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Friday, December 31, 2010

Music Video Contest

Hey everyone. That's right. It's time to put out all those details about my contest.

As many of you know, I'm going to be creating a Wizard101 music video to celebrate the release of Celestia. You have decided we will use the song "Saltwater Room" by Owl City. I will be using the 'Ocean Eyes' version.

"Blaze, how do I enter?"

Simple, Inquiring Reader ,

How Do I Enter:

All you have to do is post a comment on this post (or any of my posts in the future up until the contest is closed.) with your name and some way for me to contact you if you are chosen to be in the video. (Wizard101 Central Username, e-mail, diary of a wizard, etc)

I will be using Random.Org to choose the winners, so there is no controversy about if it's bias or not. If there is a smaller number of people that enter, I might do small auditions.

My only requirement is that you know the words to the song. YOU DO NOT NEED ACCESS TO CELESTIA TO BE IN THE VIDEO. This way anyone can be in the video.

Male Singer
Female Singer
10 Dancers (5 of each if possible.)

Ok, that's pretty much everything. Here's the song, so you guys can practice some more. ;) 

The lyrics to the song are in the video description.

Thanks guys. Please pass this post on to your friends if you think they'd like to enter.

Happy Gaming

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas, Gardening, and [Music Video] Preview (CONTEST PART 1)

Hey guys. Sorry I haven't been blogging for a long time. I wasn't allowed to use my computer.

Anyway. I'm here to let you all know that I missed you very much and to get all my blogging needs out of my system after being bottled up for about two weeks. :)

While I was gone, the gardening feature went live. Now, before I give you all the info on how to garden and whatnot, I just want to rant a little.

One of the many reasons I like love Wizard101 is because it's not one of those games that you have to go one every single day  and get your stupid daily bonuses or what have you. Putting this feature into the game is just going to turn Wizard101 into just another 'Webkinz.' (Not that Webkinz wasn't a ton of fun for about a year in 4th grade. It just got really old really fast.) I just don't want that to happen to Wizard101. It doesn't deserve to go in the Gaming Graveyard and be put in the same category as.... x shudder x Neopets.

I understand that you don't HAVE to have a garden, but I mean it's cool and another way to interact with our housing.

"But, Blaze. How could we make gardening a better feature and not have Wizard101 be a 'Boring Everday' kind of game?"

Well, my Inquiring Reader, simple. Just create an option so that the timer for your plants' needs only runs while you are logged onto the game. That way, our plants don't die while we sleep, or have to go to school, do homework, etc.

So, after that, here's your newsletter on the 'Feature Which Shall Not Be Named.'

Hello everyone! Professor Moolinda Wu here and I'm excited to tell you all about a new feature in the Spiral: Gardening! To get started on your path to a greener thumb, come visit me in my classroom in Ravenwood if you are level 12 or higher.

Students at Ravenwood can plant and grow amazing plants in their Dorms and Castles! Wizards of all schools can garden, so my hope is that every student will learn the joy of shepherding new life!

A plant's journey of life begins as a seed. There are many types of seeds, each with a different destiny. With enough energy, you can prepare soil of your choice in your Castle (if you have one) or a planter in your dorm. Then you can place the seed into the readied soil. After a time, it will begin to grow. You can shepherd its growth through spells and other means of caring for it, creating an environment for it to thrive.

After you've planted your seed, it starts to grow, from seed to seedling, young plant, mature plant to elder. You can use a number of helpful spells to usher it along as it grows, keeping it healthy and happy. Once you have planted a seedling, either in a plot or in a pot, it cannot be moved.

  This is a seedling, the youngest phase of life for a plant. You will need Energy to plant a seed in a planter or the ground. After a seed is planted, you can use plant growth spells on it to help it flourish. Plants require some things to thrive and survive: water, sunshine, pollination, magic and even music.

  This is a young plant, in its next stage of life after seedling. You can observe your plant's growth visually and you can move your cursor over your plant to Inspect it. This provides you with information about your plant's health and needs. You can also affect your plant by using some simple spells: The Plow spell allows you to remove a plant or dirt pile, if you wish to do so. The Revive spell allows you to transform a dead plant into a new seedling, ready to grow once more.
  This is a mature plant, in the fullness of its growth. When a plant becomes mature, it can be harvested. You can harvest a plant by interacting with it. Each type of plant yields a different harvest: reagents, pet snacks, gold, treasure cards, or more seeds! You can harvest from a plant as long as it's in its mature stage of life. When a plant is in its mature stage that doesn’t mean that you can harvest it right away or that it’s continually harvestable. It means that once every day or so it will be harvestable so long as it’s in that mature state.

  This is an elder plant, the final stage of a plant's life cycle. Many plants won't reach this stage! An elder plant can be harvested one final time, with much greater possible rewards. Once an elder plant is harvested, it disappears and cannot be revived.

I'm sad to say that gardening isn't all nurturing and happiness. Plants can be endangered by some very real threats.

  This plant is wilting. It will die before too long if it is not taken care of. Plants can die if their needs are not met, if they are in surrounded by things they dislike, or if they are killed by pests. Plants have likes and dislikes, things that encourage or discourage their growth. A plant's likes are things it enjoyes being near. These can include other types of plants or gardening items. A plant will flourish if it is near things that it likes, while things it dislikes will cause it to become unhealthy. An important part of gardening is learning how to arrange your plants, and create a healthy garden for them.

  This plant is dead. Now all that can be done is to plow it over, or to revive it. The greatest threat to plants are pests. Pests can infest a plant and hinder its growth. If pests are not eliminated, eventually the plant will begin to wilt and die. When a plant is infested by pests, it cannot be harvested. To eliminate pests, you must use pest fighting spells. To eliminate a pest, the spell must be of high enough rank. You can purchase pest fighting spells from vendors throughout the Spiral, or even win them as treasures. It's a sorry state to see plants doing so poorly, but it's important to know what risks there are when gardening.

"But, Blaze. How do I garden?"

Let's find out.

Where do I get Seeds?
You can get seeds from gardening vendors throughout the Spiral. Farley is the gardening vendor in Wizard City's Golem Court, look for his cousins Marley, Charley and Harley in other worlds. You can also earn seeds as rewards through defeating enemies in magic duels, or get them in other ways.

How do I Plant?
  To prepare an area for planting outdoors in your Castle, you must cast a soil preparation spell. Soil preparation spells cost Energy. To garden in your dorm room or an indoor space in your Castle, you must buy a planter from the gardening vendor. There are different sizes and types of plants, but some types of plants cannot be planted indoors.

When you're ready to plant a seed in prepared soil or a planter, you must select the seed from your Gardening panel then select the location. This places the chosen seed into the soil or planter, where it can begin to grow.

Plants require attention to grow in the form of plant growing spells. All plants have needs that must be met, and plant growing spells fulfill those needs for a period of time. Plants needs include water, sunlight, pollination, music and magic. Plant growing spells cost Energy to cast, and are cast through the garden interface in your home.

  Plants have likes & dislikes, conditions that can help them grow or hinder their development. A plant will grow faster if it is surrouned by things it likes, and it will grow slower if it is surrounded by things it dislikes.  You can learn what a plant likes or dislikes by using the Inspect spell on it.

Plants go through several stages as they grow, from seed to seedling to young plant to mature plant to elder plant. Once a plant is mature, you can harvest it by interacting with it. A plant can be harvested repeatedly until it reaches the elder stage. Harvesting yields rewards such as reagents, pet snacks, gold, treasure cards or other seeds. When a plant reaches the elder stage, it can be harvested only one more time. This harvest will yield the greatest rewards. After this, the elder plant will disappear.

Gardening Tools
  Utility spells are useful for many aspects of gardening. The plow spell removes a targeted plant or dirt pile. The Inspect spell lets you look at a targeted plant's characteristics and progress. The Revive spell lets you turn a plant that has died into a young plant of the same type. 

Plants can sometimes suffer from pests. Pests are annoying critters that will cause it to wilt and die if they are not dealt with. To get rid of pests, you will need to cast the appropriate pest fighting spell. Different types of pests require different types of spells. Pests are ranked and require spells equal to or greater than their rank.
  If you have a high enough gardening rank, you can cast pest prevention spells to keep pests away from your garden. You can buy pest fighting and pest prevention spells from certain trainers throughout the Spiral, you can buy them at the Crown shop or you can earn them through treasure rewards.  Each plant differs by how easy they are to garden, how long they take to grow and mature and how long they live.

As you continue to garden you will earn gardening experience through successfully harvesting plants. There are 10 ranks of gardening:

  1. Novice
  2. Neophyte
  3. Apprentice
  4. Initiate
  5. Intermediate
  6. Journeyman
  7. Expert
  8. Adept
  9. Master
  10. Grandmaster
The types of seeds you can plant may be restricted, requiring a minimum gardening rank. Additionally, some kinds of gardening equipment and spells require minimum gardening rank to use.\

"Is that all that's been added to Wizard101, Blaze?"

No, my friends! there's more!

Celestian Furniture
Yes you read that correctly! Celestian Furniture has come to the Spiral, as well as recipes for furniture from our newest underwater world!

Keyboard Shortcuts
The Keyboard Shortcut to enable/disable the Quest Tracker has changed from T to CTRL-T. This should prevent many young Wizards from accidentally disabling their Quest Tracker when attempting to chat.

Menu Chat
New phrases have been added to Menu Chat, including a quick 'You're Welcome' for our very polite Wizards!

No Trade Items
No Trade and No Auction stats have been removed from many Celestia items.

Zombie pets will no longer be stuck swimming.
The Myth Imp pet spell is now properly casting to dispel both Life and Death spells.
The Seraph pet's card will no longer show damage to all enemies.
Pets with 'May Cast Trap' will no longer be casting those traps on their owners!

Since your Energy is shared by both Pets and Gardening, Max Energy has been increased. Energy now begins at 40 at level 1, and increases by 1 at each even-numbered level.
References to Pet Energy are now just "Energy".

The Final Countdown quest can now be completed by a solo player. There is no longer a timer to activate the power crystals and there is also no longer a timer for the two set of creatures that trigger the doors to be opened that are right before Malistaire's room.

Crowns Shop
When an item is on sale in the Crowns Shop, you will now see both the full price with a strikethrough and the sale price, so you can see how much you are saving.

Players should no longer see their names change when they use a Polymorph spell.

Treasure Cards
Polymorph Treasure Cards now have level requirements and will not be received as rewards for duels.

Mildred Farseer has something interesting for you!
Helping Hands will now heal on the first round, and resurrect fallen players.

Mounts can now be used in the Spiral Chambers of Marleybone and MooShu.

Equipment, furniture, pet snack, treasure card and transmute recipes have been added to Celestia!

Heavy Dining Table can be placed in more locations now.

Sandstone and Sunstone can now be found on bosses in The Solar District and the Trial of the Spheres.  

The one of those that excites me most is the 'Helping Hand' spell change. As all my fellow sorcerers out there know, when you cast the spell, it would heal the next round, not on the round casted. Also, you were able to cast on fallen players, but since it healed the next round, it would disappear before then and do nothing. But, now with this update, I'll finally be able to heal a significant amount without treasures or amulets. (I do have an amulet with a Seraph and Satyr on it. Just can't equip it yet. It's level 56, and I'm like 52.) So that's really cool.

Polymorphs. We won't get to see Arlen as [Can't remember. Need to check picture] anymore.


Celestian furniture! Huge deal with that! So pumped! I can make the main room of my house a sick Celestian room now! I love it. 

Level requirements for polymorphs! So awesome! Now we don't have to deal with those crazy kids running around PvP with 9 billion health. (I've never actually seen that happen, I'm just assuming it did.)

'The Final Countdown' can now be solo-ed. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean, a huge part of the "Malistaire's Lair" event of the game was getting together with your friends and banning together to fight this huge powerful wizard boss. But, now that it's not required. I don't know if that takes away some of the significance of that battle. I mean, sure, it will be a huge challenge to solo and I'm sure some players were itching for that to be possible, but I'm not sure. Let me know what you guys think.

Oh, before I forget. I can't post any pictures yet, so just be patient. I got a new computer for Christmas and all my files haven't been transferred over yet, so I can't really post any of the pictures that I have locked up in the Picture Vault, just yet.

And by one vote. The song choice for my Wizard101 Celestia music video will be:

[Drumroll Troll]

The Saltwater Room by Owl City.

Great choice, everyone.

Here's the runners up and the song:

Under The Sea - The Little Mermaid - 2 votes
Umbrella Beach - Owl City - 2 votes
Everything Is Not What It Seems - Selena Gomez - 1 vote
Magical - Selena Gomez - 1 vote
Magic Carpet Ride - KSM - 1 vote
Magic - Selena Gomez - 1 vote

The following songs received no votes:

Part of Your World (Little Mermaid) - Miley Cyrus
Part of Your World (Little Mermaid) - Jessica Simpson
Part of Your World (Little Mermaid) - Skye Sweetnam
Bottom of The Ocean - Miley Cyrus
Magic - Honor Society
Magic - Meaghan Martin
Strange Magic - Steve Rushton
Disappear - Selena Gomez
You Can Do Magic - Drew Seeley
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - Mitchell Musso
Some Call It Magic - Raven Symoné

I will be using the 'Ocean Eyes' version, just because that's the one that I have. (If you guys would rather me use the 'Maybe I'm Dreaming' version, just let me know, and I can do that instead.)

I will be needing two singers for the video. (And a few dancers. About 5.) I'll get 3 understudies for dancing / singing because as we all know, time gets in the way 99% of the time.

So. If you want to enter in the contest. Just post a comment in this post. and the next post I will make which will be all about the video. Thanks. :)

(As always, click to make the pictures bigger.)

Happy Gaming