Monday, May 30, 2016

How Dark is Darkmoor Manor?

Darkmoor Manor is the newest house on the block in Wizard101. Its super spooky and really eerie. The bundle itself (The Witch Hunter's Bundle) is very interesting and worth taking a look at. Swordroll's Blog takes an in-depth look at the bundle.

The house itself is very creepy. There's many places for monsters to lurk, and plenty of shadows and bats. The house gives an overall cemetery atmosphere. As you take a look at the house, you may stumble upon something very, very dark, and borderline inappropriate for a family MMO. The Darkmoor Manor features one lone noose, eerily swinging in the wind.

Naturally, this caused major backlash through out the community, and for good reason. KingsIsle claims to be a family-oriented  MMO, yet they included a very disturbing method of death. This isn't very appropriate for a family-friendly game, and KingsIsle shouldn't have added it.

At the same token, Wizard101's rating is E-10+ and claims that it includes mild cartoon violence. A parent would be able to infer that something like this may be in the game. After all, parents that are worried about their kids would be the ones in the most disapproval of it, and assuming they made this inference, probably aren't letting their child play the game.

However, this edgy addition doesn't have any other items nearby that could make it worse. The noose's location is very subtle and high up, making for it to be hard to notice. There is no bucket or stand, no corpse, bag, criminal or witch in close proximity to suggest that you are at a hanging. Also, the house, by context, is for a witch hunter. This is reference to the Salem Witch Trials, which killed almost all of the accused by hanging.

Although it isn't appropriate for young children, it is not entirely bad. Many of you have probably played Hangman, learned about the Salem Witch Trials, lynch mobs, and other scenarios of the involvement of the noose.

In my opinion, the noose is very edgy. There could be far worse things added, and it's not really appropriate. I feel it's a questionable addition that would have been better off not added.

What is your opinion? Should KingsIsle have left it out?

Special thanks to Aaron Lionhunter for the post idea and Iridian Willowglen for getting me into the house!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Raise a Wand, Wizards

I am writing this post in response to Spiral Radio's post on Leala.

It is truly saddening to see so many important people leave KingsIsle due to lay-offs. We've had close relationships with many of them, so much so that their new absence will be felt immediately. They have done so much for us in the past few years that it's impossible to list.

Though I never had a close relationship with any particular KingsIsle employee, I miss them already. Leala was such an incredible community member. She always was there to answer our questions- both the easy and the tough. She was an excellent mediator between angered fans and frantic designers. I was always impressed by her calm approach to everything and her great sense of humor.

Among other employees, #JuliaFromKI will also be missed greatly. She was an energetic and sweet person to have on  KI Live, which will never be the same with out them.

All of the employees leaving should know that the whole community is behind you. You have touched the lives of millions of people, and even changed some. You given us new perspectives, knowledge, and inspired us to conquer our goals. We hope that this ending will bring you better beginnings!

If you haven't already, tweet #StayStrongKI along with any messages you want to say to the employees.

Thank You to all the employees leaving today. You have changed us all for the better.

Stay Strong, KI. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Level Up Fast

Maybe you're a max wizard starting a new wizard, or you're trying to take advantage of the new Daily Assignment rewards. Regardless, you probably want your *new wizard to level up as fast as possible. Here are a few ways to level up with out a membership!

Quick Tips
First, if you are willing, grab a Major XP Boost Elixir. For 1 Hour, you get 10% more XP for 500 crowns. If you are going to add this to your strategy, try to use it when you know you will be getting quests with high xp. Though this will help quicken leveling, I wouldn't recommend spending the crowns.

Second, keep in mind how xp is rewarded by battle. Each pip spell cast or attempted equals xp. To find out how much xp is awarded by spell, simply multiply by three the pip count. For example, casting Fire Elf (2 pips) equals 6 xp. Zero pip spells equal 3 xp, and "x" pip spells can be calculated by how much pips it costed to cast the spell. For example, and 5 pip Judgement will give you 15 xp.

Side Quests
There are a lot of side quests to do in Wizard City that are in free zones. You should try to complete as many as possible, including book quests, crafting, and planting, as well as the PvP tutorials. This method is rather tedious and will take longer than other methods, but with the help of questing buddies it's much faster.

If you have some crowns, it wouldn't hurt to buy all or some of the premium zones. This gives you access to more side quests and a refreshing change of scenery. Plus, if you have a higher level wizard they can get unlimited access to Aquila.
**Don't forget to do as much main quests as possible. Just because there's other quests to do does not mean you should stop doing storyline quests.

Housing Instances
The great thing about housing instances is most of them are accessible through housing tours. A lot of the popular houses have Winterbane or Pagoda. Taking your wizard through these will not level them up in one run, but will substantially add xp to your bar. Keep in mind that the xp rewarded and the tier of difficulty is determined by the lowest level wizard that enters the dungeon. As a bonus, they usually drop useful items and come with a cool badge for completing them.

Don't be afraid to ask friends if they have crowns dungeons. Many would love to have someone do it with them, but not necessarily an extremely low level wizard. Don't be discouraged by this. Try to bring something unique to the table that is useful to a team.

Daily Assignments
The beginning quests of Daily Assignments are another source of xp. It is easy to do, and some quests stay in Wizard City. You can earn really nice rewards, including arena tickets, gold, and crowns.

Event Quests
Every now and then, Wizard101 releases an event or two to do in a short amount of time. Examples include The Lost Pages, The 5 B.O.X.E.S, and Hallowe'en. They are all very fun and rewarding, both in xp and and rewards.

Repeat Dungeons & Bosses
Though repeating a dungeon will lower the xp reward of completion each time, it's still a reliable way to earn xp. Bosses enable you to draw out the battle, adding more xp per spell attempted to cast. Longer battles with a lot of attempted spells reward high xp plus gold.

What do you do to earn xp fast? Let me know in the comments!

*This post was intended for Free to Play members starting a brand new wizard.