Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What If...?: Survivor Mode

Happy Holidays, all!  Now that I'm done with finals and picking out my new classes for the Spring at the University, I'm ready to return to Wizard101-based activities!  I'll admit I've also been looking into a new game recently...which I'll have to share more about next time; it's called Cardmon Hero.

There was an exciting instance/dungeon in this game (one of many, actually) that required a different technique than the ones I used from Level 1 through 20.  Instead of standing around and casting spells like in most MMO-grinders, a solo player in Cardmon is required to run around this specific boss, because his hundred minions are all chasing you at the same time.  If I stood in one spot, they'd surround me, and I'd be taking 100 hits per second...  Ouch!  Thus, to combat from being surrounded (and to finish the instance in the time limit they allowed me), I had to summon my own minions and run circles around the mob, avoiding their attacks while letting my creatures knock them out one-by-one.  My creatures also had to stay within a certain range of me, or else they'd stop attacking; hence the circular path.  Slowly, the enemies diminished, and I could resume a stationary position to take out the boss next.

Having run around nearly 30 or 40 times, an idea sparked for me for Wizard101.  What if we had something similar to what other games call a "Survivor Mode"?  Now, the thought of a tower comes to mind, where you must extinguish a set number of monsters before you arrive at the boss (without the ability to freely refill potions and return to the instance).  That can be considered a type of "Survivor" style, but what I'm looking for is one that's a little more restrictive.  In other words, how about a battle that doesn't end until you slay a certain amount of creatures and a boss before you receive its rewards?

Imagine an old scroll unrolling to reveal a number in Shermlock font (bright red), indicating the number of Wooden Golems that must be destroyed before an upgraded, shinier Smogger appears.  Oh, he also cheats; you're not allowed to use single-target abilities on him (that goes for attacks, utility spells, etc.)  Something of that sort.

The challenge here is that short decks (Zerg/Blitz/Rush decks), usually built for a full team of wizards to end a battle quickly and effortlessly, become obsolete along with the strategy of building up a titanic attack that destroys everything in one hit.  Survivor Mode would require full decks of heals, shields, blades, globals, and, of course, Reshuffles.  In essence, you're no longer segregating different decks for different situations (short decks for farming, specially built decks for Storm bosses, etc.), but you're building an all-in-one deck...almost like a PvP deck, I suppose.

I'm certain that this is doable by KingsIsle.  In the Trial of Spheres, Tower of the Helephant, and Briskbreeze, we see bosses summoning allies for help, either as support or as distractions.  Even if you kill the first boss in the Trial of Spheres, there's a chance his minions will show up after his death, due to a structural rule within the coding.

Thus, let's have a counter in the corner of the screen that requires you to kill 100 Golems (that's 25 strong AOEs within your team) before Smogger 2.0 shows up, and you're allowed to keep your Pips, Health, and Mana from the last turn.  Deck Status stays the same, meaning discarded or used cards remain in the discard pile until Reshuffled.

Of course, there're slight flaws with how enjoyable Survivor Mode can be:  you might run into teammates who permanently AFK the entire time, or who don't have the right deck set-ups...but these are pretty general issues that can be found anywhere else.

So, what are your ideas to add, take away, or modify this proposed "Survivor Mode"?  Or, have you thought of something similar that's different in context or content?  Let me know down below!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Petnome Project: 2011 Holiday Contest

Holiday Contest!

Help us reveal the 20 abilities of the Yuletide Spirit beforeDecember 26, 2011 for a chance to win a Super Bundle!

(Courtesy of our mysterious benefactor, once again!)


  • The information you submit MUST be on the FIRST GENERATION Yuletide Spirit.
  • Yuletide Spirits created within the Hatchery are not eligible for data submission for this contest.
  • You may submit information more than once, as long as there is new and relevant info regarding this pet.
  • The Yuletide Spirit Petnome page will be updated ONCE, daily, at 12 AM PST, to ensure greater chances of winning for more people. 
  • Once the 20th ability has been discovered, the contest will close, and the drawing will begin. 
  • If the Yuletide Spirit is NOT completed by 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time on December 26, 2011, this contest is voided.
  • Kevin Battleblood, Alric Ravensinger, SorceressMiklai, and Cassandra Dragonheart of the Petnome Team are NOT eligible to enter. 

How to Enter:
1.  Visit the Yuletide Spirit Pet Page.
2.  If you see at least one ability that the Petnome Page does not have revealed yet, click on "Click Here to Help Us Complete This Pet!" and make a valid photo submission.
3.  Once verified that you've discovered this hidden ability, we'll add your name to the Contributor List for EACH new discovery.
4.  Each time your name is listed, that counts as one Raffle Ticket that goes towards a drawing for the Super Bundle card.  Because more than one person may discover a non-revealed ability, there is a chance there may be more than a total of 20 Raffle Tickets.

The drawing will be recorded to YouTube.  Contestants will be entered (per Raffle ticket) into a list on Random.org, which will be randomized SIX (6) times, and the top name will be selected as the winner.

If there are any questions or concerns, please Contact Us here, with "Yuletide Spirit Contest" placed in the Subject Line.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Create an In-Game Christmas Tree

Hey, all!

Last year, my PVP team and I took this holiday photo in front of a tree that I made in December 2010.  This year, I'll take you behind-the-scenes so you can create one of your very own:

Happy Holidays!