Blog Archives

More Monstrology and Monstrodome

I’ve kept working on figuring out more about Monstrology; within the limit that I’ve not advanced beyond the Undead stuff and am unlikely to do so.

This latest round involved the Monstrodome.  I finally sucked it up and bought the Triple Animus Elixir.  It took three rounds of the elixir to collect the 600 animi required to make the Monstrodome (you have to make 10 Summon TCs each for Lady Blackhope, Lord Nightshade and Foulgaze and each card requires 20 animi; 10 x 20 x 3).

Each round of Elixir costs 150 Crowns, so not a terrible price — I just get tired of everything introduced in the game involving more expenditure.  The Elixir gets you not only triple animi but also triple Monstrology XP.  For the most part I was pleased to see that the elixir mostly got me triple on the maximum number of animi.  When I just went in without the boost, I got 1-3 animi from each of the three bosses required for the crafting recipe.  With the elixir I’d say I got 9 animi 90% of the time and 6 the rest; never received only 3.

The XP was kind of odd.  For quite a while as I fought Foulgaze I collected 22 XP for each battle as you see in the picture.  But suddenly it went down to 13 XP and stayed there for the rest of the battles with her and throughout the battles with Nightshade.  Then when I moved to Lady Blackhope I got 13 for a while and then it went down to zero.  I’d read that you quit receiving XP when you are six Monstrology levels above the level of the monster you’re fighting.  Even knowing that, I found it extremely irritating that the Monstrodome recipe requires so many fights when I ceased receiving XP before getting enough for the recipe.

While the Elixir certainly helped — don’t know that I’d ever have wound up making the dome without it — it was still incredibly tedious.  Especially since I doubt I’ll use it now that I’ve tested it out for you.  The most fun part for me was gathering info to share.

I finally got the Monstrodome made and then couldn’t find any instructions about how to put a creature in it.   It’s a housing item and after you place it, a click x box opens when you approach it.  After clicking you’re whisked inside but there’s no way to do anything with your Summon cards.  Before you place your own monster choices in it, you face 4 wooden constructs with 95 health.  Once you put in a Summon Field Guard or whatever, the constructs disappear.  Since I got tons of Field Guard animi while fighting Nightshade, I made a couple of the cards to place in the Monstrodome.  You can see them in the picture.

But first, how to get them in.  You open the housing menu and then click on the Monstrodome and an interface opens up, much as it does in the Seed and Gear Vaults.  When you click on the little icon at the top (same spot as the vault icons) a page opens up with the Summon TCs you’ve created and any of those cards you click on are then placed in the Monstrodome.

I was surprised to discover they respawn — you don’t have to keep collecting and collecting animi to make more and more of the Summon TCs.  I’d read that somewhere and didn’t believe it since KI likes to keep you dragging things out.  I fully expected they’d be gone after one defeat and you’d have to fight twenty more battles to collect enough again… but when I fought my two Field Guards they reappeared within seconds after I defeated them.

If you decide to change out a creature you’ve placed in there with some other boss or minion, you don’t get the card back.  In this case I don’t care because I have so many Field Guard animi and no particular use for them.  I already made one Field Guard guest and don’t care for another and, other than this experiment, I have no use for the Summon cards for them.

Since I had collected a bunch of the animi I needed before I gave in to using the Elixir, I had some time left when I finished collecting all I needed to craft the Monstrodome.  The extra XP had moved me up to level 9 so I headed to Mooshu and fought Tomugawa enough times to make a guest.  I forgot to take a screen shot but for her I also collected 9 most of the time (6 a few times) and something in the 30s for XP.  Her minion isn’t undead, so my Extract-enhanced AOE spells were wasted on him 🙂  At least it was a relief to finally fight somebody re: Monstrology who presented a teeny bit of challenge.

One thing I did not make note of was drops after I fought the Constructs and then the Guards inside the dome.  I’ve seen complaints that people just got gold or negligible pet snacks; I did notice I suddenly had a bunch of low-level gear in my backpack as well as stuff that was the right level for Tomugawa (I’d already sold all I received for the endless WC boss fights…) so I think I got some drops.

I’ve also read that if you collect a boss who has tricks in the normal dungeon it will not use the tricks in the Monstrodome.  Unlikely I’ll be collecting any high level tricky bosses so I won’t personally know but if I see an answer elsewhere I’ll let you know.  Unclear whether you get any special drops a boss would normally have in their usual dungeon or whether there are special drops just for the Monstrodome battles???

Keeping it simple in the Stormdrain

In the Stormdrain

In the Stormdrain

I’ve been doing quite a bit of farming in the Stormdrain for the holiday pets — not to mention enjoying my growing collection of holiday decorations.  On my main two accounts I mostly farm with either my level 56 Storm or my level 56 Fire, because of the ease of using Tempest or Meteor.  This time I tried out a different plan with a level 72 Life wizard and I’m quite pleased with it.

At level 56, the Fire and Storm girls get enough pips pretty quickly and those spells are enough to do the job against Lord Nightshade and his minions.  For my two level 92 wizards, a Life and a Death, it’s a little different.  Their main AOE spells take a ton of pips.  Most of the time I’m in the Stormdrain with one or more wizards level 100 or above and they’ve generally wiped out the opponents before I have enough pips to cast.  For me that makes it pretty boring.

They do both have Deer Knight at this point, so I take them in some but since my wizards tend not to go critical and Nightshade has a big resist to Death, it generally doesn’t work as well as Tempest and Meteor so I still farm mainly with my Storm and Fire girls.

I decided I wanted to farm on my third account.  I only have Life and Death on that one and most of them aren’t high enough level to get into the Stormdrain.  My level 72 Life wizard has just gotten to Avalon (and since I don’t have that account on a membership she won’t be moving ahead until the next time I give the account a month of membership) so she won’t be able to get the Deer Knight recipe for quite a while — and I don’t have a Death Mastery Amulet on that account so it will be much less useful even if she does…

But I took her in and, rather than hang around doing nothing while waiting to accumulate enough pips to cast Fluffy, I started her off with some Colossal, Seraph ( with Colossal, hit over 900) and Nature’s Wrath (with Colossal, hit over 600).  That did the job quite nicely but with overkill, so I then switched to Colossal, Leprechaun and Imp, which I found to be a perfect combo.  Leprechaun+Colossal is more than enough to take Nightshade out (average 750 hit) and Imp+Colossal defeats a Field Guard (average 500 hit).

If she’s in alone she starts with enough pips to finish Nighshade the first round and the Field Guard in the second.  With a team she often gets Nightshade and someone with an AOE wipes out the minions.  If there’s no one with a big AOE she can keep picking off a minion a round with Imp and since others are hitting, they usually finish one of the others.

I really liked this method.  When I teamed up it gave others a chance to participate but got the job done without taking too much extra time.  I know there are big level wizards who have no patience for taking more than one round but this method let my Life girl take part and on teams with lower level wizards, it let everyone have a chance to play.

One of the main reasons I Team Up for this is the chance to hang around with some other wizards since I mostly play solo or with two accounts,  so I don’t mind taking a few rounds to finish.  To me it’s part of the fun of farming.  If you’re high level and always going in with your big guns ready I highly suggest you experiment with how to use some of your lower level spells enhanced by your gear and Sun spells, etc.  With those extras you get as you level up those little spells pack a surprising punch!  And you get to be a team player.

Save

Farming Stormdrain for Christmas drops

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

I’ve had a tendency to forget the holiday drops in the Stormdrain Tower at times other than the big Halloween bash but it occurred to me to check it out a few days ago.

In only a couple of tries a level 16 wizard on my newest account quickly got a Lump of Coal pet.  When I checked out the school (Fire) and potential talents I wanted one for my Fire wizard … who’s on a different account.  So I opened that account and started farming.

It took ages to get the pet but in the meantime she received most of the other special pets — some of them, like the Maple Moose, several times — and loads of other seasonal drops.  Unfortunately most of the seasonal pets are Ice and I have no Ice wizards and others I got were also schools I don’t need or with potential talents I don’t want.

And I landed a couple more Yuletide Spirits.  I may train one or more but I managed long ago to hatch a Yuletide Spirit into a pet with three may cast heal talents and I’ve used that one to hatch so many pets across my accounts I’m already awash in Yuletide Spirits though most of them have several talents from other pets.

I started out farming in October for the Halloween drops but it seemed like they’d lowered the drop rates (something I found other wizards saying as well) and I gave up since it seemed like a waste of time.  This time I would say I got considerably more seasonal drops than ever and I’m wondering if they’ve raised the drop rate?

I’ve also not been running into the obnoxious high level types who usually make the Stormdrain an unpleasant experience during seasonal-drop time.  I even called one on wiping everybody out before all wizards were officially in the circle and he apologized!  Mostly I’ve not seen people jumping the gun on finishing everybody off to the detriment of wizards who don’t get in fast enough.  (See previous post for more on this).

In any case, I’m assuming they’ll have the seasonal drops through Sunday (1/1/2017) so you’ve got a few days to get some of the great pets.  I even got the whole Santa outfit — first time ever I’ve managed all three pieces!  And there are lots of holiday decorations dropping.  Get in on the holiday fun while you can!

Save

Save

Ho Hum Halloween…

Jack Hallow

Jack Hallow

I look forward to the Halloween festivities in the spiral and have usually really enjoyed it.  This time I’m finding it a little more ho hum.  For the first time, instead of feeling sorry it’s almost over, I’m ready to quit early.

The Halloween quests don’t seem to ever get an update.  It would be kind of fun to have something a little different like one of the quests changed out for something new or an additional quest.  I’d even be grateful if they could change the jack o’lantern quests so you don’t get stopped by a chat box every single time you click on one.

Part of what I’ve enjoyed has been farming for the Halloween drops, which I like both for the camaraderie of teaming up to do it and because it used to be they were reasonably generous with the special drops.  But this time, between getting fed up with the snotty level 100+ folks in the Stormdrain and the seemingly lowered drop rates for the Halloween goodies, it hasn’t been as much fun.  Other wizards have been commenting on how much lower the drop rate seems this year, so it isn’t just my perception.

Teaming up at Baron Mordecai has by and large successfully gotten rid of the thoughtless, arrogant, bad team players, but it does take longer.  And the Halloween drops have been just about nonexistent.  The one piece of good news with Mordecai is the miscellaneous non-Halloween drops are generally worth more in gold than the stuff from Lord Nightshade.

I’ve gotten a few pieces of the Vampire and Mummy gear  (never seem to be able to get all three pieces from one set) and some of the crappy pets like Banshee and Imp, but not a single Black Cat, Ghost Dragon or Nightmare pet.  At the end of far too many battles I’ve gotten only one drop–usually something pitifully not worth the time it took to get it.

As the month has drawn on, I’ve farmed less and less and after a few totally unsuccessful rounds last night, I felt kind of done.  I’ve picked up the Wizard City quests for a few wizards and I’ll probably finish those off, but I’m ready to move on before we get to Halloween.  Is it just because I’ve done it all several times before or others finding it less fun this time?

Being a nice high level team member

fighting-mordecai

I’ve done a lot of complaining about high level wizards who are crappy teammates in Wizard City special events dungeons, but I’ve also run into high level wizards who play with a lot of thoughtfulness toward their teammates.  So I thought I’d toss off a few suggestions about how you can use your power to make sure the battle is won and still let your team members participate too.

My favorite ever was a Life wizard I farmed with for a long time during last year’s (2015) Halloween festivities.  She was level 100 and she had a deck with a combo of shields, heals, Leprechaun and Seraph (probably Colossal too).  Her gear must have had big damage boosts and, like every other level 100+ I’ve teamed up with, she went critical pretty routinely.

She’d wait a round or two, letting everybody else do some casting, then she’d fire off a Leprechaun at one of the minions.  Between critical and enhanced damage, the Leprechaun could easily knock out a Crypt Walker, using only two of her pips.  The next round or two she’d shield somebody and/or heal somebody and then she’d hit another minion with a Leprechaun.  If it was taking a while, she might finally cast a Seraph and take out Mordecai.

Everybody got to make casts.  Everybody got to do some damage.  Sometimes the newbies would get to hit Mordecai enough to take him out while Miss Life (didn’t jot down her name and foolishly didn’t give her a friend request) casually picked off all the minions.  She remains my model for stellar team playing.

Yes, it doesn’t go as fast that way.  But for me, part of the fun of farming these dungeons is teaming up and hanging out — for a change — with other wizards.  I enjoy seeing their strategies.  I enjoy a bit of chat.  And it’s a game.  Everybody in there likes to take part in the battle.  Seriously, how does anyone imagine it’s fun for the rest of the team when you wipe out the opposition on the first round and no one else gets to do anything?

In my last post, I discussed the issues all my higher level wizards have had with critical — or rather not going critical 🙂 .  The wizards I do most of the farming with are Morgan (90) and Rylee (89).  For them there’s an issue of all enemies spells that take a zillion pips (well, almost…) so I generally don’t put Scarecrow or Forest Lord in for this.

I use pretty pared down decks.  With Morgan I take in a few Death blades, Death prisms, Deer Knights, Colossal, wand spells and a couple of Tower shields and Sprites in case any of my team mates need them.  If I’m in with lower level wizards, I cast the blade first, then the prism on Mordecai (he’s the only one with big resist) and then Deer Knight.

If no other Death wizard has blown my prism with a wand spell or Dark Sprite, Mordecai’s health goes down by a little more than half, and the minions all take fairly big hits.  If team mates have hit the Loathsome Creeper, he’s gone.  If no one manages to fire something off that finishes any of the minions in that round, all the minions die from the second round of Deer Knight’s over time effect, unless one of them had a Tower Shield.

Then just Mordecai is left with a low enough health (going down more with each round of DK) the other wizards can take him out.  The minions are gone just fast enough that the lower level wizards aren’t getting whacked by Kraken and Skeletal Pirate.  It doesn’t take too many rounds and everybody on the team gets to play.  If no one seems to have anything big to lob I’ll usually throw in a wand spell.

If she’s in with Lord Nightshade, I lose the prism and blade and just hit with Deer Knight+Colossal after a couple of rounds.  It takes out all the minions and leaves Nightshade for the team mates to finish…  plus they’ve had the first couple of rounds to cast some stuff.

I’ve also switched it up for Nightshade, with taking Vampire and just picking off minions while everybody else hits the Boss.

If there are any higher level wizards in either of these as well, they generally wipe everybody out before I can do all that, but sometimes I’m in with another high level who’s giving everyone a chance, so they work a similar plan.

With Rylee, I take a few Life blades, Seraphs, Life traps, Colossal and some shields and heals (the picture above was taken during a Deer Knight experiment but I didn’t like it as well).  One blade and a Seraph with Colossal is enough to take out each minion.  One blade, one trap and a Seraph with Colossal is enough to take out Mordecai.  (This is taking into consideration that she just about never goes critical).

I’ve seen Fire wizards use Meteor without adding blades or traps to enhance any more than their damage-enhancing gear can do or Storm wizards do the same with Tempest, Ice with Blizzard, Myth with Humongofrog, and Balance with Sandstorm.  Now, level 100s will probably go critical and enhance damage enough to take everybody out even with these spells, so they might want to take individual spells instead of any all enemy, but for lower levels it’s a nice way to damage the whole opposition enough to make it easier to finish them off and still lets everybody on the team play.

These are just some ideas — if you think about it I’m sure you can figure out a strategy that gives you enough power to win but still leaves room for a level 10 to join the fight.

Being nice to your team mates just makes each round take a couple of extra minutes so you can still do a lot of farming.  If you’re in such a hurry you can’t stand that, you should really just be gathering a group of other impatient and snotty wizards to jump on a sigil together and farm away as fast as you please.  If you team up, play like you’re on a team.

Are Halloween drop rates lower this year?

fighting-mordecai

Okay, I haven’t been farming as much as I did last year and I’ve pretty much given up on the faster, easier Stormdrain Tower in favor of Mordecai, so I may not have a good base of comparison, but it sure seems like the Halloween goodies are dropping WAY less this year.

I’ve never gotten an entire set of the Halloween outfit, but I usually have a few wizards get a piece or two.  And I usually get a bunch of different Pumpkin heads for every wizard I use to farm.  Lots of Lollipop wands.  And last year I got at least a couple of Ghost Dragons and a Black Cat pet — never have managed to get a Nightmare.

So far this year I have maybe three of the Pumpkin heads, one Vampire headgear, one pair of the Vampire boots, one Lollipop….  and that’s it.  In Mordecai’s Tower I’m pretty much getting zero Halloween stuff.  Lots of the Thug and Imp pets, lots of worthless gear and jewels and pet snacks, but just about nothing in Halloween drops for any wizard I’ve had in there, including the two who’ve been farming it quite a bit — sometimes together.

I DID initially farm the Stormdrain quite a bit and I wasn’t really having much better luck there though most of the Halloween stuff I named came from there.  I just can’t stand the level 100+ wizards who show up in droves and end the battle before everyone is in the circle — and are really snotty about it if you call them on it…

So I’m curious whether others are finding they’re getting less of the Halloween drops than usual.  Does anyone else think they’ve lowered the drop rates for Halloween goodies?

Get ’em in the circle

Stormdrain Tower

I know, I’m like a broken record about this but I’m back farming the Stormdrain Tower which seems to lead to being annoyed by wizards level 100  and up who wipe out the enemy before everyone has gotten in the circle.

Anyone who isn’t officially in a circle — not only standing in it, but with the circle lit and pips at their feet — doesn’t get XP or drops.  And, if it’s a one-battle dungeon and the person came in on Team Up they’re prevented from using Team Up again for 10 minutes.  Happened to me today when something in real life took my attention for a sec so Morgan was a tad late jumping in.  I was farming so that was a pain because it basically stopped me from doing the last couple of rounds I had time for.

For lower level wizards who are there to do the real quest for the Stormdrain, they’re stopped at the entry while Lord Nightshade “chats” through a few boxes.  Nothing you can do to move into the circle until you’ve clicked through the boxes — and if you actually like to read the chat, it takes even longer. So if somebody unleashes a big spell while you’re getting through that, you don’t get credit for the quest, you don’t get any XP or drops and, to add insult to injury, KI has set it up so you’re also penalized by being kept from Teaming Up again for 10 minutes.

So please all you snotty 100+ wizards who can’t wait 30 seconds, DON’T TEAM UP!  Seriously if you can’t be a team player — and trust me, treating the people on your team that way is NOT being a team player — then DON’T TEAM UP!  It’s a team.  Make sure everyone is in.  And how about giving some other players a chance to actually cast something — you know, play the game?  Have you forgotten it’s a game?

And KI, how about setting some rules that encourage people who get on Team Up to play fair instead of penalizing people who haven’t done anything wrong?

Stormdrain Tower Notes for Halloween

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

During the month of October, the Stormdrain Tower, home to Lord Nightshade, becomes a favorite spot for farming.  For this month his lordship drops a bunch of the special Halloween gear, from clothing to the pets.  Although this is normally an instance for about level 10 (give or take a few, depending on whether you’re doing main story or all quests), suddenly every level hops in and out as fast as they can go.

I’ve been farming A LOT, trying to get a Nightmare pet for my second account.  I’ve gotten a Ghost Dragon and a Black Cat and more Black Sprites and Blue Banshees than I can count.  Not sure how much more I’m going to try since I bought a Nightmare for the first account, so I can hatch.

Teammate info at bottom

Teammate info at bottom

In the course of all the farming, I’ve noticed a few things I thought I’d just mention:

  1. Everyone seems to like to Team Up.  Even level 100 wizards use Team Up over and over as they farm.  They like to go incredibly fast.  If you’re lower level, especially level-appropriate or really anywhere below, say, level 25, and you land on a team with one or more of them they’re probably going to start and end the battle before you’ve cast a spell or at least before you’ve done more than cast a blade.  That can be great news if you just want the drops and to go fast.  Or not such good news if you actually like to participate in the game…
  2. Most (though definitely not ALL) of the time you wind up in there with at least one wizard of level 70 or above.  Because the creatures don’t have very big health, the high-levels generally can launch one of their lower-ish level AOE spells within the first round or two and end the battle.  Which they often do, without regard to whether everyone has gotten into the circle or whether the other wizards have been given a chance to cast a spell.
  3. So if you’re low level, realize you don’t really need to fix your deck or be prepared.  You need to jump into the circle quickly because they’re going to move fast and they won’t wait for you.  You really just have to join the team and let the high levels do their thing.  You can tell approximately what levels you’re in with when the first “hand” shows up for you to pick a spell and everyone’s name and health shows up across the bottom of the screen.  Anybody with 4,000 health or higher is probably something like level 90 or above.
  4. The worst case scenario arises for wizards who are at the Stormdrain to do the final main Wizard City quest.  These wizards are stopped at the door by the chat boxes from Lord Nightshade.  There are a number of them and you can’t move until you’ve gone through them all.  Even if you’re not reading and just clicking on “more” at the bottom of each one, you still can’t move till you get through them and most higher level wizards seem to have forgotten that you get stuck by the door for the quest.
  5. Maybe bring some blades but don’t bother with traps–you’re not likely to have time to cast both.  You don’t really need your fancy Star spells, etc. (although adding Gargantuan or Colossal to a spell is most helpful) and if you take a round to cast, say, Amplify, somebody else is likely to end the game before you have a chance to amplify anything.
  6. Pay careful attention to who is casting what (for lower levels:  watch the info on each player that shows up at the bottom of the screen when it’s time to choose the next spell).  Meteor alone if you’re not high enough to have tons of extra damage in your gear and/or to go critical most of the time, is not enough but if someone else is casting Sandstorm or Frog (same thing about level) your Meteor combined with their Frog (or whatever combination works out between you and someone else) can finish the job in one round.
  7. Some high levels are really nice about helping lower levels or making sure they have a chance to do something.  Some are not only thoughtless about lower levels but they can be downright snotty.  Especially about speed.  Since they could wipe everybody out in a round or two even if they went in alone, I’m not sure why the folks-in-a-hurry choose to Team Up, but they do, so be prepared for their impatience and derisive remarks.  [Maybe the opportunity to be snotty and derisive is the reason for teaming up???]
  8. You can use your higher level to move it along and still give some others a chance to participate.  I’ve been mostly farming with a level 50 Fire wizard.  She pretty often starts off with 4 pips and a Meteor in hand.  It’s not enough to take out Nightshade and varies (that range of damage thing) as to whether it takes out all the minions.  But if she casts it, it often either gets rid of the minions (and a lot of damage on the team) or reduces them to a level where wand spells can finish them and leaves a hundred or two more on Nightshade.  Then I don’t do anything else (unless the team falters…).  It generally only takes one or two more rounds to finish and everyone has gotten to take part.  Doesn’t add a lot of time and I prefer to let everyone contribute.  Sometimes I cast a blade first, which gives everybody else a round to do something although sometimes a higher level finishes it instead.
  9. You don’t get much XP for an instance that’s not a quest (or, in this case, is for a quest you finished long ago).  But you can get XP for casting spells in the instance.  When a high level jumps in and knocks out the opponents without letting anyone else cast, he or she is the only person who gets XP for the round.  Some high levels like to command everyone else to “Pass”.  If you comply you get 0 XP.  You’re not going to get a lot in any case, but personally, if I’m going to spend endless hours farming an instance, I’d like to advance my XP a little at the same time and those little bits do add up when you play over and over.
  10. A bit unfairly (in my opinion) if you set up to cast a spell and someone who comes before you in the round kills everybody off before you get to cast it, you don’t get any XP. [This is based on me watching my XP after each round, not on bothering to actually look it up in quite some time 🙂 ]  If you only cast spells on yourself or your team, such as blades, shields or heals, you get to cast them even if the guy before you just wiped everybody out and you’ll pick up a few points.  The high levels don’t like it because it keeps the game going for 30 seconds while the lower levels cast their now-unneeded spells but if you want some points, do it anyway.  Anything you’ve set up to cast on the enemies won’t get cast if somebody defeats them all before your turn and you won’t get points.

I usually solo, so this has been kind of fun and I keep encountering some of the same wizards over and over.  Nice to see familiar “faces” and chat a bit instead of hanging out in isolation.  And I’ve enjoyed watching the different styles and approaches to farming.

I feel for the really low level wizards who are in with their first character.  I remember how clueless I was at that stage and I know I’d have been flummoxed by heading in for my quest and finding myself in the midst of all these high level folks.  At least they get through a dungeon that’s a little hard when you’re level-appropriate with ease!

This is not only a great chance to get some good stuff in drops, but a fun group experience.  Enjoy!  And remember to play nice!