Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Hi all! Ha, I just imagined Professor Greyrose shouting out the post title.

Anyway, as the title suggests, I have been rather busy in the Spiral the past couple afternoons, catching up on Creature badges I have been putting off for a while between Celestia, Wintertusk, and finishing my Marleybone badge set (still have Crusher Crusher left to get). I'd been putting of Crab Alley till I completed Wintertusk, and had planned on doing that, but of course writing about badges put me in the mood to, like I mentioned in my last post, do some Spiral exploration and return to places I hadn't been in a while. I only completed two Creature badges -Elementalist and Bird Watcher- but with only a handful of Creature badges (and badges in general) left, and all recently progressed, I feel accomplished. Not to mention that all of my remaining Creature badge values currently end in zero- so they're all nice and round and easy to look at :) With Elementalist out of the way, I'm now looking to get Spiderbane or Blood of the Giants. Both are relatively easy, with low level mobs for efficient accumulation, and provide reason for me to visit locations I would otherwise almost never set foot in- Cyclops Lane, the Palace of Fire, the Grand Arena. Let nostalgia reign!

Yesterday afternoon, however, was pretty much devoted to adventuring in Mooshu and Dragonspyre, with some in lesser-visited areas of Grizzleheim and Celestia on the side. I snapped a few pictures; I wish I had thought to do so earlier, so I could have created a more complete collection of my recent in-game affairs, but at least now I'll remember for next time :)

Displaying my Elementalist Badge proudly

Finishing an Ice spell against some Draconians, Plaza of Conquests

Forming a Star seal, Cave of Solitude

Forming an Ice seal, Tatakai Outpost

Frost Giant freezing some bacon for me for later use, Tatakai Outpost

That's it for today! I should have the second Extracurricular Activities: Part 2 up Friday or Saturday; the same goes for Part 3 the next week, and Part 4 the week after that.

Until then, Ponder on!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Extracurricular Activities: Badges

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of playing an MMO is knowing what to do when you have finished the story. With Wizard101, this is less of a problem than some games. We have a nice, long main storyline in the Malistaire adventure, as well as the first chapter in a second storyline -Celestia- and a parallel story, recently added onto, in Grizzleheim and Wintertusk. We also have a large multitude of side quests in all seven worlds, as well as extra-special challenges such as Briskbreeze and the Waterworks. Throughout all this, we have spell-quests which earn us new spells, and work to level up and earn the necessary experience and training points for other spells. This is enough to keep us going for several months, but it is eventually exhausted. That is where the “extracurricular” activities come in. As Wizard101 continues to grow and develop, Kingsisle is able to put in place more and different activities to keep us entertained while waiting for a continuation of our story, or, in some cases, a new one altogether. The original extracurricular activity was PVP. Although certainly the most immersive and engaging of all the activities, I, for some reason, find I have little interest in it myself, and am not in the position to write on it. One may also spend time farming for gear or furniture, but this is not something unique in any way to Wizard101, nor something put officially in place by KI. This leaves four other “official” activities for one to engage in upon “completing” a character: Crafting, Pets, Gardening, and Badges. It is these which I will discuss over the next few days. (Know that when I say "extracurricular activities," I mean only the four "official" ones mentioned above, no others.)

First up, Badges. I mean Creature badges- which you earn for defeating a certain number of a certain type of Creature. The simplest of the extracurricular options put in place for us by KI, accumulating badges is a particularly favorite pastime of mine. I have fond memories of running around the Excavation Site in Krokotopia's Chamber of Fire, defeating Charmed Slaves to get my Krok Thrasher, Hunter, and Slayer badges. It is the only one of the four extracurricular activities which employs the main focus of the game- defeating enemies using a card-dueling system. At the same time, you are visiting worlds and areas in the game that you may not have visited in a long time, or, if they early zones, such as Cyclops Lane (great for Giant badges) or the Royal Hall, may have a certain degree of sentimental value. Or maybe you just really like that particular area, and are always eager to visit it. (For me it's the Marleybone neighborhoods.) In other words, accumulating badges allows you to explore and re-discover the Spiral, not only by way of seeing the sights, as Crafting sometimes allows, but also by defeating Mobs which you may have not encountered in ages. You are fully immersed in the area, and, as a result, fully immersed in the game itself. And Badges are the only extracurricular activity which allow for this full immersion. Pets are restricted to the Pet Pavilion and Derby Tracks, Gardening to your Castles and/or Dorms and the Commons areas of some worlds. There is, however, one major drawback to Badges- monotomy. Defeating the same types of Mobs over and over again can become tedious relatively quickly, and because the rewards are not particularly great like with farming, you will tire of it faster. Sure you can switch Mobs, or switch areas, or defeat the occasional Boss, but in the end, you won't be able to go for much longer than twenty minutes, half an hour at the most. Of course, if done for twenty minutes each day, working on Badges can be a fun, if simple, extracurricular activity.

Until next time, Ponder on!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Account Glitches

Been having some problems with my account lately when I try to comment on a blog post. So if I comment on something and my name doesn't have a link to my account, don't worry, it's still me!

Also, I've been unable to get started on the Extracurricular Activites reviews just yet because I was on vacation relaxing at the beach Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, then got home on Saturday. Should have the first post up Sunday or Monday.

Until then, Ponder on!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Amazing. Simply Amazing.

Hey! Check out this video made by Kestrel Shadowthistle on her blog, The Shadowthistle School of Wizardry. Wow! I am blown away! I love fine instrumental music, and Nelson Everhart's music for Wizard101 is very good! And Kestrel's piano rendition of the main theme and some of the Marleybone music is divine! As a Marleybonian gentleman would say, "Good show!" I've always thought highly of Kestrel; she enjoys music, Marleybone, and writing- all fantastic likes! Well done, Kestrel! Well done, indeed!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coming Soon: Extracurricular Activities


With the original five worlds and Grizzleheim all finished, as well as most of Celestia and Wintertusk, I spend much of my time crafting, leveling my pet, and gardening. I enjoy all three activities, but they each have cons as well as pros. I feel this would be an interesting point to address. So, over the next few days, I will conduct "reviews" of what I like to call the "extracurricular activites." I will discuss negatives and postives of each, compare and contrast them, and describe my experience with each activity. I figure this will be a good method of getting underway with the blog, and I am excited to share my thoughts on each with you!

Until then, Ponder On!  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello, One and All!

Hello! My name is Duncan Daystone. After much deliberation, I have finally decided that maintaining a blog would be a fun and healthy activity to engage in. The page you are now viewing is the result (for now) of that deliberation. In this, my first post, I would like to begin by saying a little bit about myself.

First off, I am a nerd. And that's fine. I couldn't care less. I believe that the majority of what we, as humans, concern ourselves with are in fact extremely unimportant in the grand scheme of life. And there is nothing wrong with that, for that is what makes us human. I believe what best exemplifies my nerdiness is my passion for difficult scientific subjects, such as chemistry and physics. At my high school, I am part of a special program where I am studying to become an engineer, so it is my hope that I may be greatly involved with one of these fields someday.

Second, a major passion of mine, and the one which I am using as my platform for this blog, is Wizard101, an immensely popular MMO from Kingsisle Entertainment. I will talk about this the most. If you are unfamiliar with the game, then take my word for it- it is absolutely fantastic! Check it out here.

I enjoy other PC games as well, most of which are disc games as opposed to online ones. From time to time, I may talk about some of the other games I enjoy, such as Trainz or The Clockwork Man.

As you may have noticed from the two links above, two other major passions that I have include Railroading and Steampunk, both of which I may also talk about from time to time.

I also love to write. I have always wanted to create fiction, but I have not until recently actually honed my talent. I may put some of my pieces up on here; however, much of what I write is not necessarily appropiate for some of the younger people who may be viewing the blog.

Finally, I love to think, and I love to develop opinions on as much as possible. It is mainly for this reason that I came to the decision to create a blog. Thinking and pondering is just as much a passion of mine as Wizard101. I am a philosopher. (A term which translates from Greek as "lover of thought.") Much of what I post will be devoted to sharing my thoughts with the world, something I have always wanted to do.

I also wish to be part of a growing, thriving community, and there is no better community on the Internet than that of Wizard101, as evidenced recently by Autumn Duskhunter's "8-bit Trials" on Homework in a Graveyard.

It is my hope that my thoughts and experiences will be a springboard of sorts for those who read my blog to conduct their own pondering, and do a bit of philosophizing themselves.

As such, I end my first post by presenting readers with a question: Have you thought today?

Until next time, Ponder On!
                                                                        Me, Duncan Daystone