Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Petnome Q&A: Mini-games and Stats

Searching through my Marleybonian mailbox, I found this letter from Calamity Grove, regarding her pets:

I have a large family playing on W101.   Three of us have Defender Pigs that were purchased on the same date. They all three developed different talents during training. Two made it to 9% spell proof and one to 8% spell[ proof]. Boy was my sister mad about that. We think it might be the games and snacks we feed our pets,especially after re-reading w101 release that said talents are developed based on training. My thought is for example if agility is maxed at adult it would manifest a certain trait but if intelligence is maxed at adult it would manifest another. At this point this is just theory we need the test realm to open again so we can relevel the same pets. We spent a lot of time leveling pets in test and recording the talents to compare when it opens again.
Just thought I would share this with you.  Love your 4G Defender Pig [Lord Hunter]!
Calamity Grove

Let's explore two topics, and hopefully this answers or helps you, Calamity! -  (1) training, and (2) why the Defender Pigs have differing benefits.


From what Team has found and researched, it turns out that pets are almost parallel on the Live and Test realms.  In other words, the abilities that they develop in their lifetime, including the order that these Talents and D-Skills are revealed, are the same on both servers (99.9% of the time).  I use the Test Realm as an opportunity to "see" into my pets' future, and quickly uncover what they are meant to unlock.  Keyword: "meant."

By that, I mean that Pet Abilities are predetermined.  When and where the process happens, we can only guess that it's right when you click the "Hatch" button after agreeing to breed; or this also happens when you redeem a code from a Gift Card, or redeem an in-game gift.  Once the egg is created and waiting to break open, we assume the Talents and Derby Skills are already chosen.

I trained up yet another Defender Pig (I literally have my own Dojo with these, in addition to the litter of Death Ninjas I got from hatching with Missy), this time a 5G, up to Ancient on the Live Realm, and he received Spell-Defying, Health Gift, and Pip O'Plenty.  I asked myself, is it really worth blindly putting in 1000 XP worth of food into this pet?  What if he gets Durable, or Tenacious, instead of Spell-Proof (which was what I was after; a pet with stacking universal resist)?

So, I decided to wait for the Test Realm before training and feeding, and he did in fact learn Spell-Proof at Epic.  Oh, keep this in mind: even though Spell-Proof is an Epic Talent, it doesn't mean that he had a higher chance of receiving it when he became Epic; there is no relationship between an ability rarity (Uncommon, Rare, Ultra-Rare, Epic) and a pet's age (Baby, Teen, Adult, Ancient, Epic).  The method I used for raising a pet on the Test Realm is failing the Dance Game on purpose, just so I can get to the Feed Pet screen and dump Mega Snack XP right into it.  Thus, the stats raised were at random (based on the snack chosen).

On the Live Realm, Baby Callie did indeed learn Spell-Proof at Epic, after a lot of Cereal (+2 STR, +2 INT, +2 POW, and another +2 POW from "Loved") was fed:

Thus, the mini-games that are played do not affect manifestation; nor do the Stats that are trained.

In other words, I could play Cannon Game for +4 WILL and feed WILL-only snacks repeatedly until I reach 1875 XP (total experience needed to reach Epic), have a max WILL of 240 on Baby Callie, with 0 STR, 0 AGI, 0 INT, and 0 POW, and I will still find the above Talents and Derby Skills manifested/unlocked.

Of course, the actual values (4% resist, 9% resist, 108 HP, 5% power pip chance) will be different than what you see in the picture, because Resist is based on STR+AGI+POW.  Since I have only 0 in each of those stats in this theoretical example, I would have only 1% from Spell-Defying and 1% from Spell-Proof.

Why Your Defender Pigs Have Differing Benefits

The bit from the above paragraph ties with what you wrote in your email:
"...w101 release that said talents are developed based on training."
Let's clear up the ambiguity. What KingsIsle means is that your Talents' strengths (the amount of your %-damage, %-accuracy, %-resist, mana, or health) are based on the points of the Stats that affect them.  In the example in the previous explanation, I stated that with 0 STR, 0 AGI, and 0 POW, I will have 1% resist from Spell-Defying and Spell-Proof each.

How do I know Resist is based on STR, AGI, and POW?  If you mouse-over either the Strength, Agility, or Power "experience bars" on your Pet Page (hotkey I), the tooltip bubbles state that these are what affects Resistances.  The description for Power doesn't say so; it says "most," but your %-resist will raise if Power is increased alone.

Thus, the higher total between STR, AGI, and POW, the higher %-resist will be.  My guess for why your Defender Pigs are showing different Resists is because the last one has a lower combined total of those Stats.  For example, Pig #1 and Pig #2 may have 25 STR, 25 AGI, and 25 POW maxed, but Pig #3 has 24 STR, 24 AGI, 24 POW.  To be honest though, that's a bad example, since 1G (first generation) pets should be identical in Stats.  Therefore, we move onto another explanation.

Perhaps Pigs #1 and #2 have a Passive Boost (+MAX STR and/or +MAX AGI and/or +MAX POW), while the #3 didn't get extra Stat points.  Just as an example, Pig #1 may have 50 STR, 25 AGI, 25 POW; Pig #2 may have 25 STR, 50 AGI, 25 POW; and Pig #3 has 25 STR, 25 AGI, 25 POW.  The first two have a combined total of 100, while the third has only 75.

There's also another explanation that I won't go too far into detail here, until the Team can establish some numbers, but it turns out that POW does not weigh the same in points as the other four stats.  That means, it may be possible that your pet did get a Passive Boost, but its Stat maxes turned out to be a theoretical 25 STR, 25 AGI, 50 POW, so it still receives only 8%, even when you have 100 points combined.  1 STR has the same weight as 1 AGI, but is heavier than 1 POW.

What that means is, if it requires just 10 more points of STR to get to the next percentage, you can instead train 10 points into AGI and hit the 9% Resist mark.  But, this doesn't apply to POW; we'll need 13, 14, or 15 points into POW before 8% becomes 9%.  Of course, these numbers are all theoretical, but the idea I want to get across is that POW has less weight than STR, AGI, INT, or WILL.  Pig #1 and #2 may have gotten +50 STR or +50 AGI, while Pig #3 got +50 POW.


Phew, I hope that helped explain some things!  Please leave a comment below if anyone has questions or needs clarity; I'll be sure to get to them shortly, either through a direct reply or another blog post.  Thanks for writing in, Calamity!  I would suggest breeding your sister's Pig against another Pig (or even another pet) that has higher STR, AGI, and POW maxes than hers for a chance at 9% resist, maybe even 10%, depending on the new pet's Stats.  Here is a picture of my 1G Defender Pig, Bubba, with 10% resist (due to contributions of Stats from Durable and Tireless:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BUN: Underneath the Sheets of Forms

Hey all!

The past two weeks have been such a blast with many ups and downs, and I was busy, busy, busy; just in case you haven't kept up on Twitter:

Last Wednesday was my birthday, and I just want to personally thank everyone for the birthday gifts, whether they were vocal shoutouts, a blog birthday card (Heather Raven), in-game gifts (Isaac Mistheart, Paige Moonshade, Fallon Deathslinger, Heather Raven, Ronan Dawn), or a broadcasted song (Christina Icedreamer and Stormywiz).  You guys and girls all made that day for me!

On the same day, KingsIsle announced their cross-promotion with Selena Gomez's recording agency, and that there was going to be a small contest involving the Disney star.  All I could think of was the release of the Test Realm; with this, we'd have CROWNS, CROWNS, CROWNS!!  250,000 of them, all for our own personal disposal.

In Battleblood lingo, that's pretty much Petnome Project Heaven.  So, that's where I've been the past week;  I couldn't help but take advantage of speed leveling through Crowns.  With Mega Snacks donations coming in from friends and strangers, we've managed to complete at least EIGHT pets as of today:  Silverback Wildclaw, Pixie Queen, Pale Maiden, Blue Cyclops, Red Gobbler, Green Cat Thug, Myth Sprite, and Wood Golem.  This is a list of non-Petnome Team members who helped us out with some donations:

Aaron Stronghand
Scarlet Deathblood
Blake Legend
Courtney Emeralddust
Jonathan Storm
Allan Spiritrider
Matthew Skullrider
Austin Thunderheart
Cassandra Griffindreamer
Fallon Deathwiz
Alric Ravensinger
Cassandra Dragonheart
Leesha Darkheart
Scarlet Moonflower

Thanks a ton everyone!  We'll have you listed on the Petnome Page soon!

This week, our Test Crowns were reset, but there was also a good amount of patching going on.  Along with Fallon Deathslinger and Ronan Dawn, we trekked over to the Coven to test and see if prices did indeed halve due to the drop in Dye prices (thanks for the tip, Missy!).  Sadly, they are affected, in the Test Realm at least.      So, here is my tip regarding Live Realm while Test is still active:

Currently, with word from Missy that Coven Drop sell prices being halved on Test Realm, we should strive to farm and hatch as much as possible, without training our pets right away.  With "Crab Alley" being a temporary location made solely for Selena Gomez's promotion, I can only guess that there will be frequent spurts of the Test Realm in the near future, slowly introducing "paying" players into Celestia.

Thus, with a large family of hatched Baby pets to raise on Test after our research for the Petnome Project has been exhausted and we run out of new pets to study, we can then evaluate which pet would be best to invest resources and time in.  Instead of dumping around 125 + 250 + 500 + 1000 = 1875 XP of food onto a pet that we have no assurance in (regarding its usefulness), we should conserve that "energy" until we are certain that a pet will develop into something we want.  Pets that turn out to be "just expensive furniture" should not be composed of lost Snacks.

Let's see...lowered dye prices OT (on Test) means lowered sell values for equipment OT?  Proportionally, that means Hatching prices have indirectly raised.  I wonder if there will be compensation or some kind of tweak to either Hatchery fees or the way hatching/raising works.  For example, if mixing prices do not lower, perhaps KingsIsle will allow players to see what abilities a pet will have in just the Teen and Adult stages (not in Ancient and Epic, to at least conserve the mystery and "risk" factors of pet growth)?  Time will tell, but while that's passing, let's try to make our voices (and reasoning) heard--that is, if we're hurt by this economical transition.  In the mean time, let's stock up on some Krazy Fried Coven.
So, in short, build your army of pets up while gold is still high, and save up your snacks until another Test Realm hits (unless you don't have a super pet to use for the time being).

Have a good one guys!  Feel free to send in any questions here, I'd be happy to answer them!

Friday, September 3, 2010

BUN: Pets and Parties

Another week gone by since the last post, eh?  Phenomenally, the week seems to roll downhill as soon as you hit the middle of the week, while the days prior feel like a steady, slow climb.  Many of the events that happen on Thursday through to Sunday seem to blow by, but I've been keeping nifty Notepad up to take notes as time passes.

Let's start off with some discoveries and questions about Pet Talent mechanics!

Crazy, unexpected situation the other week:  our Warehouse group entered with one person holding onto a pet with the talent Spritely.  For those that don't know, Spritely is a Pet Talent that triggers by chance, like an Interrupt, and is casted by the pet!  Based on every event that I've witnessed with this ability, the Sprite that's created will target only the pet owner.  It will use any Heal-related charms (Guiding Light, Infection, Entangle).  For PVP, that's definitely going to help against opponents who use the negative charms on you!  Anyway, from our Pre-Celestia dungeon run, we witnessed another great thing about Spritely:  it doesn't trigger Knuckles's heal!  So, go ahead, bring a full team of Wizards with pets that manifested Spritely; some recovery over time is better than zero recovery at all!

Another Talent issue to consider is that two Epic abilities, Spell-Proof and Pain-Giver, are no longer obtainable through current gift card pet purchases.  If you were aiming to mix pets for the sake of Wizard boosts, these would be nice to stack on/collect on a single pet.  Ronan Dawn, Fallon Deathslinger, and I are in fact in the process of developing a dream PVP pet that can be used freely in PVE:  one with Spell-Proof, Spell-Defying, and Spritely.  The fourth Talent is variable, depending on our own personal goals (Ronan and I would go for Health to complement Arena use).  But considering how hard it was to manifest Spell-Proof along with Spell-Defying on one pet, it's going to take a lot of Lady Luck's work to deliver all three of us what we want! 

As promised, here is Lord Hunter the Defender Pig (4G) at Epic....too bad I don't have a slot for a Pyromancer though, sigh:

5% Fire Accuracy, 13% Resist All, 120+ HP
He's on Titanblood, who obtained full arena gear, so now he's sporting 53% Resist!  Woot!  

Over at the Petnome Project, we managed to complete THREE more pets! Ianthine Spectre 58, Danger Hound 37, and Minotaur 54!  Check them out!  That's the power of our community; props to everyone!

Also, I've been working on a giant chessboard that's hovering right outside of my Watchtower Hall, any suggestions for what type of Life-based pets you want to see as the pieces?  I have the Defender Pig as Rooks, Unicorns as Knights, Imps as Pawns, and the Pixie Queen as, well, the Queen.  Please let me know what you guys would like to see for the Bishops and King, and I'll choose the most creative.

There was the Haunted Back-to-School Bash last week; tons of people were there early, worried that they wouldn't be able to port into Nightside, and it did eventually reach that point.  Ravenwood Radio, half of the Petnome Team (Ms. Starsong and Ms. Raven and me), the leader (John Lifeglen) and members of the Bloggers' Club, Fallon Shadowblade, and Friendly got out our party gear and popped in.  It was awesome getting to meet a lot of readers and Petnome enthusiasts!  I eventually hopped on my Death alt to do a few new adds; Battleblood is just full up to the brim, and I don't believe I'll be doing anymore Deletes for awhile, unless someone becomes entirely inactive.  Until then, I'll have to use my brothers to add; sorry!

And who would have ever thought that a Flash Mob was possible in Wizard?  Well, the amazing Heather Raven pulls it off the initiative nicely!  Check out this video by Benjamin Fairydust of our first rehearsal.  Now, I'm normally not a dance-type of person, and I admit I would hesitate in doing a real life flash mob.  While I like watching it, participating with choreography was never my thing.  That is, until this :)  Though there are limited actions and dance styles in Wizard, I think with some organization and great leadership, we can pull off something eye-catching and mind-blowing.  Imagine walking through the Commons, and all of a sudden, everyone is bursting out into synchronized moves.  Totally cool in my book!  So, see Heather if you'd like some info on our next meet up!

And, on September 2nd, both Christina Icedreamer and Wizard101 (and another Wizard...I apologize for forgetting who) celebrated their birthdays! 

It's been a pretty darn busy week!

Happy hunting!