Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Review of Celestia

Well, the blogosphere and twittersphere(?) has been abuzz with the latest news: Celestia's much anticipate release into Live Realm. 

All in all, I am loving this new world. It offers a refreshing change of scenery from gloomy Dragonspyre, complete with mob animations that can rival a ninja pig's, a new level cap, more challenges, and new fashions. 

Difficulty level: Definitely met my expectations. It's nice to fight a cheating boss instead of the tedious routine we've aquired in Dragonspyre. Also, the mobs are every bit as capable as wizards are, which I think makes questing a whole lot more fun (my lazy side begs to differ).

Humor: Ever see a shark die? Yeah, I didn't know they could do ballet either.

Fashion: I am appalled. Taken aback. Horrified. Whatever. I am not feelin' the Celestian clothes. But hey, we've got time to get used to them and since I'm too cheap to stitch, I'm gonna have to.

Gear: Amazing. Before, we had incoming/outgoing heal, power pip %, health, and mana-giving athames and rings. But they were kinda scattered all around. Now, there's gear that combines them all together ( epicsauce) and you can get new gear that resists other schools (double epicsauce).

Crafting: New rank-grandmaster crafter. 
I used to think crafting was a waste of time and gold, since none of the crafted gear trumped the junk at the Bazaar. And when I came to Celestia....oh boy, was I wrong. Go see for yourself. I was especially taken by the craftable amulets. There's one with a Saytr AND Regenerate on it :D And one with a Triton (triple epicsauce). 

I give it 9.5 out of 10, only b/c of a few glitches in CL. Your thoughts?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

PvP: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned

PvP: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned
     I started seriously PvPing (well, as serious as one gets in Practice) recently. It started with reading every guide on Central so I'd know how wizards of certain schools attacked. Then I took my new knowlege into the Arena and tried it for myself. 
     Within the first half hour, I lost three out of four matches. All the strategies in the world couldn't help me because I didn't know how to *apply* it.
     I always used my Theurgist for matches because I figured, "Hey, everyone loves a heal right?" Wrong. I was constantly bombarded with dispels, infections, and attacks. I didn't like how all of the agro was trained on me so I switched over to my Sorcerer. 
     And then there was the problem with my deck. I used to just throw in any and every card I had, with the philosophy, "It might come in handy." But when will you need seven Hydras, or five Reshuffles? I rearranged my deck with more advice from the guides on Central. I noticed all of them trained Tower Shield and they rarely had more than 4 copies of a card in their deck. I made adjustments accordingly.
     It worked. I won more and found the cards I needed faster. And learned some important lessons along the way:
1. Don't talk. 
It's a sure way for people to check your school, stats, gear and that gives your opponent important info. Some people will try to provoke or purposely taunt you into chatting. Don't give in. Meanwhile, you can check *their* info. Also, responding to taunts will just make matches more unfriendly and stressful to you. We're all here to have fun right? 
 2. Reshuffles. 
2 Reshuffles will be enough for any duel. They will keep reshuffling each other in so you'll have an unlimited supply of cards. But be careful not to discard one of them. Only pack more if you're in team matches. 
3. Minions are evil.
"What? That cute little Cyclops?" Yeah. They're the evilest things ever. Especially in 1v1, it's crucial to keep your opponent's minion out of play. I usually pack a few emergency Sandstorms in treasure for these cases. Each minion reflects their school's abilities and strength. The fire minion will keep up an endless stream of Fire Elves and the Myth minions rid shields. The Life minion, the Sprite, is a little healing factory. The Helpful Mander minion from Balance is indeed helpful, donating pips, buffing and shielding you, and trapping the opponent. If you're lucky, he may even use Sandstorm or Locust Swarm. 
See? Minions are like evil in 4 pips. 

4. As for shielding....
You've got a Tower Shield in the first round. Now what? Unless you're up against Storm (Bolt Alert!) you're not going to want to cast it. The opposing team can just wand it right off. 
Now say you're up against a Balance. They've got blades around their heads and traps around your feet. They're at full pips. That is the perfect time to Tower Shield/Weakness because you can bet your jellybeans, they're gonna use Judgement next turn. 
It's all about timing against your opponent's attacks. However, some people are like mind-readers. They don't attack when you think they will and catch you off guard. A lot of PvP is mental- analyzing, keeping track of cards, math. Be careful and consider wisely before clicking your cards. 
5. Which wand?
Depends on your school. I used to run around with a Balance wand on my Sorcerer. Now it's either a storm or Fire wand. Why? 
Storm is a strong part of Balance's spectral attacks (Hydra, Spectral Blast) so it could be helpful shieldbreaking for you. Before enchanted-treasure-cards were un-tradeable, people would carry Storm wands also to trick opponents to think they were bolters.
I only carry the Fire wand against Fire people because of Immolate. It's a deadly 4-pip spell that does about 700 to you and 250 to themselves. A lot of Fire wizards will put up a fire shield right before a huge Immolate to reduce damage to themselves. Carrying a Fire wand lets you get get rid of those shields.  
Unless you're Life or Storm (both have no damage over time spells), you probably don't want to carry a wand of your own school. Why not? What if you've got blades and traps on them and they put a weakness or Tower shield on? Having a different-school wand lets you rid of that without destroying your own buffs in the process.

6. And lastly:
Beware of these 3 types of Arena-goers:
-Bolters: Mostly Storm people. They carry a deck packed with Wild Bolts and stuns, a deadly combo. I suggest wearing the amulet that gives you the 3 Storm shields. 
-Chain stunning teams: Usually made up of Myth/Fire wizards who stun, then Earthquake to destroy Stun Blocks, and repeat. 
-The Meanie-Beanies: Rude people who don't take a loss without a few choice words. Best solution: turn off chat bubbles.           

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quirky Test Realm Quirks: Celestia

Today in the Test Realm, I noticed some weird things. I'm not sure if they were bugs or intentional changes.

1) Death shields disappeared.
Several people have already observed this on Twitter: Death shields have gone AWOL!
I was fighting Optio Agenor (?) today, Celestia boss, and he casts spirit shelds. However only the Myth and Life one appeared--but the death one was still there, hiding under its invisibility cloak! We discovered this when my friend tried to cast Wraith on Optio.
2) I can't draw treasure cards.
Not being hugely dependent on treasure cards, I didn't notice this until recently. When I discard a card, usually the "Draw" button turns yellow. But today...nothing. It seems that other people I was fighting with ATM *were* able to draw treasures. Computer's glitch? Anyone else have this issue?
3) No mana wisps in Celestia.
Maybe KI overlooked them? In any case, they aren't floating around in the CL Base Camp, or anywhere else.

And that's all so far. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Manners In the Spiral

Hey Spiralites. This is a little post about etiquette. Now, I know some of these have been said and I don't want to sound preachy, but bad manners can sometimes mess up your whole gaming experience. Weighty stuff.

So, my take on in-game etiquette:

1) Watch your language.
It's pretty inconsiderate when you're cursing your way around the chat filter and the wizard next to you turns out to be seven or eight. And it's just plain rude; anything a curse word can accomplish, is synonymous to another more appropriate word.
I especially have a bone to pick with the word, "Noob." I see Grandmasters throwin' it around like it's nothing. Yet, it's one of the worst insults that can go through the chat filter. Noob, deriving from the word 'Newbie' and 'Newb' means a new player unaccustomed to the game. However, over time it's becoming more like an insult. Nowadays, a 'Noob' is basically calling someone stupid, inferior.
IMHO, no one is a noob in this game. Or otherwise, we all are (or were), because every great wizard had to start somewhere. In the Spiral, it was in Unicorn Way, dying against Dark Fairies :)
2) In-game relationships.
You never know who the person on the other end of the screen is. That female necromancer who said she was twenty could turn out to be a teenage boy. And it just doesn't make sense to look at a computer-generated face (and there are only about ten options) and say, "You're cute." It's a computer game; how could you tell what they look like?
3) Joining battle circles without asking.
One of the biggest pet peeve of many players. Sure, we can all be forgiving when you're still in Krokotopia but from that point onwards, you should keep in mind: the other person may not always want you there. Maybe they got caught in the fight or had to log off soon. You being there would not always be a good thing to them. It's always better to ask before joining.
4)Begging and Scamming.
Passing through the Commons, I almost always come across a guy shouting "Mounts for Cards!" or "Can someone give me cards plz?" It's a nuisance to most wizards and creates an unpleasant atmosphere in the game. If you wouldn't beg in real life, don't do it in-game.
Random friending-Usually this is why I turn off friend requests. I don't know you and you don't know me, so why are you friending me?
Teleporting to friends-Just like joining battle circles, it's always better to ask.
6)Lose the 'Tude.
Picking on some poor Novice in the middle of a crowded realm while all your GM friends are behind you--not cool. It's just like bullying in real life; you think it makes you look cool but in reality, you look like a jerk. A cowardly jerk since you have to have all your friends around you while you're doing it.
Same with Warlords. I've met a few Warlords who belittle anyone and everyone below them. Common symptoms: using insults like "treasure noob" or "epic fail" every time your spell fizzles. Or possibly the worst, they're hitting on you the whole time trying to get a reaction when in the end, you win. Endless satisfaction there :)
But to summerize: this is not a dating serive. Looking for a girlfriend/boyfriend? Try eHarmony, not Wizard101.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Why on Earth are you reading this? Head over to the Celestia Update notes!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grandmaster Number Deux!

Long time no see, Spiralites. It's school again. In fact, I've been juggling about, uh, four projects right now. Two due next week. Stressful? You could say that.

After ten hours of mad questing (JK, probably amore around 30 minutes), I present, Jessica DreamRiver...Grandmaster number two! I already have all of her gear, except for the Gurtok ring.

Picture of her posing in the Royal Museum:

I think I'm going to level my Storm next....or fire....
Decisions decisions.

Bye for now,