Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reminder of Christmas Party, Progress in Zafaria, and Gear Guide

Hey Gang,

So I know I'm not posting regularly (well, I haven't for a while now). I'd like to apologize for this; I've been really busy with two AP classes (for those of you who don't know what AP is, it stands for Advanced Placement and it's supposed to be equally difficult as a college course), I've also been conditioning for Tennis in the Spring (it's my first time playing a High School sport, and I'd like to make the Varsity team), AND I've been attempting (and failing) at keeping up with a collaborative gaming blog between Myself and four friends of mine. So as you can see, I'm pretty booked, and I haven't really had time to post much. Once Christmas break comes around, I'll try to post more often. I'll also be available more in the Spring because AP classes end earlier than  normal ones.

Anyway, I just wanted to remind you that I will be having a Christmas party! I posted about it back in September, but I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the upcoming event. Here's your official invitation!:

So I hope you all can make it to the party! I'm going to try my best to gather as much prizes as I can, however I might have to deliver some of them a bit later than at the actual party. I'll post more information about what realm you should meet the port bus (if you do not have me on your friend's list) and what time to attend. Hope to see you all there!

I also wanted to briefly update you on my progress in Zafaria. I finished Luke and Valdus about 24 hours after Zafaria came out (I wound up staying home sick that Friday, so I got to play all day, and then I stayed up till about 5 A.M. EST). So Luke and Valdus both have their Level 68 Spells AND are Transcended (one of the firsts, too :D). I also just got my Death Wizard, Gilroy SkullFlame to Level 70, and all he needs to do is enter Mirror Lake. I'm also currently running Patrick FrostHorn (my Balance Wizard) and Oran FoeHammer (my second Life Wizard) through Zafaria with Ryan RainCaller (a Storm Wizard), one of Paige Whisper's alternate characters. They are currently finishing the Savannah. I'll probably take Mycin StarGem (my Storm Wizard) through Zafaria next, (probably) followed by Diana GoldHorn (my first Life Wizard) and lastly Noah GoldHorn (my Myth Wizard).

So it seems I'm going through Zafaria really fast (or at least to me, anyway). I'm trying to finish somewhat early for several reasons, mainly because I know I'll get lazy and decide to put off leveling my wizards. I'd like to be prepared early for the next worlds that come at us (even if they aren't main worlds, which will probably be the case), and getting all the work done early is the best way to do just that. While some might think I'm going to get REALLY bored and start complaining, this isn't the case; I have SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) waiting for me December 20th (although I probably won't play it until around mid-January). I have so many games coming at me for Christmas, that I'll be occupied at LEAST until June. So that shouldn't be a problem.

I'd also like to bring your attention to a guide I'm currently creating. I know many of you who follow me on Twitter know I've been calling out for help, but I'd like to remind everyone who keeps up with me that I need your help completing this guide! The guide I'm constructing is on the Level 66 Rings and Athames and the Level 68 Hats, Robes, and Boots found in Zafaria (please only the ones either with Armor Pierce or the Alternatives, both are No Auction). If you wish to contribute, please reply on the guide with a picture, the boss (or enemy) you obtained it from, and the location; you can leave the rest up to me. I WILL credit everyone and anyone who contributes to the guide with the following information (please take note that the item must be undiscovered by someone else). You can find the guide by clicking here.

Anyway, I hope everyone's having fun in Zafaria and dying of anxiety for Christmas! As they say, it's the most wonderful time of the year, so be happy! :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Siren Nerf: Should W101 Change Her Lyrics?

Hey Gang,

So I'm sure you've all heard about the Siren nerf in the Test Realm. There's a big controversy in the Wizard101 community about whether it should be nerfed or not. So, I'd like to post my opinion on the subject:

Old Siren Spell...

I think the main problem is we're not used to seeing Rank Nine spells, so our opinion on what exactly is an "overpowered" spell can be a bit warped sometimes. We're used to seeing Rank Seven and Eight spells, which (obviously) are not as powerful as the spells we're seeing now. However, I do believe the Siren spell is overpowered when compared to the spells of the other schools. Yes, Storm is supposed to be the glass cannon school. Yes, the other schools are supposed to be somewhat weaker when it comes to damage. But take a look at how the spell really changed:

New Siren Spell...
They only took away 35 damage. That's not much at all, and I know when a Storm Wizard or enemy hits me with that spell, it wont make much of a difference. But what I want to see changed is NOT the power. In fact, I think 915 was perfect as far as hit points goes. With 9 pip spells, you want to promote the use of them; in other words, it has to be worth all the preparation it took to get those pips. Leviathan, which is one rank below Siren, only does at least 100 more damage than the original Siren (ok, so that number's a bit off... but its a round about estimate). When an AoE (Area of Effect) does a little less damage and has another effect than its ancestor, it's doing it right.

I'd like to see one of its effects removed personally. I think it would be more beneficial to Storm if the "Remove Blade" effect was taken off, however I'd like to see the -50% accuracy effect taken off. Fire's really the only school that has an effect such as adding a high accuracy debuff, and I think it's a bit silly to take that unique feature away from Fire when we're so far into the game.

So really, what makes this spell overpowered? The fact that it has three effects AND does damage. I personally think there only needs to be two. Opinions?


Saturday, November 5, 2011

New York Comic Con Conclusion, Zafaria, and Food For Thought...

Hey Gang,

So it's been a while since I have posted on the blog (almost a month). I'm really sorry for the delay, and I'm going to try to post more often for a few personal reasons.

There's a ton to talk about today, so I best get started:

First, I should probably tell you how New York Comic Con ultimately went. Let me tell you; this event was definitely one I'll remember. I got to see a load of exclusive game footage, received a ton of exclusive items, and went to amazing exclusive panels (did I mention it was exclusive?). I also got to demo some great games including Star Wars: The Old Republic (let me tell you, this game looks amazing for all you Star Wars and MMO fans out there!), Halo Anniversary, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I even got to make my own Decipticon for Transformers Universe Online (his name is DeathShark)! I also got to meet a friend of mine for the first time, Paige Whisper (we meet through Wizard101). We had a great time running around New York City, and I think it definitely made our friendship stronger.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I'm extremely grateful to everyone who listened to me fan-girl over everything I saw as well as the people who granted me this insanely awesome privilege! I'll be sure to post some pictures in the bottom of the post!

In much more recent news, a BRAND NEW world has come upon Legendary Wizards! In case you didn't know (who didn't?), this new world is called Zafaria! You can find out all about the update notes here at the Game Updates page on the Wizard101 site in case you haven't seen them yet. Zafaria is an African and Indian inspired world that focuses on continuing the Celestia storyline, meaning that we're going to see more of the Umbra Queen. There are four main tribes in Zafaria; the Lions, the Zebras, the Elephants, and the Apes. Of course, there are a bunch of less important new monsters, such as the hyenas and the rhinos as well. The basic story behind Zafaria is finding a group of Wizards studying abroad in Zafaria and their teacher, Umlilo the Flameingo (that's right; Fire Flamingos!). In trying to find this group of missing students (most, if not all, modeled after community leaders ;D) you also get wrapped up in Baobob politics (pronounced: Bay-oh-bob), and things get ... messy.

For those of you that do not have access to the Test Realm, here are some pictures of Zafaria:

This is a picture of Valdus rescuing one of the students studying abroad in Zafaria. You save her after defeating the king of a certain Lion tribe. According to Cassandra GriffinDreamer, this student represents Fallon ShadowBlade! Awesome! :)

This is the Star School Teacher in a city called Zamuda in Zafaria, home to the Zebras. You can activate the pillar at level 64, however as we're about to see, you cannot learn it's spells until Level 66.

A risky new Star School spell, Beserk increases the amount of damage put on you by 40% to give you a +30% damage boost for four rounds. This spell is not available until level 66 and should only be practiced by brave wizards. ;)

Finally a new Star School spell that supports healing! EXACTLY what we've been asking for, KingsIsle (or at least me anyway)! Mend gives +20% healing for the four rounds (ok, so it's not MUCH of a boost, but hey, it's something :D).

This was an interesting picture I took in Stone Town, home of the Olyphants (A.K.A. Elephants). As you can see in the screenshot, the merchant talks about how she wants to visit "common" stops in the Spiral. Two of those worlds (Marleybone and MooShu) we already know. HOWEVER, if you look very closely, she mentions two worlds we've never EVER heard of before; Avalon and Polaris. I'll probably make another post soon to theorycraft on these two worlds, but my basic summary is this; Avalon is going to be a King Arthur themed world, and Polaris will be an Arctic theme (no, not like GrizzleHiem; think more Santa Clause, Polar Bears, and Penguins type of world). Just thought that was an interesting note to touch upon...

One of the towers where you fight a boss (not an actual tower; just a place where you fight a boss). I haven't gotten far enough into the story of Zafaria to talk about what this black stone is (and know my facts, that is), but it seems to be connected to Morganthe, and it also seems to corrupt people using it. Umlilo can also be seen in the photo. :)

This is a picture of the Sun School trainer in the Drum Jungle of Zafaria. You can activate the trainer by completing a quest at level 66. It should be noted that you also need to have access to the Drum Jungle to accept the quest.

One of the two new Sun School spells that shall replace Gargantuan in many decks. With +50 more damage, I'm sure it will be a valued tool to all "Transcended" Wizards ;).

Another picture in the Drum Jungle. This is of the Ape village which is deeply plagued by black stones mentioned above. This is one of my favorite areas of Zafaria (as you can see by my many pictures of it, haha!). I really like the Ape tribe and their village, and I think their history is very unique and interesting :)

This is the HUB of Zafaria, or in other terms the "commons" of Zafaria. It's called the Baobob Crossroads, and it really does look like a basic mixture of all the lands of Zafaria combined. It's a beautiful place :). That Zebra to the right, Inyanga WhiteStripes, is the "main quest-giver" so to speak (comparable to Edith Benchley).

The Savannah region of Zafaria. This land is mainly dominated by the Lions, although some Zebras live there as well. The Savannah is extremely pretty and the wildlife there is fantastic.

This is a dungeon you go through in a part of Stone Town. Again, you can see this reoccurring black rock that corrupts the different factions of Zafaria. The dungeon was extremely interesting, but be careful! A cheating boss lies in there, waiting for you to test him!

This is the Baobob Market, and its the first area you go through (other than the Baobob Crossroads, that is). This is where you can access Stone Town and the Drum Jungle. It's an interesting beginning taste to Zafaria.

Here's the crown of the Baobob Crossroads; this is where all the "action" happens. Here you can find the Library, Zeke and the Seamstress, student dorms, and even political scandals. Not only is this place beautiful, but it's also the center of all social life here in Zafaria.

Lastly, this is a look at the outside of Zamuda. You can see the amazing arching Zebra statues that guard the way into the cities. The flora and fauna are also amazingly beautiful as well. To the right, there's an amazing river. Truly beautiful. :)


Lastly, I wanted to touch on an issue that's been encroaching its way into many wizard's real lives:

For many of the twizards of the Spiral, this is their first year in High School or their last year in Middle School. Let's say Bob goes up to his friend Timmy at lunch time. Bob starts talking about this amazing new world in Wizard101 called Zafaria that just hit the Test Realm, but Timmy's not impressed. In fact, Timmy says Wizard101 is for little kids, and a game is only cool if it's rated 'T' or 'M'. So the big question here is; what does Bob do? Does he quit or does he stick up for the game?

Many people would say he should probably quit, because it's just a game after all, and Wizard101 IS in fact aimed at children. Besides, there are some really cool 'M' games, right? ALL the cool kids play 'M' games. There are tons of other games out there, and chances are, Bob's probably going to find another game that he feels just as passionately about.

What people fail to realize is that this problem is deeper than just quitting a game. It's more than giving up Wizard101 for a more "mature" game. The fact is, Bob is being faced with peer pressure. His friends are making fun of him for playing an 'E' game, because children can play 'E' games, which automatically makes him immature.

And, a personal note to all those people against 'E' rated games, PLEASE realize what 'E' stands for. 'E' does not stand for "Child" but for "Everyone". It's geared towards all ages, whether 6 or 66. This, by no means, means any person who plays 'E' games is immature, or a child, and they are just as much a gamer as another person who plays an 'M' rated game.

This is one reason why I really dislike the ESRB rating system. If people saw a game with less "Parental Warnings" versus one with more, there wouldn't be the huge gap of people that there are when it comes to 'E' v.s. 'M'. It's almost like labeling a game.

Maybe I'm just ranting. Anyway, I hope I got my point across to anyone that needed it. And if it wasn't clear; stand up for what you believe in. Tell your friends, family, or whomever it may be that criticizes you that the games you play don't reflect your maturity.Be passionate about what you play. I really hope that helps people. :)

On my final note, I MIGHT be going to PAX East in late April! I'm really excited, and I'll be sure to bring you more news as it comes...

See you in the Spiral!