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!
I look forward to the Halloween festivities in the spiral and have usually really enjoyed it. This time I’m finding it a little more ho hum. For the first time, instead of feeling sorry it’s almost over, I’m ready to quit early.
The Halloween quests don’t seem to ever get an update. It would be kind of fun to have something a little different like one of the quests changed out for something new or an additional quest. I’d even be grateful if they could change the jack o’lantern quests so you don’t get stopped by a chat box every single time you click on one.
Part of what I’ve enjoyed has been farming for the Halloween drops, which I like both for the camaraderie of teaming up to do it and because it used to be they were reasonably generous with the special drops. But this time, between getting fed up with the snotty level 100+ folks in the Stormdrain and the seemingly lowered drop rates for the Halloween goodies, it hasn’t been as much fun. Other wizards have been commenting on how much lower the drop rate seems this year, so it isn’t just my perception.
Teaming up at Baron Mordecai has by and large successfully gotten rid of the thoughtless, arrogant, bad team players, but it does take longer. And the Halloween drops have been just about nonexistent. The one piece of good news with Mordecai is the miscellaneous non-Halloween drops are generally worth more in gold than the stuff from Lord Nightshade.
I’ve gotten a few pieces of the Vampire and Mummy gear (never seem to be able to get all three pieces from one set) and some of the crappy pets like Banshee and Imp, but not a single Black Cat, Ghost Dragon or Nightmare pet. At the end of far too many battles I’ve gotten only one drop–usually something pitifully not worth the time it took to get it.
As the month has drawn on, I’ve farmed less and less and after a few totally unsuccessful rounds last night, I felt kind of done. I’ve picked up the Wizard City quests for a few wizards and I’ll probably finish those off, but I’m ready to move on before we get to Halloween. Is it just because I’ve done it all several times before or others finding it less fun this time?
I’ve done a lot of complaining about high level wizards who are crappy teammates in Wizard City special events dungeons, but I’ve also run into high level wizards who play with a lot of thoughtfulness toward their teammates. So I thought I’d toss off a few suggestions about how you can use your power to make sure the battle is won and still let your team members participate too.
My favorite ever was a Life wizard I farmed with for a long time during last year’s (2015) Halloween festivities. She was level 100 and she had a deck with a combo of shields, heals, Leprechaun and Seraph (probably Colossal too). Her gear must have had big damage boosts and, like every other level 100+ I’ve teamed up with, she went critical pretty routinely.
She’d wait a round or two, letting everybody else do some casting, then she’d fire off a Leprechaun at one of the minions. Between critical and enhanced damage, the Leprechaun could easily knock out a Crypt Walker, using only two of her pips. The next round or two she’d shield somebody and/or heal somebody and then she’d hit another minion with a Leprechaun. If it was taking a while, she might finally cast a Seraph and take out Mordecai.
Everybody got to make casts. Everybody got to do some damage. Sometimes the newbies would get to hit Mordecai enough to take him out while Miss Life (didn’t jot down her name and foolishly didn’t give her a friend request) casually picked off all the minions. She remains my model for stellar team playing.
Yes, it doesn’t go as fast that way. But for me, part of the fun of farming these dungeons is teaming up and hanging out — for a change — with other wizards. I enjoy seeing their strategies. I enjoy a bit of chat. And it’s a game. Everybody in there likes to take part in the battle. Seriously, how does anyone imagine it’s fun for the rest of the team when you wipe out the opposition on the first round and no one else gets to do anything?
In my last post, I discussed the issues all my higher level wizards have had with critical — or rather not going critical 🙂 . The wizards I do most of the farming with are Morgan (90) and Rylee (89). For them there’s an issue of all enemies spells that take a zillion pips (well, almost…) so I generally don’t put Scarecrow or Forest Lord in for this.
I use pretty pared down decks. With Morgan I take in a few Death blades, Death prisms, Deer Knights, Colossal, wand spells and a couple of Tower shields and Sprites in case any of my team mates need them. If I’m in with lower level wizards, I cast the blade first, then the prism on Mordecai (he’s the only one with big resist) and then Deer Knight.
If no other Death wizard has blown my prism with a wand spell or Dark Sprite, Mordecai’s health goes down by a little more than half, and the minions all take fairly big hits. If team mates have hit the Loathsome Creeper, he’s gone. If no one manages to fire something off that finishes any of the minions in that round, all the minions die from the second round of Deer Knight’s over time effect, unless one of them had a Tower Shield.
Then just Mordecai is left with a low enough health (going down more with each round of DK) the other wizards can take him out. The minions are gone just fast enough that the lower level wizards aren’t getting whacked by Kraken and Skeletal Pirate. It doesn’t take too many rounds and everybody on the team gets to play. If no one seems to have anything big to lob I’ll usually throw in a wand spell.
If she’s in with Lord Nightshade, I lose the prism and blade and just hit with Deer Knight+Colossal after a couple of rounds. It takes out all the minions and leaves Nightshade for the team mates to finish… plus they’ve had the first couple of rounds to cast some stuff.
I’ve also switched it up for Nightshade, with taking Vampire and just picking off minions while everybody else hits the Boss.
If there are any higher level wizards in either of these as well, they generally wipe everybody out before I can do all that, but sometimes I’m in with another high level who’s giving everyone a chance, so they work a similar plan.
With Rylee, I take a few Life blades, Seraphs, Life traps, Colossal and some shields and heals (the picture above was taken during a Deer Knight experiment but I didn’t like it as well). One blade and a Seraph with Colossal is enough to take out each minion. One blade, one trap and a Seraph with Colossal is enough to take out Mordecai. (This is taking into consideration that she just about never goes critical).
I’ve seen Fire wizards use Meteor without adding blades or traps to enhance any more than their damage-enhancing gear can do or Storm wizards do the same with Tempest, Ice with Blizzard, Myth with Humongofrog, and Balance with Sandstorm. Now, level 100s will probably go critical and enhance damage enough to take everybody out even with these spells, so they might want to take individual spells instead of any all enemy, but for lower levels it’s a nice way to damage the whole opposition enough to make it easier to finish them off and still lets everybody on the team play.
These are just some ideas — if you think about it I’m sure you can figure out a strategy that gives you enough power to win but still leaves room for a level 10 to join the fight.
Being nice to your team mates just makes each round take a couple of extra minutes so you can still do a lot of farming. If you’re in such a hurry you can’t stand that, you should really just be gathering a group of other impatient and snotty wizards to jump on a sigil together and farm away as fast as you please. If you team up, play like you’re on a team.
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):
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???
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%):
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.
Okay, I haven’t been farming as much as I did last year and I’ve pretty much given up on the faster, easier Stormdrain Tower in favor of Mordecai, so I may not have a good base of comparison, but it sure seems like the Halloween goodies are dropping WAY less this year.
I’ve never gotten an entire set of the Halloween outfit, but I usually have a few wizards get a piece or two. And I usually get a bunch of different Pumpkin heads for every wizard I use to farm. Lots of Lollipop wands. And last year I got at least a couple of Ghost Dragons and a Black Cat pet — never have managed to get a Nightmare.
So far this year I have maybe three of the Pumpkin heads, one Vampire headgear, one pair of the Vampire boots, one Lollipop…. and that’s it. In Mordecai’s Tower I’m pretty much getting zero Halloween stuff. Lots of the Thug and Imp pets, lots of worthless gear and jewels and pet snacks, but just about nothing in Halloween drops for any wizard I’ve had in there, including the two who’ve been farming it quite a bit — sometimes together.
I DID initially farm the Stormdrain quite a bit and I wasn’t really having much better luck there though most of the Halloween stuff I named came from there. I just can’t stand the level 100+ wizards who show up in droves and end the battle before everyone is in the circle — and are really snotty about it if you call them on it…
So I’m curious whether others are finding they’re getting less of the Halloween drops than usual. Does anyone else think they’ve lowered the drop rates for Halloween goodies?
I’ve been farming Baron Mordecai a lot and winding up in there quite often as by far and away the highest level wizard (I’m farming mainly with level 90 Morgan and level 89 Rylee). In case any super low level folks happen upon my blog, thought I’d post a few tips. Many of these are useful in other towers where you meet up with higher level wizards or face unusually strong opponents.
SEE WHO YOUR TEAMMATES ARE
Every time your spell deck opens in a battle, every player’s basic info shows up at the bottom. In the photo below, check out the four players. Each one’s first name is there. On the left side, the symbol for each one’s school is there, in this case two Death wizards, one Ice and one Storm. Then look under the names at the numbers. The number on the left tells you how much energy that wizard has left and the one on the right tells you the total energy that wizard has when health is full.
In this case, you can see Ryan and one of the Jacks are both 700+ in health, which means they’re pretty low level. Alura (one of my now-deleted wizards) is over 1700 health,which means she was probably somewhere between levels 30 and 40 (don’t remember how much health was in her gear but I know I deleted her before 40). The second Jack is about 1100 health, which for a Storm wizard means he was probably somewhere between 40 an 45 (much depends on gear; could have been lower).
If someone on your team has over 5000 health, it’s probably a level 100 (or higher) wizard, which means he or she probably has a big AOE spell (one that hits every enemy). Even if you luck into one who’s brought smaller spells so everyone can play, they’re probably going to take each opponent out with only one spell at a time. Even if it’s a situation like the one in the photo, the two higher level wizards have enough power to take care of it so you don’t need to worry.
That also means you can concentrate more on making sure you have shields up and that you’re staying healed because they don’t really need you to defeat the bad guys.
It’s also important to check the schools of the other wizards so you know something important about who can do what and who needs what. Many lower level wizards use menu chat to tell everybody to, for instance, use Fire on some particular enemy. If you’re on a team with all Life, Death and Myth wizards, it’s not an instruction that makes any sense since probably none of them have Fire spells.
Before you cast a blade on someone you should also check whether it’s appropriate to their school. I’ve often had lower level wizards cast blades for, say, Fire or Storm on my Life and Death wizards. It’s not a favor and it’s a waste of a turn; unless you happen to land it on someone who’s chosen to get some Fire spells as a secondary, they probably don’t have any which means the blade will never be used.
SHIELDS AND HEALS
I’ve been in with lots of wizards with only 500 or 600 something health, which I think means something like level 10. They often shield and/or heal my character — the ONE wizard in the room who doesn’t need it. If you’re on a team with three wizards who are 1,000 or below health and one who has 4500 health, shield and heal the low level wizards who need it–including yourself. Morgan and Rylee are never in danger of being defeated in there and anybody their level could solo this easily.
The minions like to cast Poison, which is an over time spell that does 475 damage or more if the one casting has a blade and/or a trap on. For a lower level wizard that means you need to make sure you cast a heal on yourself before it finishes. If you don’t have Sprite yet, I suggest stacking your treasure deck with Sprite TCs so you can draw one any time.
They all also cast Kraken, which does 520-580 damage — again, make sure you’re prepared with heals if you have less than 1000 health. If you’re in with one or more high level wizards the battle will probably be over before any of your opponents have enough pips to cast Kraken but since you won’t know until the battle starts, better to have a deck that’s ready.
As far as shields, the biggest spells they usually cast are Storm instead of Death, so while a few Death shields in your deck are a good idea, make sure you have Storm shields of some sort as well. They also cast some Myth, so Legend Shield is a good choice (Death and Myth shields).
Critical to all this is understanding that whoever you hit with damage will start attacking you. Normally, if four wizards all get in the circles at the same time , each opponent in this instance will start attacking the person in the corresponding position. So the Boss will hit the person on the far right, the minion to the right of the Boss will hit the person in the second place from the right, etc. If you hit someone other than the one across from you, that one will start hitting you too.
Unless you have a chance to help with Tower Shields as noted below, I recommend that you concentrate on the shielding and healing and think twice about attacking anybody other than the one opposite to you.
I’m not sure why, but lower level wizards, especially those with menu chat, love to instruct everybody to attack the Boss, in this case Mordecai. As I’ve said before, in these team situations it’s really better to go after the weakest minion first (which is also in menu chat but no one but me seems to use it).
Your biggest worry as a low level wizard is getting hit too many times so the first priority should be to reduce the number of opponents who are lobbing damage attacks. The easiest one to get rid of first is the one with lowest health.
In this tower there’s usually one Loathsome Creeper with 695 health, so go after that one first. Generally there are also two Crypt Walkers with 1,000 health, so pick one of those next and when that one is gone, take out the other. Then all four of you can turn your attention to attacking Mordecai.
Every time I’m in one of these instances where there’s a mix of very low and very high level wizards in together, some low level wizard starts casting Stun Block. Not sure why they even have it since it’s a waste of a training point at that stage (don’t really need it for at least 40 more levels). Still they do and need to know that in the Wizard City spots like Mordecai’s Tower, the Telegraph B.O.X. or the Stormdrain, none of the bosses or minions cast Stun — so nobody needs to have a block for Stun… Again, kind of signals you don’t know what you’re doing and it’s a waste of a turn/cast.
If you’re Death and over level 100 you probably don’t need any prisms, but Death wizards of lower levels should consider putting some in their deck. The minions don’t have that much Death resist so you don’t need to put prisms on them, but Mordecai has pretty big resistance. If you’re at a level where you just have Ghoul or Banshee — or even Vampire– you’re going to have to hit him a LOT of times if you don’t cast a prism (or prisms) on him. If you don’t have any prisms I suggest concentrating on the minions; you won’t lose a bunch of damage if you cast Death spells on them.
And here’s a big tip: if the Death wizard with level 4000 or 5000 health puts a prism on Mordecai, DO NOT take their prism with a do-nothing Dark Sprite or Death wand spell!!! Yup that happens to me all the time…
Mordecai and the minions all seem to cast Tower Shields on themselves and one another. If you’re a low level wizard in with higher levels, one of the most helpful things you can do is use your wand spells to take off the Tower Shields.
Okay, that should help you get through it. Have fun!
As of today, Halloween fun has arrived in the spiral. Jack Hallow is back with his quests. Dworgyn is tapping everyone on the shoulder to get the “mysterious cave” quest and face Nosferabbit, Baron Mordecai is open for business and Lord Nightshade is dropping spooky gear and other goodies like Ghost Dragon and Nightmare pets.
If you’ve done all of Jack Hallow’s quests before, you can just pick them all up at once and click away as you run around. If you’ve never done them you have to pick them up in order; as you complete one, another one shows up. The first Jack is hanging out in the Commons and along the way he’ll send you to Jack Hallows in other areas.
Usually the Professor and his B.O.X.E.S. show up sometime during the month but I guess we’ll see what KI has decided for this go-round. Enjoy!
I’ve been busy running a couple of wizards who’ve never done them through the Halloween quests as we run up to the end of this year’s festivities and I managed to take a few notes on Mysterious Cave and Baron Mordecai.
Baron Mordecai is a bit puzzling to me for a couple of reasons. It’s surprisingly tough for the low level allowed in (appears to be available starting at level 5). All the opponents are Death school and they have significant resist to Death, so especially tough for a Death wizard who doesn’t have a Prism yet.
If one or two wizards go in they face Baron Mordecai, health 2000, and a Loathsome Creeper, health 695. If three or four go in it’s those two plus two Crypt Walkers, each with 1000 health. They can put up tower shields and they use blades and traps that can lead to damage of 300+ from one spell [I’ve seen them cast a Kraken that defeated a level 5 in one hit]. For a level five with approx. 500-600 health, that’s a pretty big blow from one spell.
I’ve had no trouble if I’ve either been the one high level wizard in there or if I’ve had a low level wizard in on a team that includes at least one high level wizard (I mostly don’t do this quest with a wizard below level 10). And I’ve made it through with a low level teamed with other low levels, but we barely made it.
Our spells weren’t big enough to do enough damage and without Reshuffle (level 22) I’ve had a couple of rounds where I ran out of damage spells and it was lucky others had enough left to finish it off. Against creatures with health that big the spells of a level 5 (or even 10) are so small it can take three or four damage spells cast at ONE creature to defeat him. At those low levels you can only have three of any given card and not that many cards total so if you add any shields and/or health spells, there’re only so many damage spells you can get in there.
If you’re going to go in on Team Up, where you can’t know until you get in whether you’ve teamed with a high level, I’d suggest getting a couple of Reshuffle treasure cards and an AOE treasure card or two to add to your deck. As a low level, pips will be an issue, so I suggest you pick Humongofrog or Meteor or something else that only takes 4 pips. If it’s not your school, you might also want to add a blade treasure card to enhance the damage (i.e., if you’re Life, get a Fire blade to enhance the Fire spell Meteor).
The other puzzling thing to me is the quality and quantity of drops given how tough it is. Although there are some good pets available, most of the gear I’ve received has not been that great* and the housing item list is small and ho hum. Nothing very exciting in the jewels, reagents or pet snacks either.
You can get some of the Halloween gear, but much simpler and faster to keep doing the much easier Stormdrain tower for that (and the Halloween pets). I realize it’s pretty easy for higher levels so I get that the drops aren’t as good as, say, Mirror Lake, but I’m surprised they’re not a little better. There IS some level 45 gear from Mordecai that I don’t think is matched at Stormdrain…
I’ve written about the Mysterious Cave before so I just want to add a note here about the Blood Bats on the third level. When you enter, there are 2-4 Blood Bats (depending on number of wizards) and you have to fight them to get the next part of the quest, which then tells you to fight the ones on the next level down. After you defeat the second round of Blood Bats, though, you go down another level to find dynamite, followed by talking to Tarley and then clearing rubble with the dynamite.
There are Blood Bats on that level as well but nothing in the quest requires you to fight them. You can skirt around them easily to (1) get to the dynamite, (2) go back to Tarley and (3) get around to the passage you clear with the dynamite. If you’re on a team it’s easiest if one goes to the dynamite, one runs back to Tarley and one hangs out at the passageway to set off the dynamite. No reason for everybody to run around to all these places. NO ONE needs to fight ANY Blood Bats on the third level.
I can’t tell you how many times now I’ve been in there when somebody has run into that extra round of Blood Bats and started an unnecessary battle. If the group has high enough level wizards, I generally don’t jump in but finish the other pieces of the quest and go down to the Veggie Revenants to wait. If I’m in with low levels (quest requires minimum of level 13), I will fight the extra battle to help them out. Just pay attention to the quest instructions instead of assuming you have to fight everything you see…
All the Halloween fun ends tomorrow (Sun. Nov. 1) so hurry up and win those Frankenbunnies, find those pumpkins, try for one of those pets! Have fun!
- The gear pretty much is either level 15 or level 45. I realize for the lower level wizards, level 45 gear gives them far more gold (assuming sale) than they would usually be getting from drops and for those below level 15, there’s a small chance of getting some gear they’ll actually be able to use when they level up. But since I’ve got quite a few wizards at level 50 and up I’m jaded I guess 🙂