Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Consequences--Chapter 2

I present to you: Chapter 2! I’m writing this sooner that I thought, because for some reason, my laptop isn’t cooperating with the wireless network L


Summary: Jessica wakes up in a place, full of wizards and magic. It’s enchanting, wondrous, a utopia built for people like her. The only problem? Jessica wants more than anything to escape its clutches.

Chapter 2

Jessica was pacing angrily outside of Merle Ambrose’s door. She tried to organize her thoughts. Okay, so I’ve somehow ended in a world where magic is real, called the Spiral, or Wizard City, or whatever. A bunch of wizards. A weird headmaster of a magic school. Her head was going to explode.

A cheery-looking wizard appeared in the hall, with a blinding flash of light. The boy wore an outfit of green and tan garments.

His face was split open in a wide grin.

“Hey, you must be Jessica, the new wiz?” asked the boy, waving energetically towards her.

Jessica stopped pacing and looked at him critically. He looked as if he’d never had a bad day in his life. “Yes. Who are you?” she asked cautiously.

“Brian Whisper, level 25 Theurgist. I’m your tour guide around Ravenwood,” He waved a hand at his green clothing, as if that explained what he’d just said.

Jessica nodded, acting as if she wasn’t completely lost. “What is Ravenwood, anyway?” she asked as Brian led her out the front door.

“Depends what you’re talking about. There’s a place called Ravenwood…Ah, well, you’ll see when we get there.” He pointed to an entrance with a twisted wood sign above it that read, “Ravenwood.”

Jessica, with Brian close behind, walked through the opening and to her surprise, found herself under the shadow of a gigantic tree.

It sat at the very center of the circular, woodsy area and just like Merle Ambrose, had an air of wisdom. It was clearly old, gnarled and knotted, but the most surprising thing was that the tree had a face. One electric blue eye, a knob for a nose, and a line where the mouth would be. Jessica wondered why they didn’t stick a second eye on it, or why they bothered putting a face on it in the first place.

Brian laughed, probably at the bewildered expression on her face. “That’s Bartleby,” he said, pointing to the tree with the face.

“You named the tree?” Wasn’t that just a bit over the top…?

“Well, he is a very important member of the Spiral. In fact, he’s the being that made the Spiral,” Brian said in a mater-of-fact tone. As if everything he just said wasn’t totally crazy.

“How? He—I mean---it’s just a tree.” Jessica may have believed the whole magic bit, but no way was she buying that a tree, with a face stuck on it, brewed up a whole world.

Brian looked perturbed for the first time she’d met him. “Don’t say that! He’s unbelievably powerful and ancient, and if it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t even be here. None of use would!”

Jessica smiled wryly. He had no idea that that was exactly what she wanted: to get out of this place. But just to mollify the wizard, she said quietly, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”

“It’s fine. The newbies usually don’t get it at first.” And then as if she hadn’t said anything, he turned towards the tree, Bartleby.

For the first time, Jessica noticed the half-ring of buildings that centered on Bartleby. The strangest collection, they were all unique. One was green and bursting with blooming flowers and green grass, another was on fire (but no one seemed very worried), and one seemed frozen. A tree accompanied all the buildings. And in this place, Ravenwood, she saw maybe a hundred people swarming about, making their way into the various structures.

“Welcome to the Ravenwood School of Wizardry,” said Brian, arms spread wide. Jessica noticed his tan-green clothes matched one of the buildings, the one with all the plant growth. What did that mean…?

“They named the school after the place, right?”

“Yeah. Here, let’s go see all the schools.” Brian headed towards the first building, the one that matched his clothes.

“Wait! There’s more than one school?” Jessica was confused again, just when she thought everything had cleared up.

“Schools inside of schools. When you enroll, you choose one of these,” he pointed to the buildings. “Each has their own specialties when it comes to magic.”

He led her to the green building. “This is the Life school, where I’m from. We’re called Theurgists and our forte is healing.”

And so he introduced her to every single other school. Myth had minions and double-hit spells. Death students (which, apparently, had fallen into a crack in the ground) were masters of life-drains. Fire school excelled in damage over time. Ice school students were trained in endurance and extreme defense. Storm, on the other hand, specialized in high damage and low defenses. And the Balance school wizards’ were the damage boosters. Also, like the Death school, the Balance school was not there, only a lone suitcase.

Jessica noticed something weird.

“Brian? Where are the teachers?” Jessica asked.

“We came at a bad time,” Brian chuckled. “They’re all taking lunch breaks in the Shopping District. So…” he trailed off.


“What school will you be?”

“Life.” Jessica had no doubts. If she could somehow learn the ways of healing, then escape this place, she could heal Angela. Heck, how many things could she fix in the real world with healing abilities? World hunger, patients at the hospital…The possibilities were endless.

He smiled, “Like me. Well, we’ll go back to the Headmaster’s office and enroll you officially.”

Jessica nodded and they headed back to Merle Ambrose.

“Have you made up your mind yet, Jessica?” he asked kindly.

“Life school.”

“Great. Now I assume you know that your choice shall be permanent. Changing your school is not possible. Are you absolutely sure of your choice?”

“Yes, I’m positive,” Jessica said, patience wearing thin.

“Then let me be off, lots of paperwork to sort out. Brian, thank you for your help,” said Ambrose, handing him a few gold coins. “And Jessica, wonderful choice. I’m sure Moolinda Woo would love to tutor you!”

With a bright smile, the old wizard walked out, leaving Gamma the own to stare at Jessica.

“What?” she snapped.

“What an interesting thing you are,” Gamma replied. “Ah, I can see your confusion. The answer may lie with Bartleby. You should pay him a visit.” And he flew off after Merle.


That was how Jessica ended up, once again, in front of the wizened tree, feeling foolish. Not sure how to start, she said lowly, “Uh, hi, Bartleby. I’m Jessica and Gamma, Ambrose’s owl, said I should see you for something?”

For a long time, Jessica stood awkwardly in front of the silent tree. Just as she was about to leave, she heard an ancient voice rumbling in her brain. Ah yes, Jessica.

“…Bartleby, sir?” Jessica said hesitantly, wondering if she looked as confused as she felt.

No need to speak out loud, just project your thoughts towards me.

Okay. Gamma the owl said I should come to see you…about something…?  Jessica was still a bit doubtful that the voice in her head wasn’t just her imagination.

A laugh resonated in her head. No, I’m most definitely not your imagination. As for advice…You want more than anything to get out of the Spiral, to return to your friend, Angela, correct?

Jessica’s head snapped up. How do you know that?

He ignored her question. Follow your heart, but don’t be blinded by it. The best realizations will be lies.


But Bartleby didn’t respond. The voice left her head and she was left standing in front of the tree, mind mulling over its words.

“Just kidding,” she muttered to herself. “This is probably initiation for newbies. Hazing or something. Yeah.”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fanfiction: Consequences Chapter 1

This is my new fanfiction. The title is temporary, I really don’t like it much. Open to suggestions.

Also, this story will not be happy, nor fluffy. In fact, it will get dark in a few chatpers. Just sayin'.


Summary: Jessica wakes up in a place, full of wizards and magic. It’s enchanting, wondrous, a utopia built for people like her. The only problem? Jessica wants more than anything to escape its clutches.

Chapter 1

It killed her to see her very best friend lying in the stark hospital room, thin body shivering under the blankets. Angela had helped her through so much, but what could Jessica do for her now? She wept. “I’ll get you out of this, I promise,” whispered Jessica, stroking Angela’s face, which was laced with tubes. Then, the image shattered into a million pieces.

“Ouch!” Jessica sat up, and promptly smacked her forehead against a—what was it?

And what had she been dreaming of? Jessica thought hard. There was Angela, oh yes. Angela was there, desperately ill. Jessica was in her hospital room. Angela! I have to get back to her!

She straightened herself, rubbing her skin, and stared; her head had slammed into a statue of some sort. Upon it, in a fanciful font, were the words,

“Celebrating the 2 million citizens of the Spiral”

And on top of those words was a pair of what looked like wizards. Both had their wands pointed at the sky, expressions of merriment on their faces.

I’ve died and gone to Disneyworld, she thought.

Standing up, still a bit shocked, Jessica looked around her. She was standing in the middle of a pond, but her shoes weren’t wet. All around her, people were dashing about. And all of them looked like the two wizards on the statue, except some donned foreign fashions. With some reluctance, she noted that each was carrying a weapon of some sort, be it a wand, staff, or sword.

Okay. This is weird. It’s like I’ve woken up in the middle of Halloween, or maybe a Harry Potter convention? But why do some of their clothes look different?

Feeling confused, Jessica went up to the nearest person she saw, a flamboyantly-dressed boy wearing a set of…armor? It had scales and the helmet resembled a dragon’s head. And sprouting from his shoulder blades were a pair of white wings.

“Uh, excuse me? Can you please tell me where I am?” Jessica asked, facing the strange boy.

He looked at her clothes, then replied, “Huh, another noob, aren’t you?” He flew away without another word.

Wow, rude much…?

Jessica frowned. These Harry Potter fanatics sure were a rude bunch, if that guy was anything to judge by.

She approached another person, this time a boy who was wearing a tamer outfit. They looked like a cloth robe and a simple classic wizard hat. “Excuse me, where am I?”

He turned around and smiled knowingly. “Ah, you must be a new wizard, right?”

She stared at him. What was he talking about? It’s probably part of the act. “Uh, yeah, sure. But where am I and how did I get here?”

“This is Wizard City, of the Spiral. This would be the starting place for every Novice wizard. You should probably go talk to Professor Ambrose first,” he said, pointing at a castle only a few paces away. “He’s the headmaster of Ravenwood.”

“Ravenwood? What’s that?” Jessica asked, confusion growing by the second. This was a bit too far for an act…unless this was some big role-playing thing?

“The school you’ll be going to. Sorry, I’ve got to go. Good luck!” And he disappeared in a flash of light, leaving behind only a faint scent of smoke.

Cool trick. Jessica walked towards the indicated building and pushed open the heavy wooden door. Inside was an old, wizened man. He wore an ensemble of red, white, and blue wizard robes. A strange owl was perched on his shoulder. It wore spectacles and looked at her with unusual intelligence.

Oh no, another one of those ‘wizards’?

As soon as Jessica set foot inside the room, he jumped up with the energy of a younger man. “Jessica!” he exclaimed, “Hello, I’m Merle Ambrose, your headmaster at Ravenwood School, and here,” he gestured at the owl, “is my trusty companion, Gamma. So, I trust your transition went smoothly?”


“Yes, from Earth to the Spiral,” he said. Oh no, he must be one of the crazies here, too. Jessica groaned mentally. Couldn’t they just give her some maps back to the US?

“Uh, Mister…Ambrose, sir, I think you’ve mixed something up. I’m not part of whatever event that’s going on here. Actually, I’m just really lost,” stated Jessica.

To her surprise, he chuckled heartily, as if she had told a joke. “Jessica, dear, this is no event. You’re a wizard, and this is your home.”

Silence reigned for a few minutes. Then, Jessica broke into uncontrollable laughter. “O-oh, that’s a good one. For a second, I thought you were serious!”

He smiled kindly at her, like one would regard a naïve child.

She stopped laughing. “You were joking, weren’t you?”

“Why, of course I wasn’t!”

Jessica’s heart sank. “So…How will I get home?”

Ambrose chuckled. “Why in the world would you want to go back? Here you have everything you’ve ever wanted: magic of your own, and fellow wizards!” As if to prove something, Ambrose waved his hand and a purple snake appeared from thin air.

That stopped Jessica cold. The small display convinced her. “How could you do something so horrible? Steal away people from their lives, their homes, and force them to come here?” demanded Jessica.

Merle Ambrose’s smile slid off his face. “None of them had a problem with it. All were more than glad to join me in the Spiral.” His tone turned patronizing. “And I’m sure you will too, with time. Now, in the meantime, why not take a tour of your school?”

She glowered at the old man, and then turned on her heel. “I’ll be out front waiting,” she yelled as she closed the door.


Ambrose frowned as Jessica left the room. He turned to Gamma. “Did we make some sort of mistake? Does she have it?”

Gamma shook his head. “No mistake, sir. Magic indeed flows through her veins.”

Merle was not mollified. “Well, what if she wants to leave? You think we could do the UnTransitional, make an exception just this once?”

Immediately, Gamma responded, “Too dangerous, sir. Remember what happened to poor Suri? We can’t risk it with Jessica.”

Ambrose sighed. “I supposed you’re right. Call in Brian, he’ll be her tour guide.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Open Chat Update: My Thoughts

Ah, that fateful day when KI took away the Open Chat from the kiddies...I remember it like it was 10 hours ago...

The change: all accounts must be actively subscribed to maintain the Open Chat feature. 

I'm not really one for big reactions, but I will say: we've had this coming for a long time. It started when under-18s got Open Chat, continued with the potty-mounthin', and it ends now. 

Being guilty myself, since I do have Open Chat for PvP purposes, I guess by writing this post, I'm a hypocrite. But it's like real life: there's always one kid in the class that makes everyone get after-school detensions because he decided to be a smart-alec. In this case, it was that small population who just couldn't resist keeping their bad words to themselves.

I was protesting this update at first, but now I'm starting to see reason. 

KI did this because there were way too many underaged Open-Chatters (I'm guilty too). That might have been okay, but the teens and kiddies brought their...colorful vocabulary to the Commons, the Arena, etc. I can only imagine how many Foul Language Reports KI had to sort through. 

And so they changed it. Now, the young population of Wizard101 has to keep a subscription if they want their Open Chat still. Meaning? You have no valid reason to keep it once your sub ran out, thus preventing a lot of the younger population from getting Open Chat:
Kid: Can I renew my subscription?
Dad: Why?
Kid: So I can type whatever words I feel like to negatively affect people.
Dad: Sure!
Yeah, that definitely won't convince any reasonable parent. 

So don't be mad at KI, or send any angry letters you'll later regret.

As some of the #twizards said: this is a game, not a chat service. If I lived a year and a half in this game with Menu Chat, you can live a few months with Text Chat. Not getting Open Chat is absolutely no reason to quit the game. 

Finally, I'd like to apologize to all the above-18s of the Spiral. I'm wagering not many of you have bad-mouthed someone recently, correct? So this update is like a double-edged sword for you guys. It's too bad your lot has to suffer along with us :-/


Monday, January 17, 2011

Maze Game Guide

Hey guys. Sorry there’s been no post for a while, but real life’s jumped on me and I can’t seem to throw it off. Anyway, today’s post is about the Maze Game on the Pet Pavilion.

By far, it is my favorite. The Dance game is way too repetitive, and I stink at the Canon and Gobbler Drop games. The Maze game has a bit of action to it, without being too challenging for coordination-impaired people like me.

Part 1: Meeting the Goal
In this game, you don’t get it easy. So how do you know how many snacks until a ‘Perfect’ score?

I haven’t experimented much with this, but I did notice that 70 and above snacks equals a ‘perfect’ score (+4 points of XP). You don’t get bonuses for getting more.

I believe somewhere between 55 and 69 is an ‘Excellent’ (+3 points of XP). More research may be in order.

Part 2: Avoiding Ghosts
Now anyone who’s played the Maze game knows about those pesky Lost Souls. When they touch you, or get within a certain distance of you, your pet is trapped in an ice cube for about three seconds.

So how do you avoid them?

The best trick would be to ‘cut corners’ as I call it. This trick only works when you and the ghost are turning the corners of the hedges. Stick as close as you can to the hedge and slip past the ghost. I guarantee that this will not always work J Also, you can duck into another route, and pick up a few snacks, then resume what you’re doing when it passes.

Part 3: Power-ups
You might see three or four stars around the Maze. What are they?

Blue: These stars are like the big dots of Pac-Man. They give you temporary invincibility and if you pass through a ghost, you get an equivalent of +5 snacks to your total. This is like the Tower Shield of the Maze game. It makes everything so much easier. Make sure you’re near a ghost (or preferably, two) then dash into that blue star and gobble away. Of course, with this being the most excellent one, there is only one of them in every game.

Red: These stars give you temporary boosts of speed. Useful anywhere! There are usually 2 or 3 of these in a game. However, be careful not to waste it trailing behind a ghost or getting stuck in a dead end.

Clock: You might notice little clocks floating around in the maze. These are also great to get. There are maybe 2 or 3 of these wandering around the hedges. They add +10 seconds to your time. Note: You start with 60 seconds, but you can get much higher than that.

Part 4: Navigation?
There is one spot in the middle, where all trails lead to and it has the big tree in the middle of the circle. That is the ‘Hotspot’ of the game. The tree is ringed by more than 10 snacks!  Also, a lot of the stars happen to end up here too. Beware though, the Lost Souls seem fond of the location as well.

On moving and collecting snacks…there are so many ways you could go through and pick up snacks. All I can give you is advice.

  1. Don’t get hindered by dead-ends.
  2. Pick a route that is abundant in snacks and leads you to the hotspot in the middle.
  3. Try to pick routes that don't have ghosts wandering in them.
  4. Play the game again and again so you literally memorize the whole maze (like me!).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Legendary Life PvP Guide, Part I

---Written for players Level 58 and above---

     Part I: Overview

     This guide will be released in several parts. This part describes the general features and idea of the Life school and the advantages and disadvantages.

     With a big chunk of our spells being heals, it’s no surprise that we are the ‘healers’ of Wizard101. This applies in PvP too.
     We are responsible for keeping ourselves and our teammates in the fight as long as we can. We are the doctors, nurses, and hospitals of group PvP. Usually, when there’s a Life player involved, they will be the first target and the most heavily shielded and hit, plus expect a lot of Infection spamming. I suggest dying your clothes and/or stitching them.

     Features of the Life school:
1.    Healing ability
2.    Great minion
3.    High accuracy (90%)
4.    High health

1.    Minion is fragile (only 350 health)
2.    No Damage-over-Time spell
3.    Weak attacks
4.    No low-pip AOE (hit-all spell). The only one is the 8-pip Forest Lord.

     In 1v1
     Since there is no team for you to be healing, you’ve got to be offensive. Being a turtle won’t be fun, or productive. If you’ve got a decent power pip chance, chances are, you’ll be able to heal just as fast as your opponent will be able to hit.

     The main thing is to not be bogged down by shields. As a 1v1 Life wizard, your main concern is the Tower Shield, since Life shields aren’t very common in the typical PvP-er’s deck. However, you don’t have a Damage-over-Time spell (DOT).

     One thing to help overcome this would be to stay unpredictable. People expect you to Centaur at 6 pips, and they WILL shield accordingly. To avoid this, I suggest varying your attacks. Centaur one turn, Seraph the next. Keep the pressure on your opponent, not yourself.

     More on spells in Part II.

     In 2v2
     When playing your Life in 2v2, you play healer, but also the role of the buffer. Meaning: when you’re not healing, you can put blades, traps, etc on the players. Be active in helping boost your partner’s attacks.

     I only suggest taking on this secondary role in 2v2 because there are only 2 opponents, so you probably won’t be full-time healing. In 3v3 and 4v4, most of your time’s going to be spent fending off attacks, since there are more opposing players.

     Also, when choosing your partner, pick a “powerhouse” school, or a heavy-hitting school, like Fire or Storm. It makes up for your lack of attack power. And going hand-in-hand with this is: equip a wand of your partner’s school, so you can remove shields for him/her.

     Keep at least 1 attack card in your hand at all times. There will be scenarios when you need to be the one to finish the opponent off, if your partner’s hit didn’t do the job.

     In 3v3 and 4v4
     Forget attacking. You’ll be constantly assaulted with attacks, Infections, traps, and what-have-you’s. Play defensively and don’t try to spend your pips attacking, unless it’s going to decide the winner. A life wizard with 0 pips---avoid scenario at all costs.

     Worry about shielding yourself. If you die, your team’s just been thrown in a deep hole.

     Don’t get hampered by Infections. Use that handy-dandy Guiding Light spell to counteract it, or equip gear with good Outgoing Heal boost.

     If your team has 1 designated hitter, equip a wand of their school to help remove shields.

     Last Notes:
--Don’t be afraid to use treasure cards! They are available to anyone and everyone, so don’t hesitate to use them. Sometimes, it’s the matter of drawing that one Tower Shield that saves your bottom.

--As suggested by Kevin Battleblood, as a Life wizard, consider choosing a Life wand instead of another school's wand since many people do tend to carry Life dispels (Entangle). The upside: you won't have to dig through your deck for a low-pip card, since you'll have five more at your disposal to get rid of the Dispel. However, this does mean to rid Tower Shields and Weakness, you'll have to waste traps and blades.

     Part II next—Gear and Deck Setup

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Great Year Behind, A New Year Ahead

Hello! I am back in the USA with killer jet lag and no New Years cheer whatsoever! 

Firstly, happy new years to everyone. I don't do resolutions because I always forget them by Feburary anyway. 

2010 was a great year, ITS and IRL. Hope everyone's was good too. Now, methinks it's time for this Theurgist to do some reflectin'. 

So what happened this year?
Celestia released, pet pavilion, gardening. Did I miss anything?
Also, I started blogging made a Twitter, so I guess I'm a #twizard now..? 

This past year, I've discovered a great game with an equally amazing community, had a heck of a time in the Spiral, and of course, spent hours trying to get my Desparagus to face my direction. 

Cheers to drunk poker parties outside my window.

Cheers to depressed veggies. 

Cheers to a great new year.