Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Doin' the Death Deckathalon

Whoa . . . this weekend I was playing Wizard101 like it was a year ago! SO MUCH WIZARD101 THIS WEEKEND! I even got called out for it! (Thanks, Iridian)


I had to give the Death Deckathalon Event a really good go. I mean . . . I am the Friendly Necromancer, right?

So, I decided to really put my best foot forward, despite it being an extremely busy weekend with relatives in from out of town (that said, I did have a couple days off of work as well). I faithfully logged on every day and ran the event a few times.

I mean, I'm no Tara Dawnbreaker . . . look at this stuff she pulled off! *jaw drops*


No No No . . . I did manage by the end of my time yesterday to rise up to 221st place and complete my entire event bar though. Go me!

Participation Awards! Hooray!

I mostly did that by running Event 3 over and over, but on the final day I decided to really give Event 4 a go.  I watched Eric Stormbringer's great video, which helped (seriously, pick up some Triage treasure cards . . . they rock for this), but eventually the deck that did it for me looked like this:

The deck that carried me through Stage 4

The first floor was an easy win typically with a bladed Seraph spell and one death shield, but every once in a while you'd need a leprechaun to finish him up if you were unlucky.

The second floor involved a death shield followed by a fire elemental minion, then you just follow your fire elemental minion's lead until one of the two mobs is dead. Occasionally I'd need to cast a triage on myself to get rid of the Poison.

The third floor, sometimes I would cast a second fire elemental and sometimes I wouldn't . . . kinda just played it safe the first few times until I felt a bit more comfortable and had my final deck.

I experimented with all kinds of minions in place of the Fire Elementals. Ice Elementals, Troll minions and Cyclops minions were amazing. Storm minion and Minotaur minions took too long to hit, but still worked. The five pip minions just took too long to cast. I like having minions . . . it's just an extra layer of comfort.

Also . . . guys . . . healing pets are amazing in this tower.  Lady Dexter (the most healingest pet in the game) worked like a charm.

You bless me, Lady Dexter!

So, by the end of the event I had my pet, I had my improved death hands, I had my 4th deck, I had the Ravenwood Hamster, and I had a bunch of cool messages from wizzie friends.

Which reminds me! Elijah LightThief was online! Elijah has been playing Wiz since the early days and used to comment on this blog all the time. He gave me a great inside tip, which may actually be a bit OP. Although you will have to use treasure cards only, you can use the Death Deckathalete decks outside of the event. This can give a huge advantage to a lower level character because of the extra pip. Thanks for the tip, Elijah!

So, what did you think, fine readers of the Friendly Necromancer? Did you like the event? Did you have fun?  I thought it was pretty cool to be part of a community event like this. There's only one day left, so I hope you find some time to chip in so we can make that goal . . . we're getting closer!

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Gems of War: Diamond in the Match-3 Rough

While on my quest for a dungeon-based Match 3 game, I found a little treasure of a game that's actually been around since 2014. Gems of War is BY FAR one of the best Match 3 fantasy games I've ever played. I'm totally in love with it right now.

Does it have dungeons? Yes, but they aren't at the core of the game.

"Delves" are dungeon runs for treasure where you move along a map to a boss room.

 Does it have Match-3. Yup, at it's core, it's a match-3 battler game.

Does it have Necromancers? Yes it has to that too! In fact, just this weekend I unlocked the Necromancer class.

The Necromancer is just one of 20+ classes you can level up. Each with their own perks.

Is it available on PC and mobile? YES! This is a huge selling point for me. It's on Steam and it's on mobile, and even better I can connect my account to play the game on both platforms. (It's also on other platforms like the Nintendo Switch, but you can't connect Mobile and PC to the Switch version if I remember correctly.)

So let's back up a step and talk about what Gems of War is . . .

Gems of War takes place in a world called Krystara where you engage in battle for various kingdoms scattered throughout the map.

Krystara is huge, the shown image is only about 1/4 of the entire map

Those kingdoms eventually give you tribute daily based on your interactions with them.  You choose one of these kingdoms as your home base and gain extra benefits for doing so.

After you've conquered the main world, don't forget to plunge into the depths of the underworld, where dungeon delves and more questing await you.

Yes! Bring on the dungeons!

The real name of the game in Gems of War, however, is collecting troops, ascending those troops, leveling up, gearing up, and participating in weekly Guild Events. After spending about 3-4 months playing, let's see how I'm doing with that:

  • Troops: I've collected 466 of the 685 troops available in game. I have a nice team of Undead creatures that I run with, all ascended to "mythic" levels.
  • Level and gear: I'm currently level 208 (it appears to go on infinitely as I see level 1000+ people talking in the global chat).  I've also collected a huge array of weapons and pets to choose from, which give you bonuses and benefits in battle as well.
  • Guild: My guild is a casual guild called Den of Wolves that does ok for our size. I think our highest level player is in the 700 range and I consistently place in the top 5 for our guild during guild events, like taking on other guilds or downing giant raid bosses.

So I'd say I'm . . . the fast one of the slow bunch, which is where I like to be anyway. ;)

My team is on the left . . . and we're about to completely destroy the team on the right. sorry. gg.

As for PvP in Gems of War, I actually like it a lot! In Gems of War PvP you pit 4 troops of your choosing (1 of which is most likely your player character, but it doesn't have to be) against another player's 4 troops. The computer controls the other player's 4 troops, so really you're just seeing how you fare against your competitor's team composition, which is pretty standard fare in the mobile space. Each week you can work your way up through 15 tiers of PvP ranks earning rewards along the way for doing so, but it's totally optional.

It's just such a huge and beautifully put together game. THIS is what a mobile game can become if it's successful across multiple years. It feels more like an MMO than a mobile game, and I love that about it.

I'm just happy to have stumbled upon it while on my quest to find THE ONE TRUE DUNGEON BASED MATCH 3 GAME TO RULE THEM ALL!  This is close and probably the game Puzzle Quest 2, which I haven't tried yet but is made by the same company, is really the game I'm looking for, but . . . now that I think about it . . . perhaps what I've been looking for all along isn't that game, but this one.

Gems of War has it all.

Ok, there are a few downsides . . . being that it's from 2014 some of the graphics seem a bit dated, but from what I can tell, they've already been working hard to update the look over the past 5 years. If you don't like Match 3's, this won't be your cup of tea. If you don't like grinding levels and building power slowly like you do in an MMO, you won't like this. I mean . . . It is what it is. I can't help that.

But did I mention that Gems of War has it all?

Happy Dueling!