January 28, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 4

"How can I ever thank you?" exclaims Donna when her warm new robe is done. "Now there's a chance that I can actually survive this!" She leads you up the steps to the outdoors, explaining that this route is quicker. As you walk, you make sure to explain what the password is so she'll be able to get inside. Suddenly, you see a glow and point it out to the rest. When you arrive, you notice one of your teammates lying rigid on the ground, eyes vacant, staff still glowing. You kneel down next to her and feel her throat. There's no pulse. You gravely announce the news to the others. "She's dead."

Donna shakes her head sadly. "She must not have gotten the reagents in time. The cold's set in. There's nothing we can do." She turns around and leads you back into the house, announcing "necromancer" as she steps over the threshold. She leads you into a room on the ground floor. It appears to be some sort of library. Donna peeks inside and quickly pulls back.

"I see Emma in there," she says. "I'd better go. Thanks so much for all your help." She teleports away, and you cautiously step into the library.

You haven't walked more than three steps inside when you stub your toe on a book lying on the floor. "I wish they had better light in here," you mutter. "Even just a candle would be nice." 

"Psst...over here!" calls a voice. You notice a light blue figure waving frantically. You slowly walk over to her, careful to mind your footsteps this time. You breathe a sigh of relief when you reach her with no incidents. Now that you're closer, though, you realize something strange about the girl, who you decide must be Emma. It's hard to see in the dark room, but you notice something on her robe. No, not on her robe...through her robe. The outlines of the books on the shelf behind her. 

"Emma..." you say cautiously, hoping she won't take offense or freak out at the news, "You're transparent, like a ghost. I can see the books behind you." Emma looks down and lays a hand on her chest, looking through herself. "Yes, I noticed. That's why I'm so interested in this book." She shows you a thin, dark green book that seems to have accumulated some mildew on its pages. "While I was waiting for you, I searched this shelf to see if I could find out why. I found some truly dreadful things, but nothing about how I seem to have become a ghost. Now, I think I might have found something." She shows you the page, and you squint to read the text. It seems that it's made up of real words, but they're rearranged so they make no sense at all. You sigh with annoyance. "Great. It's encrypted."

Two people didn't turn in their entries: Tasha SparkleHeart and Isabella StarSong. I've chosen to eliminate Tasha because Isabella did so well on Task 2. 

I need your help breaking this strange encryption. I'm so curious about my state of being, not to mention it's probably really important! Here it is:

Death is intruder who of not
Breath mere will for you to fade a
Befall your and wait doom watch
Is because master them death all of

Will bones chilling your come, cold a
Pervades mind death as body and
Was come, a you'll it find to mistake
The moans join ghosts silent in you'll

Are shrewd, you clever and noble, for
If rejoice! Death, of you but are
End schools forever to other the
Us complete you'll to choice our help

Confusing, right? Here are some handy steps to follow when solving this crazy poem:
1. Remember that the verses are all in their correct order. All lines that are in the verse in the end result are still in the same verse in the scrambled version. All words that are in the line in the end result are still in the same line in the scrambled version. However, where the lines are within the verse and where the words are within the line is what's different. Be careful.
2. Rearrange the words in each line so they make some sense separately. The order of the lines will still be jumbled, so you may not be sure of your answers. That's okay. It should eventually become obvious if you missed something. Be sure to leave the punctuation with the words they were with while doing this.
3. Now rearrange the lines within their verses until they make sense. There are multiple ways to do this and they might still make sense even if they're wrong, so I'll give you this hint: Some of the lines (I won't tell which) are already in their correct places. However, no verses already have ALL their lines in the correct places. Pay attention to the pattern of the rhyme and meter and you should be okay.
4. Reread it carefully to check for mistakes. If you think you have it all right, proceed to step 5. If not, go back to step 2 or 3, depending on what you think you messed up.
5. Viola! You now have your rather morbid, but completely coherent poem. To submit it, email it to sophiaeb at live dot com with the subject line Mission: Mansion Task 4. Try to be quick! The deadline is February 2nd, 11:59 PM EST.

Like task 2, entries are judged based on the percentage correct. Again, the lowest scorer is eliminated, and in the case of a tie for lowest score, the person eliminated will be chosen at random. (Hint: In verse 3, line 1, the word noble comes before shrewd.)

Find I good to poem! out luck! that need >:)

- Emma I

January 26, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 3

You grin as you discover you've figured out the password. "Necromancer! The password is necromancer!" 

"Yes!" Nicholas congratulates you. "That's right. Now hurry up; the less time I spend in this freezing cold place, the better. I know where one of my friends is. Her name is Donna DragonFlame, and she's probably in the cellar. Come on. I'll show you the way in."

You turn to the door. "Necromancer!" you declare proudly. You hear a click as the door unlocks and swings open with an eerie creak. You, along with the rest, follow him inside. Each one in the group says, "Necromancer" as they enter. However, one balks. 

Nicholas turns around to face him. "What? What is it?"

He stares in terror at the interior of the house, decorated in skulls. "I can't go in there! It's...nasty!"

Nicholas shrugs. "Fine. Don't. You tried, and that's what counts." Gratefully, he scurries away, back through the spiral door.

You continue on after Nicholas, through the main entryway and into a smaller room, then through a red door decorated with a twisting black vine pattern. "This is where I leave you," he announces. "The cellar is right through that door. Donna shouldn't be too hard on you, unless she's in a bad mood."

"Great. That's so reassuring," you mutter as he teleports away in a shower of orange sparks. When you step through the door, you're met with a blazing flash of flame. The furnace that heats the house is spitting real fire. When you back away, you notice that it seems to be glaring at you. Okay...that's a little creepy. It's hard to see into the inferno, but you notice a figure huddled near the flames, with her own fire started in her open palm. She looks freezing cold, and the fire behind her is lighting up her body in some really strange ways. When she notices you, her face breaks into a smile. 

"Thank goodness you're finally here!" she says. "I was just about to give myself up for lost. It's so cold down here, even with the furnace. I'd show you to the library, but I'm afraid I'll freeze to death if I leave the fire here. Maybe I could take you there if you could help me craft something warmer to wear." She begins taking tools out of her backpack. "On-the-go crafting set," she murmurs. "It really comes in handy sometimes...Anyway, I have all the tools I need, but I left my reagents back at my house. They shouldn't be too hard to find around here. Maybe, could you do it for me? Please?"

Last task, there were three people who didn't turn in their entries, so they automatically get a score of zero, but one gets a special exception. Here are the scores and answers:

Alura HexCaster: 75%
Malorn WillowSmith: 0%
Tasha SparkleHeart: 0%
Emma DawnRider: 15% for her enthusiasm (see this post)
Destiny SoulTamer: 66% (Sorry, you would have done better if you'd kept your first entry.)
Isabella StarSong: 92% (So close! You got all the riddles right but couldn't figure out the password.)
I randomized to see who would be eliminated, and we need to say goodbye to Malorn WillowSmith.
And here are the answers:
1. It's the wizard's special skill, and the pages of fantasy books it fills.
Though never found on our own earth, in children's minds it finds its birth. ~ MAGIC
2. The time in which the bright light sleeps, and in it, silence's vigil keeps. ~ NIGHT
3. On the wings of the wind it soars, the fear of all rodents outdoors.
With piercing eye and sharpest claw, this bird is master of them all. ~ EAGLE
4. It comes after a drenching rain, with many colors in a shape that's plain. ~ RAINBOW
5. It's a place unexplored, a place that's new, but may never again see the morning's dew.
A place of animals thought as dead, a place that many wizards dread. (hint: a proper noun in Wizard101) ~ AZTECA
6. The thing that bees gather is made into honey
Which on toast people slather, but in this form, it's runny. ~ NECTAR
7. The color of my garments and of sun-kissed fruit,
Of fire, sunsets, and pumpkins, too. ~ ORANGE
8. This bird is the bringer of death and despair,
But also the old one who first flew the air. (hint: one word) ~ RAVEN
9. This meaning of "power" can be like two
It's of some wizards, but also appliances, too. (hint: 5 syllables) ~ ELECTRICITY
10. A square of deep brown's never been so delicious
But it has its drawbacks: it's far from nutritious! ~ CHOCOLATE
11. Toss it, flip it, and try your luck
But try not to lose it, because then you'll be stuck. ~ COIN

The first letters are MNERANORECC, which unscrambles to NECROMANCER, the password.

The motive of this contest is fairly straightforward. You need to search this blog and find the reagents. These could be hidden anywhere in any post or page. They will be hidden in the form of out-of-place sentences (for example: Keep checking this page for more pages. You have found a stone block for the Mission: Mansion contest! Also, thank you Sophia for the awesome cover!) and will all be in red bold so you don't miss them. Note: the example above was just an example. There is no stone block in that place on the Grace's Scrapbook page. 

This is a speed challenge. In other words, whoever emails the complete list of the locations of all six reagents to sophiaeb at live dot com first with the subject line Mission: Mansion Task 3 will win the challenge. Whoever is the slowest will be eliminated. However, there will still be a deadline just in case, which is tomorrow night (January 27th) at 11:59 PM EST 

Again, good luck! And please remember: I'm depending on you for this. 

- Donna D

January 25, 2013

Contest Problem

All right, I have a problem. The speed challenge goes up tomorrow and still only Destiny and Isabella have turned in their entries. I really don't want to postpone the contest any longer. I have contacted the others, but they haven't responded or acknowledged me in any way. I don't want to advance their standings for that, or cancel the contest. Does anyone have ideas?

- Sophia E

January 22, 2013

Random Post of Pictures

So, I have a lot of pictures. This post will be compiled of fairly random pictures and text to explain them. Are you ready?

Picture #1!
Emma randomly got this tutorial tip one day out of the blue. I'm guessing it's to send her off to Celestia for the Grandmaster Crafter quest. She'll need to investigate when I buy the Floating Land. Yes, the Grandmaster Crafter person is in the Floating Land.

Picture #2!
While questing with Emma, I came across this gem of dialogue before starting the Tomb of Storms. He called Emma "Oh Crafty One" and I burst out laughing. It was just perfection. I took a picture, of course. (By the way, she finished Krokotopia just a few minutes ago. Well...not quite. She still has loads of side quests to do.)

Picture #3!
After buying Crab Alley, I decided to join a Waterworks run with Scarlet of Mercenaries101. After defeating Sylster and not getting anything notable *hints at mastery amulets* I stumbled across this. Huh? Random present buried in sand at the back of the Waterworks? Ooookay. 

Picture #4!
So, Emma's working on her Watchtower Hall. She finished crafting all 30 of the necessary Stack of Wood Planks. They weren't hard at all. As in, buy all the necessary reagents and craft 3 at a time at half hour intervals. But the next step (literally) is the Ornamental Stepstones. I need 15 of them. The recipe isn't too hard. The only problem is I need 20 Ectoplasm each, and I only have 10. Not to mention that I'll need thousands (literally) of Bronze Gears for the Watchtower Hall, and I only have 46! I needed to come up with a solution. It wasn't long before I discovered that Orange Dandelions drop all of those rare-ish dropped reagents that I need. Yes! I planted 32 of them and set their likes in place. They attract their own pixies, so that shouldn't be a problem either. Now, we'll just see what happens. 

The red gear probably needs some explaining, too. I'm in a contest where the competitors are divided into two teams: red and blue. Elizabeth and I are both red, and you need to wear gear the color of your team. The first task takes place in-game tomorrow, so I got the gear. I volunteered to film it, so you can look at my YouTube channel later.

I think that's all for today. Wish me luck with my garden!

- Sophia E

January 19, 2013

Contest extended

Sadly, only 2 people submitted their entries for Mission: Mansion - Task 2. I'll email everyone else (chances are they just forgot) and the new deadline is the 25th at 11:59 PM EST, with Task 3 posted at 10:00 AM EST the next day. Sorry for the inconvenience!

- Sophia E

January 14, 2013

Mission: Mansion - Task 2

Sophia hands you a key, her dark eyes deathly serious. "Good luck," she whispers to you. "I think you'll need it." Then, she raises her voice to speak to the other six who were chosen. "I don't know what traps and curses guard the DeathCoin mansion. I've never been inside. However, my friends are already in the house somewhere waiting for you. They will help you, but you may need to prove yourselves. Nicholas SandThorn should be waiting on the doorstep. Good luck, all of you." You take a deep breath and unlock the spiral door, gazing at the starry view through it. Then, taking a deep breath, you jump.

On the other side of the door, you are met with a scene of somber and cold gloom. The sky around you is a dismal gray and hung with smoky clouds. You hurry down the steep plank from the spiral door, and nearly slip. Thankfully, another wizard catches you before you fall. "Thanks," you murmur. 

The house itself is no less intimidating. It is painted in a wraith-black color, and the porch is made of rotting wood. As you approach, you jump back, startled. The porch opens up like a mouth, and the round windows on the upper floor on either side seem to be glaring at you. However, you get over your fright and near the door. 

"Hello there," says a voice. You jump once again as a boy clad in bright orange appears out of nowhere. It's Nicholas. He looks pale and washed out in this place's strange lighting. "Sorry about that...I had to be sure nobody hostile would find me. So, are you the ones Sophia sent?" 

You confirm it. "All right," he says. "This door's enchanted. It won't open unless you speak a certain word. And I happen to know what it is; I was spying on Fiona as she entered." 

"Great!" says one of your companions. "What is it?"

Nicholas grins slyly. "You don't think I'll just give it to you, do you? Oh, no! You'll need to find that out for yourselves. How, you ask? It's simple, really..."

Congratulations to the lucky (or not) winners:

Alura HexCaster!
Malorn WillowSmith!
Tasha SparkleHeart!
Emma DawnRider!
Destiny SoulTamer!
Isabella StarSong!
We only had six entrants, so it wasn't really a raffle, but that means nobody needs to be eliminated on one of the rounds! Woohoo!

Here's how to find out the door's password:
Answer the riddles below. When you've answered them all, string the first letter of each answer together, and then unscramble them. You'll be left with the (one-word) password. When you've got your final result, email it in, along with the answers to all the riddles, to sophiaeb at live dot com with the subject line: "Mission: Mansion Task 2." Be sure to use the same email you used in the rafflecopter. The deadline is January 25th at 11:59 PM, but take your time! Some of these are hard.

Entries are judged based on a percentage system. For example, you'd need to correctly answer all the riddles AND get the password right for a 100% score. The person with the lowest score is eliminated. In the case of a tie, the low scorers will be drawn and one will be eliminated randomly.

Now for the moment you've been waiting for: The Riddles! (Yes, I made up all of these myself.)
1. It's the wizard's special skill, and the pages of fantasy books it fills.
Though never found on our own earth, in children's minds it finds its birth.
2. The time in which the bright light sleeps, and in it, silence's vigil keeps.
3. On the wings of the wind it soars, the fear of all rodents outdoors.
With piercing eye and sharpest claw, this bird is master of them all.
4. It comes after a drenching rain, with many colors in a shape that's plain.
5. It's a place unexplored, a place that's new, but may never again see the morning's dew.
A place of animals thought as dead, a place that many wizards dread. (hint: a proper noun in Wizard101)
6. The thing that bees gather is made into honey
Which on toast people slather, but in this form, it's runny.
7. The color of my garments and of sun-kissed fruit,
Of fire, sunsets, and pumpkins, too.
8. This bird is the bringer of death and despair,
But also the old one who first flew the air. (hint: one word)
9. This meaning of "power" can be like two
It's of some wizards, but also appliances, too. (hint: 5 syllables)
10. A square of deep brown's never been so delicious
But it has its drawbacks: it's far from nutritious!
11. Toss it, flip it, and try your luck
But try not to lose it, because then you'll be stuck.
Note: The password has 11 letters, so it may not be apparent right away if you've gotten wrong answers.

Warning: The next task is a speed challenge. It will be posted on Saturday, January 26th at 10:00 AM EST, so be sure to be on here then. If you have a problem with this time, comment and we can sort it out. 

Good luck! As Sophia said: You'll need it.

- Nicholas S

January 11, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner!

No, Mission: Mansion raffle winners haven't been announced yet, but I did run a surprise giveaway. I reached 10+ followers, and decided to do something extra. I raffled off a Galvanic Hammer between my followers, and the winner is...

D. S. Devereaux! Congratulations!

On a much more serious note, I received entries in my raffle from a certain David. I think he put his real name in, so I'm not going to say it here, BUT he submitted entries for both following my blog and following me on twitter. He did neither, and I looked. A twitter account doesn't exist for David DragonHammer, which is what he said his twitter was. What strikes me as even more suspicious is that he didn't even do the free entry. Of course, I deleted his entries and he now has no chance of proceeding further. Please don't do this.  It's spam and you'll be disqualified anyway. I need one more person who is truly interested to fill up all seven openings in the contest. Please enter if you haven't already! (And you're not going to cheat.)

- Sophia E

January 09, 2013

So, there you have it.

The new layout! Isn't it lovely? Thanks again to D. S. Devereaux for the background! Now, it's time for the post superlatives.
Most popular (viewed) post: Pirate week, Day 2: Companions! This is not surprising as the leading Google search that leads people to my blog is "Pirate101 Companions." I find this completely weird as I quit Pirate101 recently and I have maybe five posts about it. Anyway, this post was part of an intended 7-day series about various aspects of Pirate101. It never got finished due to complications, but I did get some great posts in there!
Most commented post: Besides the contest post, the most commented post is My splendiferous self is back! The post title refers to my blog character and alt wizard Emma IceCrafter, who loves crafting, has a huge ego, and enjoys looking better than my main, Sophia EmeraldBlossom. This was mainly a humorous exchange between the two introducing Emma's favorite word: Splendiferous. The only reason this got comments was because I put in something about the Ravenwood Ball at the end, asking if anyone was going.
Most random post: This is debatable, but it's most likely Stormriven Hall + Strange Disembodied Eye = Creepy. All it contained was a picture of me in Dragonspyre gear swimming while looking at a monster's huge eye in a crevice in the cliff wall, with a rant about how creepy it was. (By the way, this picture is now in the new header. It's probably the hardest one to see, though.)
Most useless post: I didn't look at all of them, but I'd say it's probably Nobody reads my blog. The post was two lines long and basically contained a few short sentences about how I didn't think anyone was reading my blog. Now, of course, I know that I do have readers, and definitely a few that read but don't follow. (If this is you: follow! I only need one more until 10!)
I'm probably not going to do least viewed because if it only had 1 view (which was almost certainly Elizabeth GoldenThistle) then it's probably a really short old one that's not worth reading. Least commented is a tie between about 50 of them. And for the last one...
Most important (current) post: Mission: Mansion - A Blogaversary Contest. Enter if you haven't yet! I only need one more person until we have 7, and then one more until it's actually a real raffle. I've drafted most of the tasks and I can only say that there's a lot of tough ones ahead of you, but it should be fun!

Maybe - just maybe - there will even be a little surprise (think codes) when I reach 10 followers!

- Sophia E

January 08, 2013

Mission: Mansion - A Blogaversary Contest

You briskly walk through Bartleby's well-lit green interior, briefly noticing that it's a little darker than usual. You hurry on, remembering your friend Sophia EmeraldBlossom's urgent message just five minutes ago. "Meet me by the spiral door inside Bartleby. It's important." As you approach the door, you notice Sophia standing on the raised platform. You slow to a stop among the group of other wizards she must have called as well.

"You may be wondering why I've gathered you all here today," she says. "We have an urgent problem. Bartleby is wilting." She falls silent for a moment as most of the wizards in the group give horrified gasps. "I know exactly who the culprit is." She reaches into her backpack and withdraws seven silver keys. Upon closer inspection, you notice that they are engraved with the symbol of a house on a world island, and they have the words "DeathCoin Mansion" on them. "Here's the problem," she continues. "You don't want to know what I had to do to get my hands on these keys. There are only seven of them." She looks with a particularly piercing gaze at each of the wizards in turn, her eyes falling on you last, and lasting longer than the rest.

"I have to choose which of you can go in."

Well, there you have it. Mission: Mansion is only just beginning. I got extremely mixed votes on the poll about which type of contest to do. I can't possibly please you all, can I? Here's the catch: I can. This contest is all of them and more. Here's how it works: Enter the raffle below. Everyone who wins the raffle is able to proceed to the next task. Someone will be eliminated each task. The wizards who stay in the contest longer get the better prizes, with the grand prize being a triple prize. However, everyone who gets into the mansion gets a prize, no matter how well or badly they do. And even better: Everyone who even ENTERS the raffle gets a small thank-you prize, just for trying. Do we have a deal?

For those who are wondering, the prizes are as follows:
First place: 3-Prize Pack: Story mention + custom graphics + Staff of the Imperator
Second place: Choice of: Mention in my story, custom graphics, Staff of the Imperator, Amarathine Staff, Dragonclaw blade, Viridian Scepter (thank you, Mercenaries for Hire and Stars of the Spiral!)
Third place: Second choice of above
Fourth place: Third choice
Fifth place: Fourth choice
Sixth place: Fifth choice
Seventh place: Last item

Enjoy the contest, and remember: the future of Wizard City is in your hands!

- Sophia E

P. S.: My real blogaversary is tomorrow - that's when the layout goes up. 

January 07, 2013

The Quetzal Dilemma

This is a quetzal.
It's a bird.
This is a quetzal in Wizard101.
It's a snake. With wings. (Sorry for the bad image quality.)
See the problem here? One's a bird, one's a snake-bird hybrid thing. A quetzal is a bird. I just don't get why KI would do this. This is what Wikipedia says on the quetzal:
"Quetzals are strikingly colored birds in the trogon family. They are found in forests and woodlands, especially in humidhighlands, with the five species from the genus Pharomachrus being exclusively Neotropical, while the single Euptilotis species is almost entirely restricted to western Mexico also in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala . They are fairly large (all over 32 cm or 13 inches long), slightly bigger than other trogon species. Quetzals have iridescent green or golden-green wing coverts, back, chest and head, with a red belly. They are strongly sexually dimorphic, and parts of the females'plumage are brown or grey. These largely solitary birds feed on fruits, berries, insects and small vertebrates (such as frogs). Despite their bright plumage, they can be surprisingly difficult to see in their wooded habitats."

Although I can see where KI is going with this since they live in Central and South America, as did the Aztecs, where in that description does it say the quetzal is a snake? It doesn't. I find it much more likely that the reason KI made the quetzal a snake is because of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. 
Look! A bird-snake hybrid!
However, as simple as this is to figure out with some research, I've seen several threads on Wizard101 Central expressing confusion and frustration about this. It probably would've been better if KI made the quetzals birds, (besides, I want bird NPCs) but I think this is fine as long as people understand it. 
The quetzal is a bird. Quetzalcoatl is a bird-snake hybrid. So is the Wizard101 quetzal.

- Sophia E

January 06, 2013

Crowns vs. Membership

I'm considering switching to playing Wizard101 with crowns. I loved the more relaxed atmosphere of not having to worry about running out of time (I tried crowns in Pirate101.) I already quest slowly, anyway, and I'm not interested in PvP. However, to do it, I'd need to quit Pirate101. I'm willing to do it. Wizard101 is the game I like better. The point is, this will severely impact my experience, questing speed, and practically everything about the game. I will miss the bigger backpack, larger friends list, and faster energy regeneration. However, I get enough in return to make it worth it.

And on my upcoming blogaversary: I'm drafting the contest post and getting really excited. I've made myself a new favicon and a new profile image (the old favicon looks like I made it in MS paint and my old profile image is outdated since I can make something way better now.) Also, I've decided to start the contest one day early! It will start on Tuesday. However, the new layout will go up on Wednesday, on my real blogaversary.

- Sophia E

January 05, 2013

The Greatest Treasure: New Chapter!

Chapter 6 of The Greatest Treasure is out! It's a late holiday chapter. It was supposed to be released by Christmas but I had no idea how busy I'd be. Anyway, it's the most epic one yet. A huge new concept is introduced here, so be sure to read it.

"The inside of the cottage was cast in shadow. All the candles in the room were unlit, and the only source of light was the cauldron in the middle of the room. The eerie green mixture inside was swirling as if it was a whirlpool, but there was nothing stirring it. Next to it, a heavy black book rested on a copper bookstand. The entire place stunk with evil, yet the book was strangely alluring. It was almost as if I wanted to approach it, pore over its pages, and become the most powerful wizard of the spiral with its unstoppable effects…"
~ The Greatest Treasure, Chapter 6

Also, there are new links in the "links" page to my twitter feed and my currently dormant YouTube channel.

Blogaversary countdown: 4 days! The new layout looks great, and my contest plans are going along really well.

- Sophia E

January 03, 2013

Side Quests: To Do or Not To Do?

That is the question! (Don't blame me for the cheesy quote. I'm currently studying Shakespeare.)

ANYWAY...To the point. Are side quests worth doing?

I have multiple answers to the question. In Wizard101, the answer is YES if...
1. You want to be a high level and prepared for everything
2. You want to access certain areas
3. You're a badge collector
4. You need lots of gold (Halfang, the gold farming hotspot, is located in Vestrilund, a side quest area)
5. You're a crowns player
The answer is NO if...
1. You want to challenge yourself
2. You only enjoy the main storyline
3. You want to progress as fast as possible
4. You'd like to see the higher level worlds
5. You play with a membership (though not necessarily)
Some side quests are necessary if you want higher level spells. For example, many spell quests level 58+ require access to Grizzleheim and Wintertusk. It's a good idea to complete these worlds, if not the side quests within them. Also, Wysteria is quite fun, even though it's not really necessary to progress. (I may be slightly biased on this matter because it was released on my birthday.)

However, in Pirate101, the matter is more straightforward. A single level can make a huge difference when beating bosses. I say, do all the side quests you can. Pirate101 is harder than Wizard101, so this really helps. Also, side quest give you a significant amount of nautical XP that isn't listed in the quest thumbnail. If I'd known, I wouldn't have bothered XP farming for ship parts. Definitely do the side quests. They make a difference. They also give you the most benefit out of premium areas if you're a crowns player like me.

Enjoy questing!

- Sophia E

January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013, everyone! I don't know about you, but I have a LOT of resolutions. Here's just a few of them:

~ Level Emma to 60 (iffy...my memberships are sporadic)
~ Finish Azteca on Sophia (also iffy)
~ Improve my GIMP skills
~ Learn how to do digital drawing
~ Blog more
~ Write more
~ Participate in Camp NaNo April
~ Participate in NaNoWriMo
~ Finish Parts 1 & 2 of The Greatest Treasure
~ Do something special for my blogaversary (January 9!)
~ Get 10+ followers
~ Get 7,500 views

What are your resolutions?

- Sophia E