Category Archives: Quirky Mysteries of the Spiral

Double XP affected by DDoS attacks?

Besides the usual difficulties these attacks cause for getting into the game and getting kicked off the game, I’ve been noticing an impact on the harvest drops.  On two of my accounts for certain crops my wizards – and mostly two particular wizards- are getting no treasure cards.  Getting in and staying in has been such an issue I hesitated to try to plant some quick-growing crops but I’ve done it anyway so am interested to see whether the treasure card drought for these two continues.

For instance, one of the main reasons I grow Sword Ferns is to collect TC blades.  They normally drop blades at every level of harvest and then give even more at elder harvest, so if you get double rewards, there’s a boatload of blades.  Two of my wizards harvested 40+ Sword Ferns apiece at elder harvest as soon as the double rewards started and got … ZERO blades.

Now on these particular two accounts I’ve had an ongoing problem that the Harold Argleston warning about having reached the maximum number of treasure cards doesn’t work any more.  Not ever.  But I’m aware of it and am pretty careful about checking on how close to the 999 max I am and every time I’ve harvested a chunk of plants, I check in to see if I need to go to the Bazaar to sell a bunch off before I harvest more.  So realizing that my TC blade counts  had not changed at all after harvesting (including that I always sell or trade off all the ones for schools I don’t use so there should have been some piles of blades where normally there are none) that many Sword Ferns was a shock.

For these two accounts I’ve also been feeding a lot of seeds to pets and those wizards are not getting treasure cards for that either.  For Rylee W. (level 92 Life), there may be a bigger problem.  As noted in a recent post, I’ve been taking her in to farm Loremaster and she’s only getting one gear drop each time, with an occasional reagent added.  Nothing else.  Including no treasure cards at a boss who regularly drops more than one at a time.  So there may be something going on with this character where her programming is screwed up in some odd way that keeps her from ever getting a treasure card in any circumstances.

It also seemed like I got quite a bit less in the way of housing item drops than normal for certain crops.

Since KI seems to have taken to changing the growing times, drop rates, energy globe refill times, etc. to lower the benefits of these events, I’m not sure whether these drop issues are because of the DDoS attacks or are just part of the plan to reduce benefits?  Curious if others are noticing issues with the rewards this time?

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A few hours of double pets and strange times at Loremaster

Miss Gigi at Mega

January 7, 2018

I”m again very late making note of a Double Pet Rewards event but you have till something like 8 a.m. tomorrow e.s.t. to train those pets for double points from the games and the snacks.   Hurry and you can get a few pets trained up while it’s still on.

Having been seized with a longing for one of my Life wizzes to get Pigsie, I’ve been farming Loremaster (the only place it drops) with three of my Life wizards.  Two of them have joined a Storm wizard in getting Krampus — pretty much useless to me for any of them as I don’t have a Fire Amulet and don’t intend to get one…

The Storm got it on her one and only battle with Loremaster before she was even in Dragonspyre by porting in to help someone, which led to me realizing you can pick up the Loremaster quest without having attained the world (she was almost finished with Mooshu and had done most side quests too so she was at a level that could have been in DS if she’d finished the main quests so I don’t know how low a level you could be to pick it up).

So today I put my one Fire wizard in just to see if she could get it and sure enough on the second try she got it.  Leaving me with four wizards who’ve gotten Krampus, three of whom won’t ever use it and one who will.  And no wizard has gotten any other permanent spell from Loremaster.  None.  Ever.  I keep thinking in these dungeons where you can get a spell dropped it would make more sense if KI tuned it up so you’re more likely to get the spell for your wizard’s school. But then I don’t do secondary schools…

Meanwhile I’ve been mostly farming with Rylee W., my level 93 Life wiz.  Not only is she not getting Pigsie but in almost every team she’s winding up directly across from Loremaster — which means she’s taking most of her hits — and only getting one drop.  Every time.  One drop.  And it’s always a low level item of gear, not any treasure cards, not any housing items and definitely no spells.  I’ve farmed it enough to know you often get 2 or 3 TCs, a gear item and a snack or a housing item so I find it very weird that randomly this particular wizard receives one and only one drop (besides the gold) 99% of the time.*

Meanwhile, back on the Double Pets.  I did decide to train a pet for my Fire wiz and wound up with a pet with 4 may-cast heals and a Fire damage boost, so pretty pleased.  The weird thing here was that I trained a bunch last night and then shut down.  Something like 14 hours later I got on today to finish mega and her energy had still not filled all the way back up from last night’s training.  I don’t have super energy gear, so she only needed to get to 114 from something like 6, but she’d only made it to 99.  In 14 hours.  Really?  I usually can come back after more like 8 or 10 hours and find the energy globe full.

I know many of us have been noting during Double Garden events that KI seems to be slowing down the growing time on various plants so there are several you can no longer plant at the beginning of a Double event and get it to elder harvest during the event.  So I’m wondering if now they’re also slowing down the refill time on the energy globes during Double Pet events?  Is anybody else having this experience?

Okay, so that’s my current noting of mysterious events in the spiral 🙂

What’s left of today is also our last shot at holiday drops and dungeons.  Have fun!


* Actually for Rylee, I’ve noticed her regularly receiving one drop to Morgan’s many a huge amount of the time when I have the two of them questing together, so it may not just be quirk of Loremaster … might be a quirk about Rylee 🙂

Strange tutorials, tips and the new log

No use tips

One of the things I most dislike about reinstalling the game is the kerfuffle that happens with tutorials.  With every one of my wizards the game acts as if I’ve started a new wizard and starts popping out tips and the quests that just pop up from a professor or character in a bubble on the right.  To some extent all my wizards have issues with repeated tutorials and summons to quests (I think my level 92’s have been told they have text chat and what a treasure card is a few dozen times), but it’s especially bad when you start over.

Now to add to the madness, KI has added a page in the spell book that keeps a list of these.  You open to the quest pages and in the upper left hand corner you can click for a list of these tips.  The problem is there doesn’t appear to be any way to delete any of them.  The few times I’ve done one of the quests and gone back to look, the call to the quest has still been there.  Same for tips I’ve looked at.  At the beginning it also kept the repeats, so the “this is a treasure card” tip could be in there more than once.

It seems like something has been activated that keeps out the duplicates and sometimes takes a completed quest out automatically but otherwise they seem to stack up and I can’t find a way to get rid of the ones I don’t need.  It means the log doesn’t help me much because I can’t tell whether the call to Ambrose, say, is a new one or one of the ones that’s popped up half a dozen times since I completed the quest.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve popped in to Ambrose’s office after one of these “calls” only to see a grayed-out punctuation mark over his head and no new quest on offer.

I used to wish that the quests that showed up over there would get put in the quest book as I sometimes forgot I was supposed to go see Moolinda Wu or whoever.  But this doesn’t help any more than seeing the tip and having it disappear because the list seems to take on the weirdly-recurring tips, as well as the new ones.

I think the new list is a great idea but the whole tutorial/professor quests thing needs some tweaking so you don’t keep getting the same tips and quests over and over.  Even more the new list needs to be tweaked so it doesn’t accept the same quest again once it’s been in there and so they either get automatically erased when you’ve read the tip or done the quest or you can delete each one after you’ve read it or done it. Then it will be a great addition.

Game down followed by multi glitches

Three something in the morning, I’m up because my muscles are causing trouble, and taking advantage of the birthday celebration by training a pet.  Grumpy Gobblers is the game in which I can collect all four (in this case eight) points pretty much every time so I’m lobbing my pet at the lego-like structures.  Suddenly the game freezes and I can’t get anything to go again. I wind up using control-alt-delete to close the program, get on again and same thing happens.

I’d used the free elixir and wound up wasting at least half, first spending 10 points a round on nothing– game didn’t finish and couldn’t feed pet so zero points–and then by having to quit before I’d used it all.  I logged off and tried to get back on the game.  No dice. Tried a couple of times and finally gave up.

Early the next afternoon I tried to get on again and couldn’t do it.  Waited a while and couldn’t get on again.  I kept getting an error message I’d had before and started running all kinds of fixes as well as the usual, restart computer, turn off/turn on router, try a second computer, change firewall settings, etc.  Finally it occurred to me I should check the Wizard101 Non PvP Facebook group to which I belong and there discovered the game was down for everybody.

I couldn’t get back on till after midnight and then I ran into glitches so often everything took ages.  Every wizard with a garden froze upon casting the first spell.  When it started up again it would close the gardening menu, take the wizard off her mount (literally no longer equipped) and prevent casting any further gardening spells.  Each time I had to “quit” and re-enter.  When I tried to plant gardens, it would disconnect from the server every 5 or 6 seeds and then I couldn’t select a seed or do anything else until I quit and came back in again.

Also tried to do some pet training.  It kept freezing, either during the game or when I tried to feed my pet.  Eventually a “Connection Lost” message would pop up, I’d quit and then come back in.  This time the xp would have registered when I came back in, but still, a tiresome way to play.

There was much speculation today as to what caused the game to go down.  I’m not going to engage.  KI will probably make a statement about what happened.  And clearly, whatever went wrong, there are still glitches because of it.  Hopefully all will be worked out soon.  I’m hoping the birthday celebration will extend through Wednesday since we all basically missed a day.

Another Double Pet Rewards

July 30, 2017

I’m very behind on posting so I’m just in time for the last day of Double Pet Rewards.  You have till something like 8 a.m. EST Monday morning to get double XP on pet games and snacks if you’re a member.

It’s been a little odd this time.  I’ve had several wizards who either couldn’t get into the Pet Pavilion without closing out and starting again or took several tries.  And the Gobbler game froze midstream and I had to close the game and log in again — of course lost the energy points anyway…

I have managed to finish training some decent pets:

I’ve also tried to find hatches for my Storm and Fire girls, who’ve never managed to have very good pets, but no dice this time…

 

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.

A good pet and questions about ultra

Prince Peanut Mega

Prince Peanut at Mega

I finally decided to try again at pets during this last weekend’s Double Pet Rewards event.  I’d unsuccessfully tried to get a hatch through the wizard central site so my hatching till now has been totally between my accounts and between pets on each account.  But I joined the adult non-pvp players Facebook group a while back and noticed there are lots of folks who help out with hatches, so I gave it a try.

One of the folks with a great pet for every conceivable desire in a pet hatched a Death damage pet with me and for the first time ever I got what I wanted on the first attempt at training.  I wouldn’t have minded having another critical or damage talent as the fifth, but I also don’t mind having energizing battery in there.  I now plan to periodically ask for help with developing a roster of pets for different purposes.  Of course since I still can’t stand much pet training, I will be training them only during Double Pet Reward days 🙂

Since I was on a roll I decided to train Prince Peanut on up to Ultra as I’d become hazy about why I swore off bothering with the final stage of training (you know, besides the I hate it thing 🙂 ).  Now I’m puzzling over KI’s thinking.  The Ultra bit with its jewel socket would make some kind of sense if you only got a socket at that stage (or a second one), but most of my pets have gotten a socket by ancient and I’ve been able to put any eligible level of jewel (i.e. eligible to the level of the wizard) in the socket.  When I got to Ultra this time, I’d already put a fairly high-level damage jewel I quite liked in there and the jewel given for achieving Ultra didn’t inspire a desire to shatter the one I’d already placed.

If KI wants the Ultra to mean something, they should either (1) make the jewel socket available only when you get to that level, or (2) give you a second socket for Ultra, or (3) make the reward for achieving Ultra something else–leaving one jewel socket to arrive at earlier stages of training, as they have been.

My personal favorite idea would be to let you choose, upon achieving Ultra, which of the remaining potential talents for your pet it will get.  That for me would make it absolutely worth training every pet to Ultra–or at least every pet with an unrealized potential talent I’d like to add.  To get a random jewel for a slot I’ve already filled?  not much of an incentive for me…  So I’m back to eschewing any further training after Mega.

Timer slow-down?

Gardening Info no longer blocks view

March 13, 2017

I’ve seen signs during the last several Double Garden Reward events that KI is slowing down the timers and this time feels more like it than ever.

I planted Couch Potatoes and Evil Magma Peas on Wednesday, early in the evening.  Normally both of those — with all likes — would have been at elder harvest Saturday.  Not only did they not make it but for most of them the progress bar didn’t move from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.  I even made time to check in this morning before the event got taken down and none of the Couch Potatoes made it to elder harvest.

A bunch of the CPs are close but didn’t make it and another batch is only about 3/4 complete.  Some of the EMPs finally made it by late Sunday night and the rest by this morning but that’s 1 to 1-1/2 days longer than usual.  And the CPs are at 2 days longer than usual and counting.

I’ve seen some comments on a Facebook group I’m in about the timers seeming to have slowed down at the last event and have run into people in the game who seem to be experiencing this slow-down too.  What’s your experience?  Do you think KI is slowing down the growth of plants during these events?

I’m finding the safest way to be assured of double elder harvests on crops you want is to get them there when there’s not a double rewards event happening and just leave them sitting at elder until one starts.  That way you’re assured of one double elder harvest.  After that it’s getting to be a crap shoot whether you can get any sort of plant–no matter how short the growing cycle–from seed to elder harvest while one of these events is happening.

Another disappointing pet

New Brainy Assistant

New Brainy Assistant

I decided to splurge and get some Terror’s Hoard packs while they’re on sale.  I was thrilled to get a Brainy Assistant pet in my second pack.  Excited enough to go ahead and do some pet training even though it’s not a double rewards moment.

Then, as usual, disappointment.  So far the pet has some added healing and I’ve got a “Monstrous” card.  Bleh.

Adult Brainy Assistant

Adult Brainy Assistant

In the odd things that happen on my accounts saga, I have fabulous luck with getting healing-related talents on my pets…  whether I want them or not.  I have lots of pets on all accounts who have Unicorn, Spritely and Energizing Battery plus many have some added healing points or add a boost to heals.

I really wanted to get some damage talents for a change — apparently my accounts have some kind of whammy on them that prevents damage talents from showing up more than occasionally.  I do have a few with all those heal casts plus a boost to Death or Life or… damage.  But however many critical boosts and damage boosts may be possible, if there’s also something to do with healing possible, that’s what they get.  On all three accounts….

So my general (and often expressed) feeling that pet training just isn’t worth the bother for me is borne out yet again…

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Endless worlds… after Dragonspyre

11/2/16

Starting Azteca_edited

When I gave up on Halloween at the end of last week I went back to questing in Azteca with Morgan (level 90, but not for long) and Rylee (just made level 90)…  which seems endless.  I wrote a post a while back on how endless Zafaria seemed.

This time I thought about the worlds I’ve done so far and realized there’s a distinct break after Dragonspyre.  I gather at one time Dragonspyre was as far as the game went and it may originally have been planned to be the final world.

Every world through that point has three basic areas and each of those is divided into about three areas (I’m thinking of Unicorn Way as kind of an intro and Colossus as a side deal; sometimes there’s an extra dungeon or side area or two, but the basic organization seemed to be three with three).  Nice and neat, nine areas, a final dungeon and on to the next world.  Starting in Celestia, though, the worlds are LOONNGG!  I’m assuming the ones I haven’t yet reached are also long slogs…

I kind of get why KI wants to extend everyone’s experience — to keep people engaged in playing the game longer.  But from the perspective of making it fun, for me it goes in the other direction.  Especially because there was such a rhythm to moving through the first five major worlds, I kind of expect that rhythm.

In each of these worlds I keep hitting a point where I figure I must be nearly done (generally at the end of the third major area 🙂 ) and I’m expecting to get a final dungeon quest but instead there’s another whole area, and then another, and then another…  It just feels endless and leaves me with a sense I’m working and working and not really getting anywhere.

I get why the health of the minions and bosses goes up.  I kind of get why there are more bosses with tricks — personally I don’t find that so much fun.  Things get harder as you go up.  And, I’ve said before,  I also see it’s a bit of a problem to be a game for all ages, trying to satisfy the needs of small children who need an easier game and older serious gamers who bitch about it not being tough enough. My personal feeling is there are plenty of tougher games out there— got play one of those.

I’m an adult player and I came to this game because I was looking for something reasonably easy that would just be fun.  I’ve really enjoyed the game and I particularly like the worlds through Dragonspyre, where getting through is relatively painless and reasonably fast.

The farther I go the more it seems more like work than fun.  Not to mention the constantly shifting end goal.  I finally got within 20 levels of the top–again– and I hear there’s about to be a new world and another 10 levels…  It’s happened several times that I’ve gotten close enough to feel I was getting there and suddenly I’m 30 levels away again.

Other than the obvious monetary benefit KI gets from making everything take longer, I don’t see why the players need to be dragged through worlds that seem never to end…

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