Category Archives: Wizard101 on a Budget

Halloween festivities begin

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Jack Hallow

The month of special Halloween events begins.  You can farm the Stormdrain Tower for special drops or farm Baron Mordecai, who is only around for this event.  Win your bunny pet by doing Dworgyn’s quest (level 13 and up).  Take part in the Jack Hallow quests.  Complete the two special towers in Ravenwood.

For much of the fun you don’t have to have a paid membership, so this is a nice chance for free players to pick up some good drops.  Spooky Bob is, as always, selling the special Halloween pets and costumes in The Shopping District and most of the items he sells are available as drops from Lord Nightshade and Baron Mordecai.

While I enjoy this event, I’ve seen some comments about it being the same stuff every time and I can’t disagree.  I’ve participated for enough years that I find myself wishing every time that a couple of the quests would change or a new quest would be added to the mix.  Still, it’s a bunch of stuff that only shows up once a year for a few weeks so I find it a fun diversion.

If you’re farming I have one main piece of advice:  in the Stormdrain Tower there tend to be an inordinate number of players who go in on Team Up and wipe everybody out before all wizards are in the circle (people who are actually on the main story quest are stopped at the door by a chat with Nightshade).  They don’t care that some people get no drops and they will not let lower level wizards participate in the battle.  For some reason (probably that it’s a little harder and takes a little longer) more of the patient and kind-to-other players wizards farm at Mordecai.  So if you want to go fast and don’t give a crap about anybody else, go to Stormdrain.  If you want to hang out with really nice folks, have a change to participate, get some drops and don’t mind moving a little slower, farm Mordecai.

Have fun!

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Birthday Celebration ending; more free stuff

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Kingsisle put out the announcement below.  You have till October 1 to get the free crowns, packs and elixirs, but the double rewards stuff ends September 17, as do the Five Boxes and Lost Pages events.  You also have until October 1 collect the other free birthday stuff.  See here for the list of birthday events and the dates.

Thank You to Our Wonderful Community
We’re ending our 9th birthday with a special “Thank you!” for sticking with us through thick and thin.

You never cease to amaze us, and we are ever grateful to our loyal fans.

Redeem the code ‘BirthdayBash2017’ for a gift of 1250 Crowns, 3 energy elixirs and a Farley’s Gardening Pack in Wizard101, and 3 energy potions and a Snack Pack in Pirate101.

This giveaway ends Sunday, October 1st, 2017 at 11:59pm US Central Time. In order to be eligible for this giveaway, your account must have been created prior to September 12th, 2017. No new accounts created after this time will qualify. Keep in mind, there is only one redemption per account and the Crowns are non-transferable.

See all our Birthday details here: https://www.wizard101.com/game/happy-9th-birthday

Birthday extended

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September 6, 2017

KI announced yesterday–the original end date–that the birthday celebrations will be extended because of the DDOS attacks (see here for their announcement, keep scrolling down) which have been keeping many players from participating.  This includes everything; double pets, double gardens, BOXES, Lost Pages, extra rewards on daily assignments and PvP, double monstrology, etc.  So far they’re not saying when this ends.

I know from comments I’ve seen that in some parts of the world they’ve still never been able to get back on since the attacks started last Thursday so I’m hazy as to whether the plan is to keep it going until some point after everyone gets back on???  I’m having intermittent problems with the same glitches I previously noted so I gather there are ongoing issues in many places.

I’m both pleased and daunted as the celebration always leads me to spend more time on the game than usual.  I’ve been gardening quite a bit on three accounts (I often give a month of membership to one of the two non-member accounts during these events), hatching with some very kind and patient wizards on the Facebook Wizard101 for Non PvP Players group, and that of course leads to lots of the dreaded pet training (those of you who’ve read this blog for a while know how I feel about that 😬).

I’ve barely found time to take a couple of wizards through any of the BOXES — not very encouraged to keep trying by the zero sonic springs I’ve garnered so far (the only reason I do it at this point).  As I’ve mentioned before, I find the Lost Pages event is too time consuming/difficult relative to the rewards you get so I’ve not worked on it at all.

The way the Spellwrits are scattered, it often takes the whole 10 fights to get the total you need and the Spellwrits are always quite a bit higher health than the normal mobs in the area.  The dungeon then takes a bit of time and has a boss that’s tougher than the usual bosses in whatever area.  And I’m always flabbergasted at the tiny amount of XP I get for the time all that takes as well as the relatively innocuous drops.  If there are great drops, I’ve sure had no luck at getting any.  I generally do so much better just questing…

Looks like some plants for which I thought I’d just get a few double mature harvests are going to make it to elder while it’s still double–though I’m starting to see signs they’ve slowed down the plant timers.  As a just-in-case I’ve planted some Couch Potato and/or Evil Magma Pea gardens today for a few wizards who already raked in two elder harvests (plants already there the day it started and then planting and harvesting another round) in hopes of replenishing both some mega snacks and my hatching-diminished gold supplies.  If the event keeps going even a few more days I’ll get the gold back up for sure and possibly make it to another elder harvest.  My pets will be eating a lot of seeds 🙂

Anyway, if you’re fortunate enough to be in one of the areas where you can get on the game, keep on enjoying the birthday party!

 

9th Birthday celebration started today

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Every year Kingsisle runs a birthday celebration week, usually starting in the first week of September, and this year’s began today and runs through Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

You can log in on the Wizard101 site and pick up free items.  The Professor’s B.O.X.E.S. quests are back as well as the Lost Pages quests.  Members get double pet xp,  double gardening drops, double animus in Monstrology, and free training point buy back.

I’ve had a bunch of gardens sitting at elder harvest for weeks so it took several hours today to harvest, keep moving things around through the Shared Bank and into attics and Seed Vaults and popping to the Bazaar to sell TCs and miscellaneous snacks.

It’s a great time to buy treasure cards at the Bazaar as most gardeners have too many at this time.  Same thing for snacks.  Such big harvests, so many snacks…  The treasure card exception is gardening treasure cards, as everyone gets busy gardening during these double rewards events and that means they’re buying up gardening TCs.

Lots to do.  Good time to maximize benefits from gardening, pets and monstrology.  It’s always fun so enjoy!

And now it’s Double Garden Rewards!

Elder Harvest

Wow, quite a week KI is presenting for us.  After a day of Double Pet XP, we now have Double Garden Rewards from today (6/7/17) through Sunday!

If you plant Evil Magma Peas, Couch Potatoes, Boom Shrooms, Snapdragons or Tiger Lilies today and provide them with all the likes, you can collect double XP, gold, treasure cards, seeds, pet snacks, etc. before the event is over. [I’m sure there are other short-term items, but these are the ones I happen to grow..]

I’ve had gardens sitting at elder harvest for four of my wizards so I’ve already collected a round of double harvests– including feeding a bunch of Evil Magma Pea seeds to pets on an account on which attics and Seed Vaults are already bursting with them!  And I’m planting some EMPs and Couch Potatoes to get a second round of pet snacks.  And on one of my accounts I’ve harvested an abundance of blade TCs from Sword Ferns.

Make sure to take advantage of this great opportunity!

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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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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