Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Insert clever title here

Heya, peeps!
Finally got around to getting my Harvest Lord, last night, and the timer on the egg finally expired, today, Yay, 'Crow! So, of course, I spent some time, (and a healthy amount of crowns) in the Pet Pavillion, to go get "Lord Harley", (wish they had a 'Harvey'- get it ? "Lord Harvey, the Harvest Lord?). So, this is who I have, now:
Squee! I haz scarecrow! Squee! It has *spritely*! Did I mention "Squee!"

Also, since I had him all leveled, 'n stuff, I swung by the Hatchery, because there's a certain hybrid I just *have* to have, and guess who got lucky on their first hatch attempt?
Shadow Phoenix, T-minus 20 hours.

*sigh* To quote Staples "That was easy", lol.

Now that I have been able to actually participate in Wintertusk, one of the things that has really struck me is how far KingIsle and W101 have come, since "the old days". Particularly, just take a look at how the quality of the terrain maps have improved drastically. From the old "ride on rails" flatlands with 45degree ramps, to the smooth, serpentine pathways of Celestia, and Wintertusk. (lousy wireframe overlay by yours, truly):
Typical of "Old School", in Wizard City. Functional, and skateboard scary.

So much more fluid, and smoother, ins, outs, and fewer sharp angles.

The addition, over time, of things to go over, under, and around, without the feel of running down a perpetual corridor, the feel less of a single, flat plane, give the world a much more overall fluid feel, and much less the idea that the player is running around in a shoebox diorama. So, I have to give KI "props" on their continued advancement.

In regards to continued advancement, I firmly believe that W101 will eventually, (later, if not sooner) unlock the "Z Axis" in The Spir@l.  To simplify: I think we will eventually have true flight, instead of "hovering" mounts. It's really the next logical step, although, admittedly, it would require an exhaustive engine overhaul, or limitation to the next new world. Fly for the Win!

Speaking of New Worlds, (yeah, as if WinterTusk is "old", already, lol), Ever stop to wonder what may be right below your feet, as you run across The Commons? Think about it: there are several buildings that serve no (apparent) purpose, and any one of them could be an access point to a vast underground area (Wizard Mines, anyone?). How to have a new place, without a New World. Combine flight, for "hopping" from ledge to ledge, oooh! And Wizard "Mecha" suit mounts, that didn't go *poof*, when you went into battle, adding (upgradable) combat stats, much like pets, only using Boss Drop parts. "Gee, I have to go back to MooShu, and farm Jade Oni for my Mech Power generator", lol.  Those would be like Ultimate mounts, tailored by School, (and banned from Arena PvP, or course). My artistic abilities are nowhere near enough to illustrate that, lol.

Wow, it's "Feast or Famine" in 'Idea Land', today. Autumn needs LESS coffee.

Be Well!

Monday, May 30, 2011

This is only a test...

...that is, unless it actually works, lol. Fallon deserves 'a little something extra' for this year, so I humbly submit this.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy, 'versary, DoaW!

To my dear, hardworking friend, Fallon Shadowblade, who has put so much of her time, and heart into Diary of A Wizard, and made it a prime Community Resource, I want to publicly offer my sincerest "gratz" on Making it to your 2nd year! Be sure to check out the celebratory announcements here.

Kinda makes me feel "old", lol. I remeber DoaW when it was "new", (and when Petnome was still a "secret project", lol). I remember  the First Anniversary Ball, (crazy busy), and I had made a poster for it. Not really up to my current standards, but for history's sake, here it is:
Long ago, and seemingly worlds away..
If/when a "theme" is announced, I'll probably make Fallon another 'creative' visual plug, lol.

This year, however, things are bigger, and better than ever! Fallon and others are celebrating this Birthday with mega-gifts for YOU! (This post is not an entry, btw, just promoting a friend). Here's the run-down:

Pretty awesome, yes? Of course yes! Be sure to check out all on this post, for the details. Many, including myself, consider this sorta "THE" Social Event of the year, so diligence is warranted in securing your seat.

Gratz, DoaW on Year 2, wishing you many, many more to come!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sultan's Palace Megacard is Official, and Fishy Time!

Yeah, there's a lot of intentional references in the title, but this is about actual reporting of the KI Ravenwood News post:

Count me in, I'm "In the market", as it were
Since we're on the topic, I'd like to point out a Mega Audio , uh, "video", by our friend, and inspiration, Kevin Battleblood, of Petnome and Chillanthropoligist fame. In this (quite lengthy (1hr, 37 min), but worthwhile) dissertation, he covers his viewpoint of the whole SP Brouhaha. He makes many, many valid points, and It's well worth your time to hear him out. He has certainly risen to the occasion, as a Community Leader, and his words should resonate, regardless of which side (if any) you're on.  It also gives a good insight into his thought processes, and gaming history that give us the KBB that we have today. This will be my last reference on the subject, unless the situation warrants differently.

Audio Magnum Opus of Kevin Battleblood.

And let's see, well, it's "old news", but I just wanted to give KI "props" on the new loader.
I think this new loader is a lot slicker, and more indicative of the professional quality that KI represents. Not that the old "default" was bad, but the new loader is sweet. It brings to mind other things, though, which I shall discuss, at length, in a future post. Consider this a "placemarker" for future ideas.

And to end this post on a more hopeful note, I wanted to share a video with you. It's "Old Skool Gaming meets new", in a way. (How many pop cultural/gaming references can you find?):

Watch it, and remember why it is that we're all here. It's for the Love of the Game, and I *still* believe that W101 has the best darn Community, bar none. We are family.The nonogram code word is "cache". Families will squabble, but we're all in this together. It's time for understanding, forgiveness, and unity, now. We need to mend, and move forward.

I call for Fishy Time!

Be Well

Friday, May 27, 2011

My $0.02: Being "KI Official"

There is, apparently, and good deal off commotion over the "release" of the upcoming "Sultan's Palace" Megacard, slated for GameStop. More specifically, I have seen several mentions, in several blogs, regarding a clamor from some entities that were not included in the code disbursement from KI. A bitter outcry about "fairness", and "deserved-ness", and "who gets what".

I find it all so very disappointing, from *our* side, meaning we, the fansite community, rather than  KingsIsle's..
Not so very long ago, we were ALL neck deep in free giveaways for Mount Week, were we not? Did not KingsIsle shower us all with free codes? They were more than generous. If there's going to be such division over a virtual item (or set of items), I hereby publicly authorize KingsIsle to remove the Sultan's Palace item set from my account, and I will go straight to GameStop, and buy the card, anyway. It's a virtual item, and regardless how "splendiferous" a virtual item is, it makes it no more real. Certainly not worthy of strife. By focusing on "getting stuff", we are no longer being fansites for, what I consider, "The right reasons".

Blogging W101 isn't about any perceived "perks". We do it because we love it. Is it time to re-visit why we want to be bloggers? For my part, it certainly isn't for "fame". I've seen what that gets you, in-game, and want no part of it. I know there has to be more than one "famous" blogger that enjoys the "appear offline" setting that released with Wintertusk.

Part of blogging W101 is about feature reviews, and upcoming previews. Look at Wintertusk, when it hit Test Realm. Well before it went "live", it already had received almost full documentation by all the major sites. Even *not* being able* to play in Test was documented, as well. By the time WT was "live", it was almost "old news". That's what we do. We report, all from our unique perspectives. We let readers know what to expect, and what to look forward to.

KI has first, and final word on who gets "The Nod", the stamp of Official. If KI revoked HiaG's "Official" status tommorow, it's entirely their right to do so, and no amount of ranting or raving on my part could change it. The whole question of domains, and sites, and officialdom isn't "new", it's been in place a good while. I've been writing HiaG (on and off, admittedly) since 2009. I often wonder why KI keeps me around. I'm not always Miss Congeniality, for sure. I'm a bit of a Black Sheep, in the fansite community..that's my niche.
Being "Official" means a set of Standards and Expectations, and whether or not KI keeps you "in the loop" is entirely their domain to do so. What they see fit to give, or not give, is also a decision that's entirely theirs.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to drop the "official" stamp, altogether. To misquote Friendly's favorite quote: "When nobody's  special, then everyone's special". W101 is far from being the fledgling start-up it once was. It has no need of the grassroots viral advertising that the blogging community provides. The small, family-support feel of the blogging community has devolved into something I don't quite recognize, anymore. Sure, keep TFN, and Petnome, DoaW, and other communtiy service sites, but if the "opinion/editorial" niche is oversaturated now, then maybe nobody, except KI, should be Official. It won't keep *me* from blogging, to be sure, whether I'm 'official', or not, (unless , of course , there's an "Intellectual Property" injunction).

And to show I'm not just blogging words, I ask now, publicly, to KI, to please remove my Sultan's Palace item set from my account. I appreciate KI's opportunity to report on it, and I hope I've done it justice, and helped generate interest for future purchases, but I will purchase it, privately.

The bitterness that evolved from KI's gracious gift, by our own community,  has left a sour taste in my mouth. I will, of course, further support KingsIsle, and W101, and re-acquire the card, via GameStop, at my earliest opportunity. Because when Nobody's 'special", everyone is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Al, tell the people who's "full of WIN"...

Well, it's still "new". though many fine blogs have reported on it , but "Who's full of WIN?" :
"Yes, that's right, Al, KingIsle is full of Win!"
Putting the MASSIVE in MFP, the New upcoming Sultan's Palace Megacard is full of WIN.
Good thing you get a Magic Carpet..you'll need it.
Coming with a Castle Elixer potion, (meaning you lose no previous housing), the New Sultan's Palace is gonna be a Krokotopian Decorator's Dream! So exquisite in it's details, it's vaulted ceilings, and it's mural..(and yes, it comes with a Dueling Circle, as well)..
Not just a pretty picture, but a CLUE
Yes, this mural is less of a decoration, and more a direction. If you look for it, you can find
The Cave Of Wonders (ya, I know, it's a joke, k?)
Instead of some creepy-cool Desert Cat Head, you can visit this cave, daily, and receive rewards from your own geniee..offf..the..laaaaaamp!
*Not* Robin Williams. Way too severe, lol.
This place even comes with it's own teasing mirage:
Get close? It goes *poof*. So..much..treasure...
I really appreciate the interior, as well.
Massive, spacious, and airy. "It's good to be the Sultan!"

This new megacard comes with Castle Elixer, Magic Carpet Mount, Snake-in-a-basket pet, Sultans's robes (Tier select 1-6 set), and Enchanted Flute (Tier select 1-6). I recolored my set, straight away, because magenta and teal are not my colors:

KingIsle's new Sultan's Palace? Pure win. MUST GET.

How does a Genie and a Magic Carpet mount spend time when, you're not there?

Be Well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Please stand by

Heya, peeps

Been rather "low profile", for a bit (a 'fortnight', as horsegal so aptly put) .Part of it has been technical difficulties, on blogger's part, but mostly, it's been the wiring in my own head. It just seems that everything technical, around the internet, whether it be out favorite MMO, gaming network service, social and shopping sites, or even wikipedia has been subject to technical outages, whether it be by programming error, or malicious intention. It's really been kinda a downer.

I'm happy that WinterTusk is live now, but somehow it seems a bit, I dunno, rushed. I found out who it was that was hard crashing my laptop in GH, it was Nick Jonas. Told ya it was a Disney Artist, didn't I? So, what do you think, is this a "one-off" promotional thing, like Selena's "Hit-and-run" for her music career, or will there be more substantial involvement?

All of it's just given me pause, so I've been hiding in a place only two other W101 bloggers know where to find me, and shall remain unnamed. It's my "new" secondary, 'though I've had an account over 5 years with them, but that's not why I'm blogging here, today.I'm here to offer a word of warning, to KingsIsle, because I love them.
"Have I got a business arrangement for you"
 Beware the Dreaded D

Be very wary of Disney. They have a long, 'illustrious' career of buying up media entities, and slappping the "Dreaded D" on it. Why, look at The Muppets, in "Muppet Treasure Island", there was a scene where a talking lobster asked "What's next? A singing, dancing mouse with his own amusement park?". Now that movie has been hit with the Dreaded D. Same for many other companies, shows, and media sources.. A lot of people aren't aware of just how *truly* monstrously large Disney really is. Covering video, music, radio, television, in addition to every Disney sellable 'product'. It is *the* behemoth in kid's media, and what it can't produce, it tries to buy. "From cradle to graduation, and beyond", Disney has a production line of media to guide their toddler, pre-teen, teen, and beyond audiences to consume their product. It's diabolically effective, and contrary to the purity of W101, who are distinctly *less* marketing-minded.

Disney doesn't have a really good, successful MMO,( I've tried them) and W101 is far more successful than their Disney's own meager "ToonTown", making KingsIsle "courtable", And business arrangements that put Disney's tentacles into the mix is one step closer to potential business ties which could kill the W101 we all know and love.` Since Disney has it's own MMO's *why* would they want to be involved with "The Competition"? Yeah, yeah, I know "different Corporate Departments", and all, but why would anyone support anyone who competes against "The Home Team"?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Just not a good idea.
There's much more I could go on about, but you get the gist of it.

Be Well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cash, Crowns and Cards.

Hey there, "Graveyarders".

I was slowly killing time, at work, looking for things to look at, and I found this hypnotically cool video:

I actually find this soothing, how odd is that?

And, in a strange way, it got me to thinking...

"Uh, oh, Autumn..where's this going?"

Well, it's little surprise that I love W101, right? I mean, it's the reason you and I even met, in the first place, right? Virtual friends in a virtual world. But what if *some* of it wasn't so virtual? Not the friends part, (for safety), but parts of the game, itself?

KI is plenty busy, with WT and and the announced (and as yet unannounced) changes, updates, and features. However, I am actually quite surprised, (and probably a little impressed), that KI hasn't gone down the Massive Marketing Avenue. Sure, they have their Zazzle Products,  but that feels more like "Swag" stuff.
Wizard 101 is a card game, all else aside, like many, many "Collectible Card Games" before it, long before the advent of the MMORPG. So, in this mega-marketed world, where are they?

Crowns on sale. Wintertusk coming.  Stock up now! Buy some cards!
Any time you pop open the crowns shop, you can buy virtual, foil-wrapped card sets: Hand of Doom, Eye of Bartleby, Remarkable Reagents,Mega Snack Packs, ect, ect.,but where are their "real life" counterparts? Even Freindly took a stab at W101 IRL cards, so I seriously doubt he and I are the only ones who have ever thought about it.

Check out this video, of rare Foil and Holographic cards, (from Pokemon), and tell me KI couldn't beat that with a W101 version:

"DO WANT" for Wizard 101

Foil and Holographic cards just scream "magic", to me, "Epic" is a word I seldom use (for it's overuse), but can you imagine how truly EPIC a Wizard 101 "Wraith" Lenticular card would be? I would wear that as a fashion accessory! Not sure what "lenticular" looks like? Check out this video, and you'll say "Oh, yeah..that!"

Mmm..Lenticular, almost-Wraithy goodness!
Imagine it, instead , as a school-specific cast animation, Where your school logo, or favorite spell animation flashed before your eyes, sans monitor, in your hands.

With all the lore, and gorgeous graphics of The Spir@l at their disposal, KI would have more than enough to work with. And W101 has more than enough avid players.Why what if every card was guaranteed to be "foil", at minimum? KingsIsle could "set the bar" for other TCG's, where the foil cards are the "common" ones, with Holographic being "uncommon", and Lenticular being "Rare". What would it be like to hold, in your hand, a gold-foiled "treasure" card? I could just see it now: shady guys standing out in Boston Common yelling "Treasure Cards for Codes!", lol. Such is my fevered imagination. 

I'm not saying they have to go create a table game, (would be nice, though), but just being able to buy some *actual* W101 cards is something I'd consider dropping some cash or crowns on.

Be Well