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. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hatching 102

So now you know how to hatch a pet. Easy right? So now you can take it to the next level and start building a pet with stats on it that you want.

First, you have to pick a pet. This may sound easy, but I find it's more difficult than it seems. Do you want a cute pet? How about a pet that gives you a myth blade card? Or do you really want a pet that will give you a healing card like Satyr? You have to pick one. Just one. Pick some pet that you reaaaaaaally like, because you'll be working with it for a while. For me it was a Red Gobbler pet. They are so adorable. A little fidgety ball of goodness. Tip: most crowns shop pets have a hatching timer of only 5 minutes, which means you can start training right away. Other pets have hatching timers of 18 hours or longer! Choose your pet wisely!

Second, stats: there are many different stats (you can find the biggest catalogue here at Petnome), one pet can only manifest 4 out of 10 talents.  So you have to decide which 4 talents you would like in the perfect world, best case scenario. That is what you will shoot for. Let me give you a couple of examples:
This is my friend Jeremy's pet. It's what's commonly called a "SPUD" pet. It has general resistance (this version has 15%) and two healing moves that will randomly heal you in a fight. I call this pet of win. 
Here's another example. This pet belongs to some dude I kept seeing in the hatchery a while back. This is a completely different kind of pet than a SPUD pet. It's much more specific, because to be able to get the full benefit you'd have to be a storm wizard, and it has no healing or other "may cast" abilities. I call this pet of owwwwwww.

If you're now drowning in all the possible awesome pet combinations, and have no idea what to pick, fear not. I recommend taking a look at what other people like in their pets. If you're an ice wizard, and you want a really wicked ice pet, take a look at what other high level wizards have on their pets. Good pet viewing places are the Arena lobby, and the Hatchery. I recommend looking at epic pets, because generally they have the stats the person was looking for. Take a picture if you have trouble remembering like me. 
If you still have no idea what you want, or now you have too many ideas, go for a SPUD pet. They are a good middle ground pet. 

Decided on something? Good. Now we can get into the mechanics of how to get that. My friend used the metaphor of "mixing paint" when he explained it to me, and I think that captures the process pretty well.
Okay here is a simplified example:
You love your Stray Piggle (I said it was an example!). You really want to have spritely on your Piggle. Your friend's Mander pet has spritely. I know what you're thinking. Mander pets are lame huh? Well what if the mander looked like THIS! 

Ahem. So you hatch these two pets together.

What pet you get from this hatch will matter.

If you get a mander, you'll be getting a mander with slightly more "meh" talents.
Like this:
 Or this:

 And we're building a super pet! We're not going to settle for "meh"! Besides, you like piggles. You want a piggle. 
So if you get a Mander you're going to toss it, and rehatch as many times as it takes to get a piggle.

Okay now you've got a piggle that has more mander-like talents. This is what you want. So you'll raise this piggle up to adult. Chances are this piggle is not going to get spritely. The odds are too low. This 2nd generation piggle still has too many "meh" talents and not enough awesome mander talents. (If you're pet does get spritely on the first go around, be happy in the thought that you are blessed with more luck than a leprechaun sitting on a horseshoe, holding a rabbit's foot that is clutching a four-leaf clover.)

Okay, so if you're normal like the rest of us, and you didn't get spritely on your first try, take your failed piggle and hatch again with your friend's mander. This keeps introducing the mander's awesome talents into your piggle, thereby increasing the chances that you'll actually manifest spritely. Simply, every piggle you get, you hatch to back to the original mander. This concentrates things; if you threw in a random Firecat you don't know what talents are being pushed aside to make room for the firecat's talents, the spritely that you're trying to get might be lost!

Essentially that is hatching. You repeat the process until you get spritely to appear and then dance around in little circles for joy.  

To be continued...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hatching 101

Today is a red letter day. I finally got a working SPUD (Spritely, spell Proof, may cast Unicorn, spell Defying) pet.
So today it seems appropriate to explain a how hatching works, and how to make it work for you.
But before you can go running off looking to create a super pet, you've got to know how to hatch. This may seem like a "duh" thing to say, but hey! if you don't know, you just don't know!
So, hatching. Before you can hatch a pet with anyone, you need to have an adult pet. You can get your pet to adult by playing minigames in the pet pavilion.

Once you get your pet to adult, you can go over to the pet hatchery, and hatch a pet! You'll need to find another adult pet to hatch with, this can be one of your own pets, or it could be a friend's.
To hatch you can just step on a sigil, to enter the hatching screen.

This is the hatching selection screen
 You can hatch with any two pets, adult or older. The hatcher will automatically pick the pet you have equipped first, and you can cycle through the other adult pets you have in your backpack using the arrows above your pet. When you decide which pets you want to hatch, just click the hatch button and you'll create and egg!

If you don't have enough gold to hatch a pet the hatcher will tell you. It will also tell you how much you will need for any particular combination of pets (circled in red). Prices vary, and depend on the pets' pedigree (circled in blue). The higher the number, the more it costs.

Once you have enough gold and make your selection, you will get an egg. All eggs have a countdown timer. After the timer expires, the egg will hatch into a pet which you can equip and use. 

Now you have a new pet ready to equip and follow you in all your adventures and you're on the way to building your own custom super pet. 

To be continued...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hey, Where's Heather?

I can imagine walking down the streets of the spiral and bumping into one of my old friends. They say to me "Heather! Where have you been all this time?" And would say "well..." and probably break into some Phineas and Ferb style musical backstory review.
Well I decided not to try my hand at writing, directing, and animating a clip for you so I'll just tell you. I've been right here. Under the surface. It's like I've been in the conductive zone of the sun, just wandering around bouncing from one thing to another while slowly building up enough energy to write.
And I have decided it's good to write. Not just in 140 characters on twitter, or in long private conversations with friends, but on ye olde blog.
So, back to the story. Well mostly I have been leveling, I mentioned Heather got to level 80 right? Well she did that. And then I got her through the rest of Avalon. Then my friends helped me get One-In-A-Million, which I missed because my internet went down the instant I cast the spell. Apparently I made it because I have the badge. Yup.
Ooh she looks so tough.

Then I took my storm wizard, Kestrel, all the way through Avalon. So she's level 80 and all powerful.
Kestrel's new giant paper weight.

Then I kind of kicked around, without any particular motivation. All of my wizards were stuck in annoying areas (take my death, Lenora, for example. She gets to pick between Grizzlehiem and Celestia. Bleh!). So I turned to Star Trek Online (STO). I like STO but I kind of have no idea how anything works, so I push all of the buttons I can and hope I get shiny stuff. That's about it.
Me bossing around my Science officer Zog.
Me looking like I actually have control of this ship.
Hopefully I'm back into the swing of things. Hopefully my new strange beast will get spritely at epic and be Heather's first SPUD pet. Hopefully I won't blow up my starship. Again.


Friday, July 6, 2012


Player versus Player. Ah those three little words that happen to cause so much grief and controversy. I used to be one of those "Why the heckhound would I ever do PvP" kind of people. But I have gotten more and more involved as most of you know. I play on a PvP team and I also am a Commander in 1v1 (although I must admit to being mostly motivated by the shiny robe). And when I'm playing with my friends or I'm playing against someone who is really good at the game and keeps me on my toes in an engaging battle, I really have a good time.

And then there is the other 80% of the time. It's full of name calling, and taunting, and uncreative strategies like blade stacking or spamming. It gets so frustrating that I find myself yelling insults at the screen that I wouldn't use if that person was playing me at chess or some other strategy based game. I also felt really so down after being beaten by blade stackers a few times in a row that I considered going out and grabbing a bunch of treasure card blades or only playing on my Myth wizard with a TON of earthquakes. But then I thought to myself, "No". Because that's not how I want to play the game. What I enjoy isn't just winning, it's playing a good match.
I also enjoy good sportsmanship. Which unfortunately is why I tend to keep my mouth closed most of the time. I also don't say "GG" every game, because often it isn't true. If you're calling me a noob or you're spamming me or blade stacking, or just being really obnoxious it wasn't a good game. I understand that saying "good game" is a polite gesture, but a polite gesture becomes an empty gesture when it has no meaning.

I encourage everyone to try PvP and to try new strategies. Find some friends to do it with you. Go to someone's house. Get a theme (but holidays are already taken, so sorry ^_~). Play with a odd assortment of schools. Say "this couldn't possibly work!" then go ahead and try anyways. Go for the original, not just the sure fire, because then you'll appreciate the true satisfaction of playing and winning. 

Good luck, and may the force be with you.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The livin' is easy.
Alts get leveled and the castle finally gets that new wallpaper you've been meaning to put up.
I plan on lots of PvP time with friends.

Finally leveling up some characters that haven't increased in level since *cough* Celestia *cough*.

Oh and those castles, they are getting finished. All the way finished. I plan on hosting a party too. So it better get finished.

What are your plans for your wizards this summer?


P.S. I plan on loudly playing "La Bamba" and "Misirlou" ad nauseum. To me, that's what summer sounds like. In the words of Rhino: "Let it begiiiiiiiiiin!"

Friday, June 22, 2012


I have opened up the blog to advertisements from select companies. They are at the bottom of the blog, please take a moment to look and support our new sponsors. 
The Wandering Conjurer is sponsored by:
Holiday Vendors Consolidated
The FireGlobe Theatre
Dragonspyre Tourism Council
Marleybone Tours Inc.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Found: One fish. Unknown species. Unknown origin. Unknown singing abilities. 
If owner, please come to the Cave of the Winter Wyrm in The Wild, Avalon, the Spiral. Bring a pickaxe. Reward payable in full to Kestrel Ashblade and Jeremy Frostcaller. Do not disturb the Winter Wyrm.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I've been catching up with my wizardly duties.
First I finished Avalon with Elijah and Ms. Dreamflower.
Then I spent 6 hours hanging out with John. We got really silly (as we do when left unsupervised). Then we went and did a million hit on General Greystone.
Thanks to John and Rylee!

I've been spending a lot of time lately hanging out in the Bazaar and the Hatchery. Those are the best places for outfit watching. All of that outfit hunting has prompted me to revive the street style project. I've revised the format, and now it's more shiny. Shiny is good.
A little slideshow for your view pleasure, the theme -- holiday items. 

Click to move the slideshow forward.
I also got a reader submission: This is from Edward Strongfist! 
Thanks Edward!

If you want to see more you can click over to the Street Style page:
Click this way!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Times They are A-Changin': the community speaks

I have often spoken on the evils of the hoard packs. I spoke about the dragon's hoard and the wyvern's hoard, I spoke out against the nightmare pack, and then later about the kirin's hoard pack and pack-a-palooza. Well yesterday a new pack came out. The "Hoard of the Hydra" pack.
I'm not going to go through it all again, I've already said what I needed to say about the evil packs of evil. I'll just add that I found it disappointing to have such a junky lame pack (akin to the dragon pack of yore) after the really quite nice Emperor's Attic Pack, where most of the items were okay and auctionable (!).
 But it seems that people are starting to get really tired of the packs, not just me. The community is starting to speak out, so I'll let them do the talking:

@WizKathLight said: Wow. That new wand is just... wow. I am not amused. I something is THAT OP for PvP, and even PvE now, it shouldn't be pack-only.Wow. I love packs. The MooShu pack was great - fluff items, for fun. No game changing stats, just fun and play. This gear goes too far for me. I try to keep this feed positive, but I believe I will be taking a break from W101. I feel anger & disgust just thinking about the game now.
Please note that Katherine is a hardcore player and a member of the Merc4Hire team, and also one of the nicest canadian wizardesses I know. The chips are down people!

@KelseyFireheart said: I spent 30,000 crowns which made it 75 packs and no mount. #HydraPack #NotCool

The video makers have also thrown their hats in:

To me it's clear. The attitude towards these packs is shifting. I will be very interested to see what KI does to address this situation, if anything.
Be sure to contribute your feedback to KI, and to do so in a creative way (come up with new suggestions), often I see this making an impact in the game.
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION! Oh okay. That was too much wasn't it? Probably.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

It's Just a Model

Still having more fun in Avalon. Here's some pictures from my travels: 
A crushing blow to the Jabberwock

A glitch that I keep running into, but rather like

Me and my camel, Abu

I happened to get a Raven pet
 I was able to get my Basilisk pet a level early. Ooh. Glitchy. So I reported it as a bug (and if you can get your level 78 pet you should do the same). But now I'm level 78... so... 
 This sword I thought was pretty decent! I got it from the Winter Wyrm in the Wild.

You know, I can't help but sing this song every time I go and talk to Queen Gwendolyn and company out in the knight's hall. 
Our command performance

Haha! Yes! Another song from Abbey Road! Muahahaha!
I will never run out of songs from this album!!!
*evil cackle*