Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Test Realm: Warehouse Run #1 is a Success!!!

"Worship" Astral bodies, not draw power from...hm..

Note:  The following pictures do not depict the actual number of enemies you fight on the final floor of the Warehouse.  This is only the end of the battle.

John Lifeglen kicking some Shadow Weaver rump

Fallon Deathslinger elegantly forming a Death seal...

...through which an ominous Wraith appears...

...and draws upon the remaining life-force of the enemy.

Down the Shadow Weaver goes.

Beat the Warehouse on our first try!!  (also pictured: Fallon Deathslinger*, John Lifeglen, and Taryn Willowgrove)

*thanks for the edit, Malorn

Screenshot!  Yeah, I'm in my Tank Gear (wolf head and overlord armor)

 Here is the full set of the Wayward Gear (Level 48+)
(click to enlarge each picture)

I'll write up a Warehouse guide and post it sometime this weekend...unless there's a mob asking for spoilers, then I'll post one before Thursday.  Gotta let you guys figure it out, too!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Petnome Project: Updates and Blog Move

Minor update:  All is fixed now!

Hm...no Mistblood this weekend...

Lack of a real blog post until now...

A lot of frustrated Tweets...

Check out the URL you're on ;)  That's the web address at the top of your browser window, starting with "http://"  Yep, no more "blogspot" tag.  But, don't worry about updating your links or anything...I've set it up so any visitor to the old web address with the Blog*Spot tag will be automatically directed to this one.

It's now official...   http://petnome.com  The only thing is...there's nothing there quite yet!  Just a simple welcome message and the Petnome Form

Here's a synopsis of my recent adventures:

It has been a very, very long weekend for this Thaumaturge.  Starting on Thursday evening, I was suffering from a very painful episode of a theoretically infected wisdom tooth, but eventually the antibiotics kicked in the next day.  But, it did keep me up all night, so I did some exploring and searching for a new home for the Petnome Project results.  Originally, we were going to host it at a hidden wiki of Fallon Shadowblade's, but there were some questionable ads on there.  I'm pretty sure you Witches and Wizards can shave on your own just fine.

Sierra Starsong and Fallon Deathslinger were kind enough to step up and offer their services for hosting...because of another secret project will be in the works, I decided to go along with Sierra's to initialize, and allow myself to start working on my first server from "scratch."  Of course, Sierra's husband, Gazerwolf, was watching over me, batting away a lot of frustration and dealing with the nasty complex codes; thanks, Gazer!  For those wanting to learn more about how the internet works, getting hands-on experience with these is the best way to go!

So, the Petnome Project now has a home!  We've finished dusting off and are pulling everything out of the boxes and setting up furniture!

This is the temporary banner that will be displayed on the Home page (petnome.com) as you enter:

Also, here's a temporary logo we'll be using:

The images are subject to change as we're working on a more detailed, original logo, and schedule a photo-shoot to gather in as much of the community as possible without time being a factor!

Well, I'm off to the Spiral to train a bit, work on the Project, and head off to work.  

Oh yeah!  Today is the day that Leesha's heading off to KingsIsle!  Wish her a fun time, and to not be so nervous that she forgets to give them my suggestion on changing how Taunt looks in battle.  Wouldn't it be awesome if the Ice Wizards could hop in the center (like they're about to perform a sword attack) but face their own team, wiggle their hips as they moon each enemy?  I mean, if the Gobblers can flatulate at us, why can't I shake my gold-maker at the Coven (Raven$) or Malistaire?  Come on, let's make this a two-way street on slapstick humor!

Speaking of the Overlord, remember, Ravenwood Radio is broadcasting TOMORROW, Tuesday June 29.  NOT Wednesday.  Leesha's real life employer decided to keep the exit blocked a lot longer, so she won't be able to make it that day.  Also, there's a surprise guest Mod...Christina isn't able to make it to the new show date...can you guess who it'll be?

Alright, I'm off!  Have a great day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ghost Rider Glitch

Hey Witches and Wizards,

So, below is a video of what happened when I got a little too excited and multi-tasked, acting too many steps ahead of myself. The second tiger, second pig, and broomstick belong to John Lifeglen over at Through The Eyes of a Sorcerer.

Please do not ask me or John on how to reproduce this. I reported this directly to Ian when I discovered this, mainly because it does modify game play entirely. But, before it disappears forever, I captured our fun as we "ghost-rode" through the first four worlds. Enjoy!

Hm...reminds me of my glitching days in Ocarina of Time... :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KingsIsle: Ten Million Wizards and Photoshoot

These pictures were from the unannounced "marketing photoshoot" by KingsIsle earlier today...Ian was kind enough to invite me during our chat about customer service activity (they're still helping Wizards out with reimbursements!  I even got my Reinforced Helm back....time to switch back to Straw Hat?.....maybe in a few months...).  Where will this photo be posted?  No idea...perhaps in an ad, with less names on the screen?  They were having everyone from Ravenwood gather into the picture, so it took a tad longer to load than usual, but what a sight.  Thanks, Ms. Emerald!

The balloons and streamers and banners were all set up all over Wizard City to celebrate the Company's ten millionth-and-first account, a very commendable achievement for a business's first MMO, let alone being over a year old, AND with a lot of content to yet be released.  I mean, I know a lot of us have been wondering what other worlds they have in store for us, given that there are four worlds yet to be completed; Celestia being one of them, of course.

Four worlds??

Look at the Spiral graphic when you are traveling between worlds, or go to Gamma's room, and look at the "blue" worlds.  They each have some kind of monument in them signifying which world they are.  Then notice that there are four red worlds, with a "chunk" of land in each.  Hm...world with monuments...then four worlds with rocks in them...monuments on completed, released worlds...then four worlds that look incomplete...

Makes you wonder...  Perhaps Candy World, where my professor comes from?  It would be interesting to see some candy cane pets running around....

Monday, June 21, 2010

New "Mistblood" Released: Page 24

(click to enlarge)

For the full series, visit http://mistblood.blogspot.com

Advanced Pets: Appreciate the Small Things (Inherited Pedigree #'s)

Over on Twitter earlier today, there were a few Tweets made between my good in-game friends, Fallon Deathslinger and Heather Emeraldflame, expressing their concern about the behavior of Pedigree number(s)--which I will from here on forth denote as Ped#--of higher generation pets, such as the second and third.  There are instances where there is a significant decrease in the Ped# of the offspring.  For example, a 54 (10) parent mixed with a 54 (10) parent has a chance of producing a 48 (0) child.  Before you read on, if you have yet to understand exactly what Pedigree Numbers represent, please visit this page for a thorough explanation.

The drop in the figures may seem disappointing, initially.  After all, we have become so used to thinking that "higher is better," and are mild victims to our natural need and desire for completion.  Generally, that means pursuing for the most beneficial equipment, and in Wizard101, it's about greater values of n, whether that's damage, accuracy, resistance, or Power Pip chance.

Unconventionally, Ped# strays from this concept.  Remember that it only signifies the sum of Rarity Points potentially available to the pet in question.  Thus, when the Ped# of the child is greater than one of the parents', we know that it inherited "rarer" Talents and Derby Skills (i.e. child sports many Ultra-Rare skills while the parent has 2 or 3 Ultra-Rare and the rest are Rare). 

But, on Twitter, you said that it's not necessarily a bad thing...wouldn't we rather have a pet with more Ultra-Rare or Epic Talents?

While it is true that the "rarer" the skills, the more powerful or flexible (in terms of what classes are allowed to use) they are, it doesn't mean that they will be useful for your Wizard or Derby Pet.  For example, some pets have the ability to place obstacles across all lanes in the Derby, and those generally tend to be Epic skills.  However, if your pet does not have a protection ability such as Clear (uncommon) or Immunity (ultra-rare), you are giving your opponents a chance to pass you on the second lap if the obstacles are permanent and if the other contestants have protection.

Now, for those of you who don't Derby and/or are more interested in the Talents (beneficial to Pet or Wizard), take a look at the picture down below:

This was taken inside the Hatchery window.  Let's say that we are after a pet that has both Life-Shot and Life-Proof, combined with Pip Boost and Courageous.  Take note of the Rarity Points of the Life-based skills, and compare it to the Talents' rarities on Rusty.  Here's a picture with the Ped# based on Talents only, and a *possible* child:

Keep in mind that this is just a visual; this is not in any way the actual result or process.  This also represents how inheritance of Talents work in the Hatchery.  The child will randomly take 5 Talents from each parent to form its own Talent column.  Note that the child's Ped# is higher than either of its parents; instead of a second Rare slot like the Magma Colossus has, the child has only one Rare Talent.  Naturally, we would assume that the pet has become improved and stronger.  However, that's not the case.

The five Talents taken from the Pixie Queen are not any of the Life-based skills we wanted!  Had the Ped# in the child been one unit higher, meaning all Ultra-Rare skills (30), then there would be ZERO percent chance of the Life boosts manifesting, since the child would require Rare traits for those to unlock.

To obtain what we wanted, we would have needed a baby pet with at most a Ped# of 28.  Thus, in this case, higher Ped# would act against your goals.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Under the Straw Hat #3: Light and Darkness in Celestia

While I believed it to be a stamp and anchor for a pleasant day, my visit to Thomas's residence turned out to spawn a new set of concerns.  Our conversation included some enlightenment for me in regards to his short-lived  invitation to the Pantheon and narrow miss on obtaining the habitants' blessings.  An extensive aura of disappointment was felt, but as usual, the man kept a phenomenal cool as he reminisced about seeing the Creators' without their masks.

What turned the tide of the moment was a piece of parchment arriving for Sir Lionblood from a "Ms. Drake," with the following image attached:

"This is no rumor," it noted.  

There was an exchange of grim expressions as we silently read about these anthropoids.  As I began to depart for my residence to discuss the news with the Team, a strong realization hit me out of nowhere:  the world of the mythical Celestia seems to be a conflict between light and darkness.

Crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, etc.) and insects are similar in structure and characteristics.  Both are comprised  of tough epidermis, called "exoskeleton," and their young generally start out as larvae.  Though used for different purposes, both have "jointed legs."  In addition, both sub-phylum are described to relate in terms of a melding between their "bodies" (known as "thoraxes") and heads.

A battle amongst cousins.  However, there seems an established difference between the two sides: one as a protagonist, Romanesque culture, and one of an arbitrary group bent on--supposedly--evil intentions.

But is this view self-prophetic?  Are the squeamish reactions I have toward the appearance of the giant insects  my main basis on how I predetermine their moral alignment?

I nudge to Platae to continue her pace on her own.  As the sunbeams blink as they reach under my hat, I couldn't help but wonder if this talk about finding and utilizing the "Spiral Key" is in fact a selfish action, justified by an intent to "aid" the Crustaceans.

The Marleybonians have already made their questionable stake on land, over at Krokotopia.  They even removed ancient artifacts, which pertain to the history and past cultures of those deserts, for their own capitalization...perhaps with the hope of increasing tourism.  In fact, I'm not so surprised that Alhazred, a key figure with association to the missing Krokonomicon, is taking shelter underground on an aerial terrain somewhat distant from The Oasis.  

Thus, is their discovery of Celestia actually an infringement and potential invasion on the submerged world?  

I took a mental note to remind myself that perhaps the motives of the "Shadow Weavers" may actually be the focus of preserving their seclusion from the land-based worlds.  There is always the chance that these "villains" are victims of distortion and propaganda.  I rode towards the horizon, contemplating about the author: is it an explorer with a drive to probe and prospect against the will of the anthropoids, or a true Spiralanthropist  passing on news of world-turning danger?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Under the Straw Hat #2: Petnome Contest Winners

I squeezed my knees together slightly, silently requesting that Platae continue charging ahead at her discretion.  Reviewing the list, I ensured that the Petnome Team had the numbers and names correct.  Miss Heather Emeraldflame certainly came out as the champion of the competition, with an impressive 300 entries.  I looked up, stared at the visual mush of pine trees as we zoomed by, and curiously pondered if it may be documented in history as one positive effect of having multiple persona.

Glancing back down, I looked at the next winner of the contest:  Heather Raven.  One of the team!  Astral bodies bless that girl, especially after all the entries she dumped in after the first few days of the project's grand opening.  It's been awhile since I've seen our enthusiastic researcher.

A grin-turned-smile formed on my face when I read "Sierra Starsong."  She was another heavy contributor during the beginning of the project's release, and truly deserves a new companion to take home. 

I folded up the parchment and slid it back into my satchel, and took up the reigns again, riding swiftly to Thomas's house.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Advanced Pets: Post-Maintenance Fixes and Updates

New message below the logo

New message on character load screen

Give a round of applause to Miguel Wildthorn, guys.  Per my last post, I essentially mentioned that pets may become free from the burden by the slow climb to Epic after they max out all their stats...now they are gaining full experience points when a Perfect Game is played (+4 XP) and full snack points when fed, including any food bonuses they give!

Mega Snacks Will Now Count in Full on Maxed Pets!

This truly is a great day and move to turn players' notorious complaints about the Pet System! 

Overall, this will truly accelerate the Petnome Project's results...the more skill we unlock, the closer we become to mapping out these Pets' ability skeletons!

Speaking of which....the winners will be announced on the next post!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Under the Straw Hat #1: Pre-XP Restriction Update

I headed back to my frozen residence with thoughts flooding my mind about the sudden curfew.  For some reason, the Creators decided to sanction off the universe, for a long, five hours.  Knowing their tendencies, that could be anywhere from a mere three hours...to a teeth-grinding seven hour wait.  Whatever they are planning, I know my eyes will not be fusing shut soon.

Perhaps there will be a new adventure waiting for students in the morning?  I removed my old, straw hat, and placed it on the dresser.  I gazed at it for a few seconds while I reminisced about my adventures in acquiring it.  Off next was my newest wardrobe: an eye-catching tunic adorned with a cloak of falling snow.  Finally, I kicked off my winter shoes.  While yawning, I couldn't help but notice a strategically-placed compass lying on the middle of my pillow.

A surprise shall be revealed by someone tomorrow...that's for sure.

My pet is "grinning" more than usual...perhaps a chance that its growth will no longer be so stunted and curved?  Miguel left some interesting thoughts...Perhaps pets at full potential are no longer "too wise" for their years...Hopefully Rusty, my favorite of the bunch, will lose all reasons for pestering me for snacks, and eventually pay for his own membership to the gym, should he ever continue to work out, after the Creators work their magic.

One can only hope, no?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Petnome Project: Contest Deadline!

Hey Witches and Wizards,

The deadline for getting your entries in the Petnome Project Contest supported by Friendly is TONIGHT, 12:00:00 AM.  Remember that there are two ways to win a prize:  (1) having the most unique entries, and (2) making at least one entry.

Back to work for me, heyah!

(wow, 1300 entries when I checked 7 minutes ago....nice going guys!!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Petnome Project: Upgrades

Check it out here!  We've changed it around! :)


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Petnome Project: Picture Guide

Uploading this for the Petnome form to link to; hope this clears up some questions if you had any! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New "Mistblood" Released: Pages 21-23

Page 21

Page 22

Page 23

For the entire series, click here.

BUN: I Just Want To Thank...

...the overall Wizard101 Community.  Because of the strength behind and within us, which I posted about back in April of this year, Mistblood was formulated in mind.  It would have stayed as "just an idea" if we had not been such a welcoming and inspiring group.

But what shot the comic off into an actual project, I personally owe to my closest friends, who, have supported and helped me by taking time out of their PVP or questing activities to do the earliest scenes:

Cheryl Fire
Ronan Dawn
Tatiana "Toto" Legendweaver
Allan Spiritrider

They may not be as active as I am in our community, but as some of you know, they're the reason why I've reached where I am today, still doing my crazy experiments or projects.

Also, special thanks to Leesha Darkheart for pointing that post out to me...I would've missed it all :X

Battleblood Updates and News (BUN)

Unless you've been keeping up with my Tweets, you're probably wondering what the Heckhound I've been up to.  Hm...where to start...

Over at my Dropped Pets page, you can see the awesome creatures I've been capturing over the weekend!  Unfortunately, I feel that the Ianthine Spectre was awarded to me prematurely...Fallon Deathslinger is still looking for hers ever since the release of Advanced Pets, sigh...  Tweet her a message to help find that ghost!

Also over the weekend, the Petnome Project was BOOMING with entries, topping off what we already had by another ~400 entries!  We're currently sorting them out, fixing typos, splitting double entries (two abilities in one form, yikes!), and have started putting together some of the pieces.  Fallon Shadowblade of DiaryofAWizard.com has generously offered to host the publication of our findings!  I spent a few hours last night drafting and scratching, and finally produced a frame for Magma Colossus.  Before we release the exact location of the data, we're going to test our Verification methods over a few critters.  So, in no time, you'll be seeing our work in progress once we manage to dive in and clear up some erroneous submissions and start piecing together what's Verified.  While we're on the subject, please welcome Heather Raven to the Petnome Team!  She'll be helping out in "customer" support, answering any questions, asking you our questions, and helping us post results.  Remember, the contest jointly held by The Friendly Necromancer is still running until next Monday, midnight!

While helping Amber Stargem farm for her Ice Birds (which she has yet to find....tweet to go help her too!), I found my green light across the water (Great Gatsby reference):

As an Ice Wizard, I feel more complete!

I'm hoping to finish Page 21-22 of Mistblood tonight...as well as get some training and harvesting (food farming) done, but more importantly, I think the "plot" of the comic needs to get out there.  A lot of help came from the Blogger community to create these scenes, and I know they're just "dying" (inside joke, related to the scenes) to see the story unfold.  So expect, something to pop out tonight!

Some minor bad news:  with all the projects and adventures I have going on at once, I'm afraid I'll have to postpone the 2nd BMC.  I assure you though that the event will make use of its extra preparation time, so expect to be blown away again :-)

Alright, off I go to the comic!  Peace, and Happy Hunting~

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New "Mistblood" Released - Page 20

Click to Enlarge

For the entire series, click here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Petnome Project: Contest and Requests!

That's right, Wizards and Witches, entering information into the Petnome Project can potentially score you some short-term benefits in addition to the long-term use we'll all make from the results!

The Friendly Necromancer has generously offered to help spruce up the submission count (currently at least 330) through prizes ranging from three (3) Gobbler pets for the Top 3 Submissions (quantity), to consolation (highly beneficial!) prizes for making at least one entry.

If you've made submissions in the past few days, don't worry!  Any contributions made ever since the debut of this Project will be counted towards the grand prizes and the consolation prizes!

The deadline is midnight, June 15!

Remember, we will be checking through every post to ensure everyone is "fair game," so no cloned entries, please!  Also, with a number of results so far, we will test our Verification Phase with all submissions, so we won't have anyone rolling around with fabricated entries ;)

So, if you want a chance at those little, walking red balls, or a potential boost in your income or Elixir collection,  hop on over and help the community!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New "Mistblood" Released: Page 19

Click here for the entire series.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Petnome Project: Question and Answers

As I was skimming through the Petnome Project database tonight, I came upon a very surprising sight of an elongated spreadsheet cell, containing a few insightful suggestions and questions by a Marcus LegendStrider:

I submitted a few talents / powers from a couple different pets the other day, and have thought about this project since.  I think it's much needed - we have no idea what pet(s) are best to get and breed because we have no idea what they're capable of.  I wouldn't buy a chihuahua hoping that I could train it to pull a beer wagon, or a clydesdale hoping I could train it to catch mosquitoes.

I hope that the results of this project will be made public, and in fact, I think that making the verified results so far public would be a benefit.  Firstly, people would be able to see that this will be open, and people feel more compelled to help something that has already helped them.  Secondly, right now, I have no idea if the talents / powers that I know about have already been reported; I don't know if I'm helping by submitting, or just taking up your time.  Thirdly, if you had the contributors acknowledged by each talent / power as the first one to report it, you might get more people trying to get their name on the page.  I know that you have plans for images (maybe add an image upload for captured screenshots of the pet page - that should help verification a bit as well) and other great presentation, but even providing simple HTML tables with known info is more usable than not having the info at all.

Sorry for the long message, I'll send in more talents / powers as I encounter them.

These were exactly the concerns and thoughts that were running through my mind:  "What would be the most efficient and accurate way to do all this?  How do we get more people?"  Allow me to address each part of your contributory message, Friendly-style:

I hope that the results of this project will be made public, and in fact, I think that making the verified results so far public would be a benefit.  

Firstly, people would be able to see that this will be open, and people feel more compelled to help something that has already helped them.

I have just sent a Private Message to Olivia and Jester of Central after reading your comment, Marcus, requesting their permission to allow us to expose their members to PP.  I honestly will say that I'm not exactly a fan of forums in general, mainly because they feel like blog posts all lumped into something called a "thread."  But, in this case where we need a large sample size to reach our goals, I must leave my bias aside and embrace the fact that, in the end, we have a great community between Bloggers, Forum Posters, Site Masters, and Artists.

Secondly, right now, I have no idea if the talents / powers that I know about have already been reported; I don't know if I'm helping by submitting, or just taking up your time.

Contrary to the characteristics of redundancy and pointlessness of "double posts" or "repetition," having multiple submissions from different players will benefit through assurance and correlation.  Because the exact Talents and Derby Skills are arbitrary, or unseen and immeasurable, to us, we must rely on "blind" consensus for the best verification.  Therefore, submitting information on every pet that you have is going to accelerate completion!  To loosely quote one of my favorite movies (it's not even PG-13 rated, so I'm masking the expression):  If you're called a "duck" once, ignore it.  If you're called a "duck" again, confront that accuser.  But if you're called a 'duck" once more, well, it's time to start finding some people on park benches.

Thirdly, if you had the contributors acknowledged by each talent / power as the first one to report it, you might get more people trying to get their name on the page.

I had given this some thought yesterday, as to what further incentive we could incorporate for more submissions.  However, in respect to my response in the last paragraph, every submission is as important as the last.  Rather than have people scatter around trying to be the "first" to raise a certain pet to Teen just to claim pioneer rights on discovering a trait, I would like to focus on the act of contributing as the mentionable quality.  Thus, all contributors to each pet will be credited, but I will denote how many unique submissions that person has made towards that pet.  The more submissions there are by one person for a single species, the more time that they have spent raising one or multiple clones (giving us more confirmation on an individual pet!)  That deserves merit, right?

I know that you have plans for images (maybe add an image upload for captured screenshots of the pet page - that should help verification a bit as well) and other great presentation, but even providing simple HTML tables with known info is more usable than not having the info at all.

Again, going back to "blind consensus" in helping us out, providing bits and pieces off of one or two submissions before the Petnome is complete can cause confusion and lead to inaccuracy, especially if someone happens to mark in the wrong Slot (thereby slowing the process down as we try to re-confirm before we publish early results again).  I believe it would be in everyone's best interest to give everyone the same experience in their efforts to complete the form.   Heck, I'm not going to even look at the data so closely myself to figure out which pets I "can avoid"; I'll just go ahead and submit info in for every pet that I have regardless if there are 2,000 rows of data.  BUT, because Talents and Derby Skills are separate sections, I will be posting pictures using Miguel Wildthorn's format whenever an entire column has been completed and checked.  As for image uploads as a submission, the host we are using currently does not provide that, but we are looking around for other means.

Thanks for the feedback, Marcus!  Don't be "sorry" it was "long"; I wouldn't have asked for different!


On another note:
Everyone, great job again!  We've hit 270 submissions and counting!

Sloan Shadowstaff - 31 submissions (5/31/10)

Happy hunting!

The Blog: New Layout

Hey everyone,

Changed the visuals on the blog; please comment on this post with suggestions, requests, etc.  I'm on a 1280x800 resolution monitor, using a Mozilla Firefox browser, so what I see looks great to me.  But, I write for the readers, so I want to make sure you're not scrolling horizontally too much, or straining your eyes to read something, or feel overwhelmed by the size of it.  Don't hesitate to complain!

Happy reading!