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Test Realm Reviews

Test Realm Status

Test realm launched at the perfect time for me: the start of my spring break! This means I can enjoy playing and testing without feeling guilty about putting off homework or doing homework and wishing I was testing. It also means I can blog more over the next two weeks! ūüôā

Test realm launched yesterday, March 17, announcing the additions of Daily Assignments, three new Skeleton Key bosses, fishing in Zafaria, a Gear Vault, a few spell updates, and other, small, miscellaneous updates. (Click here to see the update notes.)

Daily Assignments

Daily Assignment.png

So far I really like the concept of Daily Assignments, especially the rewards. The assignments I have had so far have been super easy, especially considering the rewards listed. My guess is the quests will be more difficult the farther into the 15 days you are. Unfortunately, Test Realm is only scheduled to be open for 11 days, which means we won’t be able to test a full 15 day cycle. ¬†As of right now, I’ve done the first daily assignment on¬†5 of 6 characters on Emma’s account.

The Quests

Day 1: Emma (level 110), Kayla (level 32), Fallon (level 26), and Alyssa (level 16)¬†needed to defeat 1 Rotting Fodder in the Haunted Cave (off of Triton Avenue) but Jenna (level 79)¬†needed to defeat 1 Sokkwi Protector in the Hall of Champions (in the Krokosphinx). Based on my other 4 characters and observations I made of others running the quest, I’m starting to wonder if Jenna’s Day 1 was a glitch. It might be that everyone starts with the Fodders, but I’m really not sure. I hope more of the quests are scaled for level…

Day 2: Emma had to go to Elik’s Edge–that was it. Just go there. No fighting or anything. A little disappointing for a level 110. Kayla, Fallon, and Alyssa all had to go to Elik’s Edge too. And, like Day 1, Jenna was the oddball. She¬†had to defeat 1 Foul Reaper in The Crucible in DragonSpyre instead.¬†I think¬†either everyone else is glitching (particularly Emma) or Jenna is…It seems weird to me that everyone else¬†had the same quest.

Day 3: Emma had to defeat 1 Walking Dead in the Village of Sorrow in MooShu (5 Arena Tickets). Jenna and Alyssa had to visit Unicorn Park (the small section of Unicorn Way where the Unicorn statue is) in Wizard City (5 Arena Tickets each). Kayla and Fallon both had to defeat 1 Nirini Warrior in the Palace of Fire in Krokotopia (5 Arena Tickets each).

Day 4: Emma finally had something scaled to her level! She had to go to Serpent Island in Ruined Alcazar in Khrysalis. No, she didn’t have to battle anything, but at least it was in a high level world! Jenna, Kayla, and Fallon had to defeat 1 Charmed Slave in the Royal Hall in Krokotopia. Alyssa had to defeat a Scarlet Screamer on Triton Avenue in Wizard City.

Day 5: Emma had to defeat 1 Burning Flame Wing in The Forum in DragonSpyre. Jenna had to visit Newgate Prison in Marleybone. Kayla, Fallon, and Alyssa had to defeat 1 Gobbler Muncher on Colossus Boulevard.

The Rewards

Daily Assignment 2.png

So far I have observed that the gold rewards on days 1, 2, 6, 7, and 11 have been scaled to level. For example, on Day 1, Emma (110) earned 600 gold, but Alyssa (16) earned 200.

The Crowns rewards is a wonderful addition! While 10, 15, and 25 isn’t much on it’s own, those¬†Crowns earned during the 15 day cycle will add up fairy quickly. If you’re doing Daily Assignments on all 6 characters, every 15 days you can earn 300 Crowns. (That’s approximately 7,300 Crowns every year!) And if you do 10 Trivia quizzes, that’s an additional 100 Crowns. And if you want 10 videos, that’s another 100 Crowns. So if you do all three daily, you could earn up to 80,300 Crowns every single year–more if you have the patience to watch more than 10 videos!

I was so excited for Day 5 to get here! I’ve been so curious about the mystery chest prizes! Every item I got was a Crowns Item of some sort, though 4 of the 5 can be crafted. I suspect that Day 10 will be slightly more coveted/rare Crowns items and Day 15 will be expensive/rare/coveted Crowns items (such as permanent mounts, pets, packs, mastery amulets…). I’m super excited to find out!

I thought the “unveiling” of the prizes was a super cute and fun idea!

The Prizes

Day 5

I’m excited to continue testing Daily Assignments when Test Realm goes back online Monday!

Skeleton Key Bosses

Skelton Keys.png

I decided to try the key bosses today, so with 2 Wooden Keys, 1 Stone Key, and 8 Gold Keys in my backpack, I set off on 3 new adventures. So far, I’ve only fought Ra, but I’m excited to try the other two! (Although I’m a little intimidated by some of the things I’ve heard about Omen Stribog–Minion with 99,999 health! Same as Malistaire the Undying Shadow form 2!)

Ra

When I first entered the Krokotopia Library, it took me a minute to figure out where the Key Room was. Upon first glance, the room looked the same as always. I¬†was expecting Zan’ne to have a quest or to see the Locked¬†door¬†or to see the float Skeleton Key sigil in the actual library so¬†it took me entirely too long to notice the new doorway on the right.

Wood Key 1

Go through the doorway to enter this corridor where the Key sigil is located. I was surprised that there wasn’t anyone else around. I had been expecting to share my 2 keys with someone (and hopefully in turn get a few extra runs with their keys), but it’s not that big of a deal.

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The Battle

Ra Alone.png

Ra, Rank 4 Balance Boss, 3,750 Health

Ra with Minions

Minions: Sia the Perceiver, Rank 3 Life Elite, 1,150 Health; Hu the Commander, Rank 3 Fire Elite, 1,000 Health; Heka the Haruspect, Rank 3 Myth Elite, 1,100 Health

Cheats

Let’s Speed this Contest Up: At the start of Round 1, Ra cheat casts Power Play

Accuracy is Such a Fickle Thing: At the start of Rounds, 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 7,8, 9, 11, 13… Ra casts either a +10% Precision on you and your teammates, a +10% Precision on himself and his minions, a¬†-45% Black Mantle on you and your teammates, OR a¬†-45% Black Mantle on himself and his minions

Let’s Balance Things Out a Bit: A the ends of round 4, 12, 20,¬†28, etc, Ra casts Amplify on¬†everyone (both his team and yours). At the ends of rounds 8, 16, 24, 32, etc, Ra casts¬†Fortify on everyone.

Drops

Gold (494-595)
Unique Gear: Ra’s Rod of Integrity, Ra’s Integrity Cowl
Housing Items: Krokotopian Scarab, Ice Mummy
Seeds: Alligator Pear Tree, Honey Bee Plant

Ixcax Cursedwing

I spent half an hour searching both the inside and outside of the Black Sun Pyramid and I could NOT find the location of this boss. I’ll continue searching, but I may have to wait until Live Realm when it’s a popular location…

Zafaria Fishing

Zafaria Fishing.png

I spent a little time fishing in Zafaria the other day, specifically in the Elephant Graveyard. I generally enjoy fishing, but don’t do it often. I drained one energy elixir but decided I didn’t want to continue at the time. I might return to it later today or tomorrow…

So far, I’ve only caught 2 fish in the Elephant Graveyard. The new Sentinel and Gargoyles.

The new Sentinel, Pacuman, is super cute. I love all the puns that can be found in the Spiral! ^-^

PacumanPacuman 2

Gargoyle

I’m really excited for a second fishing spot for Gargoyles beside Darkmoor. You need 2 for the crafted deck, but it took me forever to catch the 2 I needed in Darkmoor. I caught 4 the other day in the Graveyard. It’ll make crafting Jenna and Suri’s decks a little easier. ūüôā

Gear Vault

Gear Vault.png

I am SO excited for the addition of the Gear Vault! I have a TON of Crown and/or No Auction gear on Emma that I want to keep but they’re taking up most of my bank and backpack spaces. I’m so so so excited to move them into the vault for convenient storage!

And good news for those who don’t want to spend Crowns on the vault: the (current) recipe from Toshio is SUPER easy!

Gear Vault 2

Picture from Stars of the Spiral

Other (Major) Updates

Spells

Spell Update.png

I’m excited that Call of Khuluhu now attacks all targets at once even though my Death is no where NEAR 100. That spell took FOR-EV-ER. The animation lasted probably close to a minute. I’m SO GLAD it was shortened!

I’m not sure how I feel about Nature’s Wrath, Forest Lord, Orthrus, Power Nova, Frost Giant, Fire Dragon, Triton, Storm Lord, and Skeletal Dragon being trainable to wizards outside of those schools. Those were spells that the wizard of the correlating school had to do spell quests for, some of which may have been considered difficult. However, since they’re available to 100+, I don’t see them being very popular. From what I have gathered, very few wizards past 50ish use attacks from outside their own school…

Overall Opinion: A

I’m looking forward to the Spring Update. I’m especially excited for Daily Assignments and the Gear Vault! I’m looking forward to testing more next week!

~Emma

Member Benefit: Double Pet Rewards

I was really surprised Friday morning when I saw double pet is back again. We had double pet 3 or 4 weeks ago…As much as I love double pet, I was hoping for free tournaments or free respect (free training point buy back)–we haven’t had either of those since September! Even though I’m disappointed it’s the same benefit two months in a row, I’m taking FULL advantage of it!

So far, I have trained two pets to Mega: one from Ancient and one from Baby. I have¬†two other¬†pets I’ve trained to Ancient¬†and one¬†is well on it’s way to Epic. I’ve also trained several pets to¬†Adult.¬†Since I did a bit of training on Test Realm Friday before the servers closed for the weekend, I saved myself a little heartache (and snacks!) by not training a few pets that were supposed to be promising, but failed at Teen and Adult. Thanks to Test Realm, I only trained one true fail instead of three or four! (The failed pet was one I hatched this weekend, so he wasn’t available in Test.)

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Before now, I never thought I’d consider May Cast Unicorn a failed talent, but in the case of both Nala and Maddie, it is. I really want a pet with Fairy, Spell Defying,¬† Spell Proof, Pain Bringer and Pain Giver for Natalie to use in PvP.¬†But Nala is definitely one of the best pets I’ve ever trained and will work really well until I get my dream, generic pet!

Charlie was originally deemed a fail when he got the fire damage talent at Epic (since I wanted the double resist, double damage, & fairy pet) but after talking to a friend for a bit about Charlie, I realized he still had the potential to make a great fire pet for Jenna! I was hoping he’d get the other fire talent in the pool, Fire Dealer, but I would be happy with Proof or Fairy instead. He got Fairy! Now I’m trying to hatch a new fire pet with Pain Giver, Pain Bringer, Fire Dealer, Fire Giver, and either Defy, Proof, Fairy, or Infallible. (The bottom pet was a failed attempt at that pet.)

I still have a day left to train. I’m planning on getting Maddie to Mega unless (he? she? it?) gets a selfish talent (read: cunning). I’ll also have time to try another fire pet hatch and make good progress on training. Fingers crossed that I don’t have any more “major-put-on-the-shelf-and-never-touch-again” fails (like Annie) for the rest of this month’s double pet!

~Emma

Creating the “Perfect” Pet

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the term “perfect pet” over the years. It bothers me because there isn’t a single perfect pet.¬†THE perfect pet simply doesn’t exist. I’m tired of players judging other wizard’s pets. It’s one thing to critique a pet when someone asks if you think it’s a good pet, but it’s quite another to go up to someone and tell them that their pet “failed”.

For example, shortly after I trained Emma’s Carnation Fairy, Lily, to Mega, a friend told me it was a failed pet. When I asked why he thought that, he simply told me he personally wouldn’t want most of the traits Lily has. I understand that some of her traits aren’t ideal, and there a one or two that I’d be fine if I didn’t have, but she by no means failed, especially since I wasn’t expecting a pet nearly as good as she turned out. There was absolutely no reason for this friend to tell me that MY pet was a failure.

Unfortunately, I’m expecting to hear this a lot once I finish Suri’s “perfect pet”. Her perfect pet would ideally be ice, preferably the one-headed hybrid ice hound. I want the pet to have Spell-Proof, Spell-Defying, Fairy Friend, two “selfish” talents that enhance to resist stats, along with a third selfish as a jewel. If it all works out correctly, Suri will have a pet with 21% universal resist and may cast fairy.

Before you judge me for wanting selfish talents on my “perfect pet”, you need to understand Suri’s role in her team and how I play my ice character.

I quest Jenna (Fire) and Suri (Ice) together along with two of Cameron’s characters, Cameron Hawk (Storm) and Daniel Hawk (Balance).

Cam Hawk and Jenna are primarily hitters. Sometimes they’ll play support for each other. Sometimes the attack the same target(s) one after the other. Sometimes they take out different targets the same round. It depends entirely on the type of battle and who draws what cards when.

Dan Hawk primarily plays support. He keeps Jenna and Cam in blades so they can hit fast and hard. He sometimes will play healer with Availing and Helping Hands and sometimes with Treant Polymorph.

Suri is the tank. She’s always first in the battle circle (except for the rare occasion when someone gets dragged in on accident). For boss battles, she wears a hodgepodge of gear that gives her the highest possible resist. She has an average of 65% resist to any one school at a time, with the highest at 86%. My goal is to get her to 100% resist to any one school by level 80. I’m hoping to have her at 100%+ resist to ALL schools by level 100. It’ll take work: a lot of farming and a fair amount of crowns to succeed, but it’s possible. But in order to succeed, I NEED a pet with 21% resist.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, THINK BEFORE YOU JUDGE A PET WITHOUT BEING INVITED TO DO SO. It’s hurtful, thoughtless, and mean. You never know if the pet that you perceive to be a failure was intended to be the way it is, or if the pet belongs to a child who hasn’t grasped pet training, or if it belongs to someone who doesn’t want to invest countless hour and snacks trying to “prefect” a pet.

If someone asks for your opinion, give it (preferably in the nicest way possible), otherwise, please leave any critical thoughts to yourself. Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.

On a different, but related note, I’m currently actively working on three “perfect” pets: one each for Suri, Jen, and Kayla. I’m also passively working on improved pets for Emma, my Life, Alyssa, and my Death, Fallon. (Which basically means if I stumble upon a pet with useful talents for them while working on Suri, Jen, and Kayla’s pets, they can have it.)

Anyway, I’m working on getting the above mentioned Ice pet with Proof, Defy, Fairy, and three improving selfish talents for Suri. So far I have a pet with proof and two if the selfish talents. (9% resist at ancient!) on Suri’s account. I also have a pet with Defy on Emma. That pet has a chance at developing Fairy Friend. If it does, Suri’s hatching process will become simpler….

Ultimately, I want Kayla to have a Spark Beast with a combination couple storm damage talents, universal damage talents, a may cast heal, Galvanic Field may cast, and universal resist. I realize that’s far more talents than talent slots. Ideally, I would want Pain-Bringer, Pain-Giver, Storm-Dealer, Storm-Giver, and may cast Galvanic Field, with Storm-Boon as the socketed jewel. Although right now, she’d probably benefit more from Pain-Giver, Storm-Dealer, Spell-Proof, Fairy Friend, and Galvanic Field

Jenna’s, like Suri’s, is more exact. I want her to have a Blaze Beast or Fennec Fox (both give extra Fire Blade card) with Fire-Dealer, Fire-Giver, Pain-Bringer, Pain-Dealer, and either may cast Furnace¬†or Fairy Friend,¬†with Fire-Boon¬†in the jewel socket. Since she’s a hitter, the more damage she has, the better off she is. I’m hoping to have well over 100% fire damage by the time she reaches 100. From what I’ve seen, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

~Emma

Thankful

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.

~Emma

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. ūüôā