Monthly Archives: November 2015

More Thoughts on Critical

As I’ve been questing through Polaris with Cameron StarCatcher, I’ve noticed a few interesting things involving the new critical system. I’m currently level 103. I’ve been tracking Emma’s critical and block rates since before the update went live. I’ve noticed an interesting pattern as I’ve leveled up.

At level 100, post-update, I had 29% critical and 29% block.

When I leveled to 101, my critical went UP to 31% but my block dropped to 28%.

At 102, my critical dropped again, this time down to 28%. My block stayed the same at 28%.

When I leveled to 103 last week, my critical went BACK UP to 31% and my block remained at 28%.

So at this point, my critical has been higher at odd levels and lower at even. It’s odd. So far, the decline that was present with the old system is more intense at even levels than it was in the system, but it’s jumping back up at odd levels. It seems odd to me. I guess I should start tracking Suri and Jenna’s critical and block ratings for more data. Maybe Cameron will be willing to contribute data. Has anyone else noticed this?

On a slightly different note, I realized the other day that my critical and block ratings dropped by about 20% at the update, which means when I use Amplify and Conviction, my ratings are about equal to pre-update ratings. Just some food for thought…




Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In the spirit of the holiday, here’s the top ten things I’m most grateful for in the Spiral (in no particular order):

1. Mounts! The 40% boost makes traveling so much faster than on foot. And they’re more than just convenient. They’re fun to have equipped thanks to the unique animations each have.

2. Pets! Not only are they cute and fun to have, but with a little training they’re helpful too! They can be frustrating, especially when the desired stats dint manifest, but they’re worth it!

3. AOEs! One spell that hits all enemies is so incredibly helpful. They makes mob battles go much faster and makes farming more effective.

4. Treasure Cards! Treasure Cards (TC) can be so helpful. I keep a stock of healing TC for solo battles or when I play support/healer. I’ve also been using Conviction and Vengence a ton more lately due to the new critical system. It’s so nice to be able to put more than 3-6 copies of a card in your TC deck and its a little easier to control when they show up in your hand than your normal cards. Plus the ones I don’t need can be sold for gold!

5. Mega Snacks! The ONLY reason why pet training isn’t a complete nightmare. Thanks to these rank 8 & 9 snacks, I can train a pet from baby to ancient on a single energy globe and to epic with two!

6. Gardens! The best way to earn TC , Mega Snacks, and Reagents! Plus a lot of the seeds are cosmetically pleasing, with fun animations and cute sounds.

7. Mastery Amulets! In particular the Life Mastery. Being able to use pier pips to heal is amazing!

8. Music Players & Scrolls! I LOVE having the ability to play my favorite music from around the Spiral in my homes! Some of my favorite tracks include the Graduation Theme, the Five B.O.X.E.S. Theme, Baddle of the Bands (both battle and main themes), all the Avalon, Azteca, Khrysalis, and Polaris themes, and, of course, the good old Wizard City Main theme.

9. Teleport Tapestries! It’s sooo nice to have easy and quick access to various areas of the Spiral right in your own home…especially to the Bazaar!

10. Friends! Friends make everything better! Questing is more fun and easier, housing games are possible and so much fun, chatting and creating bonds through the common interest of the game is wonderful. I’ve met some fantastic people in the Wizard101 community and I’m glad to call many of them friends. Shout out to Cameron StarCatcher, Evan FroatGiver, Ashley DreamDust, Valkoor LegendWhisperer, Blake HawkRiver, Kyle LegendWard, Lauren BattleEyes, Erin DragonCaller, Thomas Thorn, Valerian GreenGem, Wolf DragonBlade, and Wolf Shadow. ALL if you are amazing friends! Even though I haevn’t seen several of you for a while, you still matter to me and I’m thankful to have known you and to be able to call you friend.


Dorm Rooms with Emma Episode 2: Thanksgiving Feast

For episode 2 of “Dorm Rooms with Emma”, I created a Thanksgiving Feast, just in time for Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Items Used

Table and Benches: Crown Shop–500 Crowns or 2,500 Gold

Stuffed Turkey Dinner: Thanksgiving 2015 Giveaway

Lattice Cherry Pie: Torald Wayfinder (Grizzlehiem) Recipe–1,830 Gold

Holiday Cranberry Sauce (x2): Winterland Pack (Yuletide Only)–299 Crowns; Thanksgiving 2015 Giveaway

Orange Basket: Found in Turquoise Cave, Azteca–Free

Bowl of Lettuce: Ea’rik, Krokotopia Housing Vendor–125 Gold

Bowl of Tomatoes (x2): Found in Krokosphinx, Krokotopia–Free; Dropped by Grimsnes BurntBlack

Round of Cheese: Crown Shop–500 Crowns; Dropped by Grimsnes BurntBlack

Corny Wand (x2): Harvest Hannah–300 Crowns; Dropped by Lord Nightshade

Fall Wand: Harvest Hannah–300 Crowns; Dropped by Lord Nightshade

Hanging Lanturn (x2): Dropped by Tyrfing and Wretched Elexorien (or Bazaar 288)

Leafy Floor: Zhi Lan, MooShu Housing Shop–1,000 Gold

Marleybone Wood Panels: Crown Shop, Marleybone Furniture Set 3–4,500 Crowns or 22,500 Gold

Male Mannequin:
Headdress: Harvest Hannah–1,500 Crowns; Dropped by Lord Nightshade & Spectral Guardian
Bear Tunic (Dark Orange & Brown): Eloise Merryweather (Grizzlehiem)–1,860 Gold
Mage’s Boots (Dark Orange & Brown): Eloise Merryweather (Wizard City)–249 Gold

Female Mannequin:
Turkey Hat: Harvest Hannah–1,500 Crowns; Dropped by Lord Nightshade, Jade Oni, and Othin Stormfather
Jester’s Motley (Orange & Gold): Eloise Merryweather (Wizard City)–621 Gold
Cleric’s Shoes (Orange & Gold): Eloise Merryweather (Wizard City)–249

Alternative food ideas include the Turkey Platter from the Crown Shop (350 Crowns), Bowl of Dates dropped by Odji Sokkwi, Bowl of Potatoes (Recipe from Torald Wayfinder), Egg Basket (Recipe from Torald Wayfinder), Fat Pumpkin from the Crown Shop (225 Crowns), Fish Basket found in the Mangrove Marsh, Azteca, Pie from the Crown Shop (500 Crowns or 2,500 Gold), Pumpkin dropped by The Harvest Lord, Tall Pumpkin found in the Krokosphinx, Krokotopia, and many others you may come across.

Storm Pet, Hyde Park, Chelsea Court, & Level 28

Shortly after Jenna and Suri caught up to the Hawks, I realized that if I want to do any sort of questing when Cameron isn’t online, I’ll have to start questing on someone new. I’ve really liked duel accounting and questing on both Jenna and Suri at the same time, so when I decided that I wanted to start questing on my Storm, Kayla (who was level 26 and at the end of Krokatopia), I initially tried catching a second character on Suri’s account up to her. Trouble was, the second highest character on that account was level 5. Three of them. I did a little questing on both my level 5 Myth and my level 5 Life. After a couple weeks of minimal progress on both girls, I decided that Storm was a good school to experiment with true soloing.

A month or two ago, I finally did the Temple of Storms in Krokatopia with her and quickly moved through the first two parts of Grizzlehiem with help from Cam. Before that, it had been…a year or two since I had done any sort of questing with Kayla.

Yesterday, I logged onto Kayla with the intention to quest, but ended up deciding that I needed a decent pet–preferably one with Storm damage talents. After some research, I found out that the Arcane Helper pet (first generation) has the ability to learn Pain-Giver and Storm-Dealer so I decided it was a good pet to start training since I have two first gens. I got the first one to Adult yesterday and Epic today. I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turned out so far, even though it didn’t learn either damage talent I wanted. I still have one more chance at getting one or the other at Mega. (Crossing my fingers that the second one learns both!)

With my new pet equipped, I finally set off questing on Kayla. I was thrilled when I discovered that with this pet equipped and if I cast Lightning Strike (10% Storm Accuracy) before I hit, my Storm accuracy is 93%! Probably the hardest thing about playing Storm is the low accuracy, although the low health is an issue too.

I started today at the beginning of Hyde Park. With a TC deck full of Tempests, and Otis casting Galvanic Field or Amplify most battles, I zipped right through and started Chelsea Court within half an hour. I leveled up to 28 right after the first battle in Chelsea.

As soon as I leveled, I paused questing to go do my 28 spell quest. I’ve been waiting for Tempest since I decided to quest on Kayla again! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the spell quest was. It was mostly a lot of running around talking to people. The only battle was at the beginning and it was with Krokenkahmen in the Throne Room of Fire. Usually spell quests are considerably more difficult than that…but I’m not complaining!

Twenty minutes after I learned Tempest, I was finished with Chelsea Court too! I’m always surprised by how fast Marlybone is, now that I’m not doing every side quest I see….

As I quested in Chelsea court, I realized having both Galvanic Field AND Amplify on a single pet isn’t as good as I first thought. Although KI fixed a glitch several months ago that allowed pet cast auras to override wizard cast auras, apparently pet auras can still override pet auras. Its disappointing when Otis will override Galvanic Field (+20% Storm damage for 5 rounds) with Amplify (+15% damage for 5 rounds). So far, Otis has only overridden Galvanic Field, and usually it’s been an immediate second cast. Oh well, I guess. Either way, I get at LEAST a 15% boost to my tempests. 🙂

Dorm Rooms with Emma

A little over a week ago, I started a Wizard101 YouTube channel called “Dorm Rooms with Emma”. I love everything to do with housing in the Spiral. I love decorating my houses, I love learning and preforming housing glitches, I love trolling the Bazaar for hours to get the housing item(s) I’m looking for. I love it all.

Back in August, I discovered that I love decorating dorm rooms even more than houses when I participated in Paige MoonShade’s dorm room contest. The space is small and it’s easy to tie together a theme. And as an added bonus, I can actually finish a dorm room. 🙂

Dorm Room Contest 2015 C

100 Acre Wood Dorm Room I created for Paige MoonShade’s dorm contest in August, 2015

So, last week I decided I would share my love for decorating dorm rooms, and share tips, tricks, and glitches I’ve learned over the years, with others. So far, I’ve only posted one video of a very simple Wizard City inspired dorm.

I’ve been meaning to make my second video all week, but I’ve been busy with school and the desire to start this blog so I can express my opinion on the new critical system. Now that I have a better feel for the recording program I used, a better idea of what I want to do with this channel, and I’m on Thanksgiving break, I’m ready to do my second video.

I’m planning on tying “Dorm Rooms with Emma” here, mostly by giving the details about the housing times I used and announcing when I post new videos. I’m hoping I’ll start generating views on both my channel and blog soon. 🙂

Introduction to Reagent Maps

When I first became big on crafting when I was in Zafaria two years ago, I was frustrated by the lack of information I could find on locating reagents. I could find lists of locations on Wizard101Central and other fan sites, but none specified how common the reagent was in the area or where to look.

Overtime, I’ve learned where many of the spawn spots are, especially in my favorite farming areas. About a year ago, I marked the location of all of the Parchment spawns in Caer Lyon. That’s when I first got the idea of Reagent Maps.

My Reagent Maps are exactly that: a picture of the area map with dots to show where the reagents are located. I only have he Caer Lyon Parchment map done so far, but I’m excited to make more!

I’m creating these maps because it’s something I wish I had before I memorized the spawn spots of the reagents I look for most. I sincerely hope that these maps help others with their questing endeavors.


Critical System

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging now is because of the Polaris update, especially the new critical system. Ever since the beginning of Test Realm, I’ve heard nothing but complaints and claims that KingsIsle “ruined” the system and now critical is “broken”. I’m not so sure that’s actually the case.

I might be the only exalted wizard to say this, but I LIKE the new system and I think it’s far better than the old one. Yes, I get that the percentages have dropped, in some cases by a lot, but is that REALLY such a big deal? You’re far more likely to land, even if you only have a 1% critical chance. If you critical, you are guaranteed a chance to land.

At the start of the update, my critical dropped from 65% down to 29% and my block dropped from 53% down to 29%. But is that a bad thing? I am inclined to say no, it’s not.

Prior to the update, if I had a critical rating of 350 and my opponent had a block rating of 500, there was no chance I was going to land. My critical rating had to be higher than my opponent’s block rating to even have a chance at landing.

The update changed how this works, primarily by raising the chance at landing. For example, I have a 29% chance at criticaling. Let’s say my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. This means that every time I cast a spell, I have a 29% chance that I will critical. If I critical, my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. Even if I had a 100% chance at criticaling, this no longer means I will land. The only way a block will be guaranteed is with 100% block.

So why is this a good thing?

Balance, Myth, and Fire wizards should be especially excited for this change. Why? Now, multi-hits (like Hydra, Minotaur, and Chimera) and DOTS (like Fire Elf, Frostbite, and Poison) are no longer “all or nothing.” For example, prior to the update, if the first head of my Chimera was blocked, then that meant all three hits would be blocked, too. Now, I can land the first hit, the second hit be blocked, and the third head land again. (Or any combination of hitting and landing you can think of.) It’s similar with DOTS (Damage Over Time Spells). The initial damage from your Fire Elf might get blocked, but the TIC will land or vice versa. I think it always should have been this way.

There’s another reason this is a good thing. The original critical system was first introduced when Celestia came out. Prior to the launch of Celestia, the max level was 50 which meant at launch, the cap was raised to 60. With the Polaris update came the cap of 110. That means it has been 60 levels since the original critical system was introduced. Just prior to the Polaris update, when the max level was 100 and the old system was still being used, I had met several wizards, primarily Storm, who had 100% or more critical. I had also met a few wizards, primarily Ice, who had 100% or more block. How is one supposed to improve from 100%? What would be the point? With the new system, there’s reason to go beyond 100%, but keep in mind, Polaris is only the start of the third story arc. Both of the previous arcs had 5 worlds and 50 levels and there are 2 side words, plus Aquila and the Four Dungeons (Pagoda of Harmony, Barkingham Palace, House of Scales, and Darkmoor). I think it’s safe to assume that the third arc will also have 5 worlds and will end in 50 levels (150).

Assuming that is the case and the critical system wasn’t changed, it would be safe to assume that Storm would easily have 200% critical and the average wizard would easily be able to reach 100%. In order for the upcoming worlds to be difficult, the monsters would have to have an insane amount of block so it wasn’t too easy for the Storm wizards. They’d also have to have an insane amount of critical so it wasn’t too easy for the Ice wizards. So, where would that leave everyone else? By changing the system, the upcoming worlds can be fun and challenging for everyone, without being too difficult for the causal player or for children, but also not being too easy for the more hardcore players.

I don’t know how many have noticed, but Conviction has been updated to aide us with this new system. Prior to the update, the trained card gave 90 block and 90% stun resistance and the TC (Treasure Card) version gave 95 block and 95% stun resistance. With the update, trained Conviction now gives 15% critical block and 90% stun resistance, while the TC version gives 20% critical block and 95% stun resistance. Keep in mind that Vengance still gives 15% critical if it’s trained and 20% if it’s a TC. Trust me when I say these help a lot. Don’t forget about them!

I know it’s frustrating that our percentages have been dropped, but if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t make the new system as effective. There also wouldn’t be much growth in our wizards’ abilities between now and 150. And besides, criticaling isn’t everything. 🙂 These changes give us a chance at exploring other strategies for play.


P.S. Let me know what YOU think about the new system in the comments. Please keep all debates civil. I’m hoping for an interesting and lively debate! 🙂

Introductions :)

A little over a year ago, I started a Wizard101 blog. I didn’t post regularly and my interest in it tapered out after a couple of weeks. Looking back, I think it’s because I didn’t have a focus for it. I wanted it to be unique, but decided that everything there was to say about it has already been said by someone else, and besides, I’m not really all that involved in the community outside of playing regularly, how was I going to build an audience when there are all the official sites?

Then last night I found a Wizard101 blog I’d never heard of. (Wizard101 Basics for Beginners) She’s been posting regularly and is still active! (A lot of unofficial sites are no longer active.) After looking at her blog, I realized that I DO have plenty of unique ideas. I have plenty of opinions, especially with the newest update. I felt inspired after looking at her blog! So…I’m going to try again.

This time, I’m not going to worry about standing out or about what other people will think. This time, this is for me. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been playing Wizard101 for a couple of years now and I love it. I have 8 active characters and probably a dozen “on the side” characters. (I love creating new characters and hate deleting them!) My main wizard on my main account is Emma DreamWeaver, Exalted Sorcerer. She’s currently level 102, and getting close to 103. I love playing as a balance character. My main wizard on my second account is Suri WinterSong. She’s ice and is level 73. I quest Suri with my fire, Jenna, and two of my best in-game friend’s characters (Daniel Hawk and Cameron Hawk). (Both of us duel-account regularly.) My other characters aren’t as active as those three are, so I’ll introduce them as they come up.

The categories above will slowly be filled in as I write posts. I have a few good ideas for them that I’m super excited about!

I’ve also recently started a Wizard101 YouTube channel: Dorm Rooms with Emma. Spiral: A to Z will have posts relating to “Dorm Rooms with Emma” but won’t be the primary focus. Actually, the focus will be a little bit of everything 🙂