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Training Point Buyback and the Birthday wind-down

I opened the game with a bit of excitement today, thinking, after kind of a ho-hum month of birthday celebrations, maybe they were planning a big final week and we’d have several member benefits and events going on.  Instead the last week members can buy training points back for free.  Somehow this slow rotation through member benefits we rotate through all the time anyway hasn’t felt as exciting as the one week of celebrations we usually get, with everything going on at once.

Once I decided how I wanted to use training points, I’ve just followed the same basic path so other than buying back for a few of my earliest wizards the first couple of times KI offered this, I’ve never had any reason to use it.  And since you can only sell ALL of them back, which means you then have to run all over hell’s half acre to re-gather the ones you actually wanted, I’ve decided I can live with the one spell mistake I made for one high level wizard.  If I could just turn back the one I don’t want I’d be delighted, but definitely not worth the hassle to get rid of one spell.

For folks who are newer to the game and, as many of us did, have randomly collected a useless assortment of spells and now realize how to use the points wisely, it’s a wonderful chance to correct your mistakes without having to throw lots of crowns at the issue.  For you, take advantage!

Some people also get one set of training spells for lower levels and then use a free buy back to trade those in and get a different set that suits a higher level wizard better.  I’ve thought about it but chosen to just stick to the basic plan * I’ve used.  However, if you want to shift strategies along the way, again the buy back is a great chance to do it.

For me, if the only thing going on for the last week is this, I feel like the birthday celebration is already over…

*One additional thought I’ll add to the plan I laid out in that post:  I don’t worry abut feint for lower level wizards, but I do pick it up for everybody when they get higher up.

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Buy Back Training Points for Free

KI announced a free training point buy back for members “for a limited time” which probably means through Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Usually there’s a large cost in crowns that gets bigger as you have more training points, so it’s always nice to have these opportunities to change how you’re using your training points for free.

I’m tempted as I mistakenly used a point for a spell I thought I understood and it turned out I didn’t.  I DO wish they’d organize the buy back thing so you could just buy back specific ones you’d like to get rid of.  The idea of having to wander all over the spiral getting back all the rest of the spells just so I can lose that one…  not so appealing.

Since they started the free buy back events, I have had the thought that it would be smart to get one set of spells through training points for the early stages of the game, then switch it out when you hit the middling phases and then switch it again when you get higher.  There are at least a couple of different strategies that make sense for different stages of the game.

I know many players disdain using shields ever, but in the early stages when your health is low, I think it’s not a bad idea to have an arsenal of them so you can reduce damage if your health starts going down too fast.  Later it’s less important and you can build enough resistance into your gear to do without and you’d probably want more things like Feint or Spirit Blades, etc.  Then even later you want Star and Sun spells.

I will admit, however, since I’m lazy about having to run around collecting them all again, I basically follow my strategy of getting all wizards (except those in a given school who get them in regular training) Life through Sprite, Ice through Tower Shield, Death through Feint as the earliest acquisitions and then the various blades and Star and Sun spells…  Since I don’t change the basics at different stages, I just keep adding spells.

Or you might have a different strategy for changing them out.  Or maybe you, like me, got one you’re sorry you chose.  Or you, like me in the early stages with my first wizards, randomly used training points for crap you don’t need or want at all 🙂  Now’s the moment to fix it all!

Wait to train Stun Block and Skip Cloak

I’ve mentioned Stun Block and the fact it isn’t needed until higher levels in the midst of other posts but haven’t focused a post just on this.  I’ve been playing around in Wizard City again, which always reminds me of the Stun Block issue.

I’m not sure why it’s available in WC to wizards of the lowest levels, but Diego has it, and you can use a training point for it at just about any level.  It only requires having a training point and being ranked “private” in PvP, and everyone seems to automatically have that rank from the first “teaching” from Diego about PvP.  Since everyone gets called to Diego a bunch of times in the first 10 levels and the spell shows up if you click “train” from his menu, newbie wizards routinely figure out they can get it and, not knowing how to use training points for best effect, they waste a point on it.

The point of the spell is to be able to block “stun” spells when they’re cast on you.  And the thing is, nobody casts stun until you are much farther along.  There may be a few creatures who cast stun in DS (can’t remember for sure), but the first place where I find it cast often enough to want to block it is Celestia.  For most of my wizards I wait until more like Zafaria or Avalon to bother picking up the spell.

Many newbie wizards in WC try to be helpful and cast Stun Block on their team mates.  It’s very nice to want to help, but it actually does nothing since none of the bosses or minions cast stun.  You’re protecting people from a non-existent threat.  There are smarter ways to use your training points at those low levels.  See here for my strategy on using the points.

You can also get “Cloak” from Diego at an early point and unless you participate in PvP there is no point in having it at all.  I thought when I first encountered it that it could be helpful against spells like “earthquake” that knock off blades or against bosses who knock traps off themselves if you can “hide” a blade or trap and thus get to use the boost.  But it only serves some mysterious purpose in PvP (I don’t participate) and is completely useless apparently in PvE so you don’t ever need this one if you, like me, only play PvE.

Some Wizard City Battle tips

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

Since I’ve been running experiments on what you can accomplish for free and also spent a lot of time farming in the Stormdrain Tower for Christmas pets, I’ve been very aware of some of the common missteps new wizards make when battling in the early stages.

Shields:  Newbies tend to spend a lot of rounds putting shields on when they could finish off the opponents in the time they waste on shielding (and I did the same thing with my first couple of wizards).  I’m not saying never shield; in fact if you solo the bosses so you have more than one opponent hitting you it’s a good idea to shield, but for your average mob fight there’s no particular reason to spend several rounds casting shields.

If you need to wait a few rounds to cast a one-hit kill spell you might want to toss on a shield while you’re getting enough pips if you don’t have a blade or trap to cast.  Otherwise, until you hit the point (Colossus Blvd. or Krokotopia depending on which you decide to do first) where you always have two opponents in a mob fight, there’s no big need for shields.

One Hit:  In Unicorn Way you don’t have much choice but to hit with one of the two spells you have (your school’s one-pip and wand) and for several of the opponents it takes more than one hit to knock them off.  After Unicorn Way though, you’ve generally gained at least a two pip spell and in some schools you get a trap or a blade fairly soon (I think Life is last of the schools to get either so you won’t have them through most of Wizard City) so you have the capacity to take many opponents out with one hit.

I see new wizards all the time who seem to feel you need to start attacking right away but I’ve found it can be worth it to work a strategy in which I wait and hit each enemy once, taking him out with just the one spell.  Since I create and delete Death wizards who just go through Wizard City all the time, I’ll give the example of Ghoul.

It’s a two-pip drain health spell (you get health back) that Death gets about the end of Unicorn Way.  In the early stages you only have one pip at your first cast so you have to wait.  Even if I’m up against a Haunted Minion or Troll who could be taken out with Ghoul alone, I use the extra round to cast a Death trap even though I don’t need it.  That way I get back more health.

If there’s no drain health benefit (i.e. every other school), but you want to use your two pip spell you might want to cast a shield or just pass the first round.

When I get to higher health opponents like Magma Man or Warhorn, I cast a Death blade or trap one round and the other one (blade or trap) the second round and then hit with Ghoul on the third.  It creates enough damage to take the opponent out in one blow.  And I get a bunch of health back.

If you’re not getting health back it might make as much sense to hit with a smaller spell each round.  Some of that is personal preference.  But I’ve gotten so I set up for a one hit kill each time and I never get defeated in Wizard City.

Overkill: I see a lot of new wizards who get Treasure Cards for bigger spells or Feint and use those a lot in Wizard City.  The big spells take more pips to cast at a stage of the game when you’re totally pip challenged which means you’re taking hits for extra rounds.  Feint uses a pip so it can also make you wait to cast damage.  Both bigger spells and Feint generally give you a hit far beyond what you need to take out these low level opponents.

At this early stage when your health is pretty small, I think the added danger of taking hits for more rounds makes it inadvisable to use spells that take extra pips.  I know some wizards like to see how big they can hit so you won’t care for this piece of advice, but I just like to hit with what it takes to finish the job and do it in the least possible rounds.

I’ve soloed dozens of wizards through Wizard City without ever using bigger spells than my wizards have earned.  I DO often pass them a few TC blades and occasionally use those, but basically I complete that world using only the tools each wizard is given as she levels up and it is enough.

Stun Block:  A lot of newbies seem to figure out they can use training points with Diego at the Arena and Stun Block is one of the early ones you can get.  Don’t waste a training point.  No one will be casting Stun on you for something like 40 more levels or more so you DO NOT need Stun Block for a long time.  I see newbies cast it all the time and it just squanders a turn since it’s useless.  Plus to anybody who knows the game, you’ve just proved you’re clueless 🙂

Who’s Hitting Whom in Battle:  I’ve written before about the wisdom of taking out minions before the boss, so I’ll refer you to that post for advice.  But there are more specifics to consider.

When you enter a battle, on your side of the circle the first position is on the right.  Across the circle the first position is on your left.  If you’re in a boss fight in Wizard City that’s always where the Boss is (this really changes as you level up through other worlds).  If you Team Up and there are four of you there will be four opponents.

If everyone enters the circle at the same time, the opponents will generally lob spells at the person in the corresponding position (again this becomes less true as you move into higher worlds but holds throughout Wizard City).  In other words, if you’re in the second spot, the opponent just to the right of the Boss will focus his attacks on you.  So the smartest move to save yourself is to take out the minion who’s focused on you.

There are exceptions to how they attack.  If one person jumps in first and the others are delayed getting in the circle,  all opponents initially lob their attacks at the first person.  Also, if someone hits one of them with damage, that one (and sometimes one or more of his friends) will hit back at the one who damaged him.  So for instance if the person in third position attacks the second position minion, the second position guy will likely lob something at the one in third.

Stay aware that when you attack you attract damage.  And if you attack someone other than the minion opposite you, you’re probably going to be attacked by both the one opposite and the one you attacked.  Same for the theory about hitting the boss.  If you hit the boss, the boss is likely to hit you and if you’re not in first position you’ll probably be taking hits from the minion opposite you as well.  Think twice about attacking anybody but the one opposite to you until you’ve defeated that one.

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Okay, those are my battle tips for newly minted wizards in Wizard City.

Save

Training Points — thoughts at the end of the free buy-back

KI surprised me late last week by announcing another free training points buy back for members just a few months after they had the first one.  I assumed it would be at most a twice a year event.

The first time I felt there were just a few of my earlier wizards who needed to be revamped.  But in the meantime, I’ve been rethinking the training points so this time I actually wound up trading them in for several wizards on my two membership accounts.

If I knew they would keep periodically offering the free buy-back I might actually change my strategy to get one set of spells in the early stages, then buy them back for free and get a slightly different set for later on.  I’ve also reached the point that my two highest level wizards have training points I’m not bothering to use.

Here are a few of the ways I’m currently using the points:

For Life, I start off working on getting Tower Shield.  Since I don’t use the Ice damage cards and the first two are damage, I wait until I have 3 points and can pick up the Volcanic Shield (order of spells:  Frost Beetle, Snow Serpent, Volcanic Shield), then wait until I have two more, to get Evil Snowman and Tower Shield.

The usual advice is to get Death to Feint.  I eventually get there, but I don’t see a big need for Feint before the end of Marleybone or the Onis in Mooshu.  Beyond Ghoul, which I sometimes get for low-level wizards, using Death spells for non-Death wizards isn’t worth the pips they take, especially once you start getting some power pips.  So, other than Dream Shield (shields against Life and Myth), which I DO sometimes pick up as well, I wait to use any more training points on Death until I’m farther along.

For non-Life wizards, my first concern is usually to pick up Life spells because I really want Sprite in my arsenal as soon as I can get it.  Some wisdom says to take Life to Satyr, and I followed that advice at first.  I’ve since decided Satyr isn’t worth it if you’re not Life because of the pips (see more about why here).

After I quit going to Satyr, for a while I went to Spirit Armor.  I’m getting so I don’t want to use up three pips (or more if there are power pips) for that either, so for several wizards I’d taken to Spirit Armor, I bought back the points and just took them to Sprite as I redid their points.  On the way to Sprite you also pick up Legend Shield (shields against Death and Myth).

Once I’ve gotten non-Life wizards to Sprite, I turn my attention to Ice, getting all the spells to Tower Shield.  The nice thing is you get Volcanic Shield (shields against Fire and Storm) on the way to Tower.  Some people get Fire to Glacial Shield (Storm and Snow) as well.

I always buy Gobblestone’s Pendant (Fire shield), Greebly’s Gemstone (Snow Shield) and Rotunda’s Torc (Storm shield) amulets ASAP, so once I have Volcanic Shield for my deck I can put on the Greebly’s Gemstone and shield against Snow, Fire and Storm with a combo of the spell and the amulet so I don’t get Glacial Shield.

After I’ve got those basics, I pick up Reshuffle when I hit level 22 and, depending on the wizard’s school, either the Spirit or Elemental blades and traps at the appropriate levels (traps at level 20, blades level 25).  After those I go back to working on Death to Feint.

You can use Feint TCs and there’s some equipment (including Pets) that gives Feint so it isn’t a necessity.  I don’t ever use it unless I’m up against a boss (or three 🙂 ).  I keep changing my mind about it, but right now, having realized that later on I won’t be using all the training points, I’ve gone back to getting it.

Once I get Feint I start saving training points until I get to Celestia and can start collecting some Star and Sun spells.  My level 70+ wizards have some points just sitting there, because I haven’t wanted all the Star and Sun spells and I’m not interested in the Moon spells.

If I knew that the free buy back would happen a few times a year, I’d start everybody off taking Life to Spirit Armor and possibly get a couple of shields from Sabrina Greenstar and then do the buyback when they’re a little higher.  On the second round I wouldn’t use points for shields and I’d get Life just to Sprite.

I don’t play PvP but I know they have their own strategies so check elsewhere if you want advice on using training points for PvP.  I’ve also quit choosing a “secondary school”, which I explained here.

Strategies about training points become more clear as you go higher and are different depending on whether you spend time on PvP or PvE.  These free buy backs are a great opportunity KI has started offering; you can make some mistakes and get a chance to re-do once you understand more.  After you get more than a few, buying back the points with Crowns becomes VERY pricey so keep an eye out for these free buy-back offers and use them well.

Using Training Points

When I first started playing I didn’t have a clue what training points were or what they were for.  I’d open a menu with a list of stuff, it would say I could get a spell — I didn’t know how the 1 or 2/point(s) I could spend got there or what I should do with it.

Then I started doing research on training points and their use and found all kinds of people dispensing advice about which secondary school is best for each school — and an apparent assumption that you should have a second school.  So I picked schools for some of my early wizards and got all the available spells. I fairly quickly realized there’s little point in having a secondary school in the sense of being a wizard trained in two schools.

First of all,you can’t go high enough to be really trained in any school but your own; and a lot of the best spells from a given school are only available to wizards of the school.

Second, after the early levels –essentially once you’re getting very many power pips, so by late Krokotopia or early Marleybone–I found I didn’t want to be losing power pips by lobbing spells that weren’t from my school.  Even in Treasure Cards I mainly buy or keep spells from my wizard’s school or zero pip spells. Most of the spells not only require picking up all the spells that come before, but also require being a certain level so you can plan your points partly based on what you can get at what level.  I like to get Life to Sprite first because I find the healing especially useful in the lower levels when that Health globe is pretty small.

Later I ran into people (many of them PvP players) who talked about getting Life to Satyr, Ice to Tower Shield, and Death to Feint; some also add Balance to Weakness.  Then from various trainers, Reshuffle, the Spirit Blade/Trap or Elemental Blade/Trap, and eventually some of the Star and Sun School spells, .   If you search enough you’ll run into other suggestions but first ones mentioned are the main three I encountered often.  So I bought back training points and started working on that theory.

By and large I’ve found it useful to aim for just certain spells from different schools.  The bad news is you wind up with a bunch of spells you don’t want and will rarely if ever use because of having to buy spells with training points in order.  For instance, you use five training points to get Tower Shield.  I find the Volcanic Shield (shields against Fire and Storm) you get along the way to be quite useful but I pretty much never put any of the Ice damage spells in my deck.

I don’t play PvP so my advice from here is strictly for PvE players.

You get some decent shields along the way to Feint and Satyr too.  I’ve by and large quit going all the way to Satyr and Feint, but MANY wizards would disagree with me.  I’ve mentioned before, I’m not in love with Satyr–uses four pips and if you’re not a Life wizard and don’t have a Life Mastery Amulet, it might use as many as 8 pips if you have four power pips when you cast it.  I do like Spirit Armor, particularly to shield a minion so I train Life to there.  But many just train Life to Sprite.

I’m also less convinced of the need for Feint than some.  While it’s definitely useful against a Boss with lots of health, I’m not crazy about the extra damage it creates for me and I don’t find that I need it for Mobs or Bosses’ Minions. I grow lots of Evil Magma Peas, which drop Feint Treasure Cards pretty copiously so at this point for some of my wizards, I just rely on the TCs when I want Feint.

For low level wizards, I do find Ghoul can be very useful.  Only uses two pips and when you still don’t have much health it can be very handy to deal some damage and restore some health at the same time.  I also like Dream Shield (shields against Life and Myth), which is the third one for Death. So for most wizards I train Death to Dream Shield.

For some wizards I’ve gone on up to Vampire.  At four pips, it becomes a big challenge to your power pips when you get a bit higher, but that do-damage-and-get-a-bunch-of-health-back thing is pretty nice.  (But then Death is my favorite school…).  And, if you’re Life, Myth or Balance, once you get Spirit Blade and Trap, you can really do some damage and get a great health boost with Vampire.  For a while in KT and MB, it’s pretty useful.

Getting to Feint is seven training points and you wind up with a bunch of Death spells you probably won’t need.  If you need it at all, it’s really at higher levels, so I think it’s worth waiting until later and using training points for things that are more useful to you below level 50.

I like to have the Tower Shields so I generally train Ice to Tower but my Evil Magma Peas drop tons of Tower Shield TCs so I could just as easily rely on those and stop at Volcanic Shield.

I don’t much favor Weakness as I’d rather shield myself against 70-85% of damage instead of casting Weakness, which reduces one enemy’s next damage spell by 25%.  Since the shields are cast on myself, I’m protected no matter who lobs the spell.  I’m not a big fan of Balance spells and, again, mostly don’t like wasting my pips on spells from other schools, so I wouldn’t use anything else. I don’t ever train any Balance except Reshuffle and the Spirit or Elemental Blades and Traps.

I don’t wind up using Reshuffle often–and I’ve had it fail to restore my deck–but when I really need it and it works, it’s great to have.  You get it from Mildred Farseer, who’s down the steps to the left from Mindy Pixiecrown.  If you start running out of cards, for four pips (another power pip eater as it’s a Balance spell) you can get back your whole deck.  When you face opponents who keep thwarting you with shields and Weakness, etc. so that you waste more cards than usual, it’s a great save.

You can get a free shield for your own school from Sabrina Greenstar in the Mini Game Faireground in Wizard City.  It’s not really worth spending a training point to get the others.  You can get shields against most schools when you train the above spells.  You can also get amulets that provide shields:  Gobblestone’s Pendant gives 3 Fire shields, Greebly’s Gemstone gives 3 Snow shields, Rotunda’s Torc gives 3 Storm shields, Nebit’s Locket of Whimsy gives 3 Myth shields.  They’re available at the amulet shop in Krokotopia and if you’re patient you can get them at the Bazaar before you get to KT.

At this point most of my wizards over level 40 have a few training points hanging around — which is nice when you get to Celestia and want those Star and Sun spells.  (I don’t like polymorph so I don’t waste points on Moon, but you might want some of those too).

Training Points and Free Buy Back

Kingsisle has a “limited time” offer to let all wizards buy back their training points for free.  It doesn’t give an ending date and I can’t find even a mention of this on the KI site so not sure how much time you have.

On my first account I made some mistakes with training points and for a couple of wizards I paid to buy back points already.  For one I still wound up changing my mind about what to do so I took advantage of the free buy back yesterday to start her over and she now has a bunch of extra training points after getting all the spells I wanted.

I’ve been planning a couple of posts about training points that will be a little more detailed.  For now, the main thing I finally understood is that you’re really not looking to get a second school.  There’s lots of info out there that assumes you want or need to pick a particular second school to train.

I started off not understanding training points at all and just buying every spell I encountered if I had a point — didn’t even get how the points arrived at first.  Then after doing some research, I was fooled by all the discussions in the wiki about “which secondary school” to pick and I worked at making choices and getting the spells.  I’ve wound up sorry about any choices I made to get all the spells from a particular school.

First of all, you get way more training points than you can use at just one other school.   Second, I think you really just want to train various schools to certain points in order to get specific spells.  More about why in future posts.

Most people for instance, want to train Ice to Tower Shield.  I’ve done it for pretty much all my wizards who are far enough along to have gotten all the Life spells I wanted.  I don’t use any of the Ice damage spells.  The Volcanic Shield that you get on the way to Tower is a nice addition when you’re facing Storm or Fire creatures and their giant spells.

Other specific spells most go for are Death to Feint and Life to Satyr, and Reshuffle from Mildred Farseer.  Then most people get some or all of the Star and Sun School spells when they get there.  Some like the Moon School polymorph spells.  Personally I was sorry I wasted a point on one so that was part of what I fixed in the free buy back.

This is a really nice opportunity to fix your deck, get rid of spells you’re sorry you got, pick up any you could’t get for lack of points, etc.  Since they’re not telling us when it ends, I’d say get in there and buy back your points ASAP.

Training Points

The information in the game about training points is pretty sparse and I didn’t understand enough about it early on to know what I was doing.  Training points are the way you can get spells outside your school (yours are always free).  It took a while before I figured out that you get a training point automatically at certain levels (every four levels till level 20 and then every five.  There are also quests that give you training points. Prospector Zeke has training point quests on all the early worlds and there are some other characters who offer training point quests.

With my first two wizards I was interested in looking around and checking things out so I kept clicking in places where something or someone would offer me the chance to “buy” a spell for a training point and I’d get it.

Later I realized there are strategies about training points and how to use them. Then I tried out adding different secondary schools for several wizards and getting only spells for those schools.  Some people advocate training a second school up to high levels.  Another strategy has you train death to feint, life to tower shield and varies as to others.  I started off picking one secondary and kept taking it up but I changed strategies later and often let a bunch of training points pile up without using them.

A lot of wizards talk about choosing a secondary as if you’re going to literally have a second school, but you’re really limited as to the spells you can get outside your own school and pips are an issue.  Some people don’t use their training points at all.

If you experiment around with a new wizard about secondary spells you have until level 12 to make up your mind for free if you’ve used no more than three training points.  At level 12 you can go to Mr. Lincoln in Golem and for free erase all your training point spells and start over.  If you have used four training points or more it costs crowns and the higher your level and the more training points the more crowns.

I wound up wasting money having to buy back points for my first two wizards so use some careful strategy with this.  Potentially start several wizards and try a different strategy with each till you get to that level 12 point and don’t use more than three training points.

In future posts I’ll discuss the pip issue that arises with using secondary spells.

These are a few articles I found useful:

https://www.wizard101.com/forum/ravenwood-commons/death-strategy-30153

https://www.wizard101.com/forum/ravenwood-commons/training-point-troubles-8ad6a4183fccffa8013fd68071831e00

http://www.duelist101.com/wizard101-pvp-guides-2/beginner-guides/a-beginners-guide-to-training-points/

http://thefriendlynecromancer.blogspot.com/2010/01/whats-good-secondary-for-death-wizards.html

https://www.wizard101.com/forum/the-dorms/how-to-choose-your-secondary-school-9568