December 26, 2012

Graphics Studio #1 + Important Notice

I'll do the important notice first to get it over with. To everyone who planned to come to my party tonight:

I have WAY more stuff to do than I thought when I first posted this party. Yes, even after Christmas it can be hectic, and I'm sure you all have things to do as well. It was a tough decision, but I've decided to cancel the party. I may still finish the house and post up a tour since it looks really awesome. Happy holidays, and thanks so much to all of you.

Whew. That's done. Anyway, I'm introducing The Graphics Studio! This series of step-by-step illustrated GIMP tutorials starts you at beginning, and takes you through everything you'll need to know to make something you'll be proud of. 

Lesson 1: The Basics

So, you want to be a graphics artist? First, you'll need to download GIMP, which is a free image manipulation program. You can download the newest version, GIMP 2.8 (which is what I use) here. (Click the first link.) Warning: when you first try to open GIMP, it may not respond for a while. When you get the little pop-up window that says close or wait for a response, just click "wait" every time. Patience is key. 

To start, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N. You should get this pop-up window:
Creating a new image. Read the comment.
When you click OK, you should have three windows open in GIMP. One is your new untitled image. One shows the layers and brushes (we'll get to those later.) The last one shows all the tools. Here's a picture of them: 
Although many of these are great, many are also useless. You'll only use a few of these during your GIMP experience. Ignore the selection.
They can be really confusing without explanation. Chances are, you'll only use less than half of them. Here's what they are: 
The one that looks like a gray rectangle is the rectangle select tool. You click and drag to select a rectangular area. This tool is useful for pop-out images and is necessary for these specific types.
The one that looks like a gray oval is the ellipse select tool. You click and drag to select an elliptical area. This tool is occasionally used for smudging, but not much else and is rarely used.
The one that looks like a lasso is the free select tool. You click and drag carefully to draw a shape to select. This tool is extremely useful and is good for rendering. It's used very often.
The one that looks like a magic wand is the fuzzy select tool. You simply click an area and it "magically" picks out a selection for you. This can be used for rendering and is quick and easy, but produces sloppy results and is usually never used.
The second row includes four tools that are practically useless.
In the third row, the one that looks like an eyedropper is the color picker tool. You click an area in the selected layer and it makes the color you clicked on your foreground color. This is useful when you want a specific color that is in the image and is often used.
The one that looks like a magnifying glass is the zoom tool. You can select to zoom in or out, and it's very useful when rendering or when you need to do intricate detail and is used very often.
The next ten tools are various manipulations that can come in handy. The move, rotate, scale, and flip tools are used often, while the others are very rarely used. 
The one that looks like the letter A is the text tool to type in text on your image. This is another essential tool that is used very frequently.
The one that looks like a bucket is the fill tool. You click on the layer and a whole area is filled in with one color. This is used occasionally.
The one that looks like a two-color square is the gradient tool. You click and drag to gradually fade one color into another. It's really useful and is used very often.
The one that looks like a pencil is the pencil tool. It's not much different from the paintbrush, except that it has less options. Because of that, it's almost never used. 
The one that looks like a paintbrush is the paintbrush tool. You click and drag to draw custom shapes, and special brushes that look like pretty much anything can be downloaded to put in your image. It's used often but not as much as you might think.
The one that looks like an eraser is the eraser tool. You click and drag to erase things you don't want in your image and is used very frequently.
The one that I have selected is the airbrush tool. It seems to be another drawing tool, but it doesn't really work for me. Use the paintbrush instead.
The one that looks like a bottle of ink seems to be yet another drawing tool, but has different and confusing settings. Use the paintbrush instead.
The eighth row is very rarely used.
In the ninth row, the one that looks like a hand is the smudge tool. You click and drag to create a smudged effect in your image. It's only used in special images where you specifically want that kind of effect.
The last one is the dodge and burn tool. You click and drag to lighten and darken areas of your image.

Whew! That's a lot of tools! Now that we've gone over those, here are the most essential keyboard shortcuts you'll need. (Don't worry, there aren't as many of those.)
Ctrl+N: New image
Ctrl+S: Save image
Ctrl+Shift+S: Save image as
Ctrl+Z: Undo
Ctrl+Y: Redo
Ctrl+A: Select all
Ctrl+Shift+A: Select none
Ctrl+I: Invert selection
Ctrl+X: Cut
Ctrl+C: Copy
Ctrl+V: Paste

That's all for today. Come back later for Lesson 2: Textures and Layering! Comment if this helped you!

- Sophia E

December 13, 2012

Idea Bank 1st Edition along with News Galore!

Game news: New hoard pack! Yay! *sarcasm* I understand that this is a holiday pack, so it's not QUITE as irritating as normal. But I'm tired of hoard packs. *sees yuletide fireplace housing item and drools* I WANT IT! Is it auctionable? Can somebody sell me one? Please?

My in-game news: Oh, yeah. I got a candy cane wand and a gingerbread wand from Lord Nightshade, but I really want a mint staff. Should I keep farming? I'm really tired of farming him. I'll post my holiday outfit soon.

Social news: I haven't been posting for almost two weeks now. Inexcusable. I should post WAY more. I need longer and more interesting posts, and more of them. To help myself get started, I will bring back something I used to do. Those who have been reading my blog for a long time probably remember "Outfit of the Week." I will do "Outfit of the Week: Holiday Edition." (The old "pretty, unique, wacky" system is being abolished.) I'm looking for a festive outfit. Stay tuned!

Sophia EmeraldBlossom is now on Twitter! Right now, I'm mostly posting advertisements for various giveaways, but I should start posting more. I'll probably be posting little things there that I wouldn't post here, so follow @ArtsyTheurgist!

IDEA BANK

In-game ideas: I want to do a big house chain linked by teleporters that tells a story with mannequins. I'm not sure how realistic that is, though, because I'm missing two key components: the teleporters and the mannequins. :P That wouldn't happen for a long time, but I'd love to do something like that!

Blog ideas:
~ Wizardly Debates
~ Fashion Frenzy (articles)
~ Why or not?
~ Poll Overview (remember to vote!)
~ The Crafter's Workshop with Emma IceCrafter
~ Graphics Studio with Sophia EmeraldBlossom

Note: these may not all happen immediately. Some may not happen at all.

That's all for now! Remember to vote on the latest poll for the upcoming Poll Overview!

- Sophia E

December 01, 2012

Guess what?


It's December, my favorite month of the year, and I'm back! I'm proud of my poem, even though it's a little bit early. It's supposed to be at the time of the party, not now.
Now Christmas Day is over
We all have had our fun
But I just can’t help feeling sad:
The holidays are done.

But wait! I think you’ll be surprised
To find it isn't true
Twelve parties for twelve merry days
That I made just for you.

“Twelve parties?!” you exclaim in shock
For how will this work out?
“Is it really true, and not a joke?
I admit, I have my doubts.”

Oh, no, it’s certainly not a joke
Please, step right this way
For awesome parties and games galore
After Christmas Day.

I have a wish to make for you
In a spirit of holiday cheer:
Have a belated Merry Christmas
And a very happy New Year!

Yes, you read that correctly! There are 12 parties, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas, and you’re invited to every single one of them! There will be a different holiday-themed event at each party, so none of them will be the same as the one before. For those who don’t want to partake in the festivities, my PvP arena will be open at all times. No matter how you want to celebrate, remember that the holidays aren't over yet, and most importantly, have fun.

The parties will be held at my secluded Christmas Cottage out in the unknown skies of Wizard City. The only way to access it is by teleportation, so please visit this address to teleport:
Ice Tower
2, School Circle
Ravenwood
Wizard City
The Spiral
Make sure that you are in Scarecrow realm. The parties will take place from December 26th, 2012 – January 6th, 2013. They will all start at 8:00 PM EST (this is 7:00 PM CST, 6:00 PM MST, and 5:00 PM PST), except for the party on January 1st, which will be one hour later due to personal conflict. Be sure to look for the pickup wizard, Christina RainbowSong (who will be wearing the Secret Shopper badge) about 10 minutes beforehand. RSVP in the comments, and be sure to tell me your wizard name so I recognize you.

1. Please do not:
·         Swear
·         Beg
·         Be rude
·         USE ALL CAPS (only because I use all caps when making announcements)
·         Talk over me or any staff when we’re saying something important
Any of these will get you kicked out. I’m sorry, but I can’t give second chances; it’s too hard to keep track.
2. No complaining or porting back if you get kicked out.
3. Please wear red, green, white, or a mixture of these colors.
4. Bring a Christmas wand if you have one. If not, just go without a wand (the exception to this is PvP).
5. You may not wear a Santa suit or transform into anything. There are staff to do that job. 
6. You may not wear these badges:
·         Wizard City Protector
·         Undead Hunter
·         Secret Shopper
·         Gobbler Chaser
The only reason is because these are all staff badges.
7. You MAY:
·         Leave during an event
·         PvP whenever you like
·         Take pictures or video
·         Talk to your friends during an event. You only can’t talk over me or the staff. If possible, keep your discussions to whisper or group chat.
·         Leave during a party (just don’t say things like “This is boring, I’m leaving.”)
·         Port back to a friend after leaving, as long as you weren’t kicked out.


To kick off the festivities, we will go caroling in the Commons. We’ll elect a “lead singer” (someone who knows the carols and has open chat) in the Christmas Cottage beforehand, and also choose which songs we’ll sing. Start typing the next line as soon as you’ve said the last one, and say it when the lead singer does. Those who aren’t interested in caroling can PvP.

This should be fun! More days will be announced as the month wears on.

Also, my wizards are all dressed up for Christmas (except for Daniel, who looked really weird in bright colors) but I'm not showing pictures because they need holiday wands first.

Sophia E

November 16, 2012

Fanfiction chapter 5: best one yet!

I just finished chapter 5 of my fanfiction. And I have to say: it's the best one yet! I thrilled myself with writing it. It has funny parts, interesting twists on the main story line, and epic battles. You should read it. It's on the page titled "The Greatest Treasure". Enjoy! Completely unrelated side note: Azteca just has to come out while I'm missing a sub. Grrr.

- Sophia E

November 08, 2012

Ugh!

Okay, be prepared for a rant post. If you aren't interested in hearing me rant, please leave the room right now. *watches as large crowd files out* (Do I even have a large crowd of readers?) Anyway...
KI just released its next...PACK! ARGGGHH!
When I joined there were two real hoard packs: Wyvern's Hoard and Dragon's Hoard. That November, their third hoard was released: the Raven's Hoard. After that came the Kirin's Hoard, then the Ninja Lore. As if putting in the word "Lore" instead of "Hoard" makes it better! Soon, we have:
Dragon's Hoard Pack
Wyvern's Hoard Pack
Raven's Hoard Pack
Kirin's Hoard Pack
Ninja's Lore Pack
Emperor's Attic Pack
Hoard of the Hydra
Knight's Lore Pack
Phoenix Hoard Pack
and the all new KEEPER'S LORE PACK!

...honestly? Oh yeah, and you have to pay for Grub Guardian too. If this keeps up, I will start calling KI CI (crownsisle). A few players are already doing it. But I digress. Back to hoard packs.

Why do I have such a problem with hoard packs?
Arguably, this is gambling. While one player could buy, say, a Raven's Hoard and get a Blood Raven on the first go, another could buy hundreds and get nothing significant. Here are some good hoard pack analogies I've heard around:
You buy seven gumballs from a machine. You could get rare and delicious flavors, but mostly you get something very plain and boring.
You buy seven rocks from a pile. You could get valuable gemstones like rubies and emeralds, but mostly you get pebbles.
You buy seven flowers from a shop. You could get some of the rarest flowers in existence, but mostly you get dandelions.
You buy seven fabrics from a stand. You could get something very expensive like cashmere or velvet, but mostly you get cotton.
You buy seven in-game pets. You could get a pet with a great pre-done talent pool like the sea dragon, but mostly you get piggles.
You get the idea.

Here's my point:
At first, the hoard packs weren't so bad. In the Dragon's and Wyvern's packs, either you got the rare stuff or you didn't. If you didn't, you got new housing items or something unique not found anywhere else in-game. If you were unlucky, you'd get one unique thing and trash items like reagents, small bushes, or TCs. Teleporters were a very frequent reward from the Wyvern's packs, and I still have a few from there. With the release of the Raven's hoard pack, everything slowly began to change for the worse. KI only designed a few new housing items, and there was not much of interest or value besides the really, really rare stuff. It went downhill from there. Before you know it, you have packs that consist of nothing besides gear, mounts, and trash items like the packs today. KI, if you need to make packs, please make them unique and interesting. Thank you.
Random picture of the day:
LOL, remember my old storm, Luke SkyWalker? I'm SO glad I made Grace.
- Sophia E

November 07, 2012

Introducing...

...Grace! She's so polite and unlike Emma I decided to let her join me on my blog. She can have this post all to herself since she's responsible and won't hijack the whole thing. I'm off to the Fairegrounds. Bye!
So...hi. I wanted to show you a few things. First, a picture of me in my newly decorated dorm room!
Hi.
Did you notice the rug I'm standing on? It serves multiple purposes! First, to fill up that awfully barren space in the middle of the room, and second, to be a moon phase chart! It's very useful. 

Second, it's time for a tour of my dorm! It's very nice, and Sophia was generous enough to give me some items to help me decorate. She does have an overcrowded attic. 


Complete view of my dorm room. Clockwise around the room, starting with the pet pen, we have: pet pen, sleeping area, leisure corner/reading nook/dining area, studying area, wardrobe.
I know this is kind of a faraway view, so here's more pictures of me in the dorm room.
Dancing in the pet pen! Note the appropriate painting on the wall.
Resting after a long day helping to save Wizard City. Note the appropriate painting. I love artwork!
About to dig into my favorite ice cream flavor: Tri-flavor delight! Mmmmm! Also on the table: Traps and Transformation, (the latest mystery novel) and Imp the Parakeet.
Me working on a science project for Professor Balestrom. Gotta work hard; he's a tough grader!
Do you think this hat matches my outfit?
Did you enjoy the tour? I absolutely loved making this room just right! Now for the third thing...
I've started a scrapbook! Entries will be coming soon on the new page: Grace's Scrapbook!
Also coming soon is a new About Me page, including sections by each of us: Sophia, Emma and me!
Hmph. Sophia likes you better!
Oh, I gotta go! Emma's here!

- Grace S

November 05, 2012

Funny pirate glitch and 10 reasons NOT to buy companion points

I said I wouldn't blog about Pirate101, but this is too good to pass up. I had just bought a new anchor for my shiny new frigate (the Silver Pegasus) and I left Puerto Mico to go try those pesky and tough House Guzman ships again. However, this is what I saw when I set sail:
My ship's invisible! See the tiny figures of me and Ratbeard down there?
And in player view:
At least it's a nice view of the skyway...
It was really funny. Now I need to figure out how to stop the glitch. When I do broadside combat, I want to be able to actually SEE my ship. Oh yeah, and I decided to finally do this: Note: this post was designed to counter Destiny's. For this to make the most sense, I suggest you read her post first.
10 REASONS NOT TO BUY COMPANION POINTS

1. Save gold! They're SO expensive. It's true that they're fairly cheap in the first few levels, but gold is so much harder to come by in Pirate101 that the ratio of price to the extremely low amount of gold you'd have makes them not worth it.
2. Make sinking easier! I've always preferred sinking to slashing mostly because it's much more time efficient. Also, in Valencia+, you NEED higher level ships. After that skiff from the Presidio, you don't get any more free ships until after Cool Ranch. When you buy a ship, it doesn't come with any gear, so you also need to buy ALL the gear, which is quite expensive. Face it; you need the money for ships.
3. If you train right, have good gear, and arrange your companions correctly, you should be fine. It's not necessary to level all your companions right up to your level, and it wastes points anyway. If you're choosing the right epics and talents for your crew and always sink rather than slash, you'll be okay.
4. If you spend your points sparingly, you'll have loads of excess anyway. When the difference between your level and the level of your companions becomes greater, it takes less points to level them. If you only train your companions when one point will level them or if it's absolutely needed, you should have about 10 at all times just sitting there. This makes the first few levels of the game very brutal, but perseverance, strategy, and a little luck will push you past that and it's smooth sailing from there.
5. It's even MORE convenient to not buy them! Not having to make side trips every few levels means you can spend more time questing and farming and less time running errands.
6. Speed-addition is now impossible (at least for me). There is no longer any "average damage this will deal" anymore. Once you reach the Tradewinds Skyway or so, enemies will dodge and block a lot, anyway. Just have everyone hit one enemy until it's dead. Repeat as necessary.
7. Training tomes become SO EXPENSIVE in the higher levels it's unbelievable and totally not worth it. Like I mentioned in #4, once you're that high a level you won't need them anyway and as a low level there's no way you can afford them without extra farming.
8. Why buy when you can find? Every once in a while, training tomes can be found and collected free just by pressing X, no charge.
9. Who doesn't like questing? It's the point of the game, after all. Like I mentioned in #5, time spent hanging around in a tavern is time NOT spent on doing fun piratey stuff like looting, dueling, and sailing.
10. In a nutshell, being frugal with spending on companion points is so this doesn't happen:

Tip for getting gold: Farm Fin. If you're level 10+, he is VERY easy, and his chest at the end drops 50+ gold each time. Best of luck to you in both sides of the spiral!

- Sophia E

October 26, 2012

Post #2

I know. I don't usually post twice a day. I don't even usually post ONCE a day. But this is an exception. Announcement number 1: I've finished chapter four of The Secret Gate The Greatest Treasure. I'm still not quite used to the name, but I think it's better. Announcement number 2: I made this beautiful banner/cover thing for the Greatest Treasure! Do you like it?
My skills are improving!
That's about it. I think I'm definitely improving in graphics.

- Sophia E

Story name change and more ranting.

I've changed the name of my fanfiction (The Secret Gate) to The Greatest Treasure. It sounds better. I've also changed the formatting, so now I have parts and chapters. A PART is a group of chapters, which tells about one world. A CHAPTER documents one area or major event. Now that I've got that straight...

More Azteca ranting. I can't believe that it's likely Malistaire who is back!!! The ending of the Malistaire arc seemed very ending-ish. After what happened, I can't imagine that he would do more evil. I just can't. Also, I've noticed people saying, "It's way too soon for a new world! I only have FOUR of my wizards at max level! AH!!!!!"

...Seriously? Four? I have ONE, people! ONE! And many bloggers don't even have a level 80! Just ask them! (Not the official fansite bloggers. The smaller bloggers.) End rant.

DINOSAURS!!!! I can't believe it! *stews angrily*

Random picture of the day:
Check out Grace's new outfit! (I know, terrible cropping job.)

- Sophia E

October 24, 2012

For goodness sake, just let it blow!

This is Sophia again, and you're in for a rant. In case you haven't heard, the prehistoric world of Azteca will be coming out soon. Like I said before, I DON'T WANT A DINOSAUR WORLD!! There are so many great hints at worlds, and now KI decides to use none of them? I heard that part of the storyline will be saving Azteca from a flaming meteor that will crush the world and turn it into an apocalypse. My course of action: Flee to my life house, wait for Azteca to blow, and hope the spiral-sonic waves knock over my plants. Of course, since I'm a "caring life wizard", I can't let that happen. Not to mention that I won't be able to advance if I don't finish it. Oh yeah, and each school gets a new dinosaur spell. I DON'T WANT A DINOSAUR SPELL!! No matter how good the stats are, I will never use it unless strictly necessary. Period. And it's so convenient that this is announced just after my sub runs out. Typical. I will see you in my life house, building sturdier bases for my furniture to assure that they will not be knocked over with the coming supernova  that is, scheming. Yeah, scheming.

- Sophia E

October 20, 2012

Er...hi!

Um...yeah. So, it's me. Emma. (Pronounce: splen-DIFF-ur-iss). So...anyway. Well, um...I've given up project Warlord. Why? Because in ranked PvP, in my very second match (I was still Private), I went up against a level 12 TC spammer captain. And lost. So I left PvP. Otherwise, this blog would be filled with rant posts, and nobody wants those. But - Project Warlord has been replaced with Project Observatory. In short, crafting the Celestial Observatory AFTER I finish Project Watchtower. Good, I've got the unpleasant part over with. Oh yeah, Sophia just went on vacation, so that's why I'm able to have a post ALL TO MYSELF. >:) Also, my spritely Brave Hound happened to be named Queen Ruby when I redeemed her from the pound (AKA my gift window). Sophia's first pet was named Princess Ruby. Summary: even my pets are superior. 

Other news: Sophia's Halloween party is today. Even though I'll be at a crafting lesson during it, I'm mentioning something she left out because of the goodness of my heart. There's hide and seek before the party, with rare TCs as prizes. OOooooOoo. Anyway, party pick-ups start at 9 PM EST, storm tower, Wraith realm in case you forgot (look for Fiona DeathCoin) but the hide and seek starts at 8:30. Here's how it works: Every 5 minutes, one wizard will log off and another will log on in their hiding place. Be quick! The riddles below give you clues on the wizard's costume and also the wizard's location. If you find a wizard, say "Have you seen any Blood Moss?" in menu chat, then attempt to friend the wizard. If the wizard says yes, he/she will give you your prize. If the wizard says no, it means that a different wizard has found them before you. And without further ado, here are the riddles, in the order that the wizards will be hiding. Warning: one of the wizards will NOT remain stationary! Try and find out which one, but don't tell anyone. The best part: I'm hiding for five minutes! And yes, the poems are lousy. What did you expect from Sophia?

The sneaky ninja lies in wait
Somewhere on the unicorn's street
Waiting for the one who will
Find her, running on costumed feet

Somewhere out of immediate sight
The wolf awaits your wizard's eye
Prowling round and round again
On a street where you might sell and buy

The spooky horseman waits to catch
His unsuspecting prey
In a cave where darkness lies
Far out of your way

The royal princess is waiting
By a place of games and fun
Her small companion is sought out
By almost everyone

The dragon rider, sitting on
Her splendid mount of blue
Outside a place where dragons sleep
She is waiting for you

The final costumed wizard waits
Near a stationary boat
She's hiding out out of your sight
While on the wind it floats 


Since her poem stinks so much, here's my own Halloween poem. It's about the party, and is TOTALLY way better. Here goes!

There once was a wizard (Maria)
Who's dressed as a nasty old ninja
Deep in the hedge maze
She waits for the craze
Of all the wizards who will find her.

There once was a wizard named Donna
Who walks among the shops' back lawn-a.
She's a wolf who prowls
But never really howls
Don't get her hiding place wrong-a.

There once was a wizard named Daniel
He's not dressed as a brown cocker spaniel.
He rides on a horse
But his pumpkin head's worse
By the wraith's tower, bigger than a granule.

There once was a wizard named Grace
Who's dressed up in boring old lace
She's by a games tent
Oh, where did she went?
To find her, will you win the race?

There once was a wizard named Emma
And she's totally the very best-a.
She's splendiferous
What? She really is!
When you find her, she'll rise up in splend-a.

There once was a wizard named Sophia
But she stands out, you'll totally see her.
She's an ugly old bird
Yes, that is the word
That's a really lame costume, huh?

*applause* Thank you, thank you! *bows* Now where was I? Oh, yeah! The party! My costume is awesome! I have the best TCs! I'm practically perfect in every way, especially on Halloween!
Haha! Fooled you! All I did was go buy a one-day swiftshadow wings to complete my costume! Now I get to sign off this post! Oh yeah, and as far as I know, only three people are coming and I worked really hard on this, so please come. (In costume, please!) Invite your friends!
Elizabeth and I match! Can you tell who is who?
- Sophia E

October 13, 2012

Finished! ...Not really

Let me show you a couple of pictures.

Two open spots at the round table - very convenient.
Take a look at my badge in the second picture, not to mention the setting. There you have it. I'm done, and now can join the crowd of Archmages eagerly awaiting the next world. Speaking of worlds: I saw Swordroll's post about the bundles hinting at a prehistoric-themed one. I'm not saying that this is a bad idea for a world, but I hate dinosaurs. Period. There are so many worlds already hinted at in quest dialogue, so why make a completely new one? I'm still excited at the prospect of Mirage (cat world), Empyrea (cloud/sky world) and Polaris. I don't think Polaris is an ice world; we already have one of those. Frankly, that would be quite boring. I'm still picturing it as a star/outer space world. (And no, Celestia doesn't count.) You know, like the Celestial Observatory but with different architecture. People have been seeing a mysterious ice world floating by in the Pirate101 skyways and assume it's Polaris. Have you forgotten about Nodor? Here's some quest dialogue from Avalon describing a map of Nodor: 
"A Map to the Brisk Land of Nodor. There are pictures of Woolly Mammoths and Frozen Fomori. Doesn't sound that appealing to you." 
Doesn't that sound like an ice world? Then again...woolly mammoths? Maybe this is both an ice world AND  a prehistoric world. That could be very interesting.

Okay, back on topic. Now that I'm level 80, I'm done with Sophia, right? Don't even think about it. I have a whole list of things I need to do now!

SOPHIA'S TASK LIST
  1. Finish that stray quest for the Marleybone Warehouse.
  2. Get the Emerald Champion badge. (There's only a few stray Mossback quests left in Mooshu; I got fed up with them as a lower level because all the monsters I had to fight were life.)
  3. Get a perfect pet.
  4. Find some way to drastically reduce my gold.
  5. Find those last few music scrolls. (I've never posted about this, but I'm collecting.) Coven, here I come with my epicly awesome forest lord of power!
  6. Start redecorating Life House for Christmas. (What? It's a big project!)
  7. Ignore the crafting quest in my quest log. (Emma's the crafter.)
I can't shake the feeling that I've forgotten something, though...Hmm. 
Did you forget me?
Oh, yeah! THAT'S what I was forgetting! You know Emma, you're pretty easy to forget.
Hmph. I'm a splendiferous person, and you know it. Anyway, now that Sophia's done, it's ME time! You'll be seeing a lot more of me!

EMMA'S TASK LIST
  1. Project 80: Get to level 80. (Gotta happen sometime, right?)
  2. Project Warlord: ACTUALLY rule PvP and get the Warlord badge.
  3. Project Watchtower: Craft the Watchtower Hall.
  4. Project Artisan: Continue advancing through the crafting ranks.
  5. Project Conqueror: Take over this blog. 
  6. Project Spell-Master: Collect wands after I finish project Watchtower.
  7. Project Best: Prove that I'm better than Sophia.
  8. Project Splendiferous: Buy the Splendiferous Robe and wear it. (It actually exists!)
Um, Emma? It's fire.
NOOooo... *scratches off list and leaves*
Good, she's gone. Well, that's all for today. See you later!
Yarrr! Like my pirate costume?
- Sophia E

October 10, 2012

Surprise, surprise!

I have not one, but two surprises to post about today! One, the date of the party mentioned in the previous post has been changed to October 20th due to a conflict. Also, thanks for reminding me, Emma: the realm of the pickup is wraith.

Second, I've changed my mind and will be playing Pirate101. It'll be a really casual and slow thing, though, because I'm going the crowns route for it. I'll be playing in the Gandry realm, so if you see any ships with these flags in Gandry you've probably run into me. Feel free to say hi! I probably won't be blogging about my pirates, but here are their pictures! They are my wizards in pirate form, and I'm not sure how many you will recognize from pictures on this blog.

Sophia EmeraldBlossom
Daniel DeathBlood
Grace StormRider
Donna DragonFlame
And last, also least...Emma!
You mean "And last, but BEST".
Whatever. Anyway...
Emma IceCrafter
That's all for now. See you in Skull Island/Avalon! Random picture of the day:
Nomnomnom CAKE!

- Sophia E

October 03, 2012

Halloween is here! Also, a little bit concerning Pirate101...

October is here! Do you know what that means? Right! Halloween is here! Do you know what that means? Right! I have to disclose my Halloween surprise! So basically, I'm having a party. Pickups will be at 9:00 PM EST, October 27 in the storm tower, look for Fiona DeathCoin novice necromancer. There will be lots of fun and a haunted dorm, so come if you want to. 

Also, the Pirate101 release date has been, well, released. It's on October 8. And I'm about to say something that will probably leave most bloggers gaping with surprise. (Or not; it depends on how you react to these sorts of things.) Here goes: I'm probably not going to play Pirate101.

Did I just hear you all gasp? Don't get me wrong here; it's a great game and all that, but it doesn't have what attracted me to Wizard101: the fantasy feel. Although I love seeing more of the spiral, and the companions were great, just a few things aren't enough to make me pay for a game. If I ever play, it'll be after I max all my wizards, and trust me, that won't be for a LOOOOONG time. (Although I'm fairly close to maxing out Sophia.) 

Oh yeah, and I'm going away from tomorrow to Monday. No world tours here. (I wish!) Random picture of the day:
You mean you think this'll melt? O:

- Sophia E

September 24, 2012

The Count to 80: 74!

So yesterday I hit level 74 and got from Caer Lyon into the Wild. So here's what I did in the Wild. (Caer Lyon is pretty boring.) Basically, once I got in, I had to talk to a certain dryad named Sophia Greensleeves. I was surprised that she shared my name. Sophia's husband was captured and taken to the White Owl Tower! My good friend and companion, Elizabeth GoldenThistle, was with me at the time and we decided to rescue him together. Elizabeth had heard many rumors of the troubles of the White Owl Tower, but never one to be deterred by rumors, I decided to go in anyway. Elizabeth went with me. After an annoying life boss, (an owl with an ego), we had to free a ponycorn trapped in a cage. She directed us to climb through a window on a vine. I was reluctant, never being one for climbing, but I made it up. As soon as we entered the room, we noticed green fumes, and began to slowly get sleepy. After a troublesome episode of finding the right ingredients for an antidote, we managed to ignore the fumes and get out of that deadly room safely. After that, we fought another owl with an ego and rescued Sophia's husband. After saving a fire elf village, training mass prism spells, and finding Sir Robin Bravely, (who was not thankful for our help) we were exhausted and done for the day. Now, today, we'll find the minstrel who has the Sword of Kings! (Or at least try to.) I'll see you later with an update on our escapades!

- Sophia E

September 22, 2012

Copy and paste fest!

YAY!!! WOOHOO!!! AWESOME!!! YIPPEE!!! WOOT!!! YAY!!! WOOHOO!!! AWESOME!!! YIPPEE!!! WOOT!!! YAY!!! WOOHOO!!! AWESOME!!! YIPPEE!!! WOOT!!! YAY!!! WOOHOO!!! AWESOME!!! YIPPEE!!! WOOT!!! YAY!!! WOOHOO!!! AWESOME!!! YIPPEE!!! WOOT!!!

Overkill much? It depends. Something BIG just happened today! Want to guess what it is?
...
No, I didn't just succeed in getting a SPUD pet.
...
No, I didn't win the lottery.
...
No, I didn't get rid of Emma forever.
...
You stuck? I'll tell you what happened. I GOT ANOTHER SUB! :D Can't write any longer. MUST. PLAY! I will see you in Avalon!

- Sophia E

September 17, 2012

Thoughts about Halloween (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW INSIDE!)

Hello again. *slides onto screen awkwardly* It's been a long time, hasn't it? I've been busy in game. I know, shocker. I still don't have a sub. I've been thinking, too. I'm really looking forward to Halloween in Wizard101! Last year, I could only do the apprentice tower and I was scared away by Baron Mordecai, but this year I'll be more than ready for all the fun of the more advanced monsters! (Of course, my Transcendent character would totally knock them out of existence.) Ooh, here's an idea! They should make an Archmage tower! Seriously though, having Grandmaster be the highest tower level is sort of low now. I'd totally be up for that challenge. Speaking of Halloween, all my characters are in Halloween costumes! They are epic! And here they are, in the order of least epic to most epic.
Maria, dressed as a wood elf thing (hey, I was on a budget!)
Grace, dressed as an English princess
Donna, dressed as a wolf
Sophia, dressed as a raven (she will have 1 day swiftshadow wings on the day of the -  I'm not telling!)
Emma, dressed as a blue dragon-rider (EPIC!!!)
Not bad, considering I'm on a budget, huh? You may notice I didn't include Daniel's costume. That's because he needs the pumpkin mask from the Baron Mordecai quest. I'll show you when it's finished. And now, for an exclusive preview of my Halloween dorm for the - oops, I almost gave it away! More details on the surprise in October.
The teleporter goes to a mystery location! :D You'll find out about that when I tell about the surprise.
Like them? I will see you with more details in October!

- Sophia E

September 02, 2012

One year in the spiral!

Yes, today is my wizaversary! Although what with Pirate101, I wonder if I should call it "spiralversary". I think I will, because I can't remember the date that I made my pirate on. So anyway, this is my first spiralversary. In one year, I have progressed my main wizard to level 73 and Avalon, and also progressed Emma to level 22. I find this quite good considering that for only 3 months or so of this, I had a sub. I also gained a few friends. To me, there are the people on your friends list, and then there are your friends, the people who you hang out with in game and chat with and have fun with. Although I have a ton of people on my friends list, only a few of them are actually friends. Thank you to all my in-game friends: To Alexandria UnicornRiver, for humor and fun; Justin EarthSword, for fun times at my house and introducing me to my twin (see here); and most of all to Elizabeth GoldenThistle, for being my questing buddy from Firecat Alley to the High Road (where we are now), from levels 10 to 73, and for always being there, both in the spiral and in real life.

Now for some humor! Here's a little thing I did, saying my reactions and thoughts on all the milestones as a free player. I hope you enjoy!
Game downloaded, in the wizard creator: Okay, so I have chosen the school of life. I get to heal, that sounds cool! Next! I'm a girl...next! Hmm...I like this hair. The style looks like my real life one, and I don't really want to change the hair color. Face: hmm, I have brown eyes in real life. *click click click* Here we go! Skin color is good...next! Okay, now I get to choose my clothes. *lots of clicking* I like this! White with a green trim! (I know, I know. Kinda boring, but I'm a plain sort of person in clothes styles.) Now I get to choose a wizard name? Cool! All these choices are sort of overwhelming, so I'm going to hit the random button a few times and see what I get. *click* Anna GiantHead? Seriously? XD *click* No... *click* Um...I don't think so. *click* Oooh...Sophia EmeraldBlossom. That sounds so pretty! I like it! *finishes creating wizard*
In tutorial: *does all the tasks* Summoning magical creatures and dueling! That sounds so cool! *ground begins to shake, rain falls, shadow at window* *GASP!* Who's that!? Going into the tower doesn't sound like a great idea...Oh, this Malistaire guy must be who was at the window! Cool, he summoned some dragon things! But why are they ice if they're dragons? Weird... Great, now I need to fight them. Okay! *does a few rounds* Hmm, I wonder why the people draw different things when they cast spells. I will have to research this later. *once she casts unicorn* Wow! If this is healing, I think I might get something like this later! *after duel* He said he found what he was looking for. I wonder what that could be. Wow, he disappeared! I want to be able to do that! And a spellbook, and a wand, and I need to chat. Okay! Let's see what I can say...how about "No"? Yeah! *tutorial ends*
In Unicorn Way:
This is pretty! It looks life-ish. Unicorn park...I love this place! It's my favorite place so far! Time for a duel. Okay! *enters battle with lost soul and does not get it AT ALL* Wha...? Why don't I have troll and meteor strike and unicorn?! Well, this snake spell looks good! *casts and kills lost soul* There we go! *upon learning fairy* Wow! Now I can actually heal! This is great! *upon defeating Rattlebones* *gets Baxby tutorial tip and looks at drop* Ooh, Rattlebones's cowl! It must be super unique! I have a unique item! YAY! *gets broom* Cool, a broom! I go faster now!
Unlocks Ravenwood (includes leprechaun training):
Wow! Here's the school part! This is just so amazing! Everything is so pretty! (funny how people don't tend to pay attention to that stuff anymore) *after talking to all the teachers and gets training point* *trains leprechaun* Wow, a super powerful new spell! I will impress everyone with my leprechaun of awesome! (after this, I showed off leprechaun whenever I could. In the kraken fight, all over the streets...everywhere.) I wonder what I should spend my training point on, though? Since life is weak on damage, maybe I should do storm, which is high on damage! Yeah! *trains thundersnake* Wait...don't I already have this spell?
Triton Avenue: 
This street is gloomy. I don't like it as much as Unicorn Way. *after finishing* Oh cool! I have new gear! I forgot! But I don't like how any of it looks, so I'm not keeping it. *unequips and doesn't know what stats are*
Life school quest, level 7:
*skips to summoning at Rainbow Bridge* Wow, a seraph in the Commons! This is something you don't see every day! Wait...why aren't people stopping to stare at my awesome seraph? *sulks* Well, at least I got unicorn. That's something. It says "275 health to all friends", so it must heal all your friends no matter where they are! Cool! (to me, this spell description is very misleading)
After advanced dueling tutorial from Diego:
Oh...so THAT'S what pips are and how you get them.
Starting Firecat Alley:
Cool! New street! *goes to it* *GASP!!!!!!* I have to...to...pay? :'( But they said this game was free! Oh well. I'm sure I'll find a way to be able to buy it.

That's it! Did you enjoy it? By the way, the first time I fought the Kraken, I had to fight him alone. O_O Also, this is my 50th post! Woot woot! Not much farther until 100! Okay...actually it's a lot farther. Oh yeah, and the party hat from the spiralversary code didn't work, so I made this makeshift party outfit.
Me partying!

- Sophia E

August 31, 2012

Hi! I'm back to...

...filming! Here you go: The Shadow of Night Part 3! It's been quite a Part 3-style week, hasn't it? Enjoy!

- Sophia E

August 30, 2012

Really Rapid-fire Writing!

I made that alliterative on purpose. Anyway, you might be wondering why I didn't post yesterday, when pirate week was supposed to resume. I just realized that when I sat down to write pirate week posts, it felt more like a burden than a pleasure. I realized that if I wasn't enjoying writing pirate week, I should stop for now. As a blogger, I'm supposed to love giving informative posts, but I just feel - well - sick of Pirate101 for now. Plus, I have only two ships, and that wouldn't be very impressive for day 7. Rest assured, pirate week WILL continue, when I'm in a piratey mood and have more ships and experience; I'm just not sure when.

On that happy note, I think you might be wondering what that title was about. You're probably astonished at this news: I have finished TSG part 3! When I was writing the last sentence of that part, here's exactly what was going through my head: Whoa. A part written in a week with whole days away from home and the computer. Talk about FAST. And, it's the longest part yet! Yay! :) :) :) :) :) Five smilies of approval! Now, in book-advertisement style, I will give you a description (sort of) of this part: What happens to Sophia and her friends? If you want to find out, read this next installment of The Secret Gate! :D 
...
Not a great description, I know. I'm just doing my job as advertiser , no, annoying person, that is, bookseller - augh! Fine. PERSON WHO MAKES YOU WANT TO READ IT. How's that?

Just remember: If you want to find out, read this next installment of The Secret Gate!
- Sophia E

August 23, 2012

Surprise enclosed, written in invisible ink!

That's right! You have to highlight this post to read its content! >:)






































Just joking. I wouldn't be that mean, would I? I could do it if I wanted to, typing in white color, but I don't want to. But maybe I do! Muahahahaha!
The content is written below.

Okay, I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? Good news or bad news? Hmm, that's a good question! Let's flip a coin! *gets out quarter* *does super impressive flip* Okay, it came up on tails! That means bad news first! You may be wondering why I'm posting again today. It's very rare for me to post twice on the same day. In fact, it's so rare that this is the first time! That brings us to WHY I'm posting. You see, I didn't realize how busy a weekend and the following days would be when I started pirate week. So, I'm postponing pirate week. Day 3 will be this Wednesday. I wish I didn't have to postpone, but I do. I will see you then. (Yes, I probably won't post until then. Sad.)

Enough sadness on this post! Time for the GOOD NEWS! And it is good news indeed! Better news than you could possibly imagine! (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a teensy little bit.) But it is quite good. *drumroll begins* Wait for it ....................... wait for it ....................... *drumroll gets louder* I have gotten back to writing, and the Secret Gate part 2 is FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *happy smiling faces* Although, there was one little error in that story. Emma and I get along in there.
That's just your wishes. Not reality.
Yeah, so true. Now please leave.
Hmph.
Anyway, READITREADITREADIT! NOW!!!!!! Look in the My Writings tab! You won't be disappointed! (I hope.)

- Sophia E

Pirate week, Day 2: Companions!

I'm back, as promised! So anyway, let's get on with pirate week, shall we?
Day 1: Health and Life Fountains
Day 2: Companions
Day 3: Battle
Day 4: Training (changed!)
Day 5: Pets and Mounts
Day 6: Skyways
Day 7: Ships
Oh yeah, and I had a quest goal recently that said "Investigate things that should be left alone". Why investigate them if they should be left alone?

Companions
Companions are, in my opinion, one of the coolest things about Pirate101. I want to talk about how companions work, how you level your companions, and also talk about my opinions about my own companions. So in battle, companions are like friends that you control, or maybe running multiple accounts without the multiple accounts part. Out of battle, your companions are NPCs that talk to you, walk with you, and are key parts of the storyline. You also assign them different ranks on your crew, the highest being First Mate. Your first mate will always be in a fight with you (except for a few very special cases, where you have no companions with you). For all the other ranks, the higher the rank, the higher the chance that companion will be in a fight with you. All in all, companions are really totally awesome and a great part of a great game. 

However, when you first gain your companions they will not be ultra-super-powerful like you want them. To make them more powerful, you need to train them. Every time you level up, you get 3 or 4 companion training points, which you can use on whichever companion you like. You can also get these points from certain quests, and they also can be bought in taverns for gold. Be warned, though: These points are expensive! Be careful not to spend too much gold on these, because leveling companions extra can be addicting! Here's a little tip on training your companions: train them all, even the lamest companion in the lowest rank. There's always the chance that your lowest ranked companion could be chosen to battle with you, even though that chance is small. If you haven't trained this companion, this is a complete throwaway and you could lose the battle. Also, there's another way to make your companions better: promotion quests. You meet with your crew in a tavern, and then you do some quest goals. At the end, you can choose a new epic ability for your companion! Note: you don't choose when this happens. The companion eligible for promotion will give you a tutorial tip and you automatically get the quest.

Now, I want to show you my companions (the companions of a level 13 swashbuckler), and why I like them. This should give you an example of what the companions are like. Note: your companions and what powers and abilities they have may vary.
My Crew
Right now, I am level 13 and I have 8 companions. See how it says firstmate above the guinea pig in the green hat? He is my firstmate because even though he's not the highest level, he has the best abilities and is relatively durable. Now I am going to go briefly over what each of them can do.
Gaspard de Vole (firstmate) ~ Level 10 buccaneer. He has Critical Strike (guaranteed critical on one certain attack; I can activate this whenever I want) and First Strike (when an opponent tries to hit him, he might be able to hit the enemy first; this does not count as his turn, it's randomly activated and can activate multiple times).
Bonnie Anne (the fox) ~ Level 10 musketeer. She has been promoted through a quest, so she's one of my best companions. She has Line of Fire (shoot all enemies in a straight line and reduce their dodge, activate manually, one use), Double Tap (randomly attack another target if she makes a kill shot, activated automatically), and Burst Fire (attack again if her first attack is successful; activates randomly and automatically, does not always activate).
Pedro de Olid (the monkey with the feather hat) ~ Level 12 musketeer. Not as good as Bonnie Anne, even though he's a higher level; haven't used him much.
Old Scratch (the skeleton) ~ Level 10 witchdoctor. Can use ranged attack, and has Bone Chant (summon skeleton that you don't control; this is like a minion).
Don Luis Cebidas (the monkey with the helmet) ~ Level 12 buccaneer. Not as good as Gaspard de Vole, even though he's a higher level; haven't used him much. Note: see the lightning bolt next to his picture? It means I can give him a new talent! (Basic stat boost, not epic ability.)
Ratbeard (the rat) ~ Level 10 buccaneer. He has Critical Strike (see Gaspard de Vole), and I'm not sure who is better: him or Don Luis Cebidas. See the gray exclamation point next to his picture? It means he's ready for a promotion quest! (He probably will be better than Don Luis Cebidas after this.)
Sarah Steele (the girl mouse) ~ Level 10 swashbuckler. She's basically a clone of myself, and I don't need a clone of myself. She attacks big, though, and can come in handy if she does happen to get chosen.
Subodai (the horse) ~ Level 10 buccaneer. He's my very first companion and isn't all that good, but I need to train him anyway. You'd be surprised just how much he gets chosen.

See you tomorrow! (again)

- Sophia E