Bailey and I started yesterday off with a quick stop at Blaze Shadowhorn's pre-party where he had prepared a find and seek of scrolls around his house (awesome idea btw).

I left a little early though as I got a report from Cassandra Griffindreamer that people were chanting my name in her zone, and I needed to get there ASAP. It took me about 15 attempts to teleport to actually get into the full zone, but eventually I made it in to Fallon, Kevin Battleblood . . . and a ton of other wizards.

About 30 tries later, Bailey was able to join me in the same zone . . . along with a ton of other wizards.

It was crazy insane. Just a ton of people. I had cleared a number of spots on my friends list before the party, but they went so quickly that I wasn't able to add everyone who asked me to add them.

After some party madness, I was asked to port in for a group picture with some Ravenwood Radio regulars. You can find this on Facebook now.

There were so many people I would have liked to have met at the Ravenwood Ball that I missed. Did you know that Nelson Everhart was there? I also wanted to thank Autumn Ghostwalker for the really nice note she sent me . . . also sorry I wasn't able to run into her (unless I did and just didn't realize it). Also sorry that I didn't put 2 and 2 together and recognize Anthony Sparklecaster as a long time fan of the blog and add him.

Basically . . . I missed a lot of people.

I did manage to run into Tara Darkgem though! Tara is another long time reader of the blog, and she sent over a really nice note after the party with some screenshots. Thanks Tara! It was nice to meet you.

These events are a little overwhelming for me and Bailey, but it was fun while we were there! I felt bad for Bailey because she was on the laptop, which makes it hard to type and there's added lag. The kids were too hyper last night to make it too long of a stay. ;)

Anyway, Diary of a Wizard is a really great site, and I'm happy for Fallon Shadowblade for all her success. :) This was a great event for her. Keep up the good work!

One of these days I'll have to host a TFN party. :) It will be a mandatory requirement that everyone be in skeleton illusion and jump constantly. ;-) SKELETON JUMPER ATTACK!

Happy Dueling!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Short People Friends! (J Todd Coleman)

When I was a kid, I had a friend named Bryce. Bryce is short. I am tall. I don't know why I seem to dig short people, but I do. I mean, come on.


When I was in College, I met a guy named Sean. Sean and I became HUGE friends. He ended up being the best man for my wedding. Sean is also short. It must be the Abbot and Costello factor.

You know who reminds me of Bryce and Sean combined? J. Todd Coleman, who is also short. Now, these guys aren't midgets or anything we're talking about here, and since I'm 6'2", I'm not really a giant myself. It's just when you put these guys and me together, it's kind of an Abbot and Costello thing.

Bryce . . . Bryce was a gamer kid like me. Bryce and I loved Dungeons and Dragons, but we also loved boardgames. We'd play Clue and Monopoly a lot. I remember sitting out in Bryce's family trailer outside his house and just playing games and talking for hours. We'd goof off outside as well, but Bryce and I shared this affinity for games that weren't video games. He was a good childhood friend. Wicked funny too. We shared that in common.

I've lost contact with him now, but that's mostly because in high school we went down different paths. I was more the student government type, and he was more the parking lot crowd type. I saw him about ten years ago at a breakfast restaurant, and it was like meeting my old friend again. We still shared those childhood memories.

Sean . . . Sean, on the other hand, is a musician, an artist, a poet, and a deep thinker. He had a year on me at college, so he also knew his way around and had some good advice about the school. We hit it off instantly. I gave him a tape of songs that I had been writing and working on, and that led him to inviting me to play with him and his band. Sean was a bit of a troubled soul. He'd call me on the phone and wouldn't be done talking to me for a couple hours later. It was exhausting sometimes, but his method of speaking and expressing himself is very similar to how I speak. He said that for some reason he was just able to talk with me--unleash the floodgates as it were.

But, that isn't really what I want to emphasize here. What I want to emphasize is that Sean had a flim-maker's eye. He saw the world through a camera lens and communicated that in his songs and music. We're still friends on Facebook, but we've fallen apart. I'm more the videogame father type, and he's more the Buddhist Monk father type. We'll always be friends though.

J. Todd . . . When I think of J. Todd, from the surface I see a really warm personality that is fiercely creative, energetic, successful, and artistic. I think I could learn a lot about business from him. Bryce and Sean both had a kind of mentor quality about them because they were both really well read. I see the playful gamer of Bryce in J. Todd, and I see the artistic genius of Sean in him as well. I also know that he's funny and is one of the best communicators KingsIsle has in their pocket. (Aside from Jeff Toney, but that's another blog topic all together.)

I've had the chance to interview J. Todd twice . . . and even *be* interviewed by J. Todd once (for a job at KI I didn't get). We've also talked quickly on the phone once (for another job at KI I didn't get--just not in the cards). I watched him and Josef Hall talk at GDC Austin. These were all business interactions. I passed him a couple times in the hallway at GDC Austin and complimented him on his presentation. I even sang the words "J Todd Coleman" to him just to be funny because of that whole video thing. ;p He seemed amused and said he had seen the video.

After all those interactions, let me tell you, I can see a strange combination of both my old friends Bryce and Sean in him. Of course, he's his own person and I really have no idea what he's really like . . . I would love to sit down with J. Todd someday and talk without talking shop. Most likely impossible, but hey! Stranger things have happened. ;)

Absolutely one thing J. Todd has that neither of my friends had is business savvy. For proof, I'd have to point to Austin's Top 40 businessmen and Beckett's 10 most influential people in MMOs.

I have a lot of respect for him! Anyone successful in business also means they took a big risk and had a vision, and it paid off instead of bankrupting them. I see some definite leadership qualities in him, and of course, as Vice President and Creative Director and as co-creator of Wizard101, he's proved he's worth his salt. I can't wait to see what's next for J. Todd Coleman. The man has his own Wikipedia page for crying out loud. LOL. I wish him nothing but the best! Here's to you, Mr. Coleman sir! Keep up the good work.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do a Dallop of Dailies?

So, as most of you know, I've been playing a bit of Rift. It's a very slick MMO that is just really cool looking and fun--like "the game which shall not be named" fun. It's so cool that it takes itself a bit too seriously, but I like it! It's been a fun couple of months playing it.

I left World of Warcraft a long time ago and only looked back once or twice, but I never got to experience the daily quests in WoW. I do remember when all my friends at work started saying they were making a lot of money by just running the daily quests every day. It was a solo activity outside in the main world (there were group ones too from what I'm reading). I imagine the main complaint would be that they are repetitive . . . of course . . . everyday you run the same quest over, but that's kind of the nature of the beast, and before "dailies," people would simply farm lower level instances over and over and over for money. I used to do that with my paladin all the time. Looking for some quick cash? Run into The Stockade and just AoE everything dead. /loot! /auction house! /repeat!

Then a little after Burning Crusade was released, Blizzard gifted the players of WoW around 45 dailies, of which you could run 25 of those each day (at least that's what this website is telling me). Wrath of the Lich king introduced more.

Now that I'm playing Rift, I'm seeing the same mechanic. There are dailies all over Telera, so I'm finally getting a chance to see this mechanic in play.

I like it!

One of my favorites is called Bare Knuckled: The Return. In this quest you basically get to face off with one of 16 random competitors each day, three times a day. Each fight plays a little differently and some are harder than others. Each time you win, you are awarded with a "fighter's purse" that has a couple of scrolls with some stat enhancing buffs and a couple of mana potions. You also get some money for each fight you win. Each competitor that you down has an item on them that eventually will complete a "set" of items that you can turn in for a reward and an achievement.

Why do I tell you all this?

Wizard101 needs dailies. It would be such a perfect compliment to the spiral, it kind of freaks me out. Crowns players have to pay crowns to open up an area to play in it, right? But after you've purchased an area (especially a lower level area), it kind of feels like will I ever really be back to Firecat Alley? If you follow the game to its conclusion and never look back, never farm for reagents there, never farm bosses there, etc., then yeah . . . you might feel a bit ripped off.


If every day I could return to Firecat Alley and earn some money or a get a small chance at a rare drop, then it would keep me coming back to the zone. This also gets higher level characters intermingling with lower level characters more often.

Another daily in Rift that I like is one involving an ant queen in the Droughtlands. Every day you have the chance to turn into a queen ant and spray pheromones onto other ants and lead them around. It's so incredibly awesome to see your character in a new light. Fun factor is fun!

Back to our daily quest in Firecat Alley--What if part of your daily was to run around for a few minutes in a free fire elf polymorph in which you have to fight against the plague of skeletons? Then you just have to report back to Prince Alicane Swiftarrow for your reward, who would not suck you into battle as long as you were in fire elf illusion . . . I like it!

If KingsIsle was really adventurous, they could also tie a faction system into certain zones like Firecat Alley. What if you had a separate stat where you could build Firecat Alley faction tickets that could be used to buy special unique wands and clothes with a Firecat Alley flare. Maybe you could even purchase a special Fire Elf Polymorph card and open up tiers of new badges. These items and benefits would have to be attractive to all level ranges.

I think this should be done in every world of the spiral as well. For instance:

Firecat Alley = Wizard City's daily quest zone
Hall of Champions = Krokotopia's daily quest zone
Newgate Prison = Marleybone daily quest zone
Village of Sorrow = Mooshu daily quest zone
Plaza of Conquests = Dragonspyre daily quest zone
Stormrivin = Celestia daily quest zone
Vestrilund = Grizzleheim daily quest zone

If there were daily quests in each of those zones, just imagine the traffic that would generate to those worlds.

Here's the thing about Wizard101 as well. Sometimes people will buy up to Krokotopia and then have to wait for the next allowance to come through before they can buy another area. So, in essence, they're stuck in Krokotopia for 1,000 days. ;-) If there were a couple areas these people could play in by completing dailies while waiting for the next pay day to come through, then awesome! Perfect! It would keep them coming back!

All practical realities of what it would actually take for KingsIsle to implement a system like this aside . . . What do you think?

Happy dueling!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Test Realm with New Malistaire Cut Scene -- Go Test!

The news broke over Twitter around 6 hours ago (probably earlier on Central) that the Test Realm is now up! THEREFORE, after work, I came home and started loading it up!

still loading . . .

Elijah Deathshard shared a number of links from Central. Like this and this.

It looks rather epic! Please log on and test it! Let's make sure it really is as epic as it looks. ;-)

(and of course check your pet talents and spend your play crowns like there's no tomorrow while you're at it ;))

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pebble the Sandman's Stats

Hey! I kind of "dig" how my evil dirtbag sandman turned out. ;-)

As per normal, the people at petnome are right on top of things with this new pet. wow! All but four talents revealed there.

I doubt I'd use the power play card, but it's kind of cool to have that card in your arsenal, you know, just in case KI ever decided to use my super pip solution. XD The Drop it talent (May cast disarm) on the other hand is really interesting. That could come in handy!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pet of the Day New Evil Sandman!

Thanks to Paige Moonshade for letting us know on Twitter that the evil sandman is in the crowns shop now!

Hope your new sandman brings you all your dreams (or, I guess nightmares, since he is an *evil* sandman after all)!

Happy Dueling

Prepping for Ravenwood Ball 2!

Are you guys getting psyched for the Ravenwood Ball? Most everyone has heard of this already, but in case you haven't: click! Fallon Shadowblade from Diary of a Wizard is hosting her two-year anniversary event! You can find more details on the link above, and you should definitely RSVP for the event on her website . . . but here's the basic details:

Time: June 25, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm
Location: Ravenwood - Vampire Realm/Area 1

Once that location starts massively overflowing, the party is going to filter out to different Massive Fantasy Palaces. A number of people are going to be hosting parties at their palaces to support the event. Check out this Youtube from Jacob Legendheart:

I'm telling you, last year this event was HUGE and a ton of fun. Bailey and I will definitely be there. It's the party to be at.

We've been trying to coordinate our outfits . . . mine's getting there but still needs some tweaking. ;-)

It's all about the robe--boots and hat subject to change. :)

So who all reading this blog post is going to be attending / hosting at the event? Let me know in the comments below!

See you there!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pet-a-palooza Rocking the Spiral!

Yup! You heard me, pet-a-palooza has come to the spiral.

First thing you need to do is GO LOG IN because if you log in between June 6th 2011 and June 14th 2011, you'll get a free pet snack in your gift window! WOOT! FREE! I'm so good with free stuff. :)

The next thing you need to do is watch this video and pause that sucker at 14 seconds.

haha! It's Uncle Sam-eprachaun!

The official announcement is also in the game's patcher, so . . . you know . . . click that while you're loading up your game and read it.

I'm pretty sure we're all excited to find the new pets that will be arriving in the spiral. It's a good time, and I REALLY REALLY hope that these new pets will be added to the loot tables of bosses around the spiral. I'm thinking that's usually per normal . . . if it's a crowns item, it's also on the loot table of a boss around the spiral.

. . . side note . . .

So today over Twitter I mentioned that I was in attendance at the very first Lollapalooza, which is where the whole "palooza" term originated AFAIK. I mentioned that it'd be awesome for KingsIsle to release a "Siouxsie Banshee" as a pet. ;-) Why? What? Huh?

Oh it was just a reference to Siouxsie and the Banshee's that was one of the acts from that first Lollapalooza. haha.

I'm really showing my age. ;-) (Also, I want the punk at :38 seconds to be one of the new pets too . . . or a Henry Rollins pet . . . .)

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where do you get the amulet for Insane Bolt?

Got a question from Hunter a couple days ago:
I have a question. Where do you get the amulet for insane bolt??? please post a vid to show meh......

Ok! Here's a quick video for you of where to pick up the recipe for the insane bolt necklace.

Ahh Insane bolt. I've yet to use it, but I love that you can cast a spell that does moon damage. I've heard it called the "last resort bolt" by some who are on their way to losing a match.

How do you all use Insane bolt? Any recommendations?

Hope that helps!