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New member benefit

KI has launched two new member benefits:  Unlimited Crafting and Double Reagents.  Members can do unlimited craft projects without having to wait for timers to reset.  And any reagents dropped in battles, found in spots where they spawn or harvested in gardens are doubled.

I’ve been saving gardens to a double garden event, but for one of my wizards who’s gold supplies keep being depleted due to lots of hatch requests for her quint heal pet, I went ahead an harvested some Pink Dandelions so I could sell those extra black pearls, crystal vials, etc.

Runs through the weekend, so you have till something like 8 a.m. central daylight time Monday.  Have fun!

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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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Quirky Mysteries in the Spiral: Low Level Gardeners and Plant Likes

Picture 2014-05-04 00-45-20

With this post I’m launching a series that will have its own page– “Quirky Mysteries of the Spiral,”–as well as being part of the regular posts.  The more I play the game the more I find quirky things that don’t seem to make sense.  I have a notion that in something this complex glitches probably account for a lot.  Whatever the causes, I’ll be bringing up things I find mysterious.

I recently started a second account so I could start new wizards and see what happens when you know what I now know and when you start pets and gardening from the earliest possible moment . All my wizards on the first account were farther along when I got into those areas.

Since I had a wizard in Dragonspyre by the time I started serious gardening, I was able to get Potted Cattails (Pink Dandelion like) for all my wizards and to craft sandwich stations (Couch Potatoes like)and then Star Chalices (King Parsley like).  These are items that are pretty much not available in the Bazaar.  Even with plants like Pink Dandelions and Couch Potatoes that use low level gardening spells,  lower level wizards have no way to optimize their growth with the best plant likes.  They don’t have access to the areas in which some items are dropped and they aren’t high enough level in crafting to be allowed to craft the craft-able items.

Fairly low level wizards (below 30) can get PDs and CPs in drops in Krokotopia and the early stages of Grizzleheim. And those two can be cared for easily within the spells available through Krokotopia–if you didn’t want to use medium area spells to grow more of them, you can care for them off the Wizard City spells.  So why give those plants a bunch of likes that lower level wizards can’t get?  Even the Ball of Blue Yarn for PDs is a Marleybone drop though it at least shows up in the Bazaar fairly often.

If you run searches on Potted Cattails you’ll see a lot of posts about getting them at the Bazaar — check out the date on those because I’ve gathered from research and from chatting with long-time members they were easy to buy there in the past but no longer.  I’ve spent eons at the Bazaar at every conceivable time of day over months and I’ve gotten two there.  I had to fight Oakheart (Mooshu) a couple hundred times to get Potted Cattails for six wizards.  See previous post about Potted Cattails.

My Pink Dandelions on the second account are progressing SO much more slowly than the speed to which I’m accustomed. I wound up having my highest level wizard fight Oakheart for hours and craft some recipes several times in order to sell them at the Bazaar while also logged into my second account so the lower level wizards on the newer account could get some plant likes and speed up the harvests.

What I don’t get is why you would create plants that low level wizards are able to grow with their limited gardening spells and then create a bunch of likes for the plants that those wizards are unable to get.*  Is it really just that they want you to have to become a member or drop a ton of crowns to get to the worlds where you can get the drops or the recipes?  And leave you frustrated until you can get there?

*Those are just a couple of examples but it’s actually true with more plants.

Two medium areas under one pest spell

Two medium area one large spelll gardens_edited

As I experimented with gardens that can use medium area spells I tried out a few configurations that would let me  use one pest spell to cover two medium area gardens.  It’s pretty easy to get two areas close enough.

Just set one up and then place a few plots for the other and check the spell coverage by clicking on a pest spell and placing the ring around the area; right click to cancel the spell.  I had to dig up and put down a few plots to get the spacing so that I could put a liked plant or two in between and still get the spells over.

In the above example, you can see that there’s a nearby Snap Dragon (liked by PDs) and if you peek through the EMPs you can see a pot that has a boom shroom (liked by EMPs).  There’s also a Tiger Lily in between the two areas (when it attracts a pixie both areas get the like).  One pest spell fits over all of that.

The Evil Magma Peas usually require a rank two pest spell (10 points) and the Pink Dandelions need a rank one, which is included in the rank two.  If the two areas were too far apart to use one pest spell it would take five extra points to use one rank one and one rank two spell.

In the example pictured above, the wizard is high enough level to have large area spells.  The two sections have two overlapping needs –water and pollination–so she can care for the whole batch — including the three extras — as to pest spell and two needs. The EMPs usually have  one  more need, music, and the shroom is placed so that its music need can be filled with the medium area spell cast on the EMPs.  The SD  also needs a magic spell.  The total to care for all of them is 51 points of energy.

For a wizard with only medium area spells it would take two more points to cover the needs.  The Tiger Lily is placed close enough to the Pink Dandelions that the medium area needs spells cover it too.  So 53 points for all of it.

Those pesky potted cattails

potted cattail

One of the likes for pink dandelions is the “plant life” item potted cattail.  Since I have all my wizards at this point growing 18 pink dandelions I decided I wanted them all to have a potted cattail.  In the above picture the potted cattail is the plant in a white and blue vase to the left of the pink dandelions.

Three of my wizards are far enough along (and beyond) to get to Oakheart in the Village of Sorrow in Mooshu, but Oakheart and his minion are Life so after my Life wizard completed her quest without getting the cattail, I used mostly my highest level Death wizard to keep going back.  When my Storm wizard got there I turned it over to her.  I think I must have defeated that guy at least 100 times if not more like 200 in order to get six potted cattails.

I’ve seen other wizards mention getting one at the Bazaar but besides the untold hours I spent fighting Oakheart, I also sat at the Bazaar refreshing the Plant Life for hours and never once saw a potted cattail.  I’ve even had a much easier time getting white tiger lilies, which are considered hard to get.

All the while I wondered why it needed to be so hard.  This is not a Crown Shop item.  You also can’t buy it in any of the shops.  The only way to get it is as a drop from Oakheart. I just don’t see why it drops so rarely when it’s not a particularly high value item.  There were other Oakheart drops that I received by the dozens.  I understand with things like pink dandelions and couch potatoes that are sold in the Crown Shop that KI wants to make it a rare drop so they can sell more.  But what good does it do them to make you fight Oakheart for hours?  After a couple dozen rounds with Oakheart I’d have happily paid crowns to buy a few of them just to get it over with.

Why not either put this in the Crown Shop or make it available through one of the vendors?

Medium area, small plot stacked garden

Starting the process

Last time I discussed how much I like an 18-plot stacked garden of Pink Dandelions as a good way for lower level wizards to get more from gardening.  Today I thought I’d show a little bit about the easy way I create it.

It’s a glitch in the game that allows you to place plant plots on particular types of crates.  Kingsisle has stated several times that they have no objection to the stacking.  But be aware if you have an issue or you lose any seeds in a stacked garden they will not support you or replace your seed.

First you need at least one crate.  Only certain crates work.  The Crate of Jelly Beans, Crate of Ice Cream, Crate of Hot Dogs and Dark Wood Crates.  You can find all of these in the Bazaar.  Sometimes they’re out but if you just try back it’s really easy to get the crates.  Some wizards tell you you have to buy the crates in the Crown Shop but that is NOT true.  For medium-plot and large-plot gardens you need more crates and the single-plot garden goes faster if you have nine crates but you can make an 18-single-plot garden with just one.

In the picture above I’ve started the garden with two crates.  You place them side by side with the labels facing you, open the garden menu and click on the small plot or small enchanted plot, and then click on the top of the crate.  If you use nine crates you can place the entire upper layer all at once.

In this instance, I then move the crate on the left to the right of the other one.  Keeping one crate in place makes it easy to be sure that the crate you’re moving lands in the right spot  to keep your columns and rows even.Next step

I like to place the first ground plot while the crate is still there.  It’s hard to see at the right angle to place the lower level plots correctly so it helps to have at least one  that you’ve been able to place up against a properly situated crate.

When you have the first row of three you just move the crates forward to press right up against the ones you’ve already placed.  In this example, once I placed the third plot on the right, I’d move the create on the left directly in front of the crate on the right.  After placing a plot on it, I’d move the one behind to the left of the crate I already brought forward.

When you click on the plots you can see the shape faintly when you move the cursor over the crate.  Make sure  the one you’re about to place is point to point with the one(s) it’s next to.  You can see in both the above pictures that the plots have points touching.

The full garden looks like this:18 pink dandelions