Equipping: Crown, Bazaar/Vendors, Crafted?

Deciding between gear from shops/Bazaar, from crafting and from the crown shop is one of the many arenas in which there are lots of opinions about the “best”; I say they all work– figure out what works for you.

Early on I ran into a lot of posts and commentaries favoring crown gear and I was seduced by it.  Since I bought crowns for the first account, I invested in crown gear.  And I liked it well enough.  Especially the extra health boost–since I couldn’t afford to buy new crown stuff every 10 levels (most of it is available on the fives; 5, 15, 25, etc.) I used it for 20-30 levels and obviously made it through.

At the time I didn’t know that much about which stats to favor and there weren’t that many crown gear choices so I just took what was available. Because so many people thought it was good, I assumed the fact that I kept moving up had something to do with the crown gear.

Then I got the second account and worked on figuring out the game on a seriously limited budget.  No crown gear.  Rylee made it to level 60 without crown gear (at that point some gear that came with a bundle kicked in).  I hunted at the Bazaar regularly, looking for the best gear for the next major level up.

Lo and behold, I felt like she did better with the Bazaar stuff.  Of course by that time I had a lot more experience, so hard to know how much of the “better” resulted from the gear and how much stemmed from knowing more.  But when I bought a bundle on sale that came with gear I chose level 60 and when she got there and equipped it, I didn’t like it as well as the gear I put together from the Bazaar.

I’ve read posts from people who love the cards that come with crown gear and who just load their decks with blades and traps and rely on the cards for damage.  And I’m aware that some people actually choose certain items of gear specifically for the spell card(s) that come with it.

I, on the other hand, mostly find the cards a nuisance.  A few have been handy and I’ve used them (like something that comes with a tower shield).  But I don’t have Mastery amulets for all the schools (on the second account that would be zero) and I’m pretty fussy about my pips.

All those spells from other schools that come with crown gear aren’t usable for me; just not gonna waste a bunch of power pips to lob some spell for which I can get an equivalent from my school.*  But I’m always forgetting to X them out (click on them in the deck to take them) so there they are in my spell deck, messing up my hands with crap I have to discard and wait another round or two to get a spell I want  [At higher levels than this blog is generally about, there’s school specific crown gear, so there is a point where you can get spells that don’t eat your pips and might be useful.]

At the lower levels crown gear also tends to make you choose between being shielded from damage from all schools or boosting the damage you can do with spells from any schools.  Usually one of those helps accuracy or pips (or some other stat) and the other helps with something else, so you pretty much give up one or more whole sets of stats whichever way you go.  Again, because of the pips thing, I mostly use spells from my school and I can get a bigger damage boost from school-specific gear I find at the Bazaar.

I waffle about the stuff with resistance as it IS kind of nice sometimes to just reduce damage from everything — especially in those worlds through level 50 or so where the creatures often lob spells from three or four schools (more if you have to fight more than one type).

Then there’s the gear you can craft.  There are lots of people who feel that crafted gear is best.  I’m inclined to agree but there’s an issue with the crafted stuff.  If you do side quests as well as main story quests, you hit each world at a higher level than main-story-only people and until Celestia, the recipes are for gear that’s lower level.  I’m always in better gear I got in the Bazaar, so I look at the recipes and can’t see why I’d want them.

Then at Celestia another oddity arrives.  Rylee hit Celestia and encountered a vendor with gear recipes that seemed great and were appropriate to her level even though she completed a lot of the side quests (i.e. higher level than the main story-only folks).  Except she wasn’t allowed to buy them or use them until completing the crafting quest in Zafaria.  Of course, by the time she got there she was five or six levels higher and wearing higher level gear from the Bazaar so no longer needed the crafted stuff from Celestia.

The good news is, lots of wizards, as they level up, sell their crafted gear at the Bazaar.  There’s usually not a lot of it and I have to do a lot of trolling, but I’ve picked up some great crafted gear that’s level appropriate long before my wizards could get the recipes.  Fortunately, all the gardening I do means I’m constantly at the Bazaar to sell off TCs and seeds so I just check in on what’s available while I’m there.

There’s a similar issue with the vendors on the different worlds and the drops as well.  If you do side quests as well as main story, you’ll be at too high a level to be interested in the gear at the shops.  Fortunately the vendors’ stuff gets sold at the Bazaar a LOT, so you can get, say, Mooshu gear when you’re starting Marleybone and so on.  I wound up selling pretty much all the gear I got in drops in the early worlds because my wizards have been levels above the stuff**; this changes a bit by the time you hit Wintertusk.

If you’re playing on a budget, I think you can do great by maximizing gold through gardening (or farming for drops or reagents to sell) and buying the best gear you can find at the Bazaar.  If you can afford crown gear and you do well with it, that works fine too.  Whatever you can afford and/or comfortable with, you can succeed at the game as long as you figure out the strategy that works for you.


* I’m planning a post or two at some point on secondary school spells where I’ll go into this at greater length.

** As an example, I’ve been leveling up a wizard on my third account as fast as possible (on a one month membership) so for the first time I’ve skipped just about all side quests since Wizard City.  I paired her up for the last four dungeons/towers of Marleybone with a wizard who’s done almost all the quests.  So they were both at the point to get those quests when one was level 29 and the other level 36.  If I’d skipped all the side quests in Wizard City she’d have been more like level 24.  I’m finding she IS at the right level for drops and gear as she gets to each world.


About yogaleigh

Twenty-five years and counting on spiritual, personal growth journey. I've been to Nine Gates Mystery School, practiced yoga since 1985 and taught it off and on for the last 10 years. I've sat vipassana, studied with a Hopi elder for 2 years, practiced Hawaiian Huna, and dabbled in other traditions. Health and wellness have been very tied up in my journey - in fact I'd say issues in those areas propelled me into the spiritual journey. Still learning, still growing -- sometimes I think I like the journey to enlightenment too much to wish to reach it.

Posted on February 4, 2015, in Uncategorized, Wizard 101, Wizard 101 basics, Wizard101 Basics, Wizard101 on a Budget and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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