Friday, May 25, 2012

Busy Busy Busy! (Yarr Pirates!)

YO! Does it feel like it's been forever since I've posted?! It has! I'm sorry about that.

It's been crazy busy here, but I think I'm finally starting to see glimpses of what our new life is going to be like. I've closed on our house, got the keys to our mailbox, and I'm starting to really get settled in here in Texas. Uber wife and the kids are all back in Utah still, and I'm missing them all desperately. Meanwhile, I'm trying my best to learn the ropes at KingsIsle and get the wheels turning on this new, awesome Pirate101 community that's already taking birth on the Net.

Pirate101 Central is churning away and starting to gain speed (you may have seen me post once in a while under the name "One-Eyed Jack." That's me!) Siren's Call has a nice blogroll started for Pirate101, and that's been invaluable as well. Pieces of Eight has had their first podcast already and is headed toward a second one next week. Keep up the good work!

As far as my play time in Wizard101 . . . well . . . I've basically fallen off the map. SORRY! I still want to finish up Avalon and max out my character. Life just got a little crazy. hehe. I don't even have Internet at my new house yet. O.O (Staying just a touch late here at work to reap the benefits of company-supplied Internet connection.)

Working at KingsIsle is awesome. It's wild how I can walk past a row of computers here and see things take birth. There's so many things going on here all the time that are jaw-dropping! I've heard names of new worlds! GASP! The epic amount of information and the speed that it's all hitting me is a little overwhelming in fact. You fans are in store for some cool stuff. :)

Now that my life has settled down a bit, you may see me posting a bit more again. I'll try to get back with it better.

BTW, did you all see the PC Gamer article or the Massively article that featured interviews with me? Those were fun to do! (Did I mention that I've been busy?)

Thanks again to everyone for your support. It means a lot.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ding! New Badge Earned!

Friends and readers of The Friendly Necromancer! I have now earned the hardest badge to earn in the game!

You can’t imagine what I’ve had to go through to get that badge, but let me see if I can help you understand a bit. Come! Read with me while I explain some inner workings of The Friendly Necromancer that you might not have known before. *insert ominous music*

A few years ago I was sitting in my very safe and secure cubicle at my job, pushing my paper and doing what I do, when suddenly I had a strange and happy feeling that I should send a resume to KingsIsle. I had only been writing about the game for a short time, and I honestly didn’t think much of it at the time other than, “What if something happens?” Much to my surprise I was contacted and interviewed for a Customer Service job, but unfortunately the timing and my situation in life wouldn’t allow for that opportunity to be realized. Time passed and over the years I again interviewed with KingsIsle for a couple of different jobs. For one reason or another, things just didn’t work out.

In fact I kind of gave up on that strange happy feeling and wrote KingsIsle off in my mind. I thought . . . “You know what? I didn’t get into writing about Wizard101 for a job and I’m not continuing my writing just to get a job.” THAT seemed strange to me. Remember that big break I had? Yeah, I was pushing a lot of inner questions at the time. I had to ask myself the question, “Why do I write about Wizard101 so much?” My conclusion was that I just like this game! I like the family focus, the humor, the fun, the depth of gameplay, and I just I like this community of people! Honestly, I didn’t need a job at KingsIsle, and I had a job that I could have easily retired from.

. . . and then it happened . . .

After all those years and after all that thought and after all these hundreds of blog posts, I received a call from KingsIsle’s Marketing department asking me if I’d like to play in the Pirate101 Alpha. I think my exact words were, “YEEEESSSSSSS! YESSSSSSSS! FRED, THAT’S AMAZING!” I literally leaped at the chance and began playing this new world in its infant state. (I think you get my excitement hehe.)

Let me tell you straight up that it’s a great game, and even though NDA binds my hands to some finer details about this game, I can tell you that it has a lot of that same magic from Wizard101 and yet is its own game that will definitely develop its own community. Many people from Wizard101 will love this game, and many people will play BOTH games! For me though, it’s now my job to take the helm of the Pirate101 community for KingsIsle and invite you aboard . . . because about a week after receiving my invitation to Pirate101’s alpha, I received another phone call. *insert even MORE ominous music*

My friends . . . I’ve been hired by KingsIsle to be the new community manager for Pirate101!!!!

I’m still shocked that I’m moving my entire family 1,000 miles from home for this opportunity (as I type this I’m still wrapping up the final details on purchasing a new home here in Texas). Let me tell you, you’d be amazed at how many obstacles have magically disappeared to make this happen. The day we put our house up for sale, it sold in four hours. The day we had a moving sale, it was like there was a patch of sun over our driveway. :) I’d go on, but you’d start to disbelieve me. It’s all true though. These past two months have been amazing!

So where does this leave us? In many ways Wizard101 is where my heart will always be. It’s an amazing game that I will always call home for Thomas Lionblood. As I’ve discussed before, Wizard101 has been such a huge success that it’s not going anywhere, and it’s definitely not being sidestepped for Pirate101. Avalon’s release is a testament to that. It’s an amazing expansion to the Wizard101 story line, and now that I’m on the inside of the company and looking around at this huge company of creative people, I’m seeing that there are plenty of employees who will continue to be devoted to making Wizard101 the AAA MMORPG that it is.

I can also tell you that I’m excited about what I’m seeing planned for Pirate101 and what’s beyond even this product. KingsIsle isn’t slowing down, and I’m overjoyed to be one of the newest employees riding KingsIsle’s wave of providing quality family-based games! WOO HOO!

As the Community Manager for Pirate101, I hope to bring the same information sharing and sense of community fun that we’ve been enjoying through not only my blog, but through all the social media, podcasts, and forums that have celebrated the joy of playing Wizard101. I’m still learning the ropes here and Professor Greyrose is a saint, but I can’t wait to help welcome you to this new facet of the spiral. I think you’ll love what you’re going to see. YARR! WHAT YOU’LL SOON BE PLUNDERING ME HEARTIES!

Stay tuned for more news of the future of this blog, me, and my family. The finer details of the future of this blog are still being discussed. I don’t think it will be fully going away, but all those details will be worked out shortly. Either way, I can’t wait to have fun with the community in Pirate101. I’ll be here and hope you’ll come join me! WOOT!

Happy Dueling

Spell of the Week -- Wildfire Treant

Oo! I'm digging into the new content this week and finding a really "wild" spell coming out of Avalon:

Wildfire Treant

Look at that amazing smush of effects on this card!

1- It's an all enemies attack.
2- It does direct damage
3- It does damage over time
4- It steals a charm

That's one crazy awesome spell. I'm not one to pvp much, but this thing looks to do it all in one . . . one spell to break fire shields and steal a charm from all opponents. NICE. Well, it's nice on paper at least. I don't know if it's still enough for anyone to swap out their life mastery amulet. Yup, it's only available from the Stolid Squire's Circlet neck item that you can buy and sell at the bazaar or obtain from completing the Great Wild Wood quest in Avalon.

Unfortunately for my regular spell card screenshot suppliers there's also a level 72 requirement to wear that Stolid Squire's Circlet, but we still have a number of cool screenshots to go along with this week's Spell of the Week. Check 'em out (click on them to enlarge):

Thomas Ghostblade:

Isaac Mistheart:


Austin Swifthorn:

Seth SpriteShade:


Charles Stormsword:

Matthew Emeraldfist:


He adds, "FELL THE BURN!"

HAHA! That's funny because it's "fell" like felling a tree and "fell the burn" instead of "feel the burn" LOL . . . well at least I thought it was funny. ;)

Sierra Mist:

(yes . . . yes . . . Sierra was feeling spammy again *facepalm* ;))


Alexander Dragontamer:

Alexander wanted to remind everyone: "Don’t forget about the field spell Wyldfire, which can help boost your Wildfire Treant."


Thanks everyone for these great pictures!

Happy dueling

Monday, May 7, 2012

Call for Spell of the Week

Coming into the summer season, I have an important message for you all!

Send a screenshot of you casting your best Wildfire Treant spell to by tomorrow night (8 May 2012), and I'll post your picture on my blog on the morning of 9 May.

Here's a mailto address link to get you started: Click Here.

Thanks and have fun with it!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ding 74 and Solo'd the Jabberwock

Hoorah! Ding 74!

It's been a super active two levels in Avalon. I've met with Cassie the most ultimate awesome ponycorn EVER!

She threw down the mass prism spell for me. That's ponycorn-rific! I'll be sure to use that next time I'm facing off against multiple death enemies like . . . hmmmm . . . Malistaire and his three spectres? /shrug Just the fact that it was Cassie the ultimate awesome ponycorn that gave me that spell means that I will cast it whenever I can. :)

I also picked up some bad juju from fighting Hrefna Nightfeather at the direction of my favorite new owl buddy Fionna Yellowknife. Check this out:

Pfffft . . . Uber wife and her Djinni debuff . . . pfffft. The coolest part about fighting Hrefna was her awesome natural attack move. She goes to the center of the battlecircle, hovers up all ghosty like, and then puts the blue strands of death out of her chest LIKE A BOSS!

I want that attack! Give to me, KI! :)

Avalon's Bosses are reminding me of Dragonspyre bosses, only without the exhausting tower mechanic. I really like these fights. In essence, there's a slew of cool boss fights that feature the initial power pip madness of Zafaria coupled with the mega hit points (and then some) of Dragonspyre bosses. Stacking blades and traps is back in a big way for me! I'm loving it. :)

And then they throw the the evil Jabberwock at you.

Just look at that thing. Crazy town. I fought him a few times until I was able to get it through my thick skull how I needed to both attack and stack my deck before I was able to solo him. If I had been paying better attention to the quest text, I probably would have realized that Friar Nolan had TOLD me that the Dark Knight was going to tell me how to defeat the Jabberwock and then likewise I would have actually paid attention when the Dark Knight was spouting the good information. :) LOL reading.

I only discovered these clues as I was going back through my screenshots and realized that . . . oh . . . that actually meant something. It wasn't just fancy talk. Right! I probably could have gone and refreshed my memory on Central too (I know there are many great guides there), but you know . . . I like to minimize the spoilers when I can.

To those extents, please feel free to skip the rest of the post where I talk about how I soloed Jabberwock (bye non-spoiler people! happy dueling!)

Ok, so The Jabberwock fight goes in rounds of three. On the third round Jabberwock sends out a horrible meteor strike that pounds you for 1,500 or so damage and all while you're still being pummeled with all the fury of a full row of power pips from both the Jabberwock and his storm minion buddy. It tends to deplete the health, yo. Jabberwock's powerful attack also leaves him vulnerable with a MASSIVE +200% trap, but only on the third round--on the fourth round that trap gets popped and doesn't come back until the sixth round . . . and so on. Also, if you have any traps on Jabberwock, that +200% trap? Yeah that goes away with all of your traps you cast on him, so don't cast traps on Jabberwock.

I kept track of the spells I used on my fight, so I could share them here with you

Round 1-3: Death Blade, Dragon Blade, Vampire (on Jabberwock)
Round 4-6: Vengence, Empower, Dr. Von's (on Jabberwock)
Round 7-9: Empower, Fireshield, Deathblade
Round 10-12: Dr. Von's (on Elemental), Death Blade, Vampire (on Jabberwock)
Round 13-15: Deathblade, Tower Shield (TC), Gargantuan Vampire (on Jabberwock) *FIZZLE*
Round 16-18: Garg'd Scarecrow *CRIT* (Killed Elemental Minion woot), Fire Shield, Empower
Round 19-21: Tower Shield (TC), Vengence, Gargantuan Vampire
Round 22-24: Tower Shiled (TC), Fireshield, Colossal Vampire
Round 25-27: Deathblade, Fireshield, Scarecrow
Round 28-30: Tower Shield (TC), Tower Shield (TC), Colossal Vampire (Killed Jabberwock)

There's a few things you can probably see happening by looking at that.

1- Try to attack every third round and use that trap against Jabberwock -- as a death wizzy, this will heal you up quickly.
2- Shielding damage is your friend . . . especially that attack that happens at the beginning of the third round.
3- Go for the elemental minion if your attack fizzles or if your cards aren't showing any attacks on the third round. The faster you can put Jabberwock's buddy down, the better, but it's more important to use the +200% trap on Jabberwock when it comes up for Life Draining.


How to solo this as any other class? I'm not sure, but I'd suggest buying yourself the best set of fire resist gear, pack a lot of fire shield and heals, and wear a spritely pet. Good luck! Be sure to check the comments to this post. Whenever I post a strategy, it never fails that I've missed a facet of the fight or that a reader has a great comment to add. I'm sure there are plenty of people willing to suggest strategy and help you out.

Happy dueling!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ding Level 72!

Thomas continues his quest through Avalon, and when quests are dumping out 10k-20k experience per quest, the leveling goes by fast! Dinging Level 72 means I get to equip this cool bow I got from a fight with Chagan Nosebiter.

I actually think I like the Winter's Whispering Axe better because of all the crit block, but this is still a pretty decent drop AND it's a bow. :) Bows are super fun.

Chagan Nosebiter terrifies me btw.

He was going to peck me to death with his nose and then share me as a snack with his evil Pantera kitty. O.O That's ok, during the fight I was feelng a bit peckish myself and drained him of 5192 life, which pretty much put my hunger pains to an end.

You know what's great about that screenshot? I'm hanging with Iridian Legend, uber wife's balance wizard! It was so much fun to play by her side a bit this morning. :)

The road to level 72 has been full of restoring shrines and ranking up through the royal legions of Avalon. I've made peace between all manner of animals, found lost family members, cleared out troublemakers, and was even treated to a head nod to Monty Python's Holy Grail. ;)

Avalon is the perfect world for Holy Grail references. ;)

It's been fun leveling up again! A big part of the fun when a world is new like this are just all the new faces you run into along the way. I had a great time grouping with a Life wizzy named Angela Dreamcatcher last night. It's also cool to see old familiar names flash across my screen as well. You all experiencing that too? Awesome.

Happy Dueling

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thomas Lionblood Steps Into Avalon!

Yes! Avalon is live! Unfortunately I didn't have much time to play through Avalon when it was on the test realm, but that's ok. It's live now, and I'm ready to rock! Everything I've heard about Avalon from people on my friends list and on Central has been good news, so I'm excited! I'm also excited to be leveling Thomas again! Here's a great screenshot from this morning's playtime:

Yes! That is a dragon casting a dragon on me and my dragon. EPIC! If only I had been in a draconian transformation! That particular boss is named Caoranach The Fire-Spitter. I had to look that up to see if I could learn something about that name. As it turns out the name Caoranach comes from Irish Folklore. As it also turns out Caoranach is not to be confused with Coronach, which is THE SONG OF DEATH . . . which is what I was singing to Caoranach as I froze his fire spells with my pasty white skin, something like that.

So far my quest has been epic! I feel like I'm just beginning a great journey into Avalon . . . land of square trees! Is it just me or do you feel like jumping from tree top to tree top like you're Mario when you see those trees? Or maybe that you've come upon a minecraft easter egg? Those goblins are kind of like mini-creepers, right? ;)

Honestly I can't wait to keep going on in Avalon and experiencing all this new world has to offer. Now all I need to do is convince Uber Wife to come along for the journey. :) The kids have been capitalizing a bit on her computer time lately.

How's your play time in Avalon been going my wizzie buddies? I know some of you have probably already beat it in a day! uber. I wish I had more time to play. Tell me about your journeys! :)

Happy dueling!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spell of the Week -- Medusa



The Spell of the Week this week is definitely a spell to be feared. When a Myth caster isn't knocking you around with two hits in the same attack, they'll love stunning you for two rounds with a Medusa! And if two rounds of being stunned wasn't enough, the single target damage on this spell is definitely respectable as well. Seeing a Myth wizard with a full row of pips means either you're up for a Medusa or a Basilisk, right?

The spell's subject matter is great too. Whenever I think of Medusa, I can't help but think about the awesome claymation of the Original Clash of the Titans. That film started a lot of love for mythology when I was a kid! And, hey, it's very cool that Wizard101's Myth school keeps Medusa alive and writhing in our minds. /shiver

The readers of the Friendly necromancer had some great screenshots to share this week and also played up the power of her stony gaze, her scary beauty, and her snake-like ways! Check em out (click to make them bigger):

Flint Trollheart:
Flint adds: "Don’t look into her eyes or you’ll be turned to stone!!"

Christopher Dragonfriend:
Christopher adds: "“Welcome to Atnyu Mes Gderan Gomen Meprouim” (Aunty Em’s Garden Gnome emporium) Is a reference to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series."

Seth Dragonhunter:
Seth adds a quote from Wikipedia:"Here is a story about "Medusa" and a picture of her head along with my SOTW

In Greek mythology Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), "guardian, protectress")[1]was a Gorgon, a chthonic monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto.[2] The authorHyginus, (Fabulae, 151) interposes a generation and gives Medusa another chthonic pair as parents.[3] Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon[4] until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion."

Matthew Emeraldfist:
Matthew adds: "Here is a screen shot of Medusa- the woman who was turned ugly by Athena due to jealousy."

Ashley GoldenRiver:
Thomas Ghostblade:
Charles Stormsword:
Julia Dragonsword:
Elizabeth GoldenThistle:
Elizabeth adds: "This picture was taken during my first Astraeus battle. killed him. So close!"

Nice edit, Flash! ;)

Kyle Firesword:
Courtney Silverflame:
Jason Thundershield:
Jason Titan:
Terri Nightshield:
Sierra Mist (:p hehe Sierra said this was just for spam purposes):

Thank you Readers! You always do a great job!

Happy Dueling!