April 30, 2013

A Change of Allegiances?

Throughout my 1.5 years of questing in the spiral, I've always been loyal to the original worlds of Wizard101. However, in light of the recent changes in both games, I'm wondering whether it's time to set sail for some slightly more rugged adventures. You guessed it: Pirate101.
Why I want to switch:

  • Azteca is feeling like a chore. It's super, super tedious.
  • The reshuffle change makes me feel doubtful about what else may come. Wizard101's support didn't listen to the players then; will they continue not to do so?
  • With the news about Marleybone and Aquila, I'm really excited! I've always been a mythology fan, and besides - we get to face down Medusa? I'm game. (By the way, who do you think the special guest from Wizard101 in Marleybone is? I'm betting on Sherlock.)
  • The story and overall design is better. I wonder what happened to the writer who designed the Malistaire arc? The Morganthe arc just, for lack of a better word, stinks. Sorry.
  • If I choose this, I'm a crowns player on Wizard101 so I could always hop back on to craft, decorate, train my pets, or help people with dungeons.
Why I'm reluctant to switch:

  • I'd fall even farther behind in Wizard101.
  • I'd need to make some major changes to the blog layout, which again, I'm more than a little reluctant to do. I like my banner and layout, and I feel like I'd need to change my blog name and web address as well.
  • I've passed a ton of turning points in Wizard101. I just finished Emma's Watchtower Hall (whoopee!) and I have a lot of projects still in the making. I haven't forgotten The Greatest Treasure. 
  • I don't want my crowns to go to waste.
If I were to switch, it wouldn't be permanent. I'd be getting one month memberships one at a time, and like I said, I could and probably would hop back onto Wizard101 fairly often. Maybe I could try it for just one month and see how I like it. What do you think? (Please comment. I'm really stuck on this one.)

- Sophia E

April 29, 2013

Pirate Ships: Could Azteca Hold the Key?

Ahoy there, pirate mateys! I've got a post that may especially interest ye!

Have you ever wondered what's inside your ship? Do you ever wish that you could use your creative talents to make a lovely space for you and your crew to plan battle tactics or just chill? Or do you simply want a predone place for your crew to eat, sleep, and chat? The infamous insides of our pirate ships have always remained a mystery...but could it now be unearthed? Sophia EmeraldBlossom is here, reporting on one of the most wished-for features of Pirate101: the ability to see the insides of our ships.

Of course, there have been many posts on the same subject, so I had to set mine apart somehow. I went to do some research, surprisingly enough, in a Wizard-exclusive world: the ancient jungles of Azteca.

In the area known as Saltmeadow Swamp, the Monquistadors have made an encampment. They seem to be stuck for the moment, and their captain's ship may have been there for quite some time. It doesn't look like it's in the best condition. In fact, it seems to have run aground and gotten stuck in the swamp muck. Gross.
It doesn't seem to be quite ship-shape. Look at those sails!
Although a little apprehensive about approaching a ship full of mad monkeys that may not be completely structurally sound, I decided this knowledge was too important to pass up. After fending off several Monquistan soldiers (those pesky things!) I managed to ascend the ramp and stand at what would have been the helm.
I wonder what happened to the steering wheel.
Once I snapped out of my trance, I searched the ship for the entrance to the hold. After several minutes of searching, I managed to find the tiny, engraved the door that indicated another room beyond. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to fit through and all my efforts would be to no avail, but luckily I managed to squeeze through...eventually. The things I do for my blog!
Look how small that door is!
Not wanting to alert the ship's captain, Ponce de Gibbon, I quietly sneaked around the spacious ship hold, exploring and seeing what it had to offer. I found pleasing results, full of potential for eating, chatting, and relaxing with your crew. Just watch and learn.

The first things that caught my eye were the brass cannons on each side of the ship. There were eight on each side and sixteen in all. I wonder if eventually your friends or companions can man them and help you in broadside combat.
Just look at them. Aren't they cool?
After that, I found the dining table in the room's center. This could be a good place for your crew to gather around and eat, or maybe plan tactics for the upcoming fortress invasion. Since this is, after all, a Monquistan  ship, there's definitely no shortage of bananas!
The table looks a little small, but it's like a portable tavern.
I then left the dining table and focused on the room's subtler points. Next to the roof support near the banana pile, there's a rack for the Monquistador's halberds. Your crew could leave their extra weapons here when they don't want to lug them around.
Looks awfully convenient, doesn't it?
By now, you may be thinking that this ship hold is entirely battle-oriented, and definitely too stiff to relax in. I can prove you wrong! Just take a look at these fine hammocks. They look plenty comfortable, and there are enough of them to hold your entire crew.
Isn't this the epitome of seafaring comfort?
I would've loved to show you the finer points of the ship's hold, like the spare anchors and gunpowder storage section, but Ponce de Gibbon spotted me first. I had to run for it, since I had no desire to face down an obsessive, cheating monkey captain at the moment. However, I think I've shown you enough for you to get the idea. Ship holds are areas with loads of potential. There's no need to dream up fancy, original designs that KI would have to stretch to make; the perfect ship hold is already in the game. This is Sophia EmeraldBlossom, signing off.

- Sophia E

April 25, 2013

Massive Updates: My Take

If you've been paying attention to the blogs as of late, you know about all the updates that went live yesterday. That's old news now. You probably aren't interested in hearing me talk about what they are; instead I'll tell you how I feel about them! That's more unique, no?

  • Lost Pages! I think that this is a great substitute for a new world, and it's not so overwhelming. You can pick and choose which quests you want to do, and did I mention the badges are epic? They're writing badges. Here they are in order of easiest to get to hardest: Scribe of the Howlin' Wind; Bleak Master of the Pen; Quiet Writer of Epitaphs; Author of Virtue's Poetry (Sophia looks great with this one under her name!); Cipher of Lost Glyphs; and Coruscating Calligrapher! All of them are based on a certain school. If you want them, act fast! This event goes away on May 31st!
  • PvP Changes/Rank Reset! These are mostly good updates. After doing some testing on the test realm, I'm happy to say that the threat of puppet teams is mostly eliminated. Since I don't PvP, the rank reset doesn't really affect me, but one thing I'm not happy about? The new arena ticket reward system. Since now you get fewer tickets, getting commander gear will be even harder.
  • Hair Styles! These are pretty cool, I guess. They're really not my style, but the players who like them are really happy. I look forward to seeing more if they come out. (That preferably aren't so weird.)
  • Unstitching! This is long overdue. Now I can unstitch my Waterworks gear if better gear ever comes out, and without losing the items. I got some really cool life symbol boots dropped on Emma, so maybe I'll stitch to those instead when the time comes.
  • Reshuffle Changes! This is the one update I'm really not happy about. I'm guessing that KI implemented it to help prevent long PvP matches. The problem is, it doesn't. Just read the latest Duelist101 article for proof. Now people just run out of cards and pass for two hours on end. It also makes the PvE community, with me included, very unhappy. x1? Really? I need reshuffle for the 3v1 solo fights in Azteca!
  • New Furniture Sets! These are pretty cool. Come on, we get interactive sinks and bathtubs! Epic! Not only that, but they're available for gold as well as crowns. They're pretty expensive, so I'll wait until I have a little more information before buying them.
  • PvP Spectator Mode! This is also long overdue. Now people can stop incessantly asking "Who's winning?" and also see the matches better if they're crowded. I've heard it lags the game in live, so I'll have to go check it out.
  • Wyrd House! This actually looks a lot easier to craft than the Watchtower Hall or Celestial Observatory. Emma's almost done with the Watchtower Hall (hooray!), so this'll take the place of my planned observatory. I'm already having amazing ideas to decorate it.
  • Red Barn Farm! Epic surprise! All plants will automatically gain a like both in and outside of this house, so this is a great compensation for the loss of permanent pixies. This one also looks like lots of fun to decorate.
There are also lots of miscellaneous updates in the update notes, and I sadly don't have time to go over all of them. Be sure to check them out, too!

- Sophia E

April 24, 2013

I return victorious!

I'm back from NaNo! I won, by the way. This'll be a really short post (I just finished a writing marathon, after all) but I'll make a big post soon about all the updates that just came out. I'll see you then! :)

- Sophia E

April 22, 2013

Tales of Grace and Emma - The Riddle Game!

(Sophia speaking here. While I'm away writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, these "Tales of Grace and Emma" are scheduled to post here for your enjoyment.)

Hello again. I just dug up this story about our adventures in the mansion, and apparently Nicholas was authorized to tell these riddles that she wrote. I especially like this one:
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.
I wonder if I could write a riddle like that?
Forget it. You couldn't write a riddle even if the frost giant's icy hammer of inspiration smacked you square in the face!
Fine, then. I'd like to see you try!
Sure. Just watch me create my masterpiece. Uh...*thinks for a few minutes* Here it is!
It's the warm and fuzzy thing that people like to put on there feet in the mornings.
*bursts out laughing* You call that a riddle? It doesn't even rhyme, and forget meter or hidden meanings! You didn't even get the spelling and grammar right! Here, let me try:
It snows, it blows, it chills people's toes
Sky high it goes, up, up, it blows.
Ha! You call that a masterful riddle? I'll admit, it rhymes, it has meter, and I think you got the technicalities right, but it's ridiculously obvious and doesn't make much sense!
Emma, yours is obvious, too...
Fine! Here's another!
They come in new colors and old
Protecting people's feet from the cold
They're oh so very fuzzy
As much as anything ever was-y
Not to wear them, you'd have to be bold.
*snorts* Slippers again? While you were reciting your oh-so-profound "masterpiece of writing," I got another riddle! It's really amazing! Just get a load of THIS:
Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.
I'll admit, that's okay. All right, pretty good. But it seems familiar somehow...oh, I remember now! You stole it from The Hobbit! You cheater, you!
Uh-oh. You probably don't want to see what's coming...

- Grace S

April 15, 2013

Tales of Grace and Emma - Crafter Extraordinaire!

(Sophia speaking here. While I'm away writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, these "Tales of Grace and Emma" are scheduled to post here for your enjoyment.)

Hey, all! I'm still totally pumped about defeating Emma. Even though she's still a nuisance, she knows not to mess with me.
Hmph. Your win wasn't splendiferous! If I'd packed heals, I would've won!
Whatever you say, I suppose. *hums tune* Well, while you're sitting here, I'll tell you ice wizard jokes! You see, there was this super arrogant thaumaturge -
HEY! (What do I do? I don't want her sharing that joke!) Hey, Grace! Look what I just made! *hauls out mannequin*
- and she thought she was the best in the whole spiral, so she decided to challenge a diviner - wow, that thing looks awesome! I've heard about those! Can you really display any gear you want on them?
Definitely! And I'll sell it to you for the bargain price of only 350,000 gold! Of course, if that's a little much, I can help you learn to craft one for yourself. 
I'm game. What do I need to do?
Well, you should visit Eudora Tangletree in Olde Town, and she'll get you set up with an itty bitty crafting station to practice on. 
All right. Practice is good, right? *bounds off*
*returns half an hour later* She went on vacation to Krokotopia. At least, that's what Elmer Meadowgrass said.
Well, that's unfortunate. I suppose I'll have to teach you myself. You need to demonstrate to me that you're capable of hunting down high-quality reagents, so I need you to go find some mistwood for me. Once you bring it back to me, my eager young apprentice, we'll get you started on a very basic dagger.
Mistwood. How hard can it be? *runs off*
*returns later* Is this good enough?
No. It's too mossy. How are you supposed to make anything with mossy mistwood?
*half an hour later* This?
No. It's too knotted.
*an hour later* This?
It has a brown spot on it. No.
*two hours later* This?
It's too well-polished. Where'd you get it, the bazaar? That's cheating! You're hopeless! *stalks off*
*sigh* Well, about that arrogant thaumaturge...

- Grace S

April 08, 2013

Tales of Grace and Emma - The Duel!

(Sophia speaking here. While I'm away writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, these "Tales of Grace and Emma" are scheduled to post here for your enjoyment.)

Hi. Emma had to visit the Bazaar to pick up more bronze gears for her Watchtower Hall in progress, so I have the place to myself, but only for a few minutes. Let's hope she goes off chasing diamonds while there. Anyway, I suppose I'll upload a picture to amuse you -
Grace! Look at all these shiny diamonds I picked up! 
Oh, no. Just no. 
Hey! Stop locking yourself into Sophia's bedroom and come out to look at these splendiferous finds! Ohhhh...I see. You thought you could post on the blog while I was gone. Is that right?
I suppose. (There's no point resisting. She's about four times my level, has about three times my health, and has about twice my attack power. I couldn't survive a duel.)
I've had enough of your sneaking trickery! I need to end it here and now! *raises staff and casts wand spell*
Oh, no. Well, here goes. *casts stormblade*
Now don't go blading yourself! *casts iceblade*
Ha! You're doing the exact same thing as I am! *casts elemental blade*
What? I'm not copying your moves! *casts elemental blade*
Says the wizard who just cast the exact same spell I did. (Stupid cards!) *passes*
Muahahaha! Now you can't get rid of this without wasting all your blades! *casts volcanic shield*
Sounds like someone needs to catch up on trap theory! *casts storm prism*
No! You - you cheater! *casts feint*
I learned it from Professor Balestrom! It's completely fair game! *passes*
It doesn't matter. Storm sharks can't defeat me! I'll kill you first! I'm ready! *casts balefrost*
Oh, are you, now? *casts thermic shield*
Noooooooooo! *casts colossus, hits into shield, does 700 damage* Darn it!
Well, you're probably right about one thing - storm sharks can't kill you. But I don't have to use a storm shark! Sparky, attack! *casts 10 pip tempest, does 2,000 damage*
Oh, no! I only have 700 health left! Grace could kill me easily. *discards frantically* I need to draw a heal next round! I need to! *passes*
Who's in trouble now, hmm? *wands off the shield*
I'm out of cards. Good thing I packed reshuffle with me. Uh-oh...I didn't add any pixies! I'm doomed! *flees*

- Grace S

April 01, 2013

"Tales of Grace and Emma" begins!

(Sophia speaking here. While I'm away writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, these "Tales of Grace and Emma" are scheduled to post here for your enjoyment.)

Hello! Grace here. Sophia is away at her treehouse place writing like a maniac, so she decided to pass off the blog to me for a month. What could possibly go wrong?
*off to the side a bit* Hmm...Sophia the archmage gone...Grace the initiate in her place...This is a golden opportunity!
So anyway, I'm here just to tell you that Sophia isn't dead for the time being, and just busy. In the meantime, I'm going to attempt to entertain you. How, I'm not quite sure. Maybe I could tell cheesy jokes or upload random wizardly pictures from her camera with funny captions.
Pfft! Who needs cheesy jokes when they could have me?! I can totally run this show. Go ahead. Hand the blog over. It'll only be for a month. Like you said: what could go wrong?
*backs away* Um, I'm sorry, but no. Sophia said I was supposed to handle this, and I will. I don't think I should be letting the crazy crafter run this blog.
But I'm the queen of cheesy jokes! Just listen to this: What do you call cheese that is sad? Blue cheese! :D
*groan* It's not funny, Emma. (What do I do to get her to go away so I can sign off this post? Oh, I've got it!) Look over there! Your ectoplasm is boiling over!
*gasp* AAAaaahhh!!! My ectoplasm!! *runs off*
Whew. It's a good thing that worked. Now, I'm sorry that this is so short, but it had to be done. Hopefully I'll be able to throw Emma off my trail soon so I can post in a week or so. See you later!...hopefully.

- Grace S     - Emma I

I'll get you for that, Grace, you devilish daughter of a triton! I'll have my revenge next time, just you wait and see!