Tapestry to Bazaar leads to more fishing woes

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I knew I wanted a Tapestry to the Bazaar as soon as the recipes came out, so Morgan D. bought one right away — before I realized one of the ingredients required fishing, which I’d already tried and quit…  So, the recipe just sat there.

Then I bought some bundle on sale for Rylee W. on account #2 and it came with a Tapestry to the Bazaar.  Yea!  I’ve gotten pretty good at using it to send her to the Bazaar and then opening other accounts and porting wizards to one another until everybody who needs to sell or buy stuff at the Bazaar is complete.

But since my recent experiments with what you can do for free have included doing the first fishing quest I started thinking about the never-crafted recipe sitting in Morgan’s list.  And I thought about how nice it would be to have more than one wizard with the Tapestry.   Even though I still despised fishing on this second try, I managed to do it, so I figured I could tolerate it long enough to catch 5 Cuddlefish in Cyclops Lane.

Turns out that may be questionable.  I’m down to just needing one more so I’ll probably finish and craft the tapestry, but I’ve run into new things to hate about fishing so I’m feeling kind of sorry I tried.  I particularly have trouble in Cyclops Lane with fish “getting away”.  I’ve spent enough time there fishing now to say 1/3 to 1/2 of the fish you catch get away — and as I’ve mentioned, after having bored you with standing there doing nothing after you cast, then after you catch and lose a fish, they still have the GALL to charge you an energy point!

But even worse, the fish in Cyclops Lane barely spawn.  I’ve gone  from realm to realm to realm trying to find enough fish to even bother casting the “reveal school” spell finding zero to 3 fish in the entire pond area and it’s tributary streams.  When I have found a few more fish I’ve cast the reveal school spell and discovered not a single Death school fish in an entire area that’s supposed to be a place to catch at least two Death school fish, Cuddlefish being one of them.  I literally wasted an entire hour and an ENTIRE ENERGY GLOBE’s worth of energy casting that stupid spell and finding out there were no Death fish or hitting a new realm and finding no fish at all.

And yes, I tried the stupid run around and scatter fish so it will re-spawn bit.  I don’t know why I bothered as it has never done anything before…  It takes FOREVER for the fish to come back.  I’ve gone off to accomplish other things in WC for as much as 10 or 15 minutes — including doing a round or two in the B.O.X. and popped back to Cyclops to find still no fish returned.  B.O.R.I.N.G.

At the end of an hour I had 3 unwanted fish and one ho-hum treasure chest, no energy and I was enraged that I’d put up with doing one of the most boring “fun” activities ever invented for that long and had ZERO to show for it.  I then did a little research and saw all kinds of people posting they’d experienced the same thing in that area:  either no fish or no Death fish on realm after realm after realm is the NORM.  Who on earth thinks that’s fun???

If you don’t own an Amber Estate or a Death House (I have neither), Cyclops Lane is the only place in the spiral that has Cuddlefish.  Why make it a requirement for crafting, put it in only one spot and then program it so most of the time it isn’t possible to catch one there?

What I really wish is that they’d put transporters to the Bazaar all over the spiral…  And I would NEVER fish again 🙂

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Some Wizard City Battle tips

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

Since I’ve been running experiments on what you can accomplish for free and also spent a lot of time farming in the Stormdrain Tower for Christmas pets, I’ve been very aware of some of the common missteps new wizards make when battling in the early stages.

Shields:  Newbies tend to spend a lot of rounds putting shields on when they could finish off the opponents in the time they waste on shielding (and I did the same thing with my first couple of wizards).  I’m not saying never shield; in fact if you solo the bosses so you have more than one opponent hitting you it’s a good idea to shield, but for your average mob fight there’s no particular reason to spend several rounds casting shields.

If you need to wait a few rounds to cast a one-hit kill spell you might want to toss on a shield while you’re getting enough pips if you don’t have a blade or trap to cast.  Otherwise, until you hit the point (Colossus Blvd. or Krokotopia depending on which you decide to do first) where you always have two opponents in a mob fight, there’s no big need for shields.

One Hit:  In Unicorn Way you don’t have much choice but to hit with one of the two spells you have (your school’s one-pip and wand) and for several of the opponents it takes more than one hit to knock them off.  After Unicorn Way though, you’ve generally gained at least a two pip spell and in some schools you get a trap or a blade fairly soon (I think Life is last of the schools to get either so you won’t have them through most of Wizard City) so you have the capacity to take many opponents out with one hit.

I see new wizards all the time who seem to feel you need to start attacking right away but I’ve found it can be worth it to work a strategy in which I wait and hit each enemy once, taking him out with just the one spell.  Since I create and delete Death wizards who just go through Wizard City all the time, I’ll give the example of Ghoul.

It’s a two-pip drain health spell (you get health back) that Death gets about the end of Unicorn Way.  In the early stages you only have one pip at your first cast so you have to wait.  Even if I’m up against a Haunted Minion or Troll who could be taken out with Ghoul alone, I use the extra round to cast a Death trap even though I don’t need it.  That way I get back more health.

If there’s no drain health benefit (i.e. every other school), but you want to use your two pip spell you might want to cast a shield or just pass the first round.

When I get to higher health opponents like Magma Man or Warhorn, I cast a Death blade or trap one round and the other one (blade or trap) the second round and then hit with Ghoul on the third.  It creates enough damage to take the opponent out in one blow.  And I get a bunch of health back.

If you’re not getting health back it might make as much sense to hit with a smaller spell each round.  Some of that is personal preference.  But I’ve gotten so I set up for a one hit kill each time and I never get defeated in Wizard City.

Overkill: I see a lot of new wizards who get Treasure Cards for bigger spells or Feint and use those a lot in Wizard City.  The big spells take more pips to cast at a stage of the game when you’re totally pip challenged which means you’re taking hits for extra rounds.  Feint uses a pip so it can also make you wait to cast damage.  Both bigger spells and Feint generally give you a hit far beyond what you need to take out these low level opponents.

At this early stage when your health is pretty small, I think the added danger of taking hits for more rounds makes it inadvisable to use spells that take extra pips.  I know some wizards like to see how big they can hit so you won’t care for this piece of advice, but I just like to hit with what it takes to finish the job and do it in the least possible rounds.

I’ve soloed dozens of wizards through Wizard City without ever using bigger spells than my wizards have earned.  I DO often pass them a few TC blades and occasionally use those, but basically I complete that world using only the tools each wizard is given as she levels up and it is enough.

Stun Block:  A lot of newbies seem to figure out they can use training points with Diego at the Arena and Stun Block is one of the early ones you can get.  Don’t waste a training point.  No one will be casting Stun on you for something like 40 more levels or more so you DO NOT need Stun Block for a long time.  I see newbies cast it all the time and it just squanders a turn since it’s useless.  Plus to anybody who knows the game, you’ve just proved you’re clueless 🙂

Who’s Hitting Whom in Battle:  I’ve written before about the wisdom of taking out minions before the boss, so I’ll refer you to that post for advice.  But there are more specifics to consider.

When you enter a battle, on your side of the circle the first position is on the right.  Across the circle the first position is on your left.  If you’re in a boss fight in Wizard City that’s always where the Boss is (this really changes as you level up through other worlds).  If you Team Up and there are four of you there will be four opponents.

If everyone enters the circle at the same time, the opponents will generally lob spells at the person in the corresponding position (again this becomes less true as you move into higher worlds but holds throughout Wizard City).  In other words, if you’re in the second spot, the opponent just to the right of the Boss will focus his attacks on you.  So the smartest move to save yourself is to take out the minion who’s focused on you.

There are exceptions to how they attack.  If one person jumps in first and the others are delayed getting in the circle,  all opponents initially lob their attacks at the first person.  Also, if someone hits one of them with damage, that one (and sometimes one or more of his friends) will hit back at the one who damaged him.  So for instance if the person in third position attacks the second position minion, the second position guy will likely lob something at the one in third.

Stay aware that when you attack you attract damage.  And if you attack someone other than the minion opposite you, you’re probably going to be attacked by both the one opposite and the one you attacked.  Same for the theory about hitting the boss.  If you hit the boss, the boss is likely to hit you and if you’re not in first position you’ll probably be taking hits from the minion opposite you as well.  Think twice about attacking anybody but the one opposite to you until you’ve defeated that one.

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Okay, those are my battle tips for newly minted wizards in Wizard City.

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Reminded I hate fishing…

Fishing

In recent posts I’ve been experimenting with how much a wizard can do playing for free.  Even though I quit fishing very shortly after taking a few wizards through the first couple of quests, I decided to include fishing to see how much it could help in leveling up

While it does provide a bit of a boost, the experiment has mainly served to remind me the many reasons I loathe fishing in the spiral.

  1. It’s BORING.  Once you cast a lure, your character can’t move and you’re just stuck there staring at the same thing.  (see above picture and imagine just standing there for several minutes with nothing to do but look at that).
  2. They’ve added an annoying feature in which the fish can “get away” after you’ve caught it.  It just happened to me for 14 out of 16 casts.  Yup.  And they have the gall to take an energy point for it.  So after you’ve stood there being bored to death and finally caught a fish, it gets away and you still lose energy–in this case 14 points for absolutely nothing.
  3. Very little works the way the training and instructions tell you.  You have lures for each school and supposedly each school’s lure makes it more likely you’ll catch a fish from that school.  I can keep casting a lure from the same school 8 or 10 times (and yes, even after wasting 3 more energy points to see the schools of all the fish) and I might catch 7 or 8 fish from other schools.
  4. The “luck” elixir doesn’t seem to improve my odds much at all.  Each wizard gets one that lasts for an hour with the first quest and my wizards have still caught fish of the wrong school, caught the wrong fish, cast lures that no fish came to, had fish get away…  It seems to add nothing.  I would never buy one.
  5. Every time you catch a fish you lose 3 energy points, whether or not it was a fish you needed or wanted.
  6. One of the pieces of advice is to run through the water to get rid of the fish and have them spawn again.  They’re already few and far between and after you’ve scattered them it’s a long boring wait before any significant number shows up again and for me it hasn’t tended to mean that the kind of fish I need shows up.  So you scatter and have a boring wait for the fish to show up again followed by some boring standing around staring at a lure and whatever scene is in front of you, followed by most of the time failing to get what you were after.
  7. It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that this is a blatant effort to get wizards to spend Crowns on energy.  I get that KI exists to make a profit and many things in the spiral are designed to entice you to spend money.  But in most areas they’ve also provided ways you can get things for free with some work.  In fishing, you just burn through energy with little result and there’s no way to keep going without purchasing more and more energy.

I’m glad I’ve pretty well finished with my experiment as I have no desire to ever engage in fishing again.

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Keeping it simple in the Stormdrain

In the Stormdrain

In the Stormdrain

I’ve been doing quite a bit of farming in the Stormdrain for the holiday pets — not to mention enjoying my growing collection of holiday decorations.  On my main two accounts I mostly farm with either my level 56 Storm or my level 56 Fire, because of the ease of using Tempest or Meteor.  This time I tried out a different plan with a level 72 Life wizard and I’m quite pleased with it.

At level 56, the Fire and Storm girls get enough pips pretty quickly and those spells are enough to do the job against Lord Nightshade and his minions.  For my two level 92 wizards, a Life and a Death, it’s a little different.  Their main AOE spells take a ton of pips.  Most of the time I’m in the Stormdrain with one or more wizards level 100 or above and they’ve generally wiped out the opponents before I have enough pips to cast.  For me that makes it pretty boring.

They do both have Deer Knight at this point, so I take them in some but since my wizards tend not to go critical and Nightshade has a big resist to Death, it generally doesn’t work as well as Tempest and Meteor so I still farm mainly with my Storm and Fire girls.

I decided I wanted to farm on my third account.  I only have Life and Death on that one and most of them aren’t high enough level to get into the Stormdrain.  My level 72 Life wizard has just gotten to Avalon (and since I don’t have that account on a membership she won’t be moving ahead until the next time I give the account a month of membership) so she won’t be able to get the Deer Knight recipe for quite a while — and I don’t have a Death Mastery Amulet on that account so it will be much less useful even if she does…

But I took her in and, rather than hang around doing nothing while waiting to accumulate enough pips to cast Fluffy, I started her off with some Colossal, Seraph ( with Colossal, hit over 900) and Nature’s Wrath (with Colossal, hit over 600).  That did the job quite nicely but with overkill, so I then switched to Colossal, Leprechaun and Imp, which I found to be a perfect combo.  Leprechaun+Colossal is more than enough to take Nightshade out (average 750 hit) and Imp+Colossal defeats a Field Guard (average 500 hit).

If she’s in alone she starts with enough pips to finish Nighshade the first round and the Field Guard in the second.  With a team she often gets Nightshade and someone with an AOE wipes out the minions.  If there’s no one with a big AOE she can keep picking off a minion a round with Imp and since others are hitting, they usually finish one of the others.

I really liked this method.  When I teamed up it gave others a chance to participate but got the job done without taking too much extra time.  I know there are big level wizards who have no patience for taking more than one round but this method let my Life girl take part and on teams with lower level wizards, it let everyone have a chance to play.

One of the main reasons I Team Up for this is the chance to hang around with some other wizards since I mostly play solo or with two accounts,  so I don’t mind taking a few rounds to finish.  To me it’s part of the fun of farming.  If you’re high level and always going in with your big guns ready I highly suggest you experiment with how to use some of your lower level spells enhanced by your gear and Sun spells, etc.  With those extras you get as you level up those little spells pack a surprising punch!  And you get to be a team player.

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Farming Stormdrain for Christmas drops

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

I’ve had a tendency to forget the holiday drops in the Stormdrain Tower at times other than the big Halloween bash but it occurred to me to check it out a few days ago.

In only a couple of tries a level 16 wizard on my newest account quickly got a Lump of Coal pet.  When I checked out the school (Fire) and potential talents I wanted one for my Fire wizard … who’s on a different account.  So I opened that account and started farming.

It took ages to get the pet but in the meantime she received most of the other special pets — some of them, like the Maple Moose, several times — and loads of other seasonal drops.  Unfortunately most of the seasonal pets are Ice and I have no Ice wizards and others I got were also schools I don’t need or with potential talents I don’t want.

And I landed a couple more Yuletide Spirits.  I may train one or more but I managed long ago to hatch a Yuletide Spirit into a pet with three may cast heal talents and I’ve used that one to hatch so many pets across my accounts I’m already awash in Yuletide Spirits though most of them have several talents from other pets.

I started out farming in October for the Halloween drops but it seemed like they’d lowered the drop rates (something I found other wizards saying as well) and I gave up since it seemed like a waste of time.  This time I would say I got considerably more seasonal drops than ever and I’m wondering if they’ve raised the drop rate?

I’ve also not been running into the obnoxious high level types who usually make the Stormdrain an unpleasant experience during seasonal-drop time.  I even called one on wiping everybody out before all wizards were officially in the circle and he apologized!  Mostly I’ve not seen people jumping the gun on finishing everybody off to the detriment of wizards who don’t get in fast enough.  (See previous post for more on this).

In any case, I’m assuming they’ll have the seasonal drops through Sunday (1/1/2017) so you’ve got a few days to get some of the great pets.  I even got the whole Santa outfit — first time ever I’ve managed all three pieces!  And there are lots of holiday decorations dropping.  Get in on the holiday fun while you can!

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The next try on playing for free

Unicorn Park

A couple of posts ago I wrote about starting a new wizard and running her through every single quest she could do for free to see what level she reached and then bought Cyclops Lane and did every quest to see if i could get her to level 12.

She hit level 9 and then some on the free stuff and, after a bunch of rounds of fighting the Harvest Lord to see if I could scootch her up to level 10, I finally bought Cyclops.  My goal was to get her to level 12 so she could become the gardener and provider of mega snacks for the new account.  At the end of Cyclops she was level 11.

So then I turned to a wizard on the third account who’d been sitting at level 5 (just finished Unicorn Way quests, side and main) for ages.  I suspect I did some of the Halloween stuff with her too and got some XP for the Jack Hallow quests level fives can do.  She hit level 10 (just) at the end of all the Triton stuff.  I then took her through every quest in Firecat Alley to see if the extra dungeon there might get her to level 12 but no dice.

No matter which zone I purchased first, I couldn’t get a wizard up to gardening without purchasing both Cyclops and Firecat.  You don’t get the quest for Crab Alley (which racks up some pretty good points and also costs) until level 12 and you don’t get the quest for Nightside until you’ve completed all three areas (Triton, Cyclops and Firecat) plus Foulgaze (Sapphyra’s Tower) and Lord Nightshade (Stormdrain Tower) and the only way to get big points in Nightside is to pay to do the Sunken City dungeon.

Colossus Boulevard is the other main side quest area and it too requires purchasing the zone.  So, it’s 1500 Crowns to get Firecat and Cyclops and then if you want access to ALL of Wizard City that’s appropriate for lower level wizards it’s another 2250 Crowns to get Crab Alley, Sunken City, and Colossus.  Grand total for all of it 3750 Crowns.

Final results of my trial:  you can only get to level 9, maybe 10, if you don’t purchase any zones.  You’ll be somewhere in level 11 if you just buy one area, either Firecat or Cyclops; you’ll be slightly farther into level 11 if you just purchase Firecat).  If you want to be able to garden (the best way in my opinion for a free account to be swimming in gold from an early stage), you’ll have to come up with the 1500 Crowns and complete Firecat and Cyclops as well as Triton.  And for both I had to do a few extra boss fights to tip over to 12.

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Scattering quests through crowns areas

Jack Hallow

Jack Hallow

I’ve noticed many times as I’ve played the game what a clever (sneaky???) job of scattering quests through different crowns areas KI has done but it’s really been sinking in this week as I play through the “free to play” area and then see what I can accomplish for new wizards with the least crowns possible

For starters, you can pick up the Professor Zeke Smiths quest for free but you can’t finish it without buying Cyclops, Firecat Alley and Colossus Boulevard because each area has one of the Smiths.  At level 10 you can pick up a quest for books from Harold Argleston (after completing a quest Boris Tallstaff has for you as soon as you reach level 10; it isn’t announced, you just have to know to go to the library and do his little quests), but again, you can’t finish it without buying all three of the main pay zones.

You will also get quests for Crab Alley and Sunken City.  They’re side quests (don’t have to do them to move forward) and you have to pay to enter both.  Crab Alley contains the Waterworks so if you’re into that dungeon (many people farm it; personally I find it a tedious bore) you might find it worth 750 crowns.  It’s also 750 for Sunken City which seems like a major rip off since it’s just one dungeon.

You can get the opening fishing training at level 7 as a free player and also the first fishing quest but you can’t complete it without access to Cyclops Lane which you have to pay for.   Then the second quest requires you to go to Grizzleheim.  Not only do you have to pay for yet another zone but I find it really odd that you start fishing at level 7 and then they set the second quest in a location you can’t access until you’re level 20.  Huh?

Penny Dreadful has several quests which you can pick up in the Commons, but the final one requires a visit to the Dark Cave which means you have to buy access to either Cyclops Lane or Firecat Alley (there is an entry into the Cave from each of those areas) in order to complete them.

Death wizards receive a quest to get the Prism spell at level 12 and it requires going to Colossus Boulevard so you can’t complete the quest without purchasing that zone or becoming a member.  It’s been a while since I’ve started a wizard from any school but Death so I’m not sure if any other schools require Colossus at that stage.  Chime in in the comments if you know about another school.

Non-members are allowed to participate in the Halloween festivities and there are a bunch of quests you can complete in the free areas but to do all of them you need to have access to Firecat Alley and Cyclops Lane as well.

When the Professor shows up, free players can do the quest in the Wizard City box but all the others require paying for access to each area with a box.  BTW the Halloween quests,  and the Lost Pages and B.O.X.E.S. quests in WC are a great way to punch up some extra XP as a free player.

One way I handle some of this is by getting a one month membership every now and then* when there’s a Double Garden event or for Halloween (something where there are extra perks to being a member) and racing a couple of wizards through as many areas I haven’t bought as possible.  But the game is stacked in favor of making you either buy lots of zones or just succumb to membership.  If you want to do more than hang around in Unicorn Way and Triton Ave fighting the same mobs and bosses endlessly, KI is going to make some money off you.


*Since I have two membership accounts I can get memberships for $6.95/month.  You can sign up and cancel later the same day – they bill you for the one month and end the membership when the month is up.

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