Search Results for different wizards

Probabilities and different experiences?

Morgan and Ultra Pet

Morgan, the non-fizzling Death wizard

One of the things I’ve experienced a lot in the game is that even though it’s run on probabilities that should be random enough to provide similar experiences –or so I’d think — it actually works out for me that different wizards have various aspects of the game turn out differently.

For instance, when Morgan (Death, 87) battled through Krokotopia she rarely got a Pink Dandelion drop.  Rylee (Life, 86) on the other hand, seemed to get a Pink Dandelion in every battle she fought.  And that’s kind of run through my various wizards who completed Krokotopia–some get tons of PDs dropped and some go all the way through and get one or none.

Or there’s my Balance wizard experience.  The first two I tried fizzled incessantly.  Worse than–or at least as bad as– Storm.  My third attempt finally got me a Balance who fizzles at more like the rate she’s supposed to.

Part of the reason Morgan (who was actually the third wizard I created on my first account) led me to fall in love with Death is she’s always had an incredibly low fizzle rate.*  Really, I match her up a lot with Rylee and Morgan barely fizzles any more than her Life pal.  I have a couple of Death wizards, on the other hand, who fizzle quite a bit.  And I’ve had a couple of Death wizards who fizzled so incessantly (at least as bad as Storm) I deleted them.

Some of these odd quirks where the game plays differently for different wizards mean I have to change strategies as I move along.  Another Death wizard may have to run a battle a little differently than the way I’d do it with Morgan.  For instance, I have to pay more attention to getting gear with an accuracy boost for my fizzling Death wizards, which means they lose some of the other boosts I usually give Morgan in her gear.  And, knowing they’ll likely fizzle one or more damage spells, I have to arm them with more shields and heals.

I also have to try to keep track (not very good at it 🙂 ) of which wizards are stellar at getting which drops.  Or sometimes it’s where.  I alternate taking Rylee and Morgan through Mirror Lake.  Rylee tends to get lots of drops and a fair amount of good stuff.  Morgan sometimes only gets a few drops in the entire dungeon** and rarely gets any of the good stuff…   Unfortunately they’re on different accounts so I can’t have Rylee collect stuff and pass it on to Morgan and crew and I don’t have another wizard on the first account who’s reached Mirror Lake.

I’m curious whether others have noticed this quirk of having the frequency of fizzles, drops, etc. vary among their same-school (fizzles) or all wizards?  And it all leaves me wondering whether KI actually programs some of these differences into the wizards when you create them?  I’m not enough of a whiz at math to quite figure it out…


*Recently, though, Deer Knight fizzles the first time she casts it in almost every battle and sometimes again and then again…  But the rest of her spells continue to go off almost every time.

**Recently in the final battle she got ZERO drops.

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Favorite wizards

With three accounts and 15 wizards –not to mention the unrecorded, unremembered numbers I’ve deleted–I’ve been realizing that I like some of the wizards I’ve created more than others.

Sometimes, even if I intend to just use a character to level 15 or so and delete, there’s something about the look I create and the name I choose and the way the wizard works that grab me enough that I can’t delete.  That’s partly –only partly–how I wound up with three accounts.

There are others, though, for whom I didn’t feel much affinity from early on.  Or realize as I work with them a bit that I don’t feel attached.  In the random way the formulas work in the game, I’ve had some wizards from the same school with very different fizzle rates.  Even if I like the look and name I can lose interest really fast in a wizard who fizzles all the time.

When it comes to the look, I really miss Pixie Hollow.  You got to choose from a collection of face shapes.  And then you got to specify the eyes/nose and the mouth separately and there were quite a few choices.

For hair, you picked both the front style and the back style and there were more than a dozen (maybe two) choices as to each.  With mixing and matching it added up to many hairstyles.  There were also a couple dozen hair colors and you could add highlights.  Plus a salon where you could change color or style for a very modest “fee” –in that case things like berries and flowers were the currency.  Eventually there was also a shop where you could change the face.

Really miss having so many more choices — and that ability to change your mind or just decide to change your style once in a while was so great.

I tend to work on getting a color scheme for each wizard and dye all their equipment to match.  When I hit on a particular combo that seems to work for a given wizard, I tend to enjoy that character a bit more.

The color choices are pretty poor.  I don’t find many of the colors very pretty and they’re not designed to go well with one another.  In Pixie Hollow I think I had at least 100 different dyes, giving me as many a dozen variations of each of many colors.  You could create amazing looks by putting together great combos in the dye shop.

I’ve also tried out some boy wizards but haven’t really liked it.  In part because I have a habit as one wizard levels up of passing the equipment to another wizard of the same school and it’s all gender specific.  Some how I don’t relate to having a boy character–and I like my girl power.

A selection of my favorite girls from all three accounts:

Do you find you like some of the characters you create more than others?  What makes you like one more than another?

Death wizards and me

An old shot of Morgan

Early on in playing the game I realized that affinity for different schools in the spiral has a lot to do with the personality of the person behind the character.  This month I’ve been starting wizards on my second account, running them to level 13 (minimum to get the Something Rotten in Nightside quest), getting a Frankenbunny, deleting and starting another.  It’s had me reflecting on my love for Death wizards.

All of them have been Death with the exception of one Storm wizard, not deleted, whom I started when I realized that Frankenbunny–even if you don’t get the much-desired Energizing Battery— has some great talents for a Storm wizard (not to mention a few pretty good ones for other wizards if you don’t also get the Storm-specific talents).

I have such an affinity for the Death school that I have three Death wizards on one account and two on the other.  Haven’t figured out exactly what it says about my personality but Death is my favorite, followed closely by Life.  Though Storm and Fire are gaining in my estimation, their fast and powerful style is not as much me as the somewhat slower game of Death and Life.

For the early stages, I think Death has a great advantage through the early acquiring of Steal spells combined with being the first to get both a blade and a trap. Ghoul can amass some pretty good damage with a blade and a trap and the health return is SO helpful!  Where my wizards for other schools (except Life) have struggled through Wizard City bosses because of low health and lots of fizzles, all my Death girls have soloed through Dragonspyre except for Big Ben and Malastaire (and people jumping into mob fights).

So I’ve been breezing through Wizard City* by starting and deleting Death wizards.  As soon as one of them hits level 13 and gets a Frankenbunny she’s gone.  Along with the ease of doing it with the school I know best, I had one of the higher level wizards on the account buy the best Death gear at the Bazaar for levels 5 and 10 and pass it through.  When I’m ready to delete I put the gear–and anything else I want to pass along– in the Shared Bank again.  By not changing schools as I collect Frankenbunnies I can just keep passing the same gear along.

One thing I’ve realized that influences my affinity or lack thereof for certain schools is the animations.  I find the spooky Death spells fun and I really like the imagery of the Life spells.  Now that I’ve finally kept a Fire wizard long enough to appreciate her, I also enjoy the vivid and powerful imagery of her spells.  For Storm I like the sea/storm imagery and all that purple.

On the other hand I’m really turned off by the frosty images of Ice spells and the dusty, sandy imagery of Balance.  I’m on the fence about my Myth wizard:  don’t care for the thugs and gross imagery in the spells, not too keen on learning the strategy for using all those special myth spells, but I enjoy all the minions.  In real life I don’t care for wintry weather and I really don’t like having dust, dirt or sand blowing around me so I can see why those spells bug me.

Fizzles have also been a big influence.  In the first months of playing I kept trying and deleting Fire and Storm because I couldn’t take the fizzles.  Now that I’ve played longer I’ve learned more about gear and also how to boost gold for lower level wizards through trading treasure cards between accounts and passing expensive gear (to sell) through the Shared Bank from higher level wizards.  My more recent ventures with Fire and Storm have gone better because I’ve made sure I equipped accuracy-enhancing gear as much as possible from the first possible level it’s available.  You kind of need that gold boost to do it because you just don’t collect enough at those early stages to afford all the better gear.

Somehow it’s the strategizing of Death that I enjoy the most.  Figuring out how to both survive and enhance damage while waiting to build enough pips is fun for me.  At this point I’ve worked with Death wizards so much it’s just the easiest way for me to whiz to level 13.  In my next post, more about Death and the tough phase in the middle.

*more or less; you don’t actually have to finish Colossus Blvd. to get to level 13 if you’ve done both main and side quests in the other areas.

Critical Mysteries

fighting-mordecai

Since wizards theoretically aren’t granted the ability to “go critical” (have the damage from your hit or the amount of a heal double) until level 50*, this post is a little outside the stuff about which I usually post.  But since most people know about critical ahead of time and there’s a lot of interest, I thought I’d share my experience.

I team up with people a fair amount so I’m very aware there are wizards for whom critical works very well and they go critical frequently.  Level 100 and above seem to go critical something like 95-99% of the time and a gander at level 100 gear tells me it isn’t just the gear but I’m hazy about what happens at that point that causes them to “critical” so often. [I AM guessing many have a pet with both critical chance and one of the so-called “useless talents” that enhances the chance] But my experience of critical for the six wizards I have who are level 50 and up (highest at the moment are 89 and 90) has not been good.

From the beginning of getting it, neither Morgan nor Rylee had critical hits very much.  Somewhere in the level 50’s I got them gear with critical chance built into pretty much everything they equipped and kept that up for a while.  I’d say the gear took them from going critical maybe once in 50 casts to once in 45.  And when they did go critical it was more likely to be on a wand spell or Sprite than anything big enough to matter.

Somewhere along the way I realized:  (1) critical isn’t really needed against street mobs and minions and (2) the only time it matters is against Bosses and they all have such massive critical block you just about can’t ever get the doubled damage on them.  So I can’t really see much point to it…

Basically, having been seduced into thinking critical really matters, I sacrificed defenses like resistance and critical block in favor of gear aimed toward increasing critical chance and pretty much got nothing for it.  Somewhere along the way I switched to using gear mainly for resistance with some pieces including boosted school damage and/or pip chance.  I rely on blades, traps and feints to enhance damage.

One thing to understand about the gear with critical is most of it isn’t adding a percentage.  If there’s a number with no percent sign after it, I’ve realized it means the chance it’s adding is minuscule.  You can see if you scroll over your critical damage stats in the spell book, five pieces of gear that each add a chance for critical might increase your total chance by 13% — in other words negligible.

In the picture, it’s four equipped items adding 12%; you can see just the robe adds “70” so that is clearly not 70% if the total added percentage is only 12 (I have NOT gotten a clue to what the math is for this):

12-critical-chance

And here’s another mystery.  You can see in the above picture, Morgan’s level 90 gear added up to a 155 Death crticial rating which gives her 12% critical.  In this picture, you can see Destiny (level 53) is in gear that adds 65 to her Storm critical rating, which winds up with 13 % critical.  HUH???

destiny-with-13-critical

Destiny with 13% critical

This month, instead of questing, I’ve had Morgan and Rylee farming for Halloween drops at Mordecai’s Tower and, occasionally, the Stormdrain.  For fun I’ve put them in gear with more damage and critical chance and pretty much no resistance (mostly stuff from bundles that I don’t ever use except for moments like this).  The lack of resistance doesn’t really matter against these opponents.  But they don’t go critical any more in this gear than they normally do in the gear without critical chance.

Then I put together my best “go critical” gear.  Even trolled through the Bazaar to see if I could pick up anything better than I had.  Took it in for the first time that there’s just about nothing in level 90 gear and — in the 80’s anyway — athames, boots and rings pretty much don’t have critical boost…  Anyway this photo shows her critical chance with the better gear (33%):

33-critical_edited

And still she doesn’t go critical…  [I don’t have a critical pet for Morgan; at some point I’ll try Rylee with her best critical gear and equip the pet who has a critical boost]

I’ve mentioned before that I find various aspects of the game seem to work differently for different wizards.  I’ve even found it to be true among the various wizards on my three accounts.  One Death girl fizzles a lot, another rarely fizzles.  One gets a Pink Dandelion drop in every other battle in Krokotopia, another finishes the world with maybe one…  A Life wizard friend uses her level 18 minion a lot and it is never defeated.  I quit casting it too often for my Life wizards because theirs are routinely wiped out, often so fast it wasn’t worth wasting four pips to cast…

I’m a little surprised, though, that for me lack of critical so far affects every wizard on every account who’s reached that level.  Really, two of them about level 54, one level 60, two in the low seventies and the 89 and 90 ones…  none of them go critical often enough to ever count on it and that’s regardless of whether they’re equipped for critical or not.

In my next post I’m going to discuss some possible strategies for playing nicely with lower level wizards in Wizard City dungeons and this odd experience with critical affects some of my advice…

*Some pets and gear (mostly from packs) with critical chance can be equipped by low level wizards, who will then go critical occasionally — I’ve had it happen for wizards below level 10 just from a pet with a little critical boost.

I’m out on crafting too…

Eagle War Shield Recipe

Eagle War Shield Recipe

I guess my patience in the game is wearing thin.  Morgan (Death level 87) and Rylee (Life level 86) have been off and on moving through Azteca for a while  Last night I wasn’t feeling like battling and remembered each of them had picked up a crafting quest and then I’d never looked at it.

So I decided Rylee would work on her crafting project, the Eagle War Shield…  until … I found out that the first ingredient is a treasure card you can only get in boss drops.  Can’t buy it from a librarian and it doesn’t seem to show up at the Bazaar.  In my experience that means both wizards will have to fight one of these bosses something like 100 to 150 times to get enough of the cards to craft the shield.

And then I saw that it requires Agave Nectar, which is dropped by a few Ultra plants (i.e. hard to come by) or can be made with a transmute spell….  except…  you have to finish a quest in Azteca to even get to buy the recipe from a guy in Azteca who doesn’t apparently even show up until farther into Azteca than I am.

Quite a ways into Azteca neither of my girls has received the quest that would make her eligible to buy this guy’s recipes.   And the transmute recipe requires Agave Leaves, which also seem to be rare.  Supposedly you can harvest them in Mangrove Marsh but I’ve finished many quests in that area and have yet to find ONE.  I’m not even sure if the inability to get the transmute recipe matters that much as I don’t think I could get enough Agave Leaves to make as much Agave Nectar as I need.  Farming Mangrove Marsh for enough could, in my experience, be yet another task of multiple hours.  I spent about half an hour hopping realms to farm for them just to get an idea how tough this would be and I have yet to even see one — not positive what it even looks like when it’s sitting out for farming.  Got lots of Black Lotus and Deep Mushrooms but not a single Agave Leaf.

This is another case of different wizards, different experiences (see previous post) as Morgan has some Agave Nectar and Leaves from Ultra plant drops and, I think, from drops in Azteca while Rylee has none (grows the same stuff in her gardens and they’ve been questing together).  But neither has the ingredients to make the Shield.  The thing is, I see yet another sidetrack that takes me away from questing for several weeks (at least), much of it spent endlessly battling some boss over and over for the treasure cards and, possibly, some reagent drops.

I gather some people don’t mind that but after battling Oakheart a zillion times for Potted Cattails (which you can now get in abundance from the Bazaar and from mature harvest plant drops), and Lord Nightshade another zillion, trying to get Nightmare pets for all three accounts, I’m pretty much over the dubious joys of endlessly fighting the same opponent and getting tons of unwanted drops while almost never receiving the one I’m after.

When I hit the first seemingly-tough crafting in Dragonspyre I virtually stopped questing for months while every wizard on my account gardened and collected reagents. Up until now I felt great about that because every major crafting project has been easy thanks to the reagent stores I’ve accumulated.  And now after all that hard work to be prepared, it’s disheartening to find it still wasn’t enough.

I get that KI needs to keep making money and they want you to take a long time and to be distracted by lots of fun things that keep you from hitting the highest levels with all wizards and then being bored.  But I’ve been at this a long time.  I’ve sidetracked for Professor quests and Lost Pages quests and special Halloween stuff and pet training and gardening.  And I take the blame for working on various wizards at different times instead of just taking my two highest levels all the way up.  But I’m tired of working so hard for everything.  And that after all the work not a single wizard has finished.

I’ve already given up on pet training.  Starting with Celestia, the worlds have seemed LONG and tedious to me, I’m already kind of feeling bogged down in Azteca and I gather I have quite a few areas still to get through.  I don’t do the Professor quests much and I’ve skipped all the super tough side dungeons as I don’t find the dungeons full of tricks to be that much fun.  For a kids’ game, there’s too much stuff that’s hard or long or frustrating.  If I wanted that I wouldn’t be playing a kids’ game.

My health is finally better, I’m slowly more interested in living than staying tied to a computer and I’m aware that I’ve grown more impatient as I’m feeling livelier.  I don’t want to spend as much time at this as I was and yet I’d like to at least get Morgan and Rylee to the highest level (which seems to be a target that constantly moves away from me) and I’m losing patience with learning new stuff, working endless hours for small returns, etc.  So, until or unless the ingredients for this project just start dropping into my backpacks in the course of questing, I’ll not be advancing any father in crafting.

 

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Why have a garden?

When I was first introduced to gardening it seemed like an unnecessary side line.  I planted the first couple of seeds, didn’t really catch on to what was happening with the drops.  Quit gardening.  Sold a lot of seeds I wish I could get back…

Morgan D. got to Dragonspyre before issues with reagents sent me searching the web for a better way to get the ingredients for crafting quests.  Which led to finding out plants drop tons of reagents, including most of the rare ones.

Once I found info on creating mega gardens, I also encountered the news that there are mega snacks with XP from 25-50 and that those are dropped by plants.  Since I’ve never liked the pet games much, that was welcome news!

It didn’t take long to realize none of my wizards had enough energy to get into all out mega gardening (more on that in upcoming posts), but I worked on figuring out how to get the greatest number of plants within medium spell areas.

The gallery shows a variety of gardens I’ve had for wizards in the 20s-40s.  As you can see, you can put as many as three medium area-sized patches within one pest spell.  All of these gardens are easily cared for within the energy limits of wizards in those stages.

Once you get to Mooshu (anywhere from level 30-ish to level 40-ish, depending on whether you’ve done side quests or main story only), and can get the large area spells, those spells fit over the same garden patches as the pest spells.  At that point I often expand to have a patch of large area plants like Couch Potatoes (two levels totaling 24).

As soon as I started gardening on these larger scales, every wizard had plenty of gold.  Plants drop Treasure Cards, reagents, pet snacks, gold and seeds (not all plants drop all of those) in such great amounts that you can collect all you need and then start selling them.  I regularly have to buy expensive items just to keep within the gold limits.*

The crafting quests suddenly became easy.  Even the Zafaria crafting quest that so many wizards complain about was a snap — already had enough reagents collected to do the whole thing.

Pet training became so much faster and easier to take with all those mega snacks.  I rely pretty much on Evil Magma Peas and Couch Potatoes to keep me in those high XP snacks.  And the great thing about Couch Potatoes is you can amass them for free starting at a pretty low level if you’re just willing to fight Troubled Warriors for many, many hours.

Even if you’re not sure you want to train pets or do the crafting quests or amass so much gold you can buy anything you want at the Bazaar (or the great houses and furniture sets you can buy for gold in the Crown Shop), I highly recommend you start maximizing the gardening as soon as you can.  If you’re playing on a budget, this is one of the best ways to earn the gold for having great gear, great houses, great housing items, etc.

You can start gardening at level 12.  It takes a while for those first plants to get to harvest and you won’t have the gardening rank to buy the medium area spells in Krokotopia until they do, so just plant them and keep questing.

I find I’ve usually reached the rank required for the KT medium area spells not long after I get there. (I do all side quests in Wizard City)  As soon as I can put a bunch of plants inside a medium area spell I start creating a larger garden.

Once you start growing 18 or more of a given plant, the benefits will multiply rapidly.  Different plants drop different reagents and/or TCs and/or snacks, so you might want to have different wizards growing different plants.

Since I waited so long to start gardening for my earliest wizards, I basically stopped questing for a long time while I caught them up on reagents and snacks.  If you start early and don’t like it and/or don’t feel you need all the drops you get, you can always stop, but it’s harder to catch up if you wait until later to start gardening seriously.

I’ll be posting more about gardening, including specific plants so keep checking back.


* Usually I pass those on to the lowest level wizard (pre- or beginning gardening) on the same account to sell.

What School?

English: Wizard with a spell.

English: Wizard with a spell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12/18/13.  The first thing you confront when you create a wizard is a set of questions that determine what school your wizard will be in.  It took me quite a few wizards (many tried and deleted) for whom I unsuccessfully tried to control the outcome before a little research showed me the secret.  Somewhere after I started they started making it possible for you to skip the test and pick which school you want.

If you choose to take the test but want to be able to control the outcome:  The final question always presents a bunch of gems and the favorite you choose is the determining factor in which school your wizard gets.  The one moving piece is that not every gem shows up every time — it seems to depend on how you’ve answered the previous questions, but I don’t have a formula for getting there other than this:  if the stone for the school you want doesn’t show up, go back and re-do the questions, trying out different answers.  To get balance (a gem that often doesn’t show up) it helps to answer with things about cooperating and liking all school subjects, etc.

  1. jade=life
  2. sapphire=ice
  3. ruby=fire
  4. onyx=death
  5. citrine=myth
  6. amethyst=storm
  7. peridot=balance

There’s lots of info on the basics of the different schools available so I won’t repeat it all here.  This guide gives you an idea.

I do have a few thoughts if you, like me, prefer to go solo.

Ice, Storm and Fire schools offer some big damage but the spells have high fizzle rates so I’ve found it hard as I move up to battle alone with those spells in the early stages.  Once I hit high enough levels with Fire and Storm to equip them with higher accuracy, I started having an easier time using their power, although because of their low health I don’t solo with them as much.  Ice I just didn’t care for for many reasons, including the fact that it’s mostly about defense, and deleted.

I also used both Balance and Myth as secondary schools for different wizards and in both cases wasn’t too happy — again mostly because of the high fizzle rates mine happened to have.  In one case I bought back my training points to use them differently.  I no longer choose a “secondary” school anyway, but just use training points to get specific spells like Tower Shield or Feint.

I have had Balance and Myth as primary schools too.  I still have Balance but ultimately deleted Myth.  I’m not in love with either but that has to do with my preferences and my style of playing.  For those who figure out the more complex play of those two, they work very well.

As I’ve noted many times, people get to the highest level with wizards from every school; once you figure out which school’s strategy works well for you, you won’t have a problem getting there.  Many folks have all types of wizards and get all of them to the top.

Overall I’ve found that Life and Death work best for me with soloing.  And even if you decide you like the blasts of Fire or Storm, you’ll want to use some training points for Life to get healing spells.*  Strategies vary as to whether you should take Life to Satyr or not.  Personally I usually stop with Sprite.

I like Life and Death for soloing because:  (1)  for me, they usually fizzle less.  I know the stats for Death are the same as Balance, but for some reason my Death wizards don’t fizzle much and all my attempts with Balance have been fizzlers; (2) Life’s high health and lots of healing spells help with staying alive; (3) I LOVE Death’s steal spells and the way I can both do damage and get health back, which is very helpful when alone.

Decide what kind of wizard will suit your aims best and then make sure you get the school you want by choosing the right gem.  The cool thing is you can always start another wizard to try something else or delete a wizard and start over…

Once you get past the early levels and you’re up against a big boss and a minion or two I like to be able to keep healing and to have spells that hit a high percentage of the time; that’s what helps me the most in soloing.**

* There are many who advise several schools taken to certain levels for each.  Some of the advice is more for PvP players, but the basics of Life to either Sprite or Satyr, Ice to Tower Shield and Death to Feint work quite well for PvE.

** There are many who disagree with me so understand this is just my opinion.  Many other strategies get other people through as solo wizards.

UPDATE 2/26/16:  Having played for much longer now, I have expanded thoughts on training points which are in this post.

 

Questing with Storm and Fire after Death and Life

Tatiana, Level 74

With my level 92 Death and Life wizards stalled in Azteca as I drag my feet about preparing for the tricky final dungeon (have I mentioned how tired I am of tricky dungeons 🙂 ?), while longing for more wizards with Plant All, I decided to finally spend some time on my then-level 56 Storm (Destiny S.) and Fire (Tatiana F.) wizards; at least to get them to the point in Avalon where the gardening spells become available.

I’ve quested them through Celestia and Zafaria and have made it to the Wild in Avalon in the last month or so.  I still really love my Death and Life girls but I have to say it’s startling to me how much faster I’m moving through these places with my Storm and Fire wizzes.  And I’m feeling like the game has been weighted a bit in favor of these two schools (at least compared to Death and Life; don’t play the other schools much).  Not only are their spells much more powerful — most of the time I’m overkilling without even trying to– but they get enough pips so much faster. In fact I’d worried a bit about this stage and the lower health after having my Life and Death girls hit for round after round while waiting for pips but they’re able to make the kill shot so much faster it hasn’t been a problem.  At this stage I’m using 7-9 pip spells for all of them most of the time so it isn’t that their spells use less pips.

With my Death and Life wizards I always make sure some of their gear includes pip enhancements because it takes so freaking long to get enough pips to cast one of their not-as-powerful spells.  With Storm and Fire I haven’t purposely done anything to enhance pips (i.e. I may have equipped something with a pip boost without aiming for it or noting it but I know they don’t have as much pip boost in their gear sets as the other two)  I’m puzzled as to why KI felt the need to give Storm and Fire not only the big spells advantage but to seemingly give them a better rating for pips.

I’ve also teamed Life wizards on two accounts who’ve made it to Avalon, so I know Destiny and Tatiana are benefiting from the knowledge I’ve gained in getting four other wizards to levels 92 and 72.  But the speed with which they’re mowing down the bad guys is just too far beyond what I’ve been able to do with my Life and Death characters for me to think has much to do with my greater expertise.

I know KI is trying to balance the talents and skills of the different schools so the great power of Storm, for instance, counterbalances Death’s steal health spells–which are lower power but give all that health back — and the hefty over time spells of Fire balance against, say, Life’s many heals.  I kind of get Death having smaller damage in exchange for the health return but I don’t get why Death also has to be handicapped with being challenged as to pips.

The deficits for Life particularly puzzle me.  Life’s spells are less powerful and Life doesn’t get as many damage spells because they get all these heals and the heals theoretically give them an advantage.  The thing is, in my experience, since Life is the only one who can cast all heals on anybody, everyone expects Life to cast heal spells to help them.  So Life’s heals don’t just help Life — in fact I’ve had my Life girl in battles with others many times when she’s not only healed everybody else but then wound up defeating all or most of the enemies–but everyone benefits. I think Life should get bigger damage and a better pip rating to get a little more power in exchange for being really the only school that’s routinely expected to help everybody else.

Besides puzzling over these mysteries,, I’m also trying to decide, as I race Destiny and Tatiana toward Morgan and Rylee, whether there would be a benefit to switching how I have them teamed once they’re all at the same place in Azteca.  I kind of like pairing Spirit and/or Elemental wizards because of being able to assist one another with the Spirit/Elemental blades and traps.  But I can see that adding Destiny’s Storm power to Rylee’s Life talents and/or Tatiana’s Fire to Morgan’s Death abilities or vice versa might work better.

I’ve paired Tatiana quite a bit with lower level Death and Life wizards on a couple of accounts when they’re facing major dungeons and I want to speed it up and that, of course, works great.  But I’ve not paired same level Fire and Life or Storm and Death, etc.  If anyone else plays two accounts and has experience, I’d be interested to hear.

First tries at Monstrology

Field Guard Guest

Field Guard Guest

Although initial descriptions of Monstrology didn’t particularly infuse me with excitement, I’m just finishing up a major update on my guide to the game.  When this update came out before I completed the project I figured I should explore it enough to add at least a broad outline about it.

It’s always a bit tough in these early stages because many things are not known or have been incorrectly noted by players so very little is available on line to help you.  If I didn’t have this book project to finish up I’d wait for a couple of months and give more gung-ho players than I a chance to master it and put guides on the wiki and in blog posts.

It starts simply enough.  You visit Gilda Burke, next to the Myth Tower in Ravenwood, to get a little tutorial, receive your first “extract” spell , which extracts animus (kind of like spirit) from undead creatures, and then defeat a couple of Lost Souls using the card to collect animi.  It operates like the Sun spells:  you click on the Extract Undead spell and then click on whatever damage spell you wish, which enchants the spell.  When you defeat the undead boss or creature, you receive 2 or 3 “animi” of that creature (possibly more at higher levels — won’t know until or unless I get there). If you have an AOE and are fighting both a boss and minion(s) who are undead, you will extract from each of them when the spell defeats them.  If you lose the fight you don’t collect the animus, even if you hit with an Extract-enhanced spell.

Each boss and creature requires you to have achieved a certain minimum Monstrology level in order to extract animus.  If you haven’t gotten to the level, you can enchant the card with Extract but you won’t collect any.  You also won’t collect an animus if you use Extract on a creature who’s not an Undead. (At higher levels there are other types; Extract Wyrm, Parrot and Polar Bear).  A list of creatures and required levels has already been put on the wiki but I quickly found it to be inaccurate (see below).  Each type of Extract works only on creatures of its specific type (i.e. Extract Undead can only be used on Undead, Extract Wyrm can only be used on creatures classified as Wyrm, etc.).  For a list of undead creatures see here.

After getting to Monstrology level 5 I took a look to see where I could go to collect something different and what might change at a higher level and noted Bonekeeper was on the above-noted list as level 4.  I defeated him and got the message that I didn’t have a high enough level to collect any animus from him.  Either he requires more than level 5 or there’s a glitch in how the programming is reading the match between your level and the boss’s.

There’s now a page in your spell book where all the animi you have collected appear.  In the lower left you can click on one circle to see what you need to collect to make an animus treasure card; they all seem to require a LOT of animi of that creature plus some gold.  With these treasure cards you can summon one of these creatures either to help you in a battle (you cast just as you’d cast a card to summon a minion)  — or possibly to put in a Monstrodome in your home (more on Monstrodome below).

Another circle shows you what you need to create a “guest”, which is a housing item which replicates that creature and can be placed in your house.  At first I felt pretty disinterested as I have pets like most of the undead creatures in WC and I already have most of them running around in many of my houses.  But as you can see in the picture at top, these are much larger than the pets.  Like the pets, the guests run over to you as soon as you arrive in a room and then roam in a pattern in a fixed area.

You don’t need a crafting station to create a guest or a summon animus TC; once on the Monstrology page in your Spell Book, if you click on the button to make a TC or a guest and you have enough ingredients the button on the bottom lights up and you just click and make your item.

You can also make a one-shot kill card to use on the undead minions–I gather there aren’t any for bosses.  I’ve seen very little about this and for the creatures I’ve collected so far this option doesn’t seem to show up.  I’ll post again if I find out more as I keep exploring this.

With the Monstrodome you can create a dueling circle and supply it with opponents by using summon animus treasure cards you’ve made.  I found that in someone else’s blog but I think I read in yet another post that you make one or more guests to put in; it’s going to be a long time before I have a Monstrodome, so I haven’t tried it myself and can’t vouch for whether it’s a summon treasure card or a guest you put in.  I’m also unclear whether every time you or a friend battles and defeats whomever you’ve put in there if you then have to replace it if you want another battle???

Monstrodome Recipe

Monstrodome Recipe

The Monstrodome itself can be either purchased at the Crown Shop (2500 crowns) or crafted from a recipe you buy from Felicia (25,000 gold).  I have no intention of forking over the Crowns since I doubt I’ll do anything with this once I’ve tried it.  I was quite disheartened to see the ingredients required.

The picture doesn’t make it clear but you have to make 10 summon animus treasure cards each for Lady Blackhope, Lord Nightshade and Foulgaze.  Each treasure card requires 20 animi, which means you need 200 of each to make 10 cards.  For these bosses you get 1-3 (alternates confusingly…) each time you defeat one (using Extract) so you have to defeat each one somewhere between 67 and 200 times depending on how many times you get 1 or 2 or 3) to make enough of the cards.  Sometimes I wonder if Kingsisle has a Boring and Frustrating Department where they sit around trying to think up ways to make the game as tedious as possible…

Brass is also one of those reagents that doesn’t spawn and isn’t sold by a vendor.  It comes in packs and is dropped by a bunch of bosses as well as the Star Jewel plant (also requires buying packs).  Unsurprisingly, it has also become hard to get at the Bazaar since the recipe came out.  I managed to buy a few and then to put together every one I’ve gotten for every wizard on my first account to get enough for one recipe.

Since I garden a lot I have far more of the other reagents than needed so that part was easy.   But I was SO bored after fighting Lady Blackhope enough to make ONE treasure card, I logged out; I’m guessing it’s going to take weeks –at the least; or maybe that’s if I ever 🙂 — before I finish the 201-600 battles it will take to get all the animi required…

At a guess it’s going to be a long time before I have a high enough level to get the other types of Exract spells–and I’m seriously doubting I’ll want to — but this is another area in which I’ve not seen much info and I have yet to try to find the other vendors (on Avalon, Azteca and Polaris, I think) and see what I can suss out about the level required to purchase the other spells.

You don’t want to team up or join other people when you try to use Extract.  I Teamed Up and soon realized my mistake; in this case one of those snotty high level “farmers” cast a kill AOE before two of our teammates were in the circle (GRRR!!!!) and wiped everybody out before I cast anything which meant I hadn’t cast anything enchanted with Extract so I couldn’t collect.

I also haven’t seen what happens if you’re with others and you actually hit one or more opponents with Extract on a spell but someone else gets the kill shot after that (i.e. your extract-enhanced spell does damage but isn’t the kill shot).  Not sure whether you’d get any animi in that situation or not.  To be on the safe side I think you’re better off going it alone and making sure you’re the one who’s delivering every defeat.  I think there’s going to be a big problem looming about people screwing up your effort by jumping into your circle when you’re out “in the street” fighting a mob to collect animus …

I tried out whether you can use both Extract and a Sun spell (in other words double enchant your damage card) and you cannot.  So I can see an issue for me if I ever decide to try the higher level Extract spells:  with mostly Life and Death wizards and their relatively low damage spells I rely a LOT on enchanting with Sun spells to enhance damage in higher levels.  Don’t know that I’d care to go into a boss fight on Azteca trying to collect his animus but not be able to use Colossal…

Side note:  as mentioned in my last post this is the week for the Easter drops.  I spent a couple of hours (altogether) over the first three days without receiving a single holiday drop of any sort (I wanted a low level wand to stitch) so I’m done with that for this round…