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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Building Your Dream Home


Wizard 101 has now been updated with the ability to buy your own home. A nice starter home in Wizard City will set you back only about 8,000 gold for your own slice of virtual heaven. An upscale home (huge one) will cost you between 20,000 and 40,000 depending on which one you get. Each world has it's own flavor of home, oriental style for Mooshu, castle style for Wizard City, Mansion style for Marleybone etc. It's hard to go wrong with the starter home in Wizard City (love jumping down the waterfall) and the Wizard City mansion, Krock homes and Moo homes are all very nice. The Dragonspyre ones are more a matter of taste. Personally for me, grass, water and the absence of spiraling stone ramps is a plus. (but that's just me)

Tips:
Buy the house you want from the turtle in the shopping district's store in whichever world strikes your fancy. Note: you can buy different sytles of houses in the different worlds.

Buy stuff for it in the shop.

Go to your backpack and the home item marker on the top will allow you to select and equip your house.

Then port home!

Click on the home icon at the lower right side of the screen to start placing your items.

Easy as that!

Here's me chilling (literally) at my new house. * Sorry gratuitous ice wizard joke *

~ Valerian

Other Wizard101 Blogs that I Recommend

The two coolest guys in the real and virtual world keep Wizard blogs. [I totally admit bias here] If you get a chance check out:

Logan Thundergem's blog is a story based on Wizard101 that reflects his wacky sense of humor. Narley Charley's Wizard Stories

Cody Skyrider's blog contains tips and tricks. Few people know their way around the game like Cody. Cody Skyrider's Wizard101 Secrets

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Deck Preparation for the Street, Bosses and the Arena

When you are preparing for battle you will find your deck setup is generally the deciding factor in whether you live or die. But there are three totally different activities that you need to be prepared for: treet fights, boss battles and the arena.

ARENA

In arena battle you want as many shields and blades as possible with a few heals and one or two of your own heavy hit spells and perhaps two smaller ones. Your treasure card side-board should be loaded with heavy hits from your school's spells (for lower pip usage) and a couple from other schools as a surprise for your duelist who you are trying to kill. You should have one ice, one storm, death, fire and life if possible. The advice that was given to me, that seems to bear out is, have a couple minion cards and use them as often as possible to do general attacking.
One last thing for Arena battling is the essential Reshuffle card, or two, or three, in your treasure card sideboard. These help you recycle your cards in the event you throw away a good spell or the battle is going for a long time and you're running out.


STREET



For street battle you will want to coordinate with your friends and put as many multi-strike spells in your deck as you can fit along with blades and a moderate number of shields and a couple healing cards. With a couple friends and a few multi-strikes there's no street battle too hard. Keep your treasure cards set with a different school's multi-strike, one heavy hit and an extra healing card or two just in case.

BOSSES

Balance your deck with about 15% blades, 5% traps, 30% shields, 10% multi-strike, 20% heavy hits, 5% heals, 5% small strikes, 10% miscleaneous. Your treasure cards should include only perhaps three heavy strikes and two heals. (But don't forget to build them up after each battle) Having a small set of treasure cards ensures that you can draw what you want within one pass of card-play.


Treasure Card Treasures

You should visit your ice friends and get a steal, freeze a colossus and multi-strike like Frost Giant. From fire you'll want a Link and Choke along with a Fire Dragon and Phoenix. From storm you'll want a couple Wild Bolts, Triton and Storm Lord. From Death you'll want a Scarecrow, and a Vampire or Wraith. From Life you'll want a Regenerate and Centaur. From Myth you'll want an Authoros and Humongofrog as well as a Minotaur.
Yeah, there's more but I'm not going to give up too many secrets in case I meet you in the arena!
Valerian

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Arena Mania

As people are bored of working in Dragonspyre after level 50 and not getting any new experience points, the number of Grand Masters obsessing with arena battling has exploded. One thing becomes quickly apparent as you battle in the arena. Either you find nice people or most often you find rude people.

Nice, or rude, everyone wants to win. This has led to some unspecified "Rules" of the arena in which some people frown on certain practices. For example, a number of wizards are chain-stunning people and then killing them in one wave of spells.

Others have a couple life wizards in their group who throw a regenerate every few turns. Still others cast minions constantly to do the attacking. In any event the side that feels taken advantage of, makes accusations of cheating, or simply, are just rude.

It seems to me that if there are certain "unspoken" rules of arena etiquette that they shouldn't be unspoken, they should be enforced by the game itself or accepted as a painful fact of life. For those without an unfair advantage, there is often little point in the arena scene.

For me, my bad experiences have outweighed the good and I've met more rude people there than not. I have, however, met two fast friends who in the heat of mortal battle were kind and light hearted and most of all gracious. In the end, whether someone has an unfair advantage or not, perhaps the real measure of a wizard is how they conduct themselves.

If I see you in the arena, win or lose, I'll expect you to be courteous. After all courtesy is what makes a good wizard great.

See you around,
Valerian Nightbringer

Stone Roses Quest


I've collected screen shots of the map locations for the stone roses. For those that follow my blog regularly and post interesting comments I'd be happy to share a location with you privately or simply take you there myself. I don't want to take away all the fun and satisfaction :)

Above is the picture of the Grand Chasm rose. A hint for this very difficult one... think time travel.


Happy Hunting!
Valerian

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ice Wizards are Back!


King's Aisle fixed the forge bug for Ice Wizards. I was able to summon my ice giant, sort of... he was so far away he was hard to see, but he showed and I got my spell. Right afterward I pushed a wrong key and suddenly lost my ability to move or exit the game etc. After end-tasking the program I was able to get back in and return to Ravenwood for my spell.

The Giant simply rocks bringing Ice Wizards back into the arena battle scene. Let's face it, even with the extra health, colossus was just plain tedious to employ against three enemies with 2,000 health. (Like the insanity of Kensington Court in Marleybone.)

Anway, check these pics and next time you see an Ice Wiz you might want to be extra nice :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ice Wizards Aren't Ruling Tonight

Wizard101 pushed out a long anticipated update with new spells for all schools of wizardry except Ice! At some point during the quest for Ice Giant you need to activate a forge in the Atheneum in Dragonspire. The problem is that the forge doesn't activate for Ice wizards. It activates for Fire wizards but for some reason it leaves us out in the cold. Let's hope they fix this one soon! Check out Storm's new move in the flickr slide-show. I'll post Ice's a soon as I can.




(Thanks for the Storm Lord card Grace. The photos are courtesy of Grace's idea of overkill xD)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

GrandMaster Glow


It's official! Last night I leveled up to GrandMaster. Here's a snapshot of me (note the heroic pose and camera angle) posing by the rose in the crystal grove.

I got this shot by clicking the mouse on the screen and holding the mouse button down while dragging it around to put the camera at a low, forward angle. As you're taking pictures, play with the camera angle and see if you can get a well composed shot.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Virtual Tourist in a Virtual World

I've recently enjoyed taking snapshots of my adventures in Wizard City and other areas of the spiral. Here are some tips to getting a good picture.

Resolution:
If your computer can handle it, it's ideal to have a high graphics quality set with high textures etc. If you have a newer computer this is reasonable. You probably want a resolution of at least 1024 x 768 minimum to get a nice picture and have high texture and high quality set in your Wizard101 client program.

If you have a computer three or more years old you may need to be careful how high you set your graphics resolution in the game so you don't blow up your video driver which might force you to do a system restore should you find yourself staring at a black screen.

Turning off Chat Bubbles for Your Picture:
You don't want a picture of your Wizard101 vacation to be ruined by some person you don't know saying something funny (or not so funny) right in the middle of your captured memory. To turn off chat bubbles, the chat window, the mana and health bubbles etc... press Ctrl-G. This gets rid of most screen clutter for you. Be sure to turn it back on when your picture is done otherwise you won't be able to pick cards for battle or see what you are typing to other people! Press Ctrl-G to get your chat window and stats back.

What Button Takes the Picture?
Press two keys, Alt + PrintScreen. You want to hold the Alt button down first, then push the PrintScreen button while holding the Alt button down. Once both buttons have been pushed you can let go. (The PrintScreen button is near the top right hand side of your keyboard.) Try not to hold the Alt key down for too long otherwise windows will try to enable handicap controls and will essentially disable the button! So only hold it for 10 seconds or less while preparing to push the PrintScreen button! Once pushed you won't really notice anything has happened but your picture will be in the computer's memory.

Got the Picture... so now What?
You will want to open a paint program like Windows Paint. (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Paint) You can use a heavy duty paint program or graphics program as well but windows Paint works just fine. Next pick from the menu: Edit, and Paste or press Ctrl-V to paste the picture from your computer's memory into the paint program.

What's the best way to save it?
Pick the File menu and select Save As. The settings you use to save the picture has a lot to do with it's ultimate quality and size. I recommend saving it as a .JPG or JPEG file type which is smaller but still keeps decent quality. PNG, or Bitmap will give you the best quality but take up lots of space on your computer. Name the picture whatever you want, but avoid using punctuation characters into the file name. Pick a folder to save it in like My Documents\My Pictures\ or somewhere more specific as long as you remember where you saved it.

Now what do I do with it?
Being sure to remember where you stored the picture... you can open the picture in the Explorer and it will open Windows Viewer automatically for you, or you can drag and drop it into an open copy of Internet Explorer. Generally if windows is showing you a thumbnail of the picture or the actual picture you can right-click the picture and say "Set as Background" or "Set as wallpaper". This option will put the picture on your desktop as your new windows background.

Cropping your picture in Paint
You may want to save only a characters face from your image... if so you can do what is called cropping. In Paint this is a little tricky but I'll try to walk you through it.
0) With your picture saved and still loaded or reloaded into Windows Paint....
1) Use the rubber band box tool (looks like a box with a dotted line) and click/drag the box around the area you want to make into a separate picture
2) Once your box surrounds the area you want pick Edit, Copy from the Edit menu.
3) Go to your File menu, click New
4) Go to your Image menu and pick Attributes
5) Set your width and height to be something smaller than your clip, so maybe 5 x 5 pixels and click Ok.
6) Go to your Edit menu and pick Paste. You should now see the clipped image in it's natural size in the image area of Paint.
7) Pick File and SaveAs, select Jpeg as the file type and enter a file name and pick the location of where you want it to be saved.

*** Congratulations ***

Sharing Your Art With Others
http://www.flickr.com/ is a good site for posting your images for free. Flickr.com carefully screens pictures so it takes a few minutes for your pictures to show. You'll want to create an album and add tags to your picture set. With that tag word or topic you can create a widget in the Blogger site and other blog sites using the Layout settings and link your Flickr pictures to your blog. (see my sidebar flicr album)

I hope you come to enjoy the tourist aspect of Wizard101 like i do. I've made a lot of memories so far and want to have some fun pictures to look back on.

Enjoy,
Valerian Nightbringer

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

High Damage Hits


How do you get big number spells like the ones below?


One thing I could not recommend highly enough is learning the traps and blades spells from Niles (the tree) in Krokotopia. These will help you achieve maximum damage. Everyone wants to get the big hits, and you can if you layer an ice trap with a elemental trap and an ice blade with an elemental blade. This gives you a double-blade so [spell damage] * 40% * 35% * 30% * 30% if you use all those traps and blades in one spell. Now you're up to a couple thousand most likely. If you want to do even more damage cast a dome for your intended spell. This gives it an additional multiplier another 20-40% which gives you close to 3000! Now, to do even more damage cast the opposite school spell (just make sure it's what you've set up for your traps and blades) and you'll be up to about 4000 damage! ( Fire for Ice, Myth for Storm, Death for Life )

But WAIT, there's more! What if you set all these up with a convert? Now your convert takes effect and if there are any additional traps for that type (ex: fire) now you add possibly two additional traps for fire! That's now you're looking at a cool 5 Large in damage.

If you're a higher level wizard and have learned some death moves and have feint, or, if you're adventuring with someone who has one, you can do an additional 70% on top of that! At that point it might as well be a nuclear strike. Additionally, you can add balance blades for increased blade power.

And so you think by now that this would be all, right? WAIT THERE'S MORE!

Go to the Library and buy a few tough pluses or search your treasure cards for any "Tough" pluses that you can add to your own card. These add anywhere from 75 points to your original spell up to 100 or so if you use "Giant" or even more if you apply a "Monstrous". This increases your base hit and your end result by at least approximately a thousand by the time all is done. Don't forget to have some of these ready in your treasure card side-board.

So far the highest damage I've seen is about 8000 without a convert plus additional traps. I'll see if I can screen cap a super strike for y'all.

Five last tips worthy of consideration:
1) If you're setting up a guy for a nuclear strike you want to ensure everyone in your party does NOT use any minor strikes as it wastes feints and traps. You also will need to get them to agree to hold off on a big hit until the moment is right.
2) Having a steal or two in your treasure cards is handy to take away those last minute shields your foe puts up.
3) Have your tough or giant cards in your treasure deck or pre-bake your treasure cards. Also You may want to use treasure card versions of elemental blade etc for a little additional power.
4) Put two traps on before the convert and two after. (your own schools trap layers onto the elemental trap). If you put the convert on last it will use only one set of traps!
5) LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, use a wand that is NOT of your own school! Why? Specifically, this will allow you to use minor strikes to remove blade minuses that bad guys love to put on you. Without doing this you'll loose twenty percent off your overall strike.

Happy hunting. Post if you have an awsome hit with these tips. (remember: Ice Wizards Rule :) Since the original posting, I've heard of a Minotaur hitting 12325 on it's second blow! (remember double-strike hits will need two feints and double the amount of traps etc to get a good second hit) Please send in screen caps of your hits and any additional tips!

Thanks Grace for the Dryad heal pic. Grace is a Life Wiz to be reckoned with in the arena.

enjoy! ~ Valerian