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Friday, July 30, 2010

A sad day in the ice world

It appears that Ice Hound is no longer :(  KingIsle announced that Ice Hound as it was is going away and will no longer carry the Ice Hound 7 pip card.

So what do I do now that the pet and card I want more than anything in the virtual world is no longer available?

I'm open to ideas but I fear I'll be forever spoiled by what might have been...


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PVP Changes

If you've been in PVP lately you may have seen the zombie bug is back.  Sometimes if you die you may spontaneously come back in a turn or two with pips :)

Double shields can now be broken with a single wand strike.  I'll test this more tonight and post a more specific guide to how, and maybe if we're lucky, why.

Beguile backfires on first cast if the other team doesn't hit within the half turn.  The beguile will then return the cast to the other team.  On second cast Beguile works for 2 full passes but seems to sometimes gives the turn to the other team including on the last pass when they are supposedly beguiled but can hit you.  What's more, it seems as though a mistaken double beguile immediately unbeguiles the person you're trying to beguile (so they can hit you in that turn) AND returns the cast to the other team again.

Let me know if you've noticed any new things.

Valerian Nightbringer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My PVP Death Deck

Woot to Cody Skyrider on his T-Shirt Design win of 1000 crowns for honorable mention!

PVP Death Deck Setup
Heather Deathbringer asked me what my death deck looked like for PVP.  I have a decent setup which has worked well enough for me to get to "Overlord" status in the Warlord rank on my death wizard.  So I'm going to do something unprecedented and post my deck pictures.  What if you can beat me because you know what cards I use?  Since so much of pvp is up to the luck of the draw I'd like to test that theory.  Does knowing someone's cards make you more worried and cautious or less worried and better prepared?

Be sure to set up your treasures how you like them.  Also be mindful that this does not show the sideboard.

So without further ado, I'll do the unthinkable and publish my deck for all to see.

2v2 3v3


And last but not least, here is my street fighting deck for questing and towers.

:D  questions or comments?

Second School for a Fire Wizard

Your choice for a second school on Wizard101 is a tough one.  It often depends on your personal style and what you want to do.  Do you want to arena or are you just interested in questing strength for the game in general?

It is extremely common for nearly all wizards to learn ice up to tower shield.  The reason for this is 1) a defense against balance and all schools by means of the tower shield  2) defense against storm and fire 3) arena ability.

If you're looking for non-school hits I'd recommend learning as a second school anything that uses your balance blade.  For fire the balance blade is "elemental blade" and it contains a  ice, fire and storm blade.  If your second school uses one of these blades you can hit harder.  So for you this would mean probably learning either storm, or ice as your second school.  The downside of these two choices is that many people throw these kind of shields first.  If you're going for this, your two most obvious choices, storm or ice, ice is the least fizzly but storm hits harder on lower pips.

But for arena you're going to want a mixture of second schools with hit-setup, shields and healing because you'll be hitting with your school spells.

For my Ice wiz I went with Myth for early questing (humongofrog came in handy for low level questing).  Then I changed to Ice/Death, then tried Ice/Storm for a while but when I became a grand and started doing arena I got Ice/Death/Life and up to shields in all the others.  And for 4v4 arena I ONLY pack ice spells period.

But my general advice is that your needs will change with time and so save some crowns to buy back your points.  Also you'll find your needs change based on experience also as you get better and better at using your  school spells efficiently.  As your wiz get's older go for shields, healing and hitting setup.  So Death is almost always on the menu as is Life.

Any rockin' fire wizards out there want to put in your two cents?

Valerian Nightbringer 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leveling up fast

Weekly Idea Contest

First:  Our weekly winner is the idea of a bank that earns interest.  I'll be giving some codes for a reward on that idea but we'll advance the top 3 ideas to the next round.

Leveling Up Fast 

One of our readers asked a question about how you get from level 1 to 50.  There's a lot in that question but I'll channel my inner Confucius and give you a wise answer.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Switching hats to "guru" style. Picturing myself on top of a mountain sitting on a rock...

"You start at the beginning and go to the end."

Both answers are right.  You just start and keep going.  You'll find the quests time consuming but fun.  You start in wizard city and gain experience enough to handle the bigger quests.  The quest NPC people will lead you through what you need to accomplish.  You can skip side quests (if you don't talk to any NPC characters you're not told to speak to). 

But probably the best secret to leveling up is making good friends.  And by good friends I mean people who are willing to accept you as a friend not right away (danger Will Robinson) but someone who accepts you as a friend after you get to know them for a little bit.  I'll leave that part up to you.  Just be courteous and helpful and if someone is taking advantage of you as in you help them but they never help you... that's not a good friend.  A good friend or several will help you blaze through your quests and become a grand wizard in no time.

BTW. WOOT to Sorcerer's Apprentice the movie.  One scene from the original story with the mops going crazy was given homage in something halfway between the original story and a Disney-eque version.  After a minute you forget that silliness and enjoy the adventure and interesting story line.

Valerian Nightbringer
To those that try to redeem the old codes: they're not supported by wizard101 any more :(  I'd send along new ones if new ones existed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sad day for bloggers

73,000 blogs died today. The Blogetery blog hosting site, many thousands of WordPress blogs among others were shut down and the personal data confiscated by the US Government because of the actions of a few users posting copyrighted material. The official story is that some file sharing web sites and or blogs were sharing music and movies. The story may go deeper than that but it's all we know. By early accounts on the web some dozens of blogs were violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and all 73,000 were shut down and the data and personal writings confiscated.  It could just as easily happened to Blogspot.

I have little sympathy for those that were breaking the law, however I think it's extreme and very sad that so many tens of thousands of innocent bloggers had their work stolen in return.

For those of you making your own blogs and starting your own sites please be aware that copying someone's work and or sharing music etc (unless you made it yourself) is being very harshly punished these days.  Don't frequent file sharing sites and or download movies for "free".  Those sites are breaking the law and they can get you in trouble as well.

I'm crossing my fingers and toes that blogspot will not be next.
Valerian Nightbringer

Friday, July 16, 2010

Celestia sneek peak!

(By Cody Skyrider)  I knew it was a dog! They addeed some seahorse looking things, a beast that looks a little like a shadow weaver, and a floating thing. Those are ones I'm pointing out but they released many more!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Response to a couple questions

The Safehouse tower
Of note when you get to the level with the boxes the safe order of removal is this:
3 2 1 4 5  So middle one first, then to the left then to the right.

On the floor with the snake and sun squares... you may want to unequip your pet as the last time we went in a pet triggered the snake square and we got pulled.

On the first boss
a) don't blade up on your first cast as the boss will quake
b) DO NOT HIT unless you can kill the storm minion! Every hit will get you interrupted and Stun Lorded

On the last boss
a) no feints
b) no traps
c) don't rebirth or the life minion will copy your heal.  SO, blade up and kill the minions asap.
d) bring some fire dispels or lots of shields as the fire guy will do a FIRE cheezeball!  (not dragon any more)

Relearning arena
The 4 stun shield fix has altered arena a little bit making a lot of teams re-evaluate how they pvp.  Many teams would either stun until they had someone set up sufficiently to kill you with one hit.  Or a lot of other teams would do single-double which is for example a Storm Lord for the stun, followed by two in a row to create the effect of a double stun.  Often teams would use these strategies to put the other team at a disadvantage or to recover from the second cast deficit.  Also life wizards would use the stun cycle to rebirth so they wouldn't get beguiled.  Now complicate that with life dispel and interesting developments have occurred that cause arena goers to re-evaluate how to play.

Most wiz fall into two different camps now: 1) those that are embracing the change and learning how to hit hard and fast and 2) those that are trying to game the system still.

The last few days we were in arena and we noticed significantly increased bolting from all wizards.  (Some figured out how to trade bolts through the bazaar.  I'm still investigating that.)  And the other common thing now is storm, myth and storm possibly with a life wizard or another myth.  Their goal is pretty simple: Storm Lord, Quake (to take off shields) and repeat to achieve the chain stun effect.  We ran into exactly such a team but being ice wizards we survived the chain thanks to a couple white pips on the part of the myth wizard which allowed us a break from another chain stun.  Their team mate begged their storm to wait until quake was ready but he didn't and we were able to hit the next pass.

So people are trying to find their grove... either back to the past of chaining or toward a new strategy.

Personally I think it's great to mix it up and learn how to adjust to new things.

Here at Valerian's School we've campaigned for fixing of bolt and chaining.  Thanks to the makers of Wizard101 who are actively working on these things.  Fair pvp is a great draw to the game and we applaud any effort to make the experience better.  I think in time the inequities will be worked out gradually as people speak up.  I for one can't wait to see what the Celestia schools do!

Again I'd love to put in a plug for a new death spell that you cast on yourself that would cause anyone who killed you in that turn to die no matter what shields they had or how much health. :)  Think of it as the ULTIMATE feint!

Spot me in my Indian hat on the game for a fun prize.  Say hi and then message me on the blog and you might earn a deck makeover for pvp 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 or some other random thing and a picture posted in the blog. 

See you around the spiral,
Valerian Nightbringer

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Missing Items

Please be sure and report missing items through the Wizard101 web site.  If you don't report the items chances are they might not be restored.  Please, please, please for your own good, be totally honest.  They will be able to tell if you didn't have the items in question.

But if you are missing things from the update or from someone ripping off your home stuff though the port bug, do report it.  If you don't report it they may not be able to help you.

Valerian Nightbringer

Woot! Ice team is back with a perfect record since the chain-less arena setup.  Arena has changed significanly since the update so you'll need to experiment and re-learn how to pvp.  See you there!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Login Issues and Housing Items Lost

Loss of Housing Items
If you have lost housing items due to a thief, you need to contact KingIsle through the web site.  They will check to determine if you are reporting the loss accurately and have been working with the individuals to compensate for the issue. I'm not sure if they can replace the items in all cases but I'm sure they will find a way to make it right.

Regarding Login Problems
To the Wizard101 Community:
As many of you are aware, we are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with the Wizard101 game service. As we work through these issues, we are temporarily limiting the number of players who can log into the game at one time. We’ve made this change due to the large number of players trying to log in simultaneously, which has led to noticeable delays when connecting to the game.
We will allow more and more players into the world as the issues are resolved. Login priority will be given first to paying customers, followed by our free player community. Also note that this delay is being caused on initial login only; there are no delays once you have entered the game, and subsequent attempts to connect should be noticeably faster.
Thank you for being patient as we work through these issues. We understand that this is an inconvenience, and we are doing everything we can to address it as quickly as possible.
J Todd Coleman

Thursday, July 8, 2010

School's In Session Contest and CELESTIA PRE-QUEST UPDATE TONIGHT?

Celestia Prequests Out?
Cody Skyrider (Scoop) tells me that indications are that the pre-quest stuff including the tower, arena fix and other updates may go into tonight's maintenance.  He cites as evidence the link to the July update notes on the notice. :)  I think he's on to something.

Schools In Session Contest

So far MysteryJellyfish aka Amber StarGem had the winning idea.  (Amber contact me for you interim prize)

A bunch of other ideas were submitted and will be added to the poll.

1) use pips for your other school spells
2) balefrost to add a trap to all players
3) a random blast of all of a schools spells for a "wild" spell
4) a post office to leave messages for offline players
5) a bank to put gold into that earns interest
6) instead of discarding items or selling items a charity bank to donate cloths and gear to
7) super pip = 3 pips

An idea that I had recently was, what if there was a bazaar in each of the worlds and... prices at the bazaar changed fairly significantly from time to time fluctuating maybe based on stock levels etc.  What this would do would be to create a trade cycle like the game Tiapan.  I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember that ancient game for the AppleII.  It allowed you to trade from land to land and make money off the margins of the cost of goods in each place.  Remote outposts naturally paid a little more for some goods.  In time you could become a super-trader with massive purchasing credit or if you had enough gold you didn't need credit.  This kind of system would be very "sticky" for users and would create a means by which you could finance pet mixing without maybe soooo much farming.  BUT, in the game of Taipan the trading outposts forced you to pass by some dangerous places and random pirate attacks.  Maybe wizard could do the same.  If you were damaged or had a difficult time of fending off the attackers they could rob you of items and or gold that you hadn't "banked".  Likewise if you beat them, you could take their spoils which might be a little or a lot.

Just a little fun idea for Wizard101. Should KingIsle be willing to take on any of these additions as part of future updates we as a group would be very proud that yet more ideas from these fans made it into the game.

Valerian Nightbringer

Housing fix & Response to a comment

First the response to the comment.  How did I make the card with my wizard on it?
Here's the short answer.
1) I took a screen shot of the card selected
2) I took a screen shot of me at my house
3) I cut out the card and pasted it into a new picture
4) I cut out my wizard and pasted him onto a see through background.
5) I re sized the image down to the size I wanted and pasted him onto the card
6) I cut a small piece of card background and pasted it over and over again until it covered the words on spell card
7) I picked a font that looked close to the original one and typed in my name on the card
8) Then saved it in web friendly format (.gif or .jpg)

Housing Fix
You may have noticed a housing fix lately.  What was happening was some criminal elements were porting to a friend and stealing their housing items.  This has been addressed perhaps in part due to a high profile case with one of my good buddies Ryan.

Here are some pictures of her house below taken fromt the pathway she built through the cliff face and going all the way to the back of the life house up to where Oakheart is.

Ryan had built an awesome pathway all the way around her home and had crafted every in game item for decorating including the carousel etc.  A friends friend ported and took everything, all the statues, all the crafted items and decorations. 

I'm really pleased that KingIsle was quick to address this problem and are replacing or providing compensation for the missing items. 

I am impressed with the updates KingIsle has made and their efforts to listen to our readers and provide some thoughtful much-needed fixes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My first wizard mix

Here's my first lame attempt at mixing a song for Wizard101.  It's very short so please pardon the brevity.

I'll be resuming the idea contest tomorrow.  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gurtok death ring and athame

I've had different reports on whether or not the balance and death athames and rings were only 10% power pips previously.  I'm getting reports from others that this has always been the case.  I could have sworn that they were 15% but death and balance do get other high pip gear so maybe not.  I assumed it was an adjustment for Celestia.  I'd be curious to see if this pattern repeats itself for other gear.  I've been seeing a lot more white pips and a lot more fizzles lately.  Could we be seeting an overall stat thunk like J. Todd referred to in his Massively article?

I like Cody Skyriders idea of having mega and super pips.  These would be similar to the random helping trigger (procing) that activate your pet's skill from time to time but affect your pips and therefore your overall casting power.

Let me know if you see any stat changes.

Valerian Nightbringer

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wizard101 on MAC? O:

Check out Crossover Games $39.95 buys you a program capable of running many PC games on your Mac. 
The implementation of Wizard gets a silver medal which means that it runs well enough to do most things but has some glitches still.  See screenshots here: Wiz Running on Mac

Thanks again to Cody for the soop!

Maybe you'll see Rowan Watertamer on the game more often.

Valerian Nightbringer

New scoop!

Scoop by cody skyrider.

Celestia woot grandpa crabby!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New news on the story of Celestia!

YAY! - scoop by Cody Skyrider
The shadow weavers wanted Celestia to themselves. The shadow weavers invaded as the Celestians fought back. After a while the Celestians realised they would lose. They summoned a titan to help them combat the shadow weavers. The titan betrayed the Celestians and the Celestians plunged in to the waves with the shadow weavers.

They tried to build domes to protect them, but failed... the Celestian race sank to the bottom of the ocean.

Thousands of years later brave explorers from Marley bone set out to find Celestia. they seceded and built domes for research the Celestian palaces. They soon discovered a new race was living in Celestia. And that shadow weavers had come with the explorers! Headmaster Ambrose sends you on a mission to find the secrets of Celestia and save the explorers.
More news- The explorers say on the omni-audio-graph that they are trapped in time and the umbra queen had returned. Its the work of Morganthe the queen of the shadow weavers. Halestrom Balestrom sends you on a mission to translate that message and find the spiral key. After defeat Easricker and General Stormclaw, a crustacean warrior, you will find a broken spiral key. You need to find out if it is beyond repair or can be used once again. Halestrom Balestrom says he can repair it but it will take time ...

'Hi and mega pip!

Hi i'm cody skyrider. I'm vale's son. I'm here to help out with the blog! I've got some awesome iddeas i hope to share. I also will be helping with breaking news and whats hot now. Here's my first idea i'm going to share.
Mega pip.
Vale was telling me about an article in "massively" saying they might decrease spell damage and pip cost because our pip circle can only fit seven pips max.

An extremely easy way to deal with this is ... MEGA PIP! This pip is like a power pip except it gives 4 pips intead of 2. This pip would be colored red. That way no new suckier spells just a small change. And when we get to level 70-100 Super and supreme pip will do it.

Super is green pip that gives 6 and supreme gives 8 and is colored purple.
How do you like it?