Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another Ring on the Pet Tree of Life

I was helping my friend try out Wizard101 the other day, moving some gear from other characters into the shared bank for her, when I started thinking about pets. It's really nice to have a powerful, stats enhanced, spritely every other minute kind of pet when you're playing as a level 3 in Unicorn Way. As I moved a pet into the shared bank for her it struck me how my love for all things Red Gobbler has permeated its way into my real life friends' and family's accounts. We really do have gobblers coming out of our ears. It's time that I clean up some of the more disastrous failed hatches, and just get over it and delete them already.
So as I was looking for pockets of gobblers scattered around a dozen shared banks and attics, I noticed how many different types of pets we actually had. From Aqua Dragons to Zombies, I counted them up, spread over my wizards I had over 135 different types of pets. That's a huge number! Particularly since I have multiples of most of those. But what I think is even cooler is that the pets I've collected are like the rings on a tree.

They span across the four years (my wizaversary was in March) I've played and tell the story of my relationship with Wizard101. I still have the my very first pet ever. It is a Unicorn pet named Queen Ellie. Actually the reason I decided to try Wizard101 was because you could have a UNICORN PET. Hello! That's awesome. Then there is the Krok pet Lord Winston I had for most of Krokotopia until I got my very first pet drop, Evil Snowman, in Marleybone. I recalled the hours I had farmed with friends (lots of them don't even play anymore) and the great times we had. This is taking a schmaltzy turn-- my point is, that I don't see some of the freaking awesome pets around anymore. Needless to say this makes me sad. So I encourage you-- yes you! To think about playing with some of the 'old school' pets. I mean, who doesn't want an epic SPUDF Ianthine Spectre, or Mustard Troll? Hmmm? Crazy people that's who!

You officially have my permission to ask your friends, random people, and me if they have any old school pets they'd be willing to hatch with. I also am totally willing to help out anyone who asks with some hatching assistance. Leave me a comment, or better yet sent me a tweet (@HeatherRavenWiz) and we can hopefully find a time and pet to hatch.

For you people who already have your Mega Death Cyclops. I virtually high-five you. You are awesome.

What's your favorite pet that you consider 'old school'?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Life and Times of an Ice Wizard

Lately I have been working on my ice wizard Darby. It's seasonal. Every year around this time I have the distinctive urge to dress up an ice wizard in pretty clothes and smash things with Frost Giant. So every year at this time I move Darby forward. She's been idling at 34 for months now, so I took her up to 35 to get a new outfit, and then pushed on to 38 so she could get her ice blade. Finally. It's really hard to function without a blade. Especially for an ice wizard. 
Along the way we experienced some... uh. Technical difficulties.

And the plant that would not die. (I planted this for Paige's Best Little Dorm contest in the summer!)

Then we finally got the call from Lydia.

And she got her blade. I kissed the computer screen.

Oh and an ice desk. Yay.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday, Or Else

Another year, another Black Friday. We're reporting on some of the scenes to be found around the spiral today as shopping madness ensues. Some wizards have resorted to near violent measures in order to obtain a deal. Incidences have included pyromancy, pets eating wears, and several bone dragon stampedes have also been reported.
We recommend shoppers to stay safe this Black Friday. Wait respectfully, and use the buddy system. Wear something reflective and carry identification.
Happy holiday shopping.
Victoria's Black Friday technique, intimidation. 

The scene outside Toney's Terrier Toys.

Waiting for iBone 6.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Legos and Pirates

Oh Pirate101. How I have mixed feelings for thee. Let me count the ways.
My Pirate101 adventure has been very interesting. I got invited to play during the closed beta and got to around level 18, if I remember correctly, before I had to stop playing for a few reasons. Mostly because I had other commitments as in jobs and school and things. I also had just recently started playing Glitch, which is a very fun game that I enjoy more than any game I've played in the last five years. But I must admit that P101 became a drag after a while. Example:
P101: Go here and defeat more things.
ME: But it takes me 15 minutes just to fly-sail there!
P101: Sorry you have to defeat more things.
ME: I can't I'm almost dead.
P101: Go do it lazy.
ME: Oh boy.
RANDOM PLAYER: *a random player joins your battle*
ME: Noooooooo!
P101: Now defeat five times the bad guys.
ME: *throws computer out window*
Okay that was an over exaggeration. But honestly, P101 felt much more grind-y at a lower level than W101 did. Which is something that doesn't really do anything for me. I'd rather solve puzzles or do something clever than kill a bunch of baddies.

The premise of the game I really like. I think the story is much stronger than that of Wizard101. Which is great. You want to move forward in your sophistication as a developer, right?
Speaking of which I think the graphics are much nicer than W101. I oohed and ahhed when I saw it for the first time. And the puppet shows? Pure genius.

But really gets me about Pirate101 is the contradictory nature of the game. It's pirates, for the family. When you think of it logically, it doesn't make much sense; pirates steal and kill and break many international laws, and "family friendly" indicates that some morals will be upheld and not many people die in horribly brutal ways.
I read an article back while P101 was still in Alpha and they were promoting it, and it said that Kingsisle was attempting to draw in more tween/teen aged boys with this game, as well as bridge the gaming gap for kids ("from Club Penguin to WoW" is something I hear often about this game and W101).
If that truly is their mission, then, from my experience, I think they failed.
One of my best friends is the exact demographic they are trying to pull in with P101. He was the friend that originally got me into W101. He is much more "hardcore" than I am. His reaction to P101 after playing it with me for a while: "Blah." Initially he was impressed because he liked it better than W101, but soon he got really bored. I must note that he has way more patience for grinding than I do. But, now that I think about it, is not saying much.

Something that both of us didn't like was the fundamental set up for gameplay. It's turn based ground. Huh? We both found it very awkward and kinda pointless. We both play Star Trek Online which is truly a "run around and shoot things!" kind of game play. We both felt that would have been more straightforward in P101 than turn based. Also turn based does not do much to "prepare" you for the more traditional style MMOs, because it's such a specialized style of fighting. In the end I felt like they were doing it just to keep their E rating and because they did it in W101 too, and not because it added anything to the game experience.

And then their is the what I like to call, the "cute factor". I must admit when I scrolled through the name list I made a ton of comments such as: "'Helpful'? I don't think that there is such a thing as a 'helpful' pirate. ... 'Kindly'?! The heck?" I also will admit that I yell at the computer screen when I see pink pirates. In fact I do not know why there is even a bright bubble gum pink option for a pirate flag. This must be an error. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pink. In fact my desktop wall paper right now is a plethora of pink nebulae. I love pink. However pink pirates break the roleplay of the game. (Especially because in a historical context the color coding of pink = girls didn't come about until the 1940s. cough cough.)
Aside from that, there is also the fact that all characters end up looking less ARGH! and more like a Rankin-Bass claymation Christmas special.
I'm scared, but for the wrong reasons.
I think that there is a middle ground. One word: Legos. Legos aren't really girly or boyish. They are pretty neutral. Look at the success that the lego franchise has had. Good gravy! I think that we have all the lego Wii games. Actually they're one of the only things that everyone in the family can agree to play together. Well, and Mario Kart. You're laughing. I can tell, but hear me out! Lego can take something like for example Star Wars which was not designed for kids and make it totally harmless for kids while still being true to the spirit of the movies and entertaining. So maybe Kingsisle should start shooting for the "lego ground" to really capture the largest audience as possible. I think that their product would improve.

Today I got to the end of the free-to-play content on P101. I could finish off all the side quests I have laying around in my log and grind for some more nautical xp, but I'm not going to because that sounds dreadfully dull. Thus ends my interesting adventure with Pirate101.


Monday, August 6, 2012


Well my system has gone into game overload.
First Glitch invites came out, and I hopped on that game.
It's super-duper awesome, and I looooooooove it.
This is my house. You can't see the inside because it's a royal mess.
Then the Wizard101 test realm came out with a bunch of new pet stuff. (Note: I will update and continue the hatching series after the new patch because things will slightly shift and I'll want to incorporate that. But the basic notion is still the same! ^-^)
Then everyone is all "PIRATE101 BETAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! OH EM GEEEEEEEEEEEEE". Personally I am adrift in a sea of too much gaming goodness. System overload. Failure to respond. Please shut down windows and try operation again. Please reboot.