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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!

Timer slow-down?

Gardening Info no longer blocks view

March 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Mid-way through Double Garden days

Picture 2016-08-31 14-40-21

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!

 

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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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.

Birthday Wrap-up

crafted furniture telegraph box recipes

Furniture from B.O.X. recipes

Well, the annual Wizard101 birthday event wrapped up early this morning.  As usual, I enjoyed it but wasn’t able to enjoy as many things as I hoped.  Gardening was my main goal, then collecting sonic springs for crafting, and finally a bit of pet training.

GARDENING

The best way to major success on getting double rewards is to grow whatever crops you want to double well before there’s an event and leave them sitting at elder harvest until you get the news another Double Rewards event is happening.  That way it doesn’t matter how long the seeds take to complete their cycle, everything is already waiting to give you double seeds, double snacks, double reagents, etc.

Of course you miss all those double mature harvests, but since most of the plants with highly desirable crops take so long to reach elder harvest that you can’t get from seed to final harvest in one Double Rewards event, it’s the only way to guarantee a double elder harvest.  So I succeeded pretty well from the outset, because multiple gardeners on each account had plants ready to harvest the day it started.

There are more details about my success and lack thereof in the last post.  The final results continued to be slightly odd.  Most of the Pink Dandelions finally made it to elder harvest just within the deadline, which meant they took slightly more than seven days from seed to final harvest.  The odd one was a patch for the one lower level gardener who doesn’t have a Red Barn Farm.  Minus that one like, the PDs usually take about one day longer.  Hers are only about halfway there after eight days, even with every other like.

Sword Ferns lit up by pixies

Sword Ferns lit up by pixies

The two batches of Sword Ferns I planted gave me about four mature harvests each, meaning I got lots of extra TC blades.  Looks like Elder Harvest will be in the next day or two, so those went as expected.  Some King Parsley crops went on wildly different schedules even though all planted around the same time and with all the same likes.

All in all I’m pleased with the results, mainly because of the crops I had waiting at elder harvest at the beginning.

SONIC SPRINGS

KI introduced a bunch of crafting recipes for great housing items earlier this year.  I bought lots of recipes with much excitement.  Then I realized every recipe calls for a Sonic Spring.  It’s another head-scratcher for me.  I’d have thought they’d want to have people crafting the new stuff in great numbers so these fun pieces could start decorating the spiral.

Instead they’ve restricted the ability to craft them by requiring the Sonic Spring ingredient.  It’s only dropped by bosses in the Five B.O.X.E.S.  So you have no hope of getting any most of the year; only possible when there’s a Five B.O.X.E.S. event — maybe five or six times a year [they seem to do it a bit more often now than they did when I first started playing but I’ve never kept track].  They DID put up the boxes last year around Christmas and left them for about a month so best shot at getting more Sonic Springs may be then – if you can stand having to do the instances a few hundred times…

Even more puzzling is that they apparently didn’t raise the drop rate when they decided to add all these recipes with the SS required.  Between three wizards I’d say I completed the Wizard City box at least 40 times this week and got maybe 4 Sonic Springs at most, possibly only 3 (I forgot to check how many a couple of the wizards already had when I started).

I have way more recipes than I have Sonic Springs with which to make them.  I figure it might be a couple of years before I can manage to get enough to craft all the items I’d like (including some multiples).  My willingness to repeat the same instance over and over for one item is limited so my patience with the WC box was past the breaking point by the time I decided it wasn’t worth it to keep trying…

PETS

I’ve mentioned many times that I don’t care for pet training.   If I could choose which of the potential talents my pets get I’d be more willing, but the crap shoot they’ve created has left me disappointed and unwilling to spend much more time at it.  For most of my wizards at this point I have “good enough” pets so I rarely bother with pet training unless I can get Double Rewards and I don’t do much then.

My two Storm wizards still don’t have pets that are quite what I’d like, nor does my Fire wizard.  I chose to do a bit of training for the two Storm girls.  Then I had a pet from the Evergreen Bundle sitting around untrained and another from the Olympian Bundle, so I did some training on those.  The Spirit of the Forest pet did get “Gardening Pixie” (may cast a gardening pixie) but I haven’t remembered to equip it when I’m gardening, so don’t know if it will be helpful in the garden but the other talents so far are not anything I need; unless I make it part of my “energy set” I doubt I’ll use it.

Over all the training has been pretty much as usual.  A waste of time.

MISCELLENEOUS

The gardening took up so much time I really didn’t get to do very much of  the other stuff.  With the backpack and TC limits, the double harvests of these events involve a lot of stopping to go sell stuff, move stuff around in attics, vaults and the Shared Bank, etc. so gardening becomes even more time consuming than usual.   I kind of fit in a few rounds of the WC Box after gardening as I had time and I never got a single wizard to any of the Lost Pages quests.

I look forward to this event every year and overall I’d say I enjoyed it.  I’m always pleased to speed up some of my gardening goals and I did get a few Sonic Springs so a few more furniture items will be appearing.  I’m not too sorry to have missed out on the Lost Pages stuff as I’ve always found it’s a little harder and more time consuming than the rewards (both in drops and low XP for the quests) warrant.  Next up will be the Halloween fun which for me maybe ties with the birthday celebration as the most fun event.  Now I have a week left on the month of membership for my third account and it’s time to move Alura further through Celestia.

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Wonky Gardening Timers

Pixie

I’m not the most systematic person so I haven’t recorded dates of planting and harvesting for my crops.  At one time I did note that if I planted Evil Magma Peas, Pink Dandelions or Couch Potatoes on the first day of a 4-day Double Garden Rewards event I could collect a double elder harvest at the end of the event.

The last couple of events it has not been true of Pink Dandelions.  So this time I decided to plant PDs for several wizards and see what happened.  I also decided to plant a few things I knew would not reach elder harvest and see if I could collect a few double mature harvests.

So last Friday (9/2/16) I made a point of planting everything I wanted to work on this time for quite a few wizards spread across the three accounts.  I’d already collected double elder harvests for most gardening wizards because I’d planted crops and left them sitting at elder harvest, waiting for double rewards.  So the second round was just to see how things went with some plants and, for a few, hoping to get an elder harvest.

Medium spell ring around 18 PDs

Since PDs used to mature to elder harvest in four days (and seem to go back to a shorter time when these events are over–the next experiment will be checking that out), I figured with seven days for this event I’d SURELY be able to get some elder harvests and make up for the deprivations crafting Seed Vaults has made on my PD seed supply.  They’re all growing on Red Barn Farms and with all the other likes.  As of late Thursday night (9/8/16), not one group of them had reached elder harvest and by the looks of the progress bars, it’s uncertain they’ll get to elder harvest by the time the event ends.

I also had one wizard on each account grow a batch of King Parsley.  Again, all three were on Red Barn Farms and with all the other likes and all plants were picking up all likes.  KPs have usually taken me at least a week and, I’d have said, usually a little more, so I didn’t expect to get to elder harvest.  For two of the three they seem to be on about the schedule I assumed, but for one of them, they reached elder harvest on Wednesday — five days! — except one plant which is on the same schedule as the KPs on the other two accounts.

Two wizards planted a large batch of Silver Trumpet Vines.  Again, they’ve generally taken at least a week — my general impression would have been 7-8 days– so I didn’t expect to reach elder harvest.  Both batches got there by Wednesday.

I planted several batches of Evil Magma Peas and they reached elder harvest by late Monday/ early Tuesday, so pretty much on the timeline I expect.  I also started a couple of large patches of Sword Ferns.  At a guess I’d say they normally take 8-10 days so I just hoped for a couple of double mature harvests (i.e. lots of TC blades!).  They’re moving about as slowly as usual, so there have been two mature harvests and it looks like I may get a third, possibly a fourth.

In the meantime I’m scratching my head over the strange results.  Some plants moving faster than normal.  Some moving slower than normal.  Some of them, planted within an hour of one another and with all the same likes, taking different amounts of time from one another.  So are the timers going wonky because too many people are gardening for the event?  Is KI changing timers for the event?  Next phase, I’ll be planting some patches of these same plants all on the same day with the same likes and noting how long they all take to reach elder harvest when there is no double rewards event going on.

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Gardening: Working Your Whole Account

Picture 2014-05-04 00-45-20

I’ve mentioned before I don’t do the super mega gardening many wizards get into.  I’ve found two-layer gardens with more like 42 plots provide me with enough drops and let me plant and tend the garden within my energy limits.  For lower level wizards I create gardens for medium area plant spells with 12-18 plots and it keeps them well supplied in gold, snacks, reagents and treasure cards.

Part of my strategy for keeping my accounts stocked with all the various drops for which I grow gardens is to get all the wizards on the account gardening.  When I first got into gardening on my first account, I had all six wizards growing 12 Evil Magma Peas and 18 Pink Dandelions. Eventually the two highest level wizards added a large area garden with 24 Couch Potatoes.

Mid-level garden

I was able to stockpile plenty of mega snacks and reagents and suddenly they were all overflowing with gold from selling unwanted treasure cards, lower level snacks and extra reagents.  And this was before KI started offering Double Garden Rewards so nothing was ever doubled.

The big advantage to having all six wizards gardening was that I could get the big accumulations of drops without having to buy energy.  You can only quest with one wizard on an account at a time, so you can feed more of the drops to whichever one is questing if needed and otherwise build your shared bank stores.

Tatiana's mid level garden

Tatiana’s mid-level garden

I think it’s worth creating all six wizards, even if you’ll ultimately choose to delete some of them and start over.  Level them up enough to get the initial gardening training.  If you can pass some Pink Dandelions over, one crop of 4 or 5 of them will level up the gardening rank enough to buy the medium area spells in Krokotopia.  At that stage they’ll have enough energy to grow 18 PDs and 12 EMPs.  I put the two medium area groups close enough that I can use one pest spell to cover both.  You’ll be amazed what you can do for the one wizard you’re leveling up (if you’re just working on one) just by using all six slots for wizards and growing six small gardens.

Above you can see Tatiana at about level 40, in front of a garden with two sets of 12 medium plots and one set of 18 small plots.  By then she had the large area spells, which fit over that whole garden.  See post for more info on how that works.

More of the wizards now have large-area gardens with 44-52 plots (I started off with 52 but none of the wizards at the time had enough energy to plant 52 seeds at once so I started making it smaller — two layers of 22).  But I still use the medium-area 18 plot small plot gardens.

Now that I’ve got plenty of mega snacks and reagents in backpacks and the shared bank, I usually just have two wizards on one account at a time gardening, but when I need to maximize a drop, I go back to having more wizards growing things.

At this point, I’m gardening more strategically for certain things I need or anticipate needing.  Now that Morgan and Rylee have gotten high enough level to realize how much more Amber I’m going to need than I’ve collected, I’m regularly having one mid-level wizard grow a 44 plot garden of King Parsley.  I’ve been working on crafting two Seed Vaults per wizard and growing lots of Silver Trumpet Vines to get the Braided Vine drops, so one wizard on each account has been working on those.

Sword Ferns have been keeping my higher level wizards supplied with blades, especially Balance Blades and Dragonblades.  I’ve only purchased a few, a couple for each of the first two accounts and have been slowly expanding the seeds by doubling the seeds every time there’s a Double Garden Rewards event.  With just 12-24 plants going at a time I’ve been able to keep all three accounts well supplied with treasure card blades.  Blades drop at every harvest, not just elder harvest, so over the course of a number of mature harvests plus the elder harvest, you get a LOT of blades.

One wizard growing King Parsley, one growing Silver Trumpet Vines and one growing Sword Ferns.  Since each of them is often growing just one crop they all have some energy for pet training — on the rare occasions I decide to do any 🙂  I’m about to wind up the STVs as I’ve got two Seed Vaults per wizard.  Don’t figure I need to stockpile more seeds than that and I don’t want to have to keep track of what’s where for any more vaults than that.

Once you’ve decided your current gardening goals, having six wizards with gardens helps you create strategies for getting all the drops you need.  Since you can buy Crown Shop houses for gold, I’ve used the copious amounts of gold the gardening supplies to buy Red Barn Farms (a “like” for all plants) for all of them.  I spent a lot of time farming bosses and the bazaar for “likes” so most of my crops have six to seven “likes” speeding the process along (and recently plants started dropping housing items, including items they “like” so now they’re easy to get).  Six wizards, maximum likes…  and it all adds up to mega snacks, TCs, reagents and so much gold I’m constantly having to buy expensive gear just to get below the gold maximum!

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Birthday Celebrations and Level 90!

Seventh bday decorations_edited_edited

Last night, after days of gardening and noting Morgan was on the tip of making level 90, I ran her around Avalon a bit to collect the last couple of scrolls and collect her quest points and it was enough to get her there!  Promethean — woo hoo!  And then I turned on the computer today and logged in to tend gardens and discovered KI has launched the annual week of birthday festivities as of today, September 2, 2016.

Elder Harvest

Elder Harvest

It’s a week of Double Garden Rewards, Double Pet Rewards,  special gifts, AND they’re running both the Five B.O.X.E.S. and Lost Pages events!

When they suddenly ran a Double Garden Rewards event a couple of weeks ago, I figured they might not do it again for the birthday celebration.  I’d gotten a bunch of gardens to elder harvest and had them waiting for this event.  So I’m excited I got to collect doubles then and I’ve had time to get some longer-growing crops to elder harvest in time for this round.

Last year I found it tough to get as much of all these things in as I wanted to, so I can tell you you’ll have to do some juggling if you want to enjoy it all — and maybe devote your entire free time to it :-).  If you, like me, can’t afford to keep buying energy elixir, it’s especially challenging to have double garden rewards going at the same time as double pet rewards. The free giveaway includes one free energy elixir, so for one of your wizards you can use up all your energy on the garden and then refill and go train pets.  For the rest, which to do, which to do…

And since they added those great sonic spring-using recipes for sale in the B.O.X.E.S., I want to spend lots of time completing B.O.X.E.S. in hopes of getting some sonic springs dropped.  Personally I choose that over the Lost Pages as I think the return in drops for the time spent is better…

Have fun everybody!

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After Double Garden Rewards – some good, some so-so

Waiting for double rewards

Waiting for double rewards

The best news for me about the surprise Double Garden Rewards event last week was that I had a whole bunch of wizards with gardens I’d left sitting at elder harvest, waiting for double rewards.  So as soon as it started I doubled lots of mega snacks, seeds, reagents, etc.

This is the second time, though, that the seeds I planted after collecting the first harvest seemed to take longer than usual so I didn’t get as big a second elder harvest as I hoped.

When they first started having these events, they often ran from either Thursday through Sunday or Friday through Monday and I always planted some Pink Dandelions and Evil Magma Peas as soon as I heard of the event.  With all “likes” put on the plants — including Red Barn Farm for all my gardening wizards — I was able to get both crops to elder harvest within the time frame of the event.

This time the event had an extra day (Wednesday through Sunday) and I planted on the first day for quite a few wizards.  All the Evil Magma Peas I managed to put in that first day reached elder harvest but none of the Pink Dandelions did.  The ones planted last Wednesday (August 17) finally hit elder harvest Tuesday (August 23).  The ones I planted on Thursday still haven’t gotten there.

After the last event the next batch of PDs I planted went back to reaching elder harvest more quickly.  I’m curious whether anyone else has found the plants mature more slowly during these events — or maybe there’s just something glitchy affecting my PDs???