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After the celebration

Even though I didn’t take as much advantage of the extended birthday celebration as I once would have, I feel kind of relieved the party is over so I no longer feel compelled to keep trying for another garden or to keep hatching and training pets.

I did very well with the gardening in spite of not planting one batch immediately following another nor planting the biggest gardens for every wizard.  Pets ate LOADS of seeds and my mega snack coffers are well stocked.  Wizards are well supplied with blades of many sorts, thanks to the Sword Fern crops that were already sitting at elder harvest when the event began.

Pet training wound up mostly being disappointing as usual, with one exception.  I did get a great quint heal pet for Jasmine R.  Tried to hatch hers with Heather G.’s triple heal Seraph and at 12 failed hatches I gave up.  For one the fail was Life Giver, which I’m not that unhappy to have for a Life wizard so I trained the final step and got the fourth heal and Heather will just have to muddle through with that 🙂  The lovely lady from the Adult Non PvP group on FB who helped Jasmine then helped me with Rylee W., for whom I also wanted to get a quint heal pet.  I kind of lost count but we’re at something like seven, maybe eight, hatches and the latest one is a fail there too.

Some of the pundits in the world of pets claim quite authoritatively that it takes seven generations or less to get a replica.  I’d never hatched that many times on one so I’ve assumed it was true.  Very lowering to find out that KI has set this up so apparently there’s no limit to how many hatches it could take to get the pet you want.  Just adds to my general feeling that I don’t want to be bothered when it comes to pets.

I only train pets when they have double pet rewards so I’m done with that for a while.  Rylee has a couple of miscellaneous plants that didn’t manage to reach elder before the double gardening was over but otherwise all gardens are empty and I plan to leave them sitting for at least a week.

My general plan once I’ve had time off is plant gardens for two wizards on an account, get all theirs to elder harvest and leave it then two wizards on another account, etc. until as many wizards as I want to participate in double rewards have elder harvests ready to go.  That way I don’t have to put in too much time per day on gardening but manage to get plenty of double rewards when an event shows up. I’ve been doing it that way for a while and it makes the gardening very relaxed.

I spent so much time on the pets and gardens that once again I barely participated in the BOXES event and never did any of the Lost Pages stuff at all.  As always, I enjoyed the party and it was really nice to have the extension so I was able to accomplish a bit more than usual without putting in tons of extra hours at the game.  Now the Halloween festivities are just around the corner!

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9th Birthday celebration started today

Picture 2017-07-10 23-56-41

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!

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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Waiting for Double Garden

Elder Harvest

Elder Harvest

I’ve been winding down some on gardening since I have pretty big stores of pet snacks and reagents and treasure cards so my main effort has become having gardens at elder harvest whenever Double Garden Reward events arise.  So, I’ve had 12 wizards with gardens at elder harvest since the last Double Garden days in September.

In fact, due to buying and passing pricey treasure cards to lower level wizards on one of my other accounts, I finally had to harvest and replant so I could re-build gold supplies.  Seems like a long time without a Double Pet or Garden reward event…

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Planning ahead for reagents

agave-leaves-and-nectar

When it comes to crafting in the Spiral, there are a few places that wind up catching people without the right ingredients if they haven’t done research.  I did a lot but when I got to Azteca it turned out I hadn’t done enough.  Now I’ve found a nice chart that lets you know what you’re facing in terms of reagents for all the crafting quests.

The first place for me that created a problem was Marleybone, where it took me quite a while to farm both MB and the Bazaar for enough scrap iron.  But the Dragonspyre crafting quests were the ones that pushed me into gardening.  I did a bunch of research about reagents and figured out I could get them as drops from lots of plants.

Pink Dandelions and Evil Magma Peas between them drop copious numbers of the reagents you need not only for the crafting quests through Celestia but also for crafting a lot of the recipes you can buy along the way.  I stopped questing for a while and just grew crop after crop.  Now all my wizards have big supplies of reagents in their backpacks and the Shared Bank has a giant store as well and all the early crafting quests have been easy.

Even the Zafaria quest, which causes a lot of people trouble, went quickly for me.  However, for a few reagents I had to pass every piece any wizard on the account had through the Shared Bank, so I’ve needed to grow more crops and do more farming at the Bazaar to make sure my other wizards will have an easy time when they get there.

I read a lot about Amber becoming important as you move into the higher levels so I grew various plants that drop it, finally landing on King Parsley as the easiest to grow in an array of plants that all drop it so rarely you have to repeat crops over and over to get much of a supply.  I didn’t look ahead to get the numbers I’d require; wound up having plenty to craft Deer Knight but I can see I’ll need to get cracking on growing LOTS more crops of KPs to have enough Amber for all my wizards to craft stuff.

What I missed was any warning about Turquoise, Agave Leaves and Agave Nectar, all of which come into play for the Axteca crafting quest.  Turquoise is a pretty infrequent drop, available in a couple of packs and, if you keep refreshing the reagent tab, available in small numbers at the Bazaar.

Agave Leaves are supposedly available to pick up in a few areas of Azteca.  In spite of farming quite a bit, I never even saw one till the Floating Mountains; with two wizards questing through the area at once (two accounts), I got one for one wizard.  Both the leaves and the nectar are available in small occasional numbers at the Bazaar.  Some Ultra plants drop it but since Ultra plants are hard to come by, not a great way to collect a bunch.  A bunch of bosses drop it but, again, two wizards who’ve both fought most of the main story bosses in Azteca and one of them has received one.  You can also buy one of the Leaves for 400 arena tickets but since I don’t play PvP I have tiny amounts of tickets.

Nectar is possible to get when you find the Agave Leaves (much like Stone Blocks can give you Sandstone or Black Lotus can give you Black Pearls), so if you have better luck with finding the Leaves than I did, you can probably get enough of the Nectar.  You can also transmute the Leaves into Nectar.

If I’d realized the quest was coming, I’d have started having all my wizards pick up the Leaves and the Nectar every time they hit the Bazaar from an early stage.  If you want to have plenty of these reagents for the quest when you get there, I advise starting to pick all three–turquoise,agave leaves, agave nectar–up whenever you see any at the Bazaar from the earliest level you can (for me it’s around level 14 or 15 when I’ve managed enough garden crops to have that much gold).

The finisher for me with the Azteca crafting project is the Potent Trap TC requirement.  Although it’s a possible drop from Ultra Alligator Pear Tree, it’s basically only available as a drop from Bosses.  One of my two wizards got two on the way through Azteca, the other zero. And you can’t trade it or buy it at the Bazaar or from a vendor.

I assume it’s another deal where you wind up having to pick one of the Bosses who drop it and fight 50 times to get one.  I’m digging in my heels and saying no to that, so I won’t be completing that quest for the one who didn’t get any.

For all the rest of the quests, though, if you start gardening early and spend some time farming at the Bazaar, you can arrive at each crafting quest with the ingredients already in your stock.  Click the link to the chart I mentioned at the beginning so you can see all the numbers you’re going to need and start your plan early.

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Sword Ferns

I’ve written about Sword Ferns before but I haven’t given them the full post I usually offer to explain individual plants.

sword-ferns

When I first started growing Sword Ferns, KI hadn’t started offering Double Garden Rewards.  I bought a few seeds because I wanted Hambrosia pet snacks.  The seeds are quite expensive (1500 crowns each), so I figured the Hambrosia drop rate would be high.  It’s not.  I get maybe one out of 25 or 30 plants at elder harvest.  So I didn’t consider them worth it.

They’re also available in some packs (never gotten one from a pack myself) and are dropped in some higher level worlds (Avalon and up) though I’ve never gotten more than one or two for either of the two wizards who are most of the way through Azteca.

When the Double Garden days started, I began planting Sword Ferns for double harvest and, over the course of a number of double elder harvests, I’ve managed to double the few I bought for the first two accounts enough times to have 50 or 60 on each.  Even with all the likes they take about 8 days to get to elder harvest, so you have to plant them well before a double garden event and just leave the elder harvest uncollected until an event starts.

elder-harvest-ready-to-go_edited

Now that I have a few wizards who’ve reached higher levels and none of them are going critical (see previous post), I’m using Treasure Card blades much more in order to beef up my hits.  Sword Ferns drop TC blades at every harvest, both mature and elder, including drops of Balanceblades and Dragonblades, neither of which is available at TC vendors.  Every school can use them to add damage.

I can find Balanceblades in very small numbers on RARE occasions at the Bazaar and Dragonblades are just about impossible (both are also available as spell cards through some pets and some gear) so I find it really helpful to get them dropped in decent numbers from the Sword Ferns.

Though some Sword-Fern-owning wizards complained when KI made other blades available through vendors, I like the convenience of getting them through drops and not having to keep heading to the vendors or dropping piles of gold (1,000 apiece) to get a bunch.  They drop blades from every school, including the Spirit and Elemental ones, so I’m able to trade blades between accounts and keep every wizard supplied with blades appropriate to her school.

NEEDS

Care isn’t too bad.  They only have two needs, water and pollination.  They get level 3 pests for which I just use Dragonflies (keeps level 3 pests off for 48 hours).  They also draw pixies with high frequency.  It’s hard to count but I’d say out of 24 at least 19 or 20 of them draw pixies.

LIKES

I find the Purple Grapes of Wrath the easiest to grow and you’ll only get “like” credit for one type, so I recommend growing one of those.  They don’t like garden gnomes, so if you have a gnome for the Sword Ferns it will slow down the growth of the PGW so much you just have to grow one through several crops of Sword Ferns.

Honey Sickles hit elder harvest really fast.  Usually I just leave it sitting at elder to be a “like” I don’t have to take care of, but if you want the drops, you’ll wind up planting at least two and sometimes three successively for each crop of the far-slower-growing Sword Ferns.

Sword Trees are easy to get at the Bazaar, as are the Tropical Garden Gnomes, and the trees are also dropped by Sword Ferns, so if you’re willing to wait you’ll probably pick one up.

Sword Ferns take a long time to get to “young” and “mature” so there’s often a long wait to have pixies show up on the plants.  In order to nudge things along I usually cast a Summon Pixie on the Honey Sickle (it will be at young, when you can cast a Pixie, in about a day).  Once the Purple Grapes of Wrath comes up I usually keep a summoned pixie on it too since it gets rank 4 pests.  You could also just use Miniature Bloodbats on the whole patch — it will keep the level 3s off the Sword Ferns and level 4 off the PGW and save energy.  But I’ve cut back on gardening so Sword Ferns are the only crop for most wizards right now and I don’t have to worry about energy.

DROPS

The Wiki for some reason doesn’t list the drops for these and I’m not much of a record keeper, so this segment is based on experience and general impressions.

As mentioned above, lots of blades drop at every harvest.

They also drop snacks.  At the mature harvests it’s a rank 5 or 6 or a Ninja Figgy Pudding (rank 7).  At elder harvest it drops two snacks, rank 7-9.  You mainly get the lower level ones, most of which can only be sold at the snack vendor — and don’t pay nearly as much as many lower level snacks do in the Bazaar.  Occasionally you get a Hambrosia, which is 5o XP including 15 points for Intellect.

The wiki says they only drop housing items at elder harvest but I get housing items all the time at mature harvests.  Lots of sword racks.  There’s a Ninja sword rack that can’t be sold at auction (I feed them to pets) and another type of weapon rack of some sort that you can sell at the Bazaar.  They also drop a variety of “fern” plants, from Primitive Fern to Celestian Fern and lots of the outdoor types.

Personally I still think for what you pay for those seeds you should get a Hambrosia at elder harvest every time.  But now that you can double the seeds in Double Rewards events, I’d say it’s worth it to buy a couple of seeds for your account and just make sure you have some already at elder harvest before each Double Rewards event starts (i.e. plant some a few weeks after an event, let them get to elder harvest and just leave them sitting there until the next event) so you can slowly build a bigger supply by doubling your seeds at every event.

The view up here…

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I finally decided to try putting “likes” for plants in the air above them instead of nearby.  It’s just one of those fussy things people do that I haven’t had the patience or desire to do.  But I’ve been rotating crops more than I used to and I’ve gotten a bit tired of moving the “like” items around…

To accomplish it I stacked three crates right up next to the garden and then three more crates right behind.  I “stuck” a Large Watcher rug to a Tatami Mat (both available at Bazaar) and put the mat on top of the back stack of crates .  You have to have two sets of crates and place on the back one as the rugs will not stay if you just have one crate or one stack and for some reason they need to have another crate or stack of crates in front.  In the future I think I’m going to see if I can get four crates up, to leave the stuff a little higher.

I kind of dig it* so far but, for the moment, I’m having a funny side effect.  I’ve been leaving the rugs in place up there while I think through the plants that fit in the size of plots in each patch; I don’t want to take the rugs away until I get every like I might need up there.

With the rugs there, I run into the glitch that sends your character up to the top layer if you move into a layered patch.  Those patches have been planted and for some reason the plants ready for harvest don’t get picked up up there.  Man has it been a challenge to harvest all the plants.   I’m constantly hopping up and down off the rug and having to squeeze as close to the patch as I can on every side and every corner…  If I squeeze too close, up I go again…

When you have all the likes you want on the rug you can move away the crate the rugs are stuck on and then the other crates and the likes will stay up there floating; once the rug is gone, the leaping to the top phenomenon goes away.  And BTW, while the rug is there, if you’re looking up from the ground you can see the likes but not the rug — don’t know why…  But in the picture of the crates up there, the rug is actually in place even though you can’t see it and then you can see it under her when she hops to the top.

The views up there are quite fun!


*For those of you under something like 55 or 60, “dig it” dates me as an old hippie!

 

Mysterious timing: membership and Pink Dandelions

One PD on its own schedule

One PD on its own schedule

September 17, 2016  Well, today is the final day of my month of membership on the third account.  For events in the spiral, if they say it ends on September 17th, you have until the end of the day to do whatever it is [in fact they usually don’t actually turn events off until the next morning].  But it’s 6 p.m. and I just logged in so Alura N. could do the final dungeons of Celestia and my membership is already gone.

That’s better than it’s been on some other occasions when, for instance, my membership disappeared by 8 p.m. on the day BEFORE my expiration day.  I don’t practice law any more because I loathe it but for someone who likes to fight, if this occurs at the ends of most people’s memberships — losing your membership somewhere from hours to a day or more before it’s supposed to end — I’d say there’s a nice class action suit there.  Just sayin’.  Personally not interested.  But I’m surprised KI isn’t more careful about this programming.

Meanwhile I decided to see what’s going on with Pink Dandelions.  I’ve mentioned several times lately that for the last couple of Double Garden events I suddenly couldn’t get PDs to elder harvest in the time of the event.  The first couple of times it happened I then planted some PDs again and the time seemed to shorten if there was no double event.  This time, I planted PDs for several wizards within about a half hour period last Saturday evening–a day after the most recent event ended.

PDs are now just taking several days longer to reach elder harvest than previously with all likes on them.  But these kind-of varied even though all had all the same likes and were planted so close in time.  A couple of patches finished yesterday (6 days) and most of the rest finished today (7 days).  With the odd quirk shown in the photo above:  even though all  Savannah’s PDs were cared for with medium area spells covering the whole patch and all were reading all six likes (Red Barn Farm, pixie, blue ball of yarn, potted cattail, garden gnome, snapdragon), one PD is not at elder harvest…

I have no idea why PDs have been reprogrammed to take days longer than they used to, but this is at least the third round of them to take 6-7 days instead of 4-5.  So if you want a double elder harvest of PDs you need to plant them well before another event; since they hold them randomly, I’m getting stuff planted and through to elder harvest for a couple of wizards at time over the next few weeks.  Then I’ll wait to collect the elder harvests the next time there’s a Double Rewards occasion.

Now I’ve got a few free hours I won’t be spending on finishing Celestia; I’m thinking I’ll just take a pass on the game since I’m a little ticked at losing my membership early again and do something more productive instead 🙂