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Back to Blogging

Last time I posted was a month ago, right before I started my spring quarter. I’ve had a busy first month of school and have had a lot of big personal issues to deal with. Things feel under control again so I should be back to posting, hopefully at least semi-regularly until summer. 🙂

Last time I posted, I wrote about a new idea I had: exploring the cultures of the Spiral. Joseph Firesword (my first commenter!) alerted me to a project that the Nordic Champion has been working about Spiral History. Cheyenne did a fantastic job on the posts! She put a lot of thought, time, effort, and research into each one and they are incredibly interesting!

My original plan for The Cultures of the Spiral was going to be similar to what Cheyenne has been doing, but I have decided to take the project a slightly different way. While I do plan on exploring the history and cultures of the real life inspirations, I also plan on exploring the history of the Spiral World itself. However, my biggest focus is going to be on the culture of each World from a sociological perspective. I’m taking sociology class right now–it’s interesting, but I’m having a hard time understanding the concepts. I’m hoping that by applying the theories I’m learning about to something I genuinely enjoy, I’ll start to understand and do well in the class. Plus I can count blogging as studying. 😉

I’m still working on Reagent Maps. I have three that are mostly done, but none quite ready to post yet. Hopefully I’ll have one or more ready by the weekend.

Who Drops What and Finding Housing Items Made Easy are both currently on pause. I’m not sure how I’m going to format Housing Items and Who Drops What will be on pause perhaps indefinitely. I haven’t found a way to put it together in a way I like. Dorm Rooms with Emma has been inactive for a while now, but I have plans to bring that one back to life. 🙂

In other news, Natalie participated in more than a dozen tournaments during the member benefit event last week. I’ve been enjoying ranked again on her now that she has all the PvP gear I wanted for her. I’m doing pretty good, considering I thought myself to be terrible at PvP 5 months ago. 🙂

Jenna, Suri, and the Hawks are almost done with Azteca. It’ll probably take us another session or two of questing to finish, depending on how long we have when we’re both on. We’re both excited to get our group of four to 100 and run Darkmoor. Based on this guide from Mercenaries for Hire, we think we can do Graveyard runs in about 20-30 minutes.

I’ve been slowly questing with Kayla and Rachel. I’ve decided Magus Storm and Adept Life make a good team! I finished the first third of MooShu in one sitting, but haven’t gone back to it yet. If I just sit down and quest, it probably wouldn’t take me more than a few days to reach Celestia…I just have to do it…

I think that about caches everything up. 🙂 I’m excited to get back to blogging my adventures in the Spiral.

~Emma

 

Artistically Speaking

About a year and a half ago, I started doodling in the Abradadoodle style. It started out as simple, pencil-drawn attempts like this (these are a few of my favorites):

Doodle 2-4 Doodle 3-10 Doodle 4-1 Doodle 4-7 Doodle 4-10 Doodle 4-16 Doodle 4-17 Doodle 6-7 Doodle 7-4

After a week or so of doodling by hand, I decided to get a free drawing app for my KindleFire, Sketchbook Express. (I later “had” to upgrade to Sketchbook Pro because Autodesk stopped supporting all other versions.) When I first started using Sketchbook, my doodles looked about the same as by hand, just colorful. It didn’t take long for me to start adding layers and backgrounds, and basic textures. A few of my favorites:

Sketch17502437 Sketch175145543 Sketch164225846 Sketch175163151 Sketch186173511 12919155_955586984537861_1402622360_n Sketch186145229 Sketch182125014 Sketch20411453 Sketch1459298 12921174_955586991204527_1372564815_n 12899924_955587007871192_1323832789_n

Unfortunately, after school started again back in the fall, I stopped doodling as frequently as I used to. I’ll still do an occasional doodle, but not very often.

Saturday night, I decided I wanted a unique header for both of my Wizard101 blogs (regular/original wordpress blog and the Duelist Community Edition version of that blog). I did a little bit of research and stumbled across GIMP. I decided to download the program Sunday afternoon. I’ve probably been having a little TOO much fun with the program. 🙂

I started out with the header:

90832118-ca5b-44fd-a614-8eab1893ec70 14399cb6-574f-4b39-958a-97d8b46178f9 Doodle Header 1 Header Spells Header NPCs

I made several before deciding on the doodle one. (After all, those little Abracadoodles are the reason I started exploring art based on Wizard101.)

I found the program easy enough to use that I wanted to keep creating, so I put together extremely basic character graphics. They weren’t anything exciting, especially the lettering:

Jenna Pyromancer Kayla Thundersong Diviner Natalie Warlord 1 Suri WinterSong Ice

Between Google searches and YouTube, I learned a few other new techniques like icy text, flaming font and glowing letters:

Suri WinterSong Ice 2 Jenna Pyromancer 4 Natalie Warlord 5

Then last night I was browsing Central and came across a whole bunch of guides for making signatures, avatars, and wallpapers. I’ve made quite a few of those:

Emma Banner 1 Emma Banner 1-A Emma Banner 1-Cxcf Suri Wintersong JennaBanner 1-B Jenna Banner 1-A Suri and Jenna Banner Fallon Banner 1 Balance Avi Emma Avi

I think my favorite so far is the one of Jenna and Suri (Together we are Unstoppable). I also really like the second one of Emma and the profile Emma. I’m really enjoying making these graphics. They’re a lot of fun, and not very difficult to put together either! ^-^

~Emma

Warlord!

Off and on over the past year and a half or two years, I’ve been very interested in Player vs Player (PvP) matches, especially in learning strategies that work for me and allow me to win once in a while. When I first started, I strongly believed that using TC in ranked matches was “cheating” and refused to use them. I quickly learned that, because the vast majority of PvPers, especially in the lower levels, use them, it was virtually impossible for me to leave the rank of Private (lowest possible rank: 0-524 points) without them.

I started out in PvP with my level 26 Death, Fallon DeathThief. I struggled to find a strategy that worked for me. I mostly enjoyed my time in the Arena with her, but eventually got tired of the insults from cocky players and the general lack of progress. I stopped with a rank of 386 (29 won-37 lost). Since rank starts with a base of 500 points, I ranked down by 114 points. I haven’t done any PvP with her for around a year now.

About six months ago, I started doing PvP on my life, Alyssa RoseThorn, since I heard lower level PvP is easier. When I first started, she was level 15 but after talking to a few friends, decided to level her up to 16 so she could get absorb and Tower Shield. During the time that I PvPed with her, I took advantage of the free tournament member benefit (can’t wait for it to return!). I had fun with it and even came in 3rd place in one of the tournaments! (It was with a randomly assigned team–3v3 I think.) I started playing ranked matches between tournament matches, and at one point managed to rank Alyssa up to the second rank: Corporal. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. When I got bored of PvP a couple months ago, I left Alyssa at Private with a rank of 426 (31 won-36 lost).

Saturday, I decided that I was interested in PvP again, but instead of going back to Alyssa, I decided that I wanted to try low level (1-9) PvP. I had heard that Myth was a great school to PvP with at level 5, so I deleted my Magus Myth, Natalie EmeraldFlame and recreated her as a brand new myth, Natalie DayDreamer. I played through Unicorn Way and got Wooden Puppet (0 pip myth minion) and Troll, then took the 5+ Crowns gear from Alyssa and bought the 5+ Crowns staff that she didn’t have, and put all the gear on Natalie. I put 3 Fairies, 3 Puppets, 3 Fire Elves, 2 Trolls, and 1 Stun Shield in Natalie’s main deck and 2 Tower Shields, 1 Minotaur, 1 Orthrus, 1 Myth Blade, 1 Infallible, and 1 Stun in her TC deck and hit the Arena.

The first evening, I ranked her up to Sergeant! The next night, she made it to Knight. Around the rank of Knight, I started facing Wizards up to 15 levels higher than me! And was winning! But I realized that one of the biggest parts of low level PvP is a pip war: whoever gets the most pips first can hit first and therefore win. Since I was facing wizards with so much more health than me, I had to use my bigger hit that cost 2 more pips. I switched Minotaur out for a Minion sacrifice card that gives me 4 pips, and triumphed more than I lost. The following night, I managed to rank her up to the coveted Commander and decided that I’d leave her there until I cold get the gear. However, I decided that, with the luck I had been having, that I wanted to try again. So I did. Later that night, I managed to rank her up to the top badge: Warlord. Her record: 47 won-21 lost.

I haven’t done any PvP on her since so she’s sitting at the same win/lose record with the same 913 points. I haven’t really had the time, but I also want to preserve that badge until I can get the Commander gear. So, at the next free tournament member benefit, I plan on leveling Natalie up to level 12 (for Myth Blade) and participating in the free tournaments for the gear. Once I have it, I plan on reentering the Arena. I never DREAMED that I could actually be good at PvP. But with Natalie, I am.

~Emma