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Mid-way through Double Garden days

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Elder Harvest

March 10, 2017

I’ve been a bit lax on the posting front on all my blogs lately so I didn’t manage to post a heads up on Wednesday when Double Garden XP days started.  Through Sunday you get double XP, gold and harvest drops for all gardening.  Took me by surprise as I’d not expected one for a while, but it happened I had a bunch of gardens sitting at elder harvest 🙂

There’s possibly enough time to plant Couch Potatoes, Snap Dragons or Tiger Lilies and get them to elder harvest if you have every like as those grow pretty fast but it’s too late for most plants–although you could get a mature harvest or three off some, like Evil Magma Peas.

I’m mostly pointing this one out to note it tends to be a good moment to pick up some of the rarer or hard-to-get treasure cards and reagents at the Bazaar as all the gardening folks are getting huge harvests and needing to sell stuff.  I’ve already hit the limit on treasure cards and headed to the Bazaar to sell them with several wizards numerous times.

For instance, Evil Magma Peas drop lots of Feints and Tower Shields.  I have so many for most of my wizards that I sell quite a few at this point.  EMPs also drop Black Lotus, Scrap Iron,  and Sandstone (among others) and most of my wizards have huge stores of them plus I have the maximum in the Shared Bank so I’ve been selling lots of reagents too.

If you’re looking for crafting ingredients or to shore up your TC collection, spend time sitting at the Bazaar this weekend!

 

Tapestry to Bazaar leads to more fishing woes

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I knew I wanted a Tapestry to the Bazaar as soon as the recipes came out, so Morgan D. bought one right away — before I realized one of the ingredients required fishing, which I’d already tried and quit…  So, the recipe just sat there.

Then I bought some bundle on sale for Rylee W. on account #2 and it came with a Tapestry to the Bazaar.  Yea!  I’ve gotten pretty good at using it to send her to the Bazaar and then opening other accounts and porting wizards to one another until everybody who needs to sell or buy stuff at the Bazaar is complete.

But since my recent experiments with what you can do for free have included doing the first fishing quest I started thinking about the never-crafted recipe sitting in Morgan’s list.  And I thought about how nice it would be to have more than one wizard with the Tapestry.   Even though I still despised fishing on this second try, I managed to do it, so I figured I could tolerate it long enough to catch 5 Cuddlefish in Cyclops Lane.

Turns out that may be questionable.  I’m down to just needing one more so I’ll probably finish and craft the tapestry, but I’ve run into new things to hate about fishing so I’m feeling kind of sorry I tried.  I particularly have trouble in Cyclops Lane with fish “getting away”.  I’ve spent enough time there fishing now to say 1/3 to 1/2 of the fish you catch get away — and as I’ve mentioned, after having bored you with standing there doing nothing after you cast, then after you catch and lose a fish, they still have the GALL to charge you an energy point!

But even worse, the fish in Cyclops Lane barely spawn.  I’ve gone  from realm to realm to realm trying to find enough fish to even bother casting the “reveal school” spell finding zero to 3 fish in the entire pond area and it’s tributary streams.  When I have found a few more fish I’ve cast the reveal school spell and discovered not a single Death school fish in an entire area that’s supposed to be a place to catch at least two Death school fish, Cuddlefish being one of them.  I literally wasted an entire hour and an ENTIRE ENERGY GLOBE’s worth of energy casting that stupid spell and finding out there were no Death fish or hitting a new realm and finding no fish at all.

And yes, I tried the stupid run around and scatter fish so it will re-spawn bit.  I don’t know why I bothered as it has never done anything before…  It takes FOREVER for the fish to come back.  I’ve gone off to accomplish other things in WC for as much as 10 or 15 minutes — including doing a round or two in the B.O.X. and popped back to Cyclops to find still no fish returned.  B.O.R.I.N.G.

At the end of an hour I had 3 unwanted fish and one ho-hum treasure chest, no energy and I was enraged that I’d put up with doing one of the most boring “fun” activities ever invented for that long and had ZERO to show for it.  I then did a little research and saw all kinds of people posting they’d experienced the same thing in that area:  either no fish or no Death fish on realm after realm after realm is the NORM.  Who on earth thinks that’s fun???

If you don’t own an Amber Estate or a Death House (I have neither), Cyclops Lane is the only place in the spiral that has Cuddlefish.  Why make it a requirement for crafting, put it in only one spot and then program it so most of the time it isn’t possible to catch one there?

What I really wish is that they’d put transporters to the Bazaar all over the spiral…  And I would NEVER fish again 🙂

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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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I’m out on crafting too…

Eagle War Shield Recipe

Eagle War Shield Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Sonic Spring Disappointment

Sonic Spring, upper right

Sonic Spring, upper right

May 31, 2016.  Since, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got a one month membership for my third account and am trying to get through Zafaria, I’ve had a dilemma about the current Five B.O.X.E.S. quests.  There are some great crafting recipes now available in the B.O.X.E.S. for furniture and decorating items.  Unfortunately every recipe requires a Sonic Spring.  Sonic Springs are dropped in the B.O.X.E.S and not available anywhere else.

I’ve never done the quests very much so the accumulation of Sonic Springs on my accounts is negligible.  But I bought quite a few recipes for my top level wizards.  More recipes than I have Sonic Springs.

I’ve taken some time out here and there from my pursuit of getting through Zafaria with Heather G. and Jasmine R. to run some wizards from each account through some of the B.O.X.E.S. with disappointing results.

I don’t do the boxes too much because to me they’re a bit long and there’s way too much running around in them.  I’ve rarely gotten much in the way of drops that made it worthwhile to keep repeating them.  But suddenly I want Sonic Springs.

I hadn’t previously realized how rarely they drop.  All the extra time spent on it recently has garnered little help in collecting the one missing ingredient for my recipes.  Tonight, in fact, I put Rylee W. (level 85 Life, second account) through the Wizard City Box* FIVE times and got one spring, which you see above in her reagent list as seen right after completing the five rounds.

It’s another of those moments in the game where I’m failing to see the point of adding all these great recipes and then requiring an ingredient that’s so hard to get.  After all those attempts, I won’t be able to craft a bunch of the recipes I got until — MAYBE — the next time the Professor shows up.  And that’s only if I have better luck than this round.  So many ways in this game you can work your tail off and wind up with nothing to show for it.  Odd message to be giving children — theoretically the main intended audience…


*  I chose that one just because it’s the fastest to get through.  The down side of that, of course, is you’re not going to get any great drops for a high level wizard there so if you also don’t get a Sonic Spring, it’s pointless…

New furniture recipes in Telegraph Boxes

crafted furniture telegraph box recipes

As mentioned in the previous post, the Professor and his five B.O.X.E.S. are back and now, Rose Piper, the recipe vendor in the boxes, has some great new recipes for furniture and decorations available.  The event ends May 31, 2016, so make sure you get in there to buy your recipes before it disappears or you’ll have to wait till next time.

Grouped in the above photo are the first items I crafted:  Blue Canopy Bed, Sturdy Table with Bookshelf, Barnstable Stove, Sloped Blue Club Chair, and Grand Tome Repository.  Quite nice additions to the available furniture — I’m especially pleased to have the stove, as nothing I’ve been able to do in the way of kitchen furniture has quite made a kitchen seem like it had one — other than a couple of ways to make it look like cooking is done in a fireplace…

The catch (in my opinion) is that they all seem to require a Sonic Spring, which is only dropped in the B.O.X.E.S. — and no guarantee you’ll get one every time you complete one of these dungeons.  I only had five for the wizard for whom I bought these first recipes, so I couldn’t even craft all the recipes I bought.  Not in love with farming in the B.O.X.E.S. but I guess I’ll be repeating some of them to get the Springs.

Treasure Card Vendor Changes Complicate Crafting Assignment

I very rarely buy Treasure Cards from vendors unless I need something for crafting that’s hard to get at the Bazaar, so I wasn’t sufficiently familiar with the vendors and what they carry to understand the ramifications of the new changes that took some TCs away from certain vendors and gave them to others.

Until I tried to do Balthazar Dragonthorn’s second project, Flamesould Cloak, which requires some Nature’s Wrath TCs.  At the Bazaar to sell garden drops, I started trying to pick some up. No dice.

So I looked on line to see which vendor to visit and got Harold Argleston and Zane; apparently not updated to reflect that neither one has Nature’s Wrath any more.  So then I searched for other vendors and discovered the next vendor after those two is in Celestia.  You know, the world AFTER Dragonspyre, where she’s currently working on the crafting quest.

Since the wiki hasn’t been updated, I don’t know that it’s available there either (also don’t have anyone in Celestia at the moment, so haven’t wandered to Archivist) or possibly some place even farther beyond.  Since you need them for that quest, I don’t see how the move away from the original vendors is a shift that puts the cards to a “more useful” place.

I didn’t feel like firing up the other computer and sending someone to Celestia so she could port, so I finally wound up spending eons at the Bazaar, refreshing the Life TCs over and over to get enough Nature’s Wrath to complete the quest.

That’s the first place I’ve encountered where I’ve been impacted by the new reorganization of TCs and their vendors.  If anyone else has had this experience elsewhere, please add list it in the comments.

Where do you get reagents — the basics

Reagents used in crafting recipes can be obtained in a variety of ways.  They range from easy to get from several places to very hard to get and few options

Many reagents are scattered around on every world.  Some, like stone blocks, are on about every world, others, like shells, might only be in areas that are underwater or only in certain worlds.  They tend to have a bit of mist rising from them (you might see it as a shimmery glow) so they’re pretty easy to spot.  All you have to do is go near it and a box will open telling you to click “x”  to collect it.

Mist rising from reagents

Mist rising from reagents

They keep spawning in the same spots, so you can find certain areas to “farm” for a reagent you need.  For instance, I have a route in Chelsea (Marleybone) I use for scrap iron.  And I like Pegasus Way for black lotus, parchment and stone blocks.

Sometimes when you click you just get one item.  Sometimes you get two or three of the thing you clicked.  Occasionally you get one or two of the item you’re clicking on plus a more rare reagent.  For instance, stone blocks can also give you fossils (really rare) and sandstones (rare).  So you might get two stone blocks and one fossil.

Many bosses and mobs drop reagents but I’ve not found that I collect any given item consistently enough to farm for it by fighting the same ones repeatedly.  When I get a little higher I gather some creatures drop really rare stuff like Amber — that might be worth it if you don’t have to fight a hundred times to get one.

Many packs include a chance for a reagent but you’d have to spend a mint to collect very many of a particular reagent that way.  You can also buy bundles of some reagents at the Crown Shop.  They’re all reagents you can get so easily by gardening or farming a particular area, I can’t imagine paying for them but if you’ve got lots of funds it’s certainly a faster way to collect.

Many plants also drop reagents, some at every level of harvest, some only at elder harvest.  An urgent need for reagents to complete the Dragonspyre crafting quest and hours of effort in trying to get them led me to gardening.  While there are still a few hard-to-get reagents I’m working on, gardening for the most part has made crafting a breeze!  I’ll be doing gardening posts like this one on PDs which include all the reagents dropped by a particular plant and also posts on particular reagents that will tell you various ways to get them.

Some are sold at reagent vendors (see here for list).  Many are sold at the Bazaar, including many that are dropped by plants but not available through vendors.  A very few, like the much-coveted amber, are not available for sale and can only be obtained through gardening or very rare drops by a few bosses or as a very remote possibility in a few of the packs.  Some are sold for Arena tickets only which means having to participate in PvP or Pet Derby.

My least used method* is through transmute recipes, which is another crafted item.  I DO use them occasionally.  But most (not all) of the reagents you can transmute require bunches of one of the more common reagents.  In my experience the common reagent also gives you the rare reagent every 10th time or so.  By the time I’ve gathered the giant amount of the common reagent required to use the transmute recipe, I’ve already gotten enough of the rare reagent to craft the recipe without using the transmute spell.

My main ways to get ingredients are gardening and hanging out at the Bazaar refreshing the reagent list over and over and nabbing as many of the hardest-to-get items as I can.  A few common reagents are less expensive at the reagent vendors so I also buy certain items from them.


*Well, arena tickets would be really the least because I don’t participate in PvP or Pet Derby so I don’t have any.

 

Reagents and Crafting

Crafted Sun

Crafted Sun

I’m going to start blogging about and add a page on individual reagents but I thought I’d start with a broader discussion of crafting and the use of reagents.

You don’t have to craft.  The main storyline doesn’t require that you do any of the crafting quests.  There’s a nice guide to basics of crafting and crafting quests here.  I really just started crafting in Wizard City because it was there and I hadn’t learned the difference between main story quests and side quests.

I wasn’t much impressed for a while.  The stuff you have to craft for the quests is mostly not that interesting and then you don’t get to keep it (which would have been sell it for me).  But eventually I looked at the recipe lists at a few vendors and realized much of the coolest housing stuff and a lot of really good gear comes from crafting recipes.

The higher the level of the recipe vendor’s world, the higher the level of crafting* required to get the recipe.*  Or in some cases to complete the recipe.  For instance, the carousel pictured below (it moves, so it’s hard to get a clear picture) is from  Balthazar Dragonthorn on Dragonspyre and it requires access to the Dragonspyre Forge in Dragon’s Roost, the final area of DS.

Crafted Carrousel

Crafted Carousel

    The ingredients in the recipes are treasure cards, reagents, and sometimes other crafted items.  Some reagents are easily purchased from the Reagent Vendors often standing right next to the Recipe Vendor and the Bazaar.  Some reagents are scattered in every world.  Certain ones, like stone blocks and mist wood, tend to show up everywhere.  Others show up in some worlds and not others.
    Many types are dropped at plant harvests (a big reason to get into gardening).
    I’ll tell you more about getting reagents in the next post.  My advice for a beginner is to start the crafting early on just to get the quests behind you.  Consider how you’re going to collect a good supply of reagents, and start stockpiling–especially the rare reagents–so you’re prepared when you get to higher levels.  You can always quit if you decide later it’s not for you, but trust me, catching up is hard, particularly if you’ve not worked on getting a good supply of ingredients.

*Grizzleheim is a little odd — mainly because different areas require widely varied levels for access.  The vendor is in the common area, so you can get to him early on when you get the first GH quest but you have to be a much higher level crafter to buy any of the recipes–for some, you have to have completed Mooshu crafting and some, Dragonspyre.