Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to be a Better Wizard

For my 101st post, I'd like to discuss something I find very important in this game. Being a good wizard rewards you in ways you may not have thought of. This is how I would like to celebrate 101 posts on my favorite 101 game!

In the past 3 years of playing the game, I've experienced a wealth of different attitudes of players, both good and bad. Playing a game in which many people aren't helpful isn't fun at all. When players get angry for messing up, it discourages others from group play. Wizard101 is about making friends along the journey, not making enemies.

For many of you, this post isn't necessary. Most players are good people with good intentions. Still, it doesn't hurt to take a quick refresher on becoming a better wizard!

Encountering New Players
Being a brand new player for any MMO is usually intimidating, especially if they've never played other MMOs. It takes awhile to figure out how the game works, what's socially acceptable, and that there's usually a wealth of information online. I remember only turning to the internet for guides sometime after level 15, which was at least 5 months after I started playing Wizard101. I wandered blindly through the game for way too long. I wish I had known about the online guides sooner.

Typically, Unicorn Way is filled with two types of wizards: Beginners and well-seasoned PvPers. Often, the beginners ask for help. They try to friend the "high levels" for guidance. Sometimes they get help or friended, but mostly they aren't. I'm guilty of not friending a "low level," but I want to change that.

Act on it
I'd like to encourage all experienced players to take one "low level" under your wing and be their mentor. When they have questions, kindly answer them. Offer to help every now and then! You don't have to necessarily be at their beck and call, unless you have nothing better to do & are willing to.

When I was in Moo Shu, about level 32 or so, someone named Dakota something, a level 50 Balance wizard, friended me. He helped me farm the Jade Oni for the pet, which I was never successful in receiving. He even offered to train and hatch his Jade Oni pet with me! He gave me advice on my gear (I was stubbornly using my Zeus' Bolt of Arbitration instead of the Sky Iron Hasta) and my deck. He really helped me become a better wizard, but he is no longer on my friends list. (If you are out there reading this Dakota something, Balance wizard extraordinaire, who helped me in Moo Shu, thank you!)

Group Play
Nothing can be more frustrating than going into a boss fight with random wizards who don't know the cheats. It's worse when they trigger a cheat that defeats your team. It's also infuriating when a higher level wizard takes the kill when helping a lower level wizard. Playing in a group is rewarding, but if you have a bad attitude no one will respect you. Being a good team player is essential to this game.

Act on it
Whether you like it or not, you're often stuck with a hodgepodge of wizards varying in experience and knowledge. You can be the rude wizard who immediately ports out, or the good wizard who tries to make it work.

When in boss battles or dungeons that practically require outside knowledge, such as the last battle of Waterworks, be prepared for an inexperienced team. If you are able to communicate to them to look up the cheats online, quickly do so before entering the battle. If you aren't able to communicate, adjust your deck for a tough fight. The other wizard(s) will be thankful for the opportunity to complete it. Chances are, if they don't know the cheats, they probably are on the storyline quest rather than farming.
If you're helping a lower level wizard with a tough quest, don't randomly quit on them just because you don't feel like completing it. It's one thing to have to log off because of dinner or to go to bed, but leaving someone that you agreed to help mid-quest is rude. Additionally, don't take control of the quest. Guide the wizard through each part, suggest deck construction, when to hit, and what not to do. Don't take the final kill unless it's okay with the other wizard(s) or defeat is imminent. By helping the wizard, you are teaching them to be self-reliant and more inclined to help others.

The most ideal situation is playing in a group of experienced wizards. The battle or dungeon is done quickly and success rates are high. Sometimes the group pressures a wizard to buff or hit when the wizard wants to do the opposite. I have sometimes found myself buffing storm wizards so much that I don't even get a chance to hit, even when I have great spells that could do the job. I've played roles in battles that I'd rather not. Respect it if someone wants to hit, but also be ready to play a supporting role. Your role in a group isn't permanent! Let people step up/step down. Just try your best to accommodate often.

Common Manners in The Commons
The Commons is a busy place. Wizards of all levels pass through it, chat, or stand idle. A lot of things are said and done, some being good, others are bad. It's pretty common to see a level 17 wizard running around saying, "I need a girl," or a level 6 wizard begging for a hoard pack. This is super annoying to everyone. If you're one of those people, please stop! It's not going to work.

Something I really despise is mid-level players trying to trick low level players into gifting or trading treasure cards. One situation I've seen is the glitch to get into the yard next to the robe shop in the Shopping District, where mid to high level players were only friending people who would trade/gift in order to teleport in. Letting someone in to a free area of the game is ethically not profitable!

The Commons is also a hub for finding help. Wizards of all levels are constantly asking for help. Some even ask for access to housing gauntlets.

Act on it
This game is not about manipulating others. Stop tricking wizards out of there treasure cards or crowns, and if you see it happening, try to stop it. It's absolutely wrong and a low move to con a lower level/oblivious wizard out of their treasure cards or crowns!

If someone is asking for help, and you have nothing better to do, why not lend a hand? If someone wants to use a housing gauntlet that you have, why not temporarily friend them? I remember desperately needing a team for Mount Olympus, and when someone finally offered and got me through the dungeon, I was so excited to have it done! I think it's important to help new wizards so that they stick to the game and enjoy it.

The Antagonist
Some players are just mean. They insult your gear, your school, your deck construction, and even when you duel them in PvP. All they do is complain and antagonize you or others. Perhaps you block them, but they continue to insult others. They go on saying inappropriate things to those around them. You've blocked them by now, but what else do you do?

Act on it
The first thing to deter an antagonist is to ignore them. Don't respond to anything they say, no matter what. Hopefully this makes them leave you alone. Block them for safe measure, and even switch to a quieter realm. If you found that they were insulting others or were being wildly inappropriate, report them with good reason! Be careful, though. Only report them if you know it's obvious that they were harassing you or others. If KingsIsle doesn't find any fault in the reported wizard, they could end up banning you!

An alternative to reporting is simply asking them to stop. However, it will probably make it worse, but at least if you do end up reporting, there's proof that you asked them to stop. If someone is antagonizing you. don't let it get to you. You are a stronger wizard than that!

A Random Act of Kindness
I was once given 60,000 crowns. I didn't know what to do with it, so I bought a new player a crowns wand. I randomly gifted some people packs, and it felt great! If you have extra crowns, gift someone something they want. You could make their life easier! Plus, if everyone randomly gifted, there's a good chance you could be gifted the one thing you were dying for.

If someone needs a good pet to hatch, hatch with them! Your stats could go on to be used for their perfect pet, and then they hatch with someone else. Soon a bunch of people have perfect pets, and possibly some time from then, you hatch with someone you didn't think would be willing to, and they contribute to your perfect pet!

Compliment someone's outfit. Express your amazement over their beautiful house. Even comment on how nice/helpful they've been! You'll definitely put a smile on their face. You never know, they could be having a terrible day. Little things like compliments really go a long way!

One random act of kindness makes the Spiral a better place. 

If you take away one thing from this post, let it be this: you were once a helpless wizard that sooner or later figured things out. Don't turn a cold shoulder on someone!

Now go out and make the Spiral a better place!

**What kind of behavior have I observed in Wizard City? Check out my brief observation here! This is a great supplementary reading for this post.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Ghulture's Hoard Pack


Die-hard fan of Mirage? Explorer of shifting sands? Loyal member of a faction? If you said yes to any of these questions, look no further! The Ghulture's Hoard Pack has everything you need for an enjoyable desert experience.

This pack is no mirage! Packed with school themed mounts, housing decorations, reagents, treasure cards, and more, there's definitely something for everyone in this pack. Here's a short list of what you can get in this pack.
  • 7 School Themed Ghulture Mounts
  • Worm Larva Pets
  • Ancient Purrzian Armor
  • Purrzian Scimitar Weapon
  • Mirage House Guests
  • Mirage Housing Items
For a near complete list of pack items, visit Stars of the Spiral's guide here.

Notable Items

Ghulture Mounts
If scavenging for morsels of damage is your thing, check out these birds! This pack has seven ghultures to choose from, one for each school. Each school's ghulture has mount colors that correspond with the school. Each mount offers an extra 3% of Fire, Ice, Storm, Death, Life, or Myth damage, or a 2% universal damage on the balance mount. This is very useful to get damage ratings a closer to a target damage rating. It's even more useful to wizards under the level of 15 to begin building their damage. 
Fire, Ice, and Storm Ghulture Mounts
Ancient Purrzian Armor and Purrzian Scimitar
If you want to look like a desert assassin, you may want this pack. The Ancient Purrzian Armor is kind of frightening, and sort of plays into 300's Immortals' look. Stat-wise, the entire set does not stand out. For some, it may fit your playing style. However, if you have too much sand in your shoes, you may want to have a look at the Ancient Purrzian boots. Offering 25% - 29% multiple school damage, these shoes may be the missing part for some sets. 
Worm Larva Pets
To accompany you on your desert wanderings, take a semi-cute worm larva! These little guys have some selfish and useful talents that could be great to add to gene pools. The Sand Worm Larva (Balance) has a 56 pedigree, while the Dark Worm Larva (Ice) has a 69 pedigree. They work great to complete a Mirage-themed outfit or house!


Overall, this pack is an excellent Mirage themed pack. It offers some great things for almost any wizard. I would recommend focusing on obtaining the Ghulture mounts for your wizard's school. 

What's your opinion on the items specifically/generally? Share below!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A New Year

Happy New Year! I am so excited to see what this year has in store! 2016 was a great year for my blog. I've grown so much and have created my own little community. It has been an honor to blog for all of you this past year.


2016 saw great accomplishments for my blog.
  • In the Wizard101 February Newsletter, I received my first mention; and now I am mentioned often
  • I am mentioned often in the Community Newsletter
  • In April, I received the honor of hosting my own event in the Fansite Festival
  • On July 1st, my blog turned a year old! 
  • I have achieved many of my goals since last year
  • Lastly, I believe I have made some great friends, both in blogging/social media and in the game
Not only has my blog accomplished stuff, but also other blogs! I am so excited about the amount of new & active blogs that have surfaced in the past year. I am so proud of all of you who have stuck with it! If there is anyone out there who is reading this and is wondering if they should start a blog, let me be the person to give you a nudge. Blogging has rewarded me with so many things! Give blogging a try. Share your knowledge with the community. Chronicle your journey through the Spiral! It is definitely worth your time.

Plenty of existing blogs hit important milestones this year as well! Congratulations to those bloggers! Interested in what others in the community have to say? Scroll through my blogroll! For an even more extensive list of Spiral Blogs, check out the The Spiral Directory and the original The Wizard101 Directory.

2017 is the year for repetition in my blog. I want to continue doing what I have been doing. Again, I don't think I will be buying my domain for numerous reasons apart from the cost. I will continue doing Spiral History and all other posts. This year is promising in that I am looking to build another solid base for my blog.

This year is for growth. Growth in my blog. Growth in my characters. But it is mostly for growth in who I am. I need to grow in my contributions to this community, but also my contributions in real life. I realize my lack of posting may be disappointing, but I cannot equally pay attention to both this blog, school, sports, getting a job and my considerably low rate of reading books. I am in no way ending the active status of this blog, I am merely informing you of the cause of the shortage of posts. I will try to post at least twice a month and hopefully more when I am not busy.

I hope this year is a great success. I hope my posts get better and even more informative. I hope I can figure out the comment issues with Disqus. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the content that this blog will bring you this year!

Wishing you a successful 2017,
Cheyenne Caster, Nordic Champion

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers and KingsIsle! I hope you all have an amazing holiday! Enjoy this Christmas card from Vaden & I :)


Aren't my editing skills fabulous? Have a great day! See you around the Spiral!

-Cheyenne Caster

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Top 5 Most Interesting Worlds of the Spiral (Wizard101)

Wizard101 worlds are so intriguing. The storyline is complex, the scenery is gorgeous, and the experience is often memorable. I picked 5 worlds with an amazing plot, breathtaking scenery, and unforgettable characters.

5. Zafaria
Having a jungle themed world in the Spiral adds so much character. Its fun atmosphere under a beating hot sun is an excellent combination. The scenery is really pretty. The characters and plot are one of the best in the game.

The world itself is actually pretty uplifting. Despite the semi-dark plot, everything about Zafaria seems happy. The characters don't seem to be at a loss of will. In fact, they are all pretty wise and calm in such a turbulent situation. Zafaria boasts some of the most breathtaking areas in the game. Jungles, savannahs, waterfalls, graveyards, mountains- all thoroughly represented in one world. Zafaria is just so diverse and really fun to play through!


Image via Wizard101.com
Apart from its awesome scenery and story line, Zafaria has some of the coolest cut scenes in the game. It really immerses you in what's going on. My favorite is all the cut scenes in Mirror Lake. It makes the long dungeon seem more interactive and overall worth coming back to.

Even the gear in Zafaria is super cool. The wands, rings, athames, and amulets make you feel like you're actually a tribal leader. (Combined with Azteca gear= Tribal God!) Plus, The Lion King fans would love this world. So what's not to love? Pat on the back to KingsIsle for making an excellent world!

4. Grizzleheim (and Wintertusk)
I may be a little biased, but Grizzleheim is super interesting. Viking culture and mythology is presented in a unique way. The scenery is as refreshing as the music in the background.

Grizzleheim is a beautiful world. The airy forests, the flowing streams, the towering glaciers- all breathtaking.  I think it even sports the best waterfalls in the game! There's just something about each part of Grizzleheim that is gorgeous. I really like Vigrid Roughland, Nidavellir, and Vestrilund. Nidavellir is so intricate and I wish there was more to that part of Grizzleheim. It kind of feels a little homey.

You can often see a great representation of Viking life in Grizzleheim. From camps and shop owners to warriors and fisherman, the game immerses you into a Nordic lifestyle. It's too bad Grizzleheim is a side world and isn't as a developed story as others are.

Wintertusk has the best music in the game. It's soothing and sounds like a musical score for a major motion picture. I think each one perfectly captures the mood of it's corresponding area. I love listening to Wintertusk music whenever I need to focus. My favorites are Nordrilund and Austrilund music. KingsIsle (Nick Jonas) did an incredible job on it!

3. Marleybone
Marleybone is a world that everyone has either mixed feelings about or compete hatred for. It was likely the first world to begin making people quit the game. It was frustrating, hard, and long. But despite all these negatives, it's actually a very interesting world.

If you remember one thing from Marleybone, it's probably all the battles you got pulled into while on the rooftops. It seemed like you couldn't even travel 5 seconds to get a health wisp before getting pulled in. (5 Seconds of Freedom, am I right?) However, it was cool to be on top of the buildings, instead of walking past them. Our wizards fought a gang...and won. That alone is pretty impressive.



What I really enjoyed is the night time city feel. If you think about it, your wizard literally had a night life while playing through Marleybone. The fact that there's a modern world in the Spiral makes the game a little more relatable. Not to mention, the sky is so so so gorgeous. Marleybone even has tasteful outfits to go along with such a sophisticated atmosphere.

Even cooler yet was all the real life places, such as Barkingham Palace. Meeting the Queen was an excellent experience! The Royal Museum is so interesting that I wish it was more interactive, just like a real museum.

2. Aquila
Yes, it's technically an expansion dungeon zone, not a world. Aquila feels like its own world, though. Everything about it is so cool! It's a Greek themed world with a ton of references to mythology. In fact, the whole thing is basically interactive mythology.

The Greek theme is just so awesome. It's so cool to play with and against The Olympians in such iconic locations. Mount Olympus was pretty, but Tartarus was intricately detailed. Playing through the domains of the Big Three has got to be one of the most memorable experiences in the game!


The zone is so awesome to look at! It's unique, attractive and picturesque all in a small area. I really wish it was its own world, because there's so much to work with. (Pirate101 did a great job doing that.) Everything about Aquila is resplendent. It's truly astounding experience to play and explore through Aquila.

1. Avalon
Avalon is just one of those worlds that is all around magnificent. The plot, frequently referencing the tales of King Arthur and Camelot, is really interesting. Many of the NPCs, creatures, and locations reference these stories.


The world itself is gorgeous. The Wyrd is my favorite area. The Wild, Dun Dara, and Tomb of the Nameless all connect there. Everything is a little dark, but it's beautiful in its own way. On the happier side of town, the music for Abbey Road is awesome! Caer Lyon and Keep of Ganelon is really fun to explore. Lakeshore, though raining all the time, is also awesome. Avalon is a really cool world to simply explore.

The NPCs and creatures are very interesting. Many of them are warriors trying to regain lost honor. I think it is actually humbling for our wizards to get to help King Artorius. One of the interesting things I found is that Uther Pendragon (King Arthur's father) is portrayed as the Pendragon, a tough boss to beat.

Honorable Mentions
Azteca
Krokotopia
Polaris

What's your top 5 most interesting worlds of the Spiral? Do you agree or disagree with mine?

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Mirage Raider's Bundle

The shifting sands of Mirage can be quite fatiguing. Not all wizards can handle walking in a scorching desert. Luckily, Wizard101's newest bundle can help you conquer Mirage quickly!

Introducing the Mirage Raider's Bundle for Wizard101! This bundle is available at GameStop for $39. Along with tons of cool items, you can get your choice of 1 month of membership or 5,000 crowns. Click here to find a GameStop location near you.

Level 120 Gear is now available for your wizard to redeem.

Mirage Raider's Bundle
The Mirage Raider's Bundle includes:
  • Nomad Camp house
  • Desert Racer mount
  • Sultan's Monkey pet
  • Mirage Dunerunner's Gear
  • Desert Lodestar Staff
  • 1 month or 5,000 crowns
  • Additional Castle Elixir
Nomad Camp house
The Nomad Camp house is beautifully designed. It truly feels like you are living in a desert. If you
Image from Duelist101
like fishing, you're in luck because this house has fish in it! You can catch Bone Fish, Chameleon Fish, Fall Foliage Fish, Pharaohmari, Qismah Doodlefish, and Sun Ray in this house. The house also has a PvP practice arena and merchants to get daily rewards from.



Desert Racer mount
The Desert Racer mount is a single person mount. It gives a normal speed boost. It's very unique and powerful-looking in appearance. I personally think the color scheme is kind of cool. It looks like Wizard101's take of a Griffin, but it could be something else.

Sultan's Monkey
The Sultan's Monkey pet is a 64 pedigree Balance pet. It takes 5 minutes to hatch, and can be received from a hatch. Its talents are great for adding to a talent pool. The Sultan's Monkey has a talent for each school, and does not have any selfish talents. See Wizard101 Central for more details.

Gear
Mirage Dunerunner's Gear and Desert Lodestar have stats that are typical of any other bundle. The gear could be used as temporary items until a better piece can be used. The robe, however, has plenty of health, resist, and block, making it a potential rival to Jade gear. The Desert Lodestar staff is gorgeous. Though it's stats aren't particularly great, plenty of great outfits can be based off it. This wand is worth stitching.


Overall. I think this bundle is super cool, especially if your favorite world is Mirage. The gear is great as a filler or supplementary piece, and the pet can act as a source of talents for breeders. This bundle seems like it can pay for itself through fishing and rewards.

What do you think of the bundle? 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mirage Test Realm 2016

After about a month of teasers, the Mirage Test Realm is now up! A new world, new stats, new quests, new hobbies, and so much more is jam packed into this update! 

Mirage

Step into Mirage, a world of shifting sands and shifting allegiances, where ancient treasures and ancient dangers were buried in the hope they might never again see the light of day.

Explore vast dune deserts punctuated by treacherous canyons and jungle rifts where the ancient House Qhats have retreated into their garden sanctuaries, abandoning the Dromel nomads to the wastes above and the ravages of the Winds of Change.

Walk the streets of Aggrobah, the so-called City of Thieves, where a charming but ineffective King has allowed crime lords like the notorious Ali Baboon to run amok.

Negotiate with mysterious Djinn to build an alliance between the world’s warring factions.

Battle alongside the ancient order of the Chronomancers who maintain the sacred Sands of Time.

Meet a cast of eccentric characters. Join them, and your friends, to expose the machinations of Grandfather Spider and his shadowy minions before their dark schemes lead to a catastrophic conclusion.

Level Up!
When Mirage goes live, the new level cap will be 120! Along with the level cap increase, wizards level 111-120 will be able to have a maximum of 475,000 gold! Level 120 PvP gear and henchmen are also now available.

Players who complete the quest "Trial of the Understudy" will own a brand new apartment in the Arcanum! This 2-tiered castle comes with an additional castle elixir, so even if you have 3 or more houses, you can still equip it!

Level 118 Spells
If you are level 118, be sure to finish the quest "History of the Cabal" to gain access to your new spell! These new spells introduce a new spell concept: divide damage! Simply select the spell, then click on the targets you wish to hit. Choose 1,2,3, or 4!

  • Fire: Scorching Scimitars
  • Ice: Climaclysm
  • Storm: Iron Sultan
  • Balance: Sand Worm
  • Life: Llamasu
  • Death: Qismah's Curse
  • Myth: Snake Charmer

Legendary Weapons
If you’ve completed the quest “Gemstone Secrets” from Polaris and “Stop! HammerTail” from Khrysalis and are currently a Promethean Crafter, you’ll gain a new quest from Librarian Fitzhume to discuss the Forge of Legends in the Arcanum with Ignus Ferric. Ignus will then sell you recipes so you can begin crafting Legendary Weapons.

Faction Vendors
There are new “faction” vendors in Mirage. This is a new type of vendor who only sells you items when you unlock a special badge associated with them. When you encounter these vendors throughout Mirage, do not be surprised when they offer you a quest to get you started. Unique (and hard-earned) treasures can be purchased from them when you earn a faction vendor’s respect!
You can even purchase a new apartment from a faction vendor. The apartment exits to your faction’s area of Mirage. (Remember, unlike your dorm room or Arcanum apartment, you will need to purchase an additional Castle Elixir if your housing limit is at max and you would like to purchase a new apartment from your faction’s vendor.)


Castle Magic
Ready to take castle decorating to a whole new level? To get started, head over to Regents Square in Marleybone and find Babbage Basset. Start the quest "Strange Charms" and begin your adventure learning castle magic with your Castle Magic Help Tome. After you have been well trained, you will be able to buy Castle Magic items from Babbage, such as treasure cards!

You'll be able to make items appear, animate, and react to your visitor's actions and locations. The creativity is endless! You can even make puzzles similar to those in early Wizard101 dungeons!

Pip Conversion
The newest stat in Wizard101 is pip conversion. This stat is found on amulets, decks, and wands from Mirage! This passive statistic can turn single pips into power pips or refund a pip back!

The first way to get a pip is by casting a spell that uses more pips then the actual value. For example, casting Phoenix, a 5 pip spell, requires 3 power pips, which is equivalent to 6 pips. Pip Conversion will occasionally refund a single pip back to you.

The second way is to get a power pip through a fully stacked 7 pip count. Again, pip conversion will occasionally replace a single pip with a power pip. It is based on your highest pip conversion stat. The higher the stat, the higher the chance.

No Spoilers!
KingsIsle will be withholding the final encounter in Mirage on the Test Realm until the time is right!

What is your favorite part about this update? Do you like Mirage?