Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wizard101's 9th Birthday

The 9th Birthday of Wizard101 is upon us! To celebrate, KingsIsle is really stepping up the festivities with decorations, giveaways, birthday-themed items, events, and so much more!

Birthday Giveaway
For their 9th Birthday, Wizard101 is giving you these 9 fantastic gifts:
    • NEW Sparkler Wand
    • 1 Professor’s Hoard Pack
    • 1 Rockhammer Jewel Pack
    • 1 Energy Elixir
    • 1 Hambrosia Pet Snack
    • 1 Birthday Snack Pack
    • 1 Birthday Gala Gazebo
    • 1 Confetti Cannon
    • 1 Birthday Hat
To redeem the free items, use the code “burstingwithfun” before the giveaway ends on Sunday, October 1st at 11:59 pm, 2017.

What's New
The newest mount is here: The Birthday Balloons mount! This mount costs 3750 crowns.

What's Returning
  • Member Benefits (through September 5th)
    • Double Pet Experience
    •  Double Gardening Rewards
    • Bonus on Daily Assignments and Daily PvP Assignments
    • Double Animus and Monstrology experience 
    • Free Training Point Respec
  • Returning Crown Shop Items
    • Gobbler Mount
    • 8th Anniversary Gobbler Cake
    • Party Corgi Pet
    • Grandpa Piggle Pet
    • Reg. Keeper Party Multi-Tank Aquarium
    • Party Chair Housing Item
    • Party Buffet Table Housing Item
    • Birthday Snack Pack

  • Lost Pages & Five B.O.X.E.S. Events (through September 5th)
  • Birthday Mystery Fish (through October 1st)
Save the Date!
A special birthday KingsIsle Live will take place on September 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM Central time! KingsIsle Community Managers play and discuss KingsIsle games, answer questions, and give away cool prizes! If you would like to watch the livestream, use this link to watch during the event!

Happy 9th Birthday, Wizard101!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Fantastic Voyage Gauntlet

The newest bundle in Wizard101 is the Fantastic Voyage Gauntlet! This gauntlet provides players with a great four part dueling experience and an exclusive fishing voyage. Jock Coosto assists your wizard through this grand Celestia-themed voyage! The Fantastic Voyage Gauntlet is available at Walmart for $39. If you are having trouble locating this card, check KingsIsle's list of locations!

What's Included
- Fantastic Voyage Expedition

- Shark Skirunner Mount

- Peppy Porpoise Pet

- Abyssal Warrior's Suit

- Abyssal Eel Whip

- 1 Month of Membership or 5,000 Crowns

Fantastic Voyage Expedition
This challenging four battle dungeon is not for the faint-of-heart. The first three battles are simple enough, but the final battle culminates in an extremely tough cheating boss! When you finish the gauntlet, you get a free +33% Fishing Luck Elixir and access to Data Atoll, the fishing island. You can access this island with out doing the quest, but you'll have to successfully complete the dungeon once to do so. The unique fish caught is the Microfish.

Shark Skirunner Mount
The Shark Skirunner Mount is a clockwork Celestian contraption built to boost your speed by 50%! This great looking mount will help you get from place to place in a timely manner. It is the second mount to give a speed increase!

Peppy Porpoise Pet
Need some pep in your mundane wizarding life? Magical studies bogging you down? Enter the Peppy Porpoise Pet! This cute little pet starts off with a 69 Pedigree and a Lifespear card at Baby. If you can't buy the gauntlet, you can hatch it in the Hatchery.

Abyssal Warrior's Suit & Abyssal Eel Whip
This unique set of gear provides a hodgepodge of stat boosts. As with previous bundle gear, I recommend using the gear for supplementary or stand-in use. All the stats are universal. The cards seem very useful.

The Abyssal Eel Whip looks very intimidating, but the stats aren't. I don't think the wand has enough lashing power to really be useful. However, the two May Cast cards, Wild Bolt and Healing Current (casts as Ice), may satisfy some wizards, but the unpredictability and unreliability of May Cast cards aren't worth it in my opinion. This flashy wand would make a great stitch though!

This bundle is really cool! I like the Skark Skirunner Mount and the Peppy Porpoise Pet. I think the expedition-like gauntlet is a neat idea. This is a great bundle with some really cool components, great supplementary gear, and an entertaining experience.

What drops have you been getting from the gauntlet? Have you caught any fishing chests? What did you receive from the chests? Comment below!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Nordic Champion Turns Two!

Nordic Champion is celebrating two years of blogging today! I am so excited to share this great milestone with all of you!

Looking Back
I've come a long way since I began blogging back in 2015. It really feels like it was just last year, not two years ago. I've since grown in my writing and research abilities. The blog hasn't changed too much over the past two years, but that's not a bad thing. I think that my current look stands true to my name, and I love it the way it is!

In the two years of blogging, Cheyenne Caster has gained 21 levels since Level 71. However, she has been a level 92 Promethean Sorcerer for a while. She has been stuck on the first battle in Khrysalis. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to progress since I haven't had a membership in a while.

Within the two years of my blog's existence, Wizard101 has changed so much! In the past two years, we've seen the addition of the "Ultra Summer," Daily Assignments, and Monstrology. Polaris and Mirage were added to the game. Numerous packs, bundles, and other items were created.

What's Next
I would first like to apologize for such a low post rate. School got incredibly time consuming. I was hoping that summer would be better, but it's not looking that way. To top it all off, I have had severe writer's block.
What I am planning on doing is to continue posting once or twice a month. I hope that this relieves a little pressure on me, which in turn will hopefully cure my writer's block. It is entirely possible that I could post more.

I am going to continue what I have been doing: news, guides, and spiral history. I will still do my other posts, but those three are my main areas of focus.

I think that my only goal for this coming year is to make more time to really work on this blog. It really disappoints me when I can't think of something to write about. I want to write!

Special Thanks
I would first like to thank everyone who reads my blog! Whether you've read one post or 10, I appreciate you reading what I have to say. You have all been a great support for the past two years!

The special group of people I would like to thank is all the community leaders, bloggers, and YouTubers. I've interacted with a lot of you and the endless support you have all given me is incredible! You are all amazing people and I appreciate everything you do!

Lastly, I would like to thank KingsIsle for creating the beautiful, complex game that we all love! Without it this blog would not exist. Thank you for all the questions you've answered and all the fun you've given!

Thanks for a great two years everyone! I can't wait to see where this next one takes me!
-Cheyenne Caster, Nordic Champion

Friday, June 30, 2017

Patriotic Sale 2017

Don't miss your chance for limited time festive patriotic items like the new Red Cactus Hopper Pet, and the return of the Soaring Eagle Mount and Patriotic Leprechaun Pet! These items are available for Crowns and are limited time only. This sale ends July 6th, 2017.

Plus the following red, white and blue items are on sale for up to 50% off!

  • Solar Sabercat Mount (Perm)
  • Astral Unicorn Mount (Perm)
    The Red Cactus Hopper is so cute!
  • Roller Blades Mount (Perm)
  • White Stag Mount (Perm)
  • Skyracer Pegasus Mount (Perm)
  • Seraph Wings Mount (Perm)
  • Royal Ibis Pet
  • Cunning Seal Pup Pet
  • Red Panda Pet
  • White Tiger Pet
  • Evil Magma Peas Seed
  • Ice Mastery Amulet
  • Balance Mastery Amulet
  • Myth Mastery Amulet
  • Red Barn Farm
  • Ice House

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Disqus Comments Problem Update

I installed Disqus on my site for easy commenting. Apparently, this is not so. I've had issues in the past with it, and I don't forsee it being resolved any time soon. Disqus is aware of the problem where comments were not syncing with Blogger. Did you know only a small portion of the comments on my blog are visible? I'm so sorry that it's not working. There's no known simple solution.

If you know how to fix this, please email me via the contact form on the right. Sorry about this!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

5 Things To Do When You Don't Have a Membership

Not having a membership in Wizard101 can be really boring. You may be fortunate enough to go to some places that you bought with crowns, but if you're like me, you've only bought a few places. So if you can't explore worlds, what can you do?

5. Castle Tours
If you're bored, head over to Castle Tours! Looking through houses can be really exciting! If you are interested decorating, touring houses is extremely helpful for inspiration. If you aren't the decorating type, there's usually awesome stuff to do in the top rated houses. There might be a PvP duel circle, housing games, gauntlets, fish, and even reward-giving NPCs to talk to! Plus, exploring houses is really awesome. You can get a glimpse of cool gear, pets, mounts, furniture, and even plants!

4. Fishing
Believe it or not, but there are good fish in free-to-play zones. Holiday fish are available all over Wizard City. Numerous recipes call for fish caught in free-to-play zones. Fishing in houses can yield great rewards: some of the chests have items from their respective bundle! Additionally, you can get a lot of gold from selling fish!

3. The Bazaar
The Bazaar offers cool items from around the Spiral! Buy fun items for your house or character. Get items for hard recipes. Sell unwanted items! Sell rare items to make someone's life easier. Offer to trade treasure cards with someone so that they don't have to buy any! Observe cool outfits and pets. Make conversation with others. Just hang out!

2. Earn Crowns
Earning crowns is a great thing to do because it will enable you to go anywhere in the Spiral! Watch videos in game if you are completely out of ideas to do. If you aren't in game, take quizzes to earn crowns.

1. Help New Players
Helping new players in Wizard City can encourage them to continue playing the game! Starting Wizard101 can be complicated for some people. They may not know about online resources. Helping them through Unicorn Way and Triton Avenue can mean the difference between someone continuing with the game and quitting. Some bosses are extremely difficult. Lend your knowledge and talent to someone who needs it!

What do you do when you don't have membership?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Mystery of Dragonspyre, Revisited

A while back, in the early days of my blog, I wrote a post about the culture Dragonspyre was based on. I was so positive I had figured it out! Then Mirage rolled out, and all of a sudden my theory came crashing down. Mirage, though mainly based off of the Middle East, has a location that parallels Constantinople, which contradicts my Byzantine Empire theory. Please read The Mystery of Dragonspyre before continuing to read this post, as I often refer back to it.

Mirage is, with out a doubt, the Middle East. Aquila is Greek, Valencia is Italian, and Polaris is Russian. So where does Dragonspyre fit in all of this?

It's All in the Name
As I always do, I started with looking at the names of the NPCs because they are usually closely related to the culture that is being used. Here is where the names originated:
  • 9 Greek
  • 7 Polish
  • 7 Slavic
  • 5 Hungarian
  • 3 Czechoslovakian
  • 3 Latin
  • 2 Arabic
  • 2 Bulgarian
  • 2 Hebrew
  • 2 Nordic
  • 2 Russian
  • 2 Turkish
  • 2 Ukrainian
  • 1 Croatian
  • 1 English
  • 1 German
  • 1 Jewish
  • 1 Macedonian
  • 1 Muslim
  • 1 Phoenician
  • 1 Serbian
  • 1 Spanish
Slavic Regions
What we see here is an overwhelming amount of Slavic and Greek names. Around 580 AD, Slavs attacked Thrace, Thessalonia, and other areas near Greece. They settled there, but never truly "conquered" the land. Plenty of Dragonspyre's NPCs are Slavic, and all of them have a Slavic/Russian accent. The architecture, however, is Greek or Roman. The ruling empire at the time of the invasion of the Slavs? The Byzantine Empire.

All Mapped Out
To help visualize the cultures represented by the NPCs in-game, I made a map with colors corresponding to the number of names used per country. Please bear with me on this terribly colored in map- I am not that good at this stuff!

Red represents the most used cultures. Orange is the second most used, then yellow, and finally, green. The pink stripes on Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic are also part of the wider group of the seven Slavic names used. The pink area was strictly Slavic.

I partially colored in some of the other countries because they were so far away from the center of things that I didn't want to draw attention elsewhere. Additionally, some countries were unable to be filled in (such as those represented by Arabic and Muslim names) because it wasn't on this map. They are not necessary to prove my point.

What we can gather from this map is that Dragonspyre has deep roots in Eastern Europe.
At this point, I'm sure a lot of you are thinking "Well what about all the Greek and Roman stuff you were talking about in that other post?" The great thing about this is the map helps us visualize the culture. This map best matches, to some extent, the maps of the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. These two empires had roots in Rome, so we still have that Roman influence that is clearly seen in the architecture and dialogue of Dragonspyre.

Map of the Byzantine Empire
Map of the Holy Roman Empire

My homemade map bears a some resemblance between these two. It's very possible Dragonspyre is a cross between these two cultures, but I am going to lean towards my Byzantine Empire theory.

Antiquity of Dragonspyre
The history of Dragonspyre is much like the history of an empire. Here is a short timeline of Dragonspyre history, according to the books from the quest "The Secret History."

  • Dragons rule the sky, striking fear into the hearts of men
  • King Mene and Gavarena, the Queen of the Drakes, meet in secret
    • Gavarena accepts Mene as her rider
    • Men and Drakes join together to overcome the Dragons
  • Age of the Kingdom of Dragonspyre
  • King Mene unites Dragonspyre by moonlight, when Gavarena's flames inspired the most awe
    • The Kingdom of Dragonspyre grows
  • King Jungen dies without an heir to the throne
    • The Century was begins over the right to the throne
  • Kilgor the Magnficent ends the war when he assumes the throne
    • During this time, great advancements in culture, science, and learning are made
  • Rydall the Conqueror unleashes a magical plaque upon his duchy
    • Duke Sebastian fights with the lords of Dragonspyre for the knowledge of the cure
      • Because of his bravery, Dragonspyre Academy is founded for the children of Dragonspyre
  • Aldared the Usurper unseats the king
    • Council of Wizards, Warriors, and King forms and removes Aldared from power
    • Dragonspyre now ruled jointly by this Council
  • The king's power wanes, and Warriors and Wizards struggle over power
    • A battle takes place before the Council between a defenseless wizard and a warrior
    • The wizard wins; Wizards now control all spells used in Dragonspyre

You'll notice that the only names that sound even remotely Greek or Latin are Mene and Sebastian. Interestingly, the Bosnian word for "raven" is "gavran," which is strikingly similar to Gavarena. (CONSPIRACY THEORY: Gavarena is Grandmother Raven!!) Bosnia is near Serbia (Yugoslavia), so this fits in. Most of the names above aren't real names, but sound like variations of Slavic and Eastern European names.

As mentioned above, the quest "The Secret History" chronicles the history of Dragonspyre. Procopius, a Byzantine scholar and recorder of the reign of Justinian, wrote a book known as The Secret History. However, there appears to be little relation between the contents of Wizard101's books and Procopius' book. (I didn't look through the entire book, so I'm sure there is something related.) I think this is a major piece of evidence that supports my Byzantine Empire theory.

In my previous post I explained how King Mene and Gavarena, when united, overcame the Dragons. I then said that it sounded like Justinian's campaign to take back the Roman Empire from the Barbarians. I would like to reiterate that point because I have another theory to go a long with it. Justinian I and Theodora ruled together, much like King Mene and Queen Gavarena. I think Justinian and Theodora are portrayed as Mene and Gavarena.

On Tuesday, January 13th, 532 AD, the Nika Riots broke out in Constantinople. The riot caused the rapid spread of a fire through out the city, and many buildings were destroyed. Is it possible that the awakening of the Dragon Titan was Wizard101's version/personification of the Nika Riot? Like the riot in Constantinople, the Dragon Titan desecrated Dragonspyre.

Another real-life explanation for Dragonspyre being fiery is that there a plenty of volcanoes in southern Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This could also be a contributing factor, not the main cause of fire.

Architecture and Locations
The locations and architecture of Dragonspyre are very important to solving this mystery. Some key places include

  • Greek Locations
    • The Labyrinth
    • The Atheneum
    • The Necropolis
  • Roman Locations
    • The Forum
    • The Basilica
It is completely logical to have Greek and Roman locations and architecture. If Dragonspyre is truly based off of the Byzantine Empire, it would be historically correct. The Byzantine Empire incorporated Greek and Roman culture into almost everything they did!

Before the Byzantine Empire was the surviving remnant of the Roman Empire, it was a Greek colony known as Byzantium. It quickly grew successful and was often fought over by the Greeks and Persians. Later, it was fought over by Athens and Sparta, and was under the control of each state at different times. Eventually, Byzantium became part of the Roman Empire and was renamed Constantinople. This is where I believe the Greek and Roman factors come into play. Each culture influenced the Byzantium region.

Roman Forums were everywhere in the empire. The most famous forum is the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) in Rome. There are three forums in Istanbul (Constantinople), known as the Forum of Theodosius, the Forum of Constantine, and the Forum of Arcadius. The fact that there is a forum in Dragonspyre is important because it confirms that there is at least a little Roman influence in the game. The Forum in Dragonspyre also has an amphitheater, which is consistent with Roman Forums. Another essential component with in a forum is a basilica. We see this as the port hub when we get into Dragonspyre.

At the Plaza of Conquests, there appears to be a huge triumphal arch with two large statues standing on either side. This is also common in or near a forum. I've included a picture of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius, which bears similar architecture of that throughout Dragonspyre and looks similar to the arch in the Plaza of Conquests.

Triumphal Arch?
Triumphal Arch of Theodosius

Dragonspyre itself appears to be surrounded by a three-tiered wall. It closely resembles the style Theodosian Walls, which was employed by Constantinople for protection from invaders. Take a look at the comparison between these two! The bottom third of Dragonspyre would be the moat, especially since it is sectioned off. In Constantinople, the moat was sectioned off to be flooded with water as needed. You'll notice that the walls get thicker as each tier gets closer to the heart of Dragonspyre, just like in the picture below.

Notice the 3 main tiers? 
Theodosian Wall

The Basilica in Dragonspyre is a square building. Is it a complete coincidence that the Hagia Sophia (Basilica of St. Sophia) is also a square building, and listed as an architectural marvel because it is topped with a dome? I know the Hagia Sophia is in Constantinople, which is represented by Catstantinople in Mirage, but Dragonspyre was made way before Mirage existed. Maybe it's a plot hole? I may be just really stretching for evidence here, but I honestly think it's possible.

Other Connections
Something I think that is overlooked is the fact that there are these little "pox" creatures that you battle in the Tower Archives and in the Loremaster's Chamber. In the Tower Archives, they are called Damage Pox and Protection Pox; In the Loremaster's Chamber, they are called Font of Life, Font of Strength, and Font of Weakness. I think these represent The Plague.

As mentioned in "The Aftermath of the Century War," great advances in culture, science, and knowledge were made in Dragonspyre. The same is true of the Byzantine Empire. The empire tried to improve its daily life. Engineers designed spectacular buildings (i.e. the Hagia Sophia) and improved public structures, like sewers and aqueducts. The Byzantine Empire was heavily Eastern Orthodox, so the culture advanced around it. Daily life was filled with social gatherings, as many people visited theaters or the Hippodrome in Constantinople. The Byzantines valued education greatly. The Imperial Library of Constantinople held books from both Greece and Rome, making it an excellent center of knowledge. This may be the inspiration for the Dragonspyre Library, as well as the use of Knowledge Crystals (books/scrolls). There was also 3-4 stages of education (schools) for boys, as girls were not usually educated at a school. Girls were literate, but only wealthy families could afford for a girl to be privately tutored.

Zanetta Stormbreaker states
"...Our culture is based on knowledge and warfare. The nobles of Dragonspyre sent their children to this academy to become soldiers and sorcerers. Because we are a warlike people, our education requires trial by combat..."
Since Dragonspyre is a militaristic society, many of you immediately think of Sparta. While this is a good guess, it doesn't really add up with the rest of Dragonspyre. The Byzantine military was extremely advanced. They used heavy cavalry and fast moving archers that were more efficient and successful than the Roman legion. Since the Byzantines used cavalry, I think the Wizard101 equivalent is the drakes and drake riding. The cavalry was the center of the Byzantine military, just as battle drakes are in Dragonspyre. 

The quest "Et tu, Statue?" is a play on the famous line Julius Caesar said as he was being stabbed to death in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. "Et tu, Brute?" is Latin for "Even you, Brutus?" There seems to be no relation between the two, rather just an interesting allusion in the game. 

To learn about smaller connections, take a look at my original post The Mystery of Dragonspyre. I did not feel the need to repeat everything in this post because it would get even more lengthy than it already is!

Nordic Champion's Official Theory
I'm not saying Dragonspyre is Constantinople- it does not really appear to be any particular city, just some area that was influenced by Romans and Greeks and later inhabited by Slavic people. Plus, it really can't be Constantinople since Catstantinople already exists... in Mirage. Therefore, I have concluded that Dragonspyre is one of two things.
  • A ruined Roman/Greek area that was pillaged by the Barbarians, now inhabited by Slavic peoples
  • A ruined Roman/Greek area that was pillaged by the Slavs, now inhabited by the Slavic peoples
I believe that it exists during the time of the Byzantine Empire or a little after the fall of the empire. It is likely set in the general area of Byzantium, but is not exactly the city of Constantinople. Greek and Roman influence is evident, but is not the main culture of Dragonspyre.

So yes, I stubbornly maintain my Byzantine Empire theory. After a lot of research, I couldn't prove it to be anything else. What is could it possible be? The Byzantine Empire satisfies all of the requirements: Greek, Roman, and Slavic cultures are all represented.

I apologize for such a lengthy post, I just had to share all the evidence that I found! Thank you for reading, and I hope you learned something new! If your opinion on the matter contradicts mine, please share below... I would love a good conversation about this.

**I am no scholar! I have no credentials! I'm just really good at stuffing a bunch of information together and relating to Wizard101. How I relate history to Wizard101 is completely subjective. If something isn't correct, please let me know so I can get rid of it quickly.

"Advancements of the Byzantine Empire" - Champlain College
"Byzantines" - History World
"Byzantium" - Ancient History Encyclopedia
"Constantinople" - New World Encyclopedia
"Decisive Battles: Fall of Constantinople 1453"
"Education Byzantine Empire" - Britannica
"Hagia Sophia" - LiveScience
"Holy Roman Empire" - Britannica
"Procopius: The Secret History" - Penelope
"Slavs" - New World Encyclopedia
"The Military of the Byzantines" - Weapons and Warfare
"The Nika Riots" - Penelope

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