Countdown/Contact Information

Questions/Comments/Suggestions/Complaints/Squabbles/Issues/Feedback of any kind? E-mail me HERE.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I know it's a bit early, but I wanted to take this time to tell you all to be safe, have fun, and come back from wherever you go in one piece. 2012 won't be the same without each and every one of you. There are many parties to attend tonight in our fair Spiral and I hope you'll check them out (unless you have plans in reality like I do!).   I'll be at a dance from 8:30 tonight until about 12:30 this morning, with breakfast to follow. Since 12:30 here is only 10:30 on the West Coast, maybe I'll drop in and say hello to party the rest of the night with the West Coast crew! Ya never know.

Remember: Don't drink and drive (unless it's a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers ;) )

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, December 23, 2011

Post-Party Post

First of all, thank you to everyone who came out last night! It was a great time. Secondly, a huge thank you to Connor Mistblade for his kind contribution of a Candy Cane Mount to the winner of the G+ Contest! Awesome!

Then for our contest winners! All prizes have already been distributed!

From Hide'N'Seek (Blogger): Morgrim Trollfriend
From Pet Scavenger Hunt (G+): Flint Stormtail
From Hidden Fairy Colony (Twitter): Connor Mistblade
From Costume Contest (Facebook): Elijah Stormheart

Congratulations to all of the winners!

I'm exhausted right now (haven't slept yet) so I'm going to bed NOW. Have a great day, I'll be sleeping in.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blogger Contest Rules

Short post here. Just dropping off the picture for everyone! It has the complete details for the contest being hosted through Blogger.

I'll also be posting here and removing the countdown post that will appear above when I have been found!

Can't wait to see everyone!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

P.S. The image from the last post now serves 2 purposes. The links have been reworked to the corresponding contest announcements. The short URLs are still directly to my profile for the given website!

P.S.S Contest Update I have been found by Morgrim Trollfriend!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Contest Info

While I'm not publishing full details for all contests yet (expect that by Wednesday) I have started releasing bits and pieces. This image should provide information on where to find full contest information (since all 4 have different host locations!)
Blogger Facebook Twitter Google+

The image should be mapped to allow you to click different parts to take you to the different locations. If it doesn't work, I have provided short URLs for each page to make navigating and finding me fast and simple.

Hmm. And I forgot to say "hello" at the beginning. Hi! 

And now Goodbye for now. 

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Extravaganza Updates

The port bus will arrive in the Lincoln Area 1 Myth Tower at 7:55 CST, and the party will begin at 8. The countdown will activate at 8, as well, and give a nice big reminder to everyone where exactly the port bus will be! Contest times are subject to change and as such are not yet posted. You'll need to track me down on G+, Twitter, and Facebook in order to participate in all 4 contests! If you are too young to participate in G+, the contest will still be posted there publicly so that anyone may see it, and alternate means of entry will be made available to you. Get ready for an awesome time!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, December 16, 2011

Integer Dolor

That title is in Latin. It means "Finals Complete". Yep, I'm done with finals (wooootttt!). Now it's on to a much needed vacation that will doubtless be filled with all kinds of interesting things (Arcanists, Minecraft, Runescape's Christmas events when they come out, and that Wizard101 thing). My cohorts in crime are also done. More on that to come soonish. It shall be fun and entertaining (at the very least!).

I'm still having that party next Thursday night. I need to post about the contests, except only one contest will have details posted here. The other 3 will involve different means of social media. One contest hosted over on G+, one on Facebook, and the final on Twitter. The Twitter contest will involve finding a hidden area in one of my houses during the party and tweeting a very specifically worded tweet at me.  G+ will involve a scavenger hunt through the houses, and Facebook's is a surprise. For the contest here, I'll be playing a short game of Hide and Seek in-game, in one of my houses, during the party. Everyone will need to watch the blog during the party to see what secret phrase you'll need to say. I'll update that post as soon as I'm found, too, so you all stop your searching. Prizes will be announced at a later time. All 4 prizes (1 per contest) are being sponsored by the Wizard101 Bloggers' Club.

I wish those of you finishing up finals good luck, and I wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas! You'll be hearing me say that quite a bit soon. It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Monday, December 12, 2011

Changes and Finals

Heylooo out there! John Lifeglen giving a quick update in regards to finals week. I am alive and kicking. 1 finals down, 1 more today, then 1 Wednesday and 1 Thursday. Then I'm finished. Getting over halfway on day 1 is both a blessing and a curse, I suppose.

Now with party news! The party is set for the 22nd, which is a Thursday. Keep checking the countdown for up to the minute information on time. When the party countdown strikes 0, the information for a port bus will be revealed. I'll probably give everyone a heads up before the countdown drops, though. Please let me know if there's any conflict with party times. While I can't adjust the time (much) further, and the date is fairly locked-in, I can make changes to how the contest/s will be operated. I'll extend deadlines/ make myself available at a couple of other times to allow everyone to participate to the best of my ability!  Have a great and safe finals week. Good luck to all of the collegiate types out there, as well as any other students taking finals. You'll all do great!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Helloo Spiralites! I've been getting some e-mail feedback about bumping when the party is. Tuesday night sounded good for me, because I was figuring everyone would be done with school for the semester by then. I was I'm going to adjust the date! How does the 23rd look for people at 8PM CST? I didn't want to push it back that far, because I know a lot of people travel for the winter holidays, but that's what's going to have to happen. I can't host it the weekend before the 20th because StormyWiz is throwing a party. Does Thursday the 22nd work, in case Friday falls through? Leave me a comment on this post, write me an e-mail, or drop me a tweet! Links to my Facebook, G+, and Twitter can all be found beneath the countdown information!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

*EDIT* Apparently Luke Goldhorn is having a party on the 23rd, and it was announced last month. I'm bumping the day back to the 22nd now. If the 22nd will not work, I will adjust and the "Holiday Extravaganza" will take place between Christmas and the New Year. Continue sending me date/time conflicts!

Bloggers' Club Holiday Extravaganza

Hey party people! Exciting news! There's going to be a Holiday Extravaganza hosted by moi on the 20th of December (tentatively). There will be 4 individual contests that night spread between my 3 houses that will be involved. The 4 contests will each be through a different social networking device, but there will be more information on that soon. I'm not revealing any contest details or anything yet, just giving you a heads up.


And now that bold-caps-speak has left the building, I'll bid you all a good night. Remember! Check your social calendars. If ANYONE cannot make it, let me know. I'd like as many wizards to be able to participate in the contests as possible! And yes, these contests have [small] prizes attached.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

P.S. I reserve the right to change the time of the party if something comes up. The countdown is the most up-to-the-minute way to know what's going on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Happy Holiday Gathering

Hey gang! I just tweeted about wanting to dust off the old Bloggers' Club countdown that has just been sitting there forever (except that it's a new one. And you need to update your copy and get this one! See previous post) and have a party! I'm thinking of a nice Holiday gathering. BYOBI (Bring Your Own Battle Implement) and have a party set up between a couple of my houses. Multiple PvP matches easily accessible, etc. Maybe I'll even raffle off a couple items, we'll see where exactly this goes. I make no promises of prizes, I'll have to check my crown situation at this time and leading up to the party.

Anyway, I wanted to get some feedback on a good date/time for people, so I'm opening up comments to let you all tell me when works best for you! Just drop me a comment with your thoughts or concerns, and I'll take them under consideration before I finalize anything. I just want to get a feel for when people are available (AKA not studying for tests!).

Discussion will also (hopefully) be up on G+, which is linked by my widget on the right-hand side of the page.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Study Time!

So, uh, quick update to yesterday's post. Widgetbox hasn't gotten back to me yet. The newly updated countdowns are in place. I strongly urge everyone that currently has a copy of one of the countdowns up to take the new ones and replace the existing ones to bypass any problems.  If you don't update your countdown, the old one will simply sit there saying "Showtime" until you realize a problem. The Protean Charm placed on those Galleons has worn off. I'm trying to distribute newly enchanted ones. Bonus points to the first person to correctly identify which book the Protean Charm is first mentioned in. Even more points to the first person to correctly identify who the first person in said books to use (chronologically in time, not restricted to the time constraints of the books) the Protean Charm was.

And now, a bit of humor. I'm in college. Finals are fast approaching. I found this prayer that I think anyone should be able to use, if they're so inclined.

Now I lay me down to study,
I pray the Lord I don't go nutty,
And if I fail to learn this junk,
I pray the Lord I do not flunk.
And if I die, don't bury me at all, 
Just lay my bones in Study Hall,
And pile my books upon my chest,
and tell the professors I did my best.
So now I lay me down to rest,
And pray I pass tomorrow's test,
And if I die before I wake,
That's one less test I'll have to take.

To all students everywhere, good luck with your end-of-term exams and projects! 

Your [Exhausted] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen


For those of you who liked that little poem, here's another! 

Twas the night before finals/ And all through the college/ The students were praying/
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy/ But none touched their beds/ While visions of essays/
Danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns/ A few were still drinking/ And hoping that liquor/
Would loosen their thinking.

In my own dorm room/ I had been pacing/ And dreading exams/
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless/ His nose in his books/ And my comments to him/
Drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee/ And brewed a new pot/ No longer caring/
That my nerves were all shot.

I stared at my notes/ But my thoughts were all muddy/ My eyes went ablur/
I just couldn't study.

"Some pizza might help,"/ I thought with a shiver/ But each place that I called/
Refused to deliver.

I'd nearly concluded/ That life was too cruel/ With futures depending/
On grades had in school.

When all of a sudden/ Our door opened wide/ And Patron Saint Put It Off/
Ambled inside.

His spirit was careless/ His manner was mellow/ He looked straight at me/
And started to bellow:

"What kind of student/ Would make such a fuss/ To toss back at teachers/
What they tossed at us?"

"On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes/ On Last Year's Exams/ On Wingit and Slingit/
And Last Minute Crams!"

His message delivered/ He vanished from sight/ But we heard him laughing/
Outside in the night.

"Your teachers have pegged you/ So just do your best/ Happy Finals to All/
And to all a good test."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Countdown Updates: IMPORTANT!

Hey there, gang! I'm alive (for now) as finals approach, then I'll be off for a month for Christmas break. I'm very excited for that. It's also getting cooler now, and even Noah is shivering and complaining a little bit. I keep telling him to buck up and deal with it, it is his school after all! Haha.

The point of this post is to update everyone on what's going to [probably] happen with the countdown to the side for Ravenwood Radio.  Widgetbox, which I still love dearly for their massive collection of customizable widgets has some issues right now. The main issue is that I didn't ever create an account with them, because I was using Facebook Connect to sign in. Now, the Facebook Connect login button is gone, which means I'll have to create a real account. No big deal, right? Everyone is [most likely] going to have to remove the current countdown and replace it with a newly updated one. The old one will stop updating itself for you all (since I'm the one behind updating it) and just show that it's "Showtime" all the time. We can't have that, can we?

I apologize for the inconvenience, and I'm currently working with the fine folks over at Flite (who power Widgetbox) to see if I can't salvage my account or transfer widget ownership somehow to make it nice and easy. I'll keep you all updated on what's going on!

Until next time.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, November 25, 2011


Welcome, Spiralites, to another exciting installment of...oh who am I kidding. Forget the formalities, I'm Transcended, baby! Thanks to an extended Thanksgiving break, I was able to achieve level 70 earlier this week (and get the Chimera spell along the way!). Every time I reach level cap, I change up the looks of my gear. Now, I had this idea that being Transcended should mean showcasing how I looked as a noob + school symbols.

I quickly decided that this was a bad idea. It was much too bright, so I traded it in for different orange and brown diggs, still very much to my taste. Technically I'm still using level 60 gear, as I was horribly underwhelmed with the level 68 gear. True, I found what looked to be a very nice athame, at least until I realized the lack of pips. I'm balance. I rely heavily on power pips. 

That's all I've got for right now. I'm working on getting a better pet hatched, and then I don't know where my adventures will lead next. 

Your [Transcended] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Level Skews

Chatting with a friend tonight, I realized a few things. The primary item we discussed was something that I'm going to call "level skew", or how far off from the main story someone actually is at different parts of the game. Before Grizzleheim (GH), everyone was usually in about the right area (though sometimes one ahead or behind, depending, but always close) to obtain their next spell as it happened. And then came the advent of side worlds.

I haven't played a new character through anything yet, but I can tell you that the experience from Wysteria (WS) and GH will mess up spell obtainment in Marleybone (MB). Once you get messed up, it stays pretty messed up the rest of the way. GH wasn't a huge problem on its own, because the areas unlocked gradually as you leveled. What about WS, though??  Adding in a level 35 spell obtained in GH has also caused a weird order to doing things. Do you play through GH first to try and get that spell, or stick to the main line, grab your level 28, and then continue to 35? If you play to the level 35 spell, doesn't that put you WAY behind on getting your level 38 (and then 48, 58, and 68 due to the delay)?

I adore the side worlds mostly and the feeling that your problems aren't the only ones in the Spiral. Side worlds allow more depth into the universe to show parallel stories and to see how interactions on one world are not felt elsewhere until a direct influence (Malistaire or Morganthe) happens to start causing problems.

Those of you who have played through with the new content, how does it off-set the spell quest time periods? From the time you become eligible and obtain the quest ("dinging" a certain level), how many additional levels does it take you to actually get to the area (not by teleporting, but by legitimately earning your way there) required to obtain the spell and complete the quest? I have quite a few toons sitting on the back burner that I'll be experimenting with, but I'm curious to hear about some other experiences.

Just some food for thought.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reminder and Housekeeping

The title implies that I'm reminding people of something...which is only halfway true. I'm reminding approximately 4 people of something that was brewing. This is *not* a "Happy Thanksgiving!" post done early. I have other plans for that. Anyway, the other people involved (and one person who just happens to know what's going on) might be able to recognize this stuff. Maybe not. It's been a while since it was last discussed. Anyway, here's a picture. For those of you who know what it means, I hope it jogs your memory. I haven't given up hope on that yet, just haven't had the time to act on it. Eventually, though!

In other news, a friend of mine just turned 20. For his birthday we wanted bacon incorporated into the cake somehow, as it's one of his favorite we rolled bacon into roses and dipped them in chocolate before putting them on a store-bought cake. You expected me to actually cook? I'm a culinary disaster. Here's the picture of that glorious thing, anyway. 

Yes, those are Magic: The Gathering deck boxes in the background. One has Nissa and the other pictures an Etched Champion. If anyone ever wants to peek at my deck builds (new and old, a couple no longer exist but could be reassembled easily enough!) here's a link to my stuff.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not Much

Just dropping in really quick to tell everyone that Through the Eyes of a Sorcerer is now on Google+. Exciting news, I know. Here's the link.  Anything that goes on over at G+ will be more conversational than it is here. Rather than dealing with approving comments and such I'll just open up the floor there. Leave random comments if you'd like about pretty much anything game related to see if we can't start the fire of discussion!

Highly considering making one for the Bloggers' Club for easier communication, even! Rather than having everyone's identity, though, it would link together pages for the specific blogs. Leave me a comment with your opinions on that!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gambling Revisited...Again

Greetings, Spiralites. All is well here in the wonderful land of "College". It's busy enough that I don't have much playtime...but then I do finally get around to poking Twitter for the day and find out that there's yet ANOTHER gambling bit. Yes, there's a wonderful new Jungle-Themed bundle, complete with 2-seat mount. Check out Friendly's blog for news on that. I'm here to reassert the view that KingsIsle is teaching children how to gamble, and possibly getting them addicted to it. The first time it was a little bit interesting.

Maybe, just maybe, we thought, it would be a one time deal. And then came the advent of the Wyvern's Hoard with not one but five unique mounts for the collectors (myself included) to try and obtain. And now we have this. The Nightmare Pack. Once again it has a cool new pet, an astonishing new mount, and some spectre-tacular new robes. Any one of those things in the Crowns Shop and I'd be signing up and hopping in line in a heartbeat to get my hands on some shiny new gear. The way it's going right now, though, I'm not spending one red cent on any of it.

This is actually pushing me further away from a game that I felt so passionately good about that I voted for it for GDC and have actually joined the "community" of. Never had I done that before, and now I'm seeing more than ever that politics + growing company = less enjoyable gaming experience. Growing company = more monetary need. I get that.  Larger companies require more money to operate and expand effectively. This expansion model, though, while effective, will eventually disenchant a large segment of the player base.  It just boggles my mind why a company so focused on family-friendly gaming would begin putting so much focus on a lottery aspect.

Yeah, that was semi-ranty-getting-thoughts-outy and not a fantastic reading experience. Oh well, it's out. And now that it's out, it's staying out. Maybe eventually enough people will realize what's going on and stop supporting it. Maybe they already have and I'm late to the party. Drop me a comment with your thoughts/views/questions/comments/complaints/rants/queries/remarks/suggestions and otherwise general forms of communication and I'll publish that right up for you.  KingsIsle is a good company, and I'd hate to see it go down the pipes because they get greedy.

Your [Ranty] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ravenwood Radio for 50, Please!

Ok, so maybe playing this like Jeopardy isn't the best start. Oh well. Yeah, I've been keeping a low profile for a while now. Not by choice, but by the forces known as college. Many of you see random spurts in twitter action as I update everyone to my Magic: The Gathering antics or, as of today, Humans vs. Zombies. All little time killers with friends also on campus.

The real point of this, though, is to clue everyone in on a little secret. Ravenwood Radio is turning 50 today. It's funny to think about how far Ravenwood Radio has come since episode 23, where Stephen and Leesha had a table full of sorcerers along for the ride. That seems like only yesterday!

Congratulations and many thanks for 50 fantastic episodes to Stephen Spiritcaller, Leesha Darkheart, Christina Icedreamer, Wolf Redfist, Kevin Battleblood, Fallon Deathslinger, Cassandra Dragonheart, and Lady of Blades for their hard work on Ravenwood Radio from the beginning to current times. It wouldn't be the same without each of you.

And now I need to get going to work...and avoid the zombie infestation while I'm walking. I'd love to be there for the show tonight, because it's going to rock, but I'll still be at the dining hall doing closing procedures and boring stuff of that nature. I request that everyone who reads this goes and has a good time for me!

Your Friend Always,
John lifeglen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Late to the Funeral

I suppose I'm a bit late to the party...err...funeral here. It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Homework in a Graveyard has locked up the gate to the grounds once and for all. Autumn's posts will be missed greatly, and if she ever has something pressing to pass along, Through the Eyes of a Sorcerer will gladly accommodate for a guest post.  Autumn has requested that we not do anything special for her (full details int he post) other than planting and keeping an elder dandelion somewhere in our yards. To keep with the "spirit" of things here, I decided on a commemorative poem (forgive the funky meter and rhyme scheme in advance, I tend to do strange things. They work together, but not in any recognizably conventional manner. No, this is not another limerick. Though I was tempted.) And Autumn's knack for pulling pop culture has always impressed me greatly, so I tried write a poem based loosely on the style of a certain "Year in Review" (which is not necessarily child friendly and therefore not linked). It might makes more sense set to the tune from the video.

NOTE: I'm hoping this doesn't flop miserably, but without knowledge of the group it could potentially be bad. The year in question for the tune is 2008, by the way, for those of you with some sort of idea about babies in top hats that like to sing about the disasters through the year.


Three years ago it started, 6th of June Saturday,
She opened up her bloggy-thing and began to write away.
Her mission simple,  to tell of a great game,
Through her critical point of view it never did look lame!

Tenure for Dworgyn started, and the battle cry still rings,
Penny Dreadful's story came about containing all sorts of things.
Pop culture references started, and slowly they matured,
And all throughout the blog process we heard how Autumn endured.

From the cat and mouse gangs of Marleybone to strife in Dragonspyre,
Never once did she turn back and wish she had been fire.
The power of death, a nercomatic unlife,
Through the entire game Autumn played and wrote on the highlights!

And now we end this, on a note of memory,
Autumn Duskhunter, your contributions will never be forgotten by me.
The 8 Bit Trials, in modern times were fun,
And no matter where you roam next you've always got our Spiral's shining sun!


Be Well, Autumn. We won't let your battle cry die out.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not Again!!!

Let me start by saying that this is not going to be a cheery, upbeat,happy-go-lucky post about what's new and awesome in Wizard101. Quite the contrary. The only feel-good portion of this post is that Wysteria is live...and it goes down hill rapidly from there. Where to even begin.

Heather Raven makes some awesome points in her latest post HERE. You should all stop by and read it. Pet Page ridiculousness and the fact that the new houses from Test are NOT Live. Yeah. Now we'll address my main focus. "Lotto" Packs.

With the Dragon's Hoard Pack, you were guaranteed 7 items of varying usefulness all related to dragons for 399 Crowns a pop. Awesome, right? There were chances at wands, cool gear, and the jewel of the collection: The Bone Dragon Mount. And a LOT of people (myself included) blew a large amount of crowns shooting for that very prize. And then I helped friends get it by mass-gifting. And it was ridiculous. If they had put it in the crown shop individually, people still would have paid for it. They still would have enjoyed it. And they would have had crowns left over for more crown shop goodies. If the gear sets had gone in individually, I firmly believe that people would have bought them.

Now, enter the Wyvern Hoard with not 1 but 5 individual new mounts along with permanent and 1 day copies of the Fairy Wings.  They're large, colorful, really cool looking, and equally challenging to get. And all of those people who like to collect things are going to be all over it. Well, almost all of them. I'm done. I spent 2000 crowns just to see what some of the stuff was and boy was I disappointed. Deep Mushrooms popping up religiously, along with some other stuff that is available to everyone very, very easily. If I wanted Orange Bell Peppers I would just buy the peppers from the crown shop, not blow 399 crowns and hope for the best. I don't want 3 copies of the same set of boots before even getting one hat/mask to go with it. Yeah, I came in hoping for energy gear that was better than the Baconator and it IS, but what are my chances of actually obtaining the last piece of it? Little to none.

Maybe the purpose of the "Lotto" is to allow children to learn that life isn't fair. That's a noble lesson to attempt to teach in a children's game, sure. What is this really teaching, though? Some would say that it's teaching that Gambling is OK (in moderation....questionable with this). I say it's teaching children that if they spend enough money, they'll eventually get exactly what they want. Is that something we want our youth to think? That's creating the next generation of entitled little brats. You can't buy your way out of jail, but this is showing that with enough $$$ and you can get anything.

Also with the "Lotto", we're seeing may objects that overlap between packs. I don't need Deep Mushrooms. If I want those I'll buy a Remarkable Reagents. If I want Zounds...Bees, I'll buy a Green Thumb Pack. And what's up with all of the normal pets? Unicorns and Imps come from the Wizard City pet shop for gold, so why would anyone want to spend crowns on them? They just released the Pack O' Porters, why add teleporters to the Hoard? It's filler. The "Lotto" works like over stuffing your deck. The more stuff that's in there, the smaller your shot at drawing what you need. And this pack is certainly stuffed. Just from the Mounts and Gear alone (not counting gear that is replaced depending on level) You have 3 sets of gear (9 items) and a staff to match each (3 items) plus the 5 Wyvern Mounts, 3 Fairy Wings, and 3 Temp Wings. That's already 23 items that you might want, which requires at LEAST (and this is VERY wishful thinking) 4 packs or 1596 crowns. Add in all of the junk furniture, treasure cards, and lame seeds and you're not likely to ever see these things.

It's pretty safe to say that I don't want a Wyvern or to complete the gear set that I started. It's ridiculous, a waste of money, and a waste of time. The collector in me has died with this update, I guess. I still want all of the teleporters, but you can bet I'll be crafting for them rather than putting it up to luck. Blah.

Your [Peeved] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

P.S. I got moved in to school safely, as have internet working here (obviously...). 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Coming Tide

Captain's Log, Stardate 65123: In two days I will be moving back to college. This means, you guessed it, less frequent entries. Hey, Earthly education is unfortunately more important than the diploma-less education we're given at Ravenwood. When Wysteria hits, I'll still be logging in for that stuff. I need that Triwizard Spiral Cup Trophy for my trophy case (still undecided on how to construct it).  I'm also still gardening in hopes for Orthrus cards. I can't just abandon my Silver Trumpet Vines (as much as I might like to...)!

That's all I've got for today, except that this blog is now featured on the approved link list on Wizard101Central, though I still can't link it in my signature. Oh well.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

End log.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Warlord in Da Hause!

Oh, look at that title. Yeahhh...It's not me. John's planning to talk more about that a little bit further down. I hadn't posted in a while, though, and wanted to show off exactly how we're doing the portrait things now. John got sick of not having NAMES on them so we opted for these newer ones. Woohoo!  And now on to the meat of this post.

Here's John. Keep it Frosty,
Noah Mythglen

As Noah said, we're switching up the portraits a bit. Something a bit nicer. With names. The old format will still be used for level updates, though!  Oh, that title? You're wondering about that? Well, the big news is that I achieved Warlord today! I bought a 24 hour day pass and played some good old fashioned 1v1.  Woohoo!!! Then I proceeded to go spend a bunch of tickets. I'm planning a trophy room as soon as Wysteria goes live and I'm able to get a 3rd trophy! Picture time!

Mr Baxter and I.
Yeah...not the best stats in the world. It took a lot of work. And I used to do some other PvP. Only recently did I step back into the ring and pull myself above Knight. 

My stats used for PvP. 

Mister Baxter's stats. Note: He does NOT have Spritely. I'm still working on a pet with the top 3 talents and Spritely. This was something of a challenge without any random healing. Just goes to show how dependent I've become on it. Gotta try and ween myself off of it!
My new goodies! I've had the Kyanite Trophy for a while now, but I just bought Lord Chance and the Angelic Trophy today. So excited!
Next on my agenda is to keep at it, shoot for Overlord (1000+ rank) and eventually obtain the rest of the furniture and the other pets. I'm a bit low on tickets at the time being, so this is a long term goal (though I might be able to hatch for a couple of them). Next on the agenda is Pet Warlord. That should be interesting considering how little the Derby is played.

And that's all I've got for the day. Exciting stuff indeed!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cyber-bullying and its Many Ugly Forms

Remember back on the Balance Study Hall when I said I was "beating a dead otomo to death" when discussing side quests vs. story only? Well, it's another topic like that. Everyone and their Heckhound has written on it and I'm revisiting it out of necessity. There have been many, many more frequent squabbles popping up in our fair Spiral as more and more wizards are called from their home lands into the depths of Wizard City and beyond. Heather and Jessica have written on this topic today already, and I'm tossing in my two cents. (1(1 ). Cents are tossed. Sense has not been. And we're off.

WARNING: Lengthy sentence structures ahead. Definitions included for those not familiar with game jargon. Skip over the items inside of parentheses if you know the terms!

What is a cyber-bully? Webster defines cyber-bullying as, "the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (as a student) often done anonymously". Yes, it says that it's done anonymously. It can come in a much more direct form, though. I just witnessed it tonight on Twitter and have been seeing it crop up often. Playing a Role-Playing game (RPG: game in which textual descriptions are used to communicate a story--definition by me) and claiming to be participating in RP as an argument that you are not bullying when the subject on the table is murdering a Player Character (PC: Character played by a person in a game. Non-Player Character-NPC: a character placed into the game as a vendor, enemy, quest giver, etc. Lacks a player) is a crock of Krok droppings.  Talk about murdering Morganthe, what spells you'll use, how hard you'll hit, fine. There's no person behind her that will be upset. She is the wicked witch, right? Don't talk about PCs the same way you talk about NPCs because they are very much different entities.

This is but one form of cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying never physically hurts a person. Every bit of it is taken psychologically and emotionally. Emotional abuse often leaves scars much deeper than physical injury ever could.  Direct bashing of someone through any means on the internet is cyber-bullying. Telling someone that they are worthless, making threats to them, smearing their name because of something you don't care for, anything over a social media outlet hit even harder than face-to-face bullying because the impact spreads so quickly through the Internet.  These outlets include (but are certainly not limited to) Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Because of the problems cropping up lately with cyber-bullying, I have come to the conclusion that children should not be allowed to play with social media outlets. Unfortunately, this inhibits those with positive things to say and forcibly removes them from the discussion. 

So, what can we do to stop it?  First, everyone should be adding a filter to the things that they say. If you wouldn't say it to your friend's grandmother, don't say it at all! I say to use your friend's grandmother as a filter because you're on your best behavior around her, as opposed to your own who you know how far you can push the envelope with.  Secondly, avoid large crowds of people united under one banner of negativity. Bandwagon leaping becomes much more common as the peer pressure mounts. Thirdly, everyone deserves a second chance. Or a third. People have the ability to change. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes it's not. At least give them the benefit of a doubt. 

Those three little things are only suggestions. I can't claim to be an expert on psychological abuse, but I know enough about it to recognize it, call people on it, and try to stop it. Cyber-bullying is real (like salmonella).  It's not a myth (like Global Warming...I jest, I won't go there!). And unfortunately it's growing in our fair Spiral. If you were a new community member, would you stick around long if all you saw was fighting and chaos?  If this stuff doesn't stop there's going to be a major rift in the community, one that doesn't belong, because people will literally be picking sides between who's right and who's wrong. How can we call a splintered community the best community there is of any MMO? Think on these things, and try to pull your act together and stop acting uninformed and hiding behind excuses to justify your bullying.  Eventually the truth will come out, and when it does you'll be on the receiving end of many blocks, unfriends, and unfollows. 

I wanted to do something fun for my 100th post, and maybe I'll come up with something still, but this was a much more pressing matter than announcing that I'm in triple digits.

Your [Peeved] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Puzzle of ME!

In response to my super-cryptic post last night, I'll reveal what I was working on. The conversation mentioned then was one of "completion" of another person, that you fit each other like a glove covers a hand or a puzzle piece fitting into another groove. That's where this comes in. Just for fun, and as a way to thank those who've played a pivotal role in making me who I am today, I have created a puzzle with some phrases on different pieces. At the end of this post, I'll include templates for the one I did (12 pieces) or the one I almost did (6 pieces).

You're welcome to download and edit them to make something similar to this to post on your own blog. If you don't blog and only Facebook or Tweet, that's fine, just be sure to leave me a link in the comments so I can come check our what kind of shenanigan-ry you've come up with!

Mine's very basic, and the colors are slightly representative of the individuals each piece represents. I will not be telling you who's who later, though. Those who need to know will figure it out based on small clues hidden in the puzzle. Part of the fun is figuring it out. Part of the fun of creating one is finding words to describe some acquaintances in our Spiral.  There are so many influential people in my life, I wanted a way to thank them all. Well, 12 slots is kind of confining, but kind of difficult to fill, too. I wound up representing 13 people with my 12 slots (you'll see why soon, and those two will know what I mean, hopefully).

Enough rambling, I'll just post it now. NOTE: Piece size/font size are NOT relative to impact on my life. Placement is purely random (since time of original post I have located a better template of 12 and remade it. New template is available, old puzzle has been replaced with the better one.).
Thank you to all who have supported me, tested my will, and encouraged growth as a person.


I do not own either image, as Google was so kind to provide them. Thank you, Google, for providing the images HERE and HERE. Note: The 2nd link contains a couple of other available sizes.

Have fun with this should you choose to do it!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something Super This Way Comes

Hey guys and dolls, John here again! I'm working on something super-cool and super-fun for all of you fellow blogger types to play around with. It started with a conversation with someone very near and dear to me, and it escalated into something more pretty rapidly. I won't share all of the details, but I can tell you that you'll most likely want to use MSPaint or another alternative to do your own. I'll post mine along with the template I used, but if you all want something else you're welcome to it. It should be a fun way to kind of say "thank you" to certain people secretly and at the same time let others know just how much you really mean to them.

Think "tag your friends" on Facebook, only without news-feed spam, predefined images/phrases, and a much narrower base. This will either take off or completely flop. I'm OK with either. Mine will be done, and anyone else who isn't afraid of potentially looking silly or who doesn't mind hopping on the occasional bandwagon might join in, too.

Expect this to come super late tomorrow night or sometime on Monday, as my church's annual picnic is tomorrow!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Noah's Side on Teleporters

Yes, I did say that John is a complete nutjob for wanting to craft that many teleporters. But after looking at what they can do for myself, I'm beginning to see the potential. He mentioned the dorm hub thingy, which is cool and all, but marking them would be hard. Guess what. KingsIsle JUST gave us the answer with the new Krokotopian Obelisks and Pressure Plates in the Crown Shop! I had this awesome idea to use the plates on the dorm end to mark a teleporter, and s pair of obelisks on the other end around the "spitout" location. Thank you, KI, for giving us something non-interactive and yet helpful and functional!!!

Yeah, that's all I've got today. I haven't been released onto the Test Realm yet because John was having too much trouble with lag. Oh well, I'll have some bacon when TR goes Live :D

Keep It Frosty,
Noah Mythglen

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Testing the Teleporters

Hey everyone!  John here with some AMAZING discoveries. News broke over Twitter earlier that there was a new crafted item from Gearwise in Celestia. That item is a Teleporter. Yes, it actually works!  This No Trade, No Auction beauty is a miracle in science, straight out of a sci-fi novel. I'll cover some basics of how it all works, and then I'll go into specific ideas that I've had already.

To craft the Teleporter, you need the following things:

Once you have gathered all of the required ingredients, take them to your HOUSING crafting station. Click the Create button and BOOM you've got a shiny new blue portal. Let's see what they can do, shall we?

Once you've got it. Place it in the location you want the portal to direct to. If you want a way to teleport directly to your crafting room, for instance, drop it in there. Then select the item again. You'll see this:

Just click the green triangle button labeled "Set Destination Location" and then pick up your portal.  Now go outside to your Spiral Gate, place the portal, and close the housing interface. Then run into the portal! BOOM. You'll teleport back into the location you "set as destination".

I thought maybe it only worked on the same level of the house that you bound, and was curious about up and down levels. Because I was in my Royal Estate, I plopped the teleporter upstairs, set the location ("anchor" from here on out) and then moved the portal back downstairs. When I stepped in I teleported up. From outside to inside works, too, and vice versa. The real kicker is teleportation between houses! Yes, you can set up two portals to teleport between houses. If you maintain gardens in two, you don't need to wait on the timer countdown anymore!!!

MFP End of the Teleporters

Royal Estate End

Many players thought it could take two teleporters to make a set that functions, which is untrue. To make a two-way system, two are required, yes. To make a single-directional teleport, though, only one teleporter is needed. Now how can we possibly use these...hmm...

The amazing Cass Dragonheart helped me to make my set of two that I played with by providing Orthrus cards necessary for their construction. Thank you to Cass! She also had a BRILLIANT idea with these new beauties. Managing multiple PvP parties between houses owned by one wizard is now easier than ever. If you have a Massive Fantasy Palace and a Sultan's Palace (or a Celestial Observatory) you can rig teleporters between them to double your fun! Full credit to Cass for that marvelous idea.

Then on to my ideas. If you've ever had that super pesky kid at a party that you didn't want to boot because you'd feel bad, but you needed a way to add a "time out" option? Anchor a teleporter (inside the house or away from the party if you wish), add a jail cell over it, and then place the teleporter out of the way of the party, but within easy view. Upon having someone make trouble, ask them to please enter the teleporter (them having no idea what is on the other side) and then they're whisked away to "time out" for a little while.

Other options involve the examples above. Gardening from multiple houses, setting your crafting tables within easy access, and easier party management. Some players could create a maze using them. Can you imaging a maze spanning three complete houses?!

My personal favorite idea for them, though, is this. Empty out your dorm room. Then, craft multiple teleporters (number up to you/how many houses you have or use/how much you're willing to craft). Anchor a teleporter at the Spiral gate of each house or a particular drawing point of the house. Then put all of the teleporters in the dorm room. Find a way to denote which portal is which (memorize, or use a small object from the theme world. Whatever works for you). Then unequip all housing. Now when you teleport home, you have immediate access to whichever house you need! (Crafting, pet storage, PvP arena, Gardening). You also have the option to make it a two-way network! Doesn't that sound like fun? (And work. Noah wanted me to inform you all that he thinks I'm completely insane for even considering it.).

That's about it! If you've got a cool idea for how to play with there, drop me a line! I'd love to see what you all come up with.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On Friends, Cliques, and Politics

John here again. Unfortunately it's time for another "serious" post. I can't let Noah do this one (as much as I don't want to) because he hasn't been exposed for quite as long as I have and he has a wonderful ability to fly off on lengthy tangents.  I say I don't want to do this, and I really don't, because some of this is hard to say. Nothing stated in this post is meant to target one group or player, because I can think of at least 2 instances of each item mentioned.  Nothing's happened in the community, this is just a compilation of things that I've been noticing more and more in my time in the Spiral OUTSIDE of the Spiral. I've been blogging (off and on, admittedly) for a little over a year now. I've been playing the game for over 2. I'm far from an authority on the subject of friends, I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I'd like to take some time and point out what I've observed.

Friends in the Spiral often become more than just a mass of pixels that you talk to. Over time, you grow attached to the person behind the wizard and eventually you've bonded in a way much deeper than you ever intended. That's great! Sometimes those relationships bloom even further, sometimes you deem one another best friends and can't seem to be without them. Just because you met online doesn't mean you aren't "real friends". And sometimes these friends can hurt you just as badly as a friend you have met face to face. And you work it out just the same. The rules of friendship don't change just because the medium of expression has.

When people become fantastic friends, cliques form. Cliques, while being of common interests, often cause those not in the clique to feel left out. This adds even further to the feeling that some players are "famous" rather than the "just-average" person that they are because the "famous" players are often all of the same clique. I had a really stupid idea when I hosted the All-Star Meet & Greet when I thought that roping off a select few would do any good.  The party was meant to show that those "famous" few are really just average players like the rest of us, but it didn't go over as intended.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  It's really no wonder that people want "fame" to feel included. Does that make it right? Not at all. The Spiral needs diversity, not the same group of players operating everything.

Other times an entire clique (or someone that had hidden their true colors very well) will reject a single person because of an opposing viewpoint, leading to hate messages through Skype, Twitter, or blog posts publicly bashing others. Cyber-bullying is real, and it's cropping up more and more often in the Spiral. Many who practice it don't even realize (or make claims that they don't realize or intend) that what they're saying (or the way in which it is delivered) cut people deeply. That kind of behavior makes the Spiral a very nasty place to hang out sometimes.  Is exclusion what we want in the Spiral? Wizard101 may be "just a game", but the people are real. If it's a game, isn't it meant to be an escape from the problems of reality?

Finally, politics in the Spiral have a tendency to drive off players. When things get hot, they get out of the kitchen entirely, and we lose valuable insight into the game.  Sometimes a dispute will make players feel like they have no place if they can't share their thoughts, no matter what the opinion on the matter is. Sometimes not saying something just the right way or passing over small details leads to some very problematic situations. All of the fighting and arguing that goes on publicly these days would drive me off if I was new and just trying to get a foothold somewhere.  The level of dominance and command that some players (fansites) exert on others is ridiculous, and the amount of groupthink going on in certain portions of the community inhibit growth of the whole.

These are just some general observations based on appearances. I realize this post will probably go over like a lead balloon, but I'm saying my piece for all to see.There's usually more than meets the eye, and if anyone would like to share thoughts/views the comment box is always welcoming of new ideas. On this post especially, though, moderation will be enforced much more critically than usual. Keep it clean, and keep it unspecific.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Monday, August 1, 2011

Staffs, Headers, and News. Oh My!

Hey hey Wizard fans!  Exciting news from yours truly! John *finally* managed to snag that Staff of the Querent for me so I can have a fancy schmancy sparkly blue and purple staff to match my duds! Wasn't that nice of him? I know I rag on him all the time but once in a while he'll do something unexpected LOL!

So since I have a staff, now I get to be in the header! Look up everyone (no, I'm not going the ridiculous arrow things that John thinks look so good. Bah. You all are perfectly capable without street signs). Yeahhhhh. Special thanks to Kestrel for putting together the background, and then John added the text and stuff. It looks spectacular if you ask me!

Today also marks August 1, which means that the KIFreeGames rewards have changed. Check out the Ravenwood Bulletin for specifics on that. No more temporary mounts or transformations, though. Woooo!

And that's about it for me! You might want to note, though, that the Bulletin mentions new content for level 25+ wizards and a new tower challenge tougher than the likes of the WaterWorks (can't be THAT hard, John even managed full gear. If he can do it, I can too. With my brain tied behind my back!).

Keep it frosty,
Noah Mythglen

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Updates...and Minecraft!

John here again. Sorry about the delays in posting. This is just going to be a general amalgamation of a good number of things.  First off, I updated my "About Me" section. The old one was a bit outdated. I probably forgot to mention a couple of Dr. Who fanboy and Potterite. Oh well.

Secondly, the new header is on hold until I can locate a cool staff for Noah, seeing as he's going to be pictured. I like my magnet, but he needs something nice.  The plan was to have a Staff of the Querent by now, but KIFreeGames really don't like me. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow. Weeeeeeeeeee.  Oh well. Thanks to Alric I finally got my Shardtail Dragon and can start working on higher tiers. That sucker just would not drop for me! Thanks again, man, no wonder you're one of Alhazred's favorites...just so kind and giving to the community!

Thirdly (hey, it is a word, Noah, because Google Chrome didn't underline it. Shush and wait your turn!), I changed my profile picture on just about everything to this:

So that's the new look of John Lifeglen for a while. 

Now on to the Minecraft portion. If you genuinely don't care about Minecraft, I recommend you skip this part all the way down to the closing remarks. 

I recently stumbled upon this amazing website that lets you compile a texture pack from all of their available textures and then packages it in a nice, neat, ready to install texture pack (for those who don't know, a texture pack modifies the way the game looks. Rather than seeing the default view, you can turn trees pink or give pigs wings. Chickens can look more like ducks. Torches can be turned into candles. The list goes on and on and on. Long story short, it makes your creations look how you want them to!). It's amazing. It's called Painterly and can be found at that link.  You can also get some really nice looking mods from there. I don't use mods (other than "Too Many Items" for a Creative-Style save) because I like playing what has been given to me. Posted on a new page titled "Minecraft"  is the "password" to the texture pack that my friends and I use while playing on our server. This is a temporary page that will likely only remain up for a week or so (unless I forget) so get it fast. If, once it is gone, you want a copy, just let me know and I'll find a way to get it to you!  This way we all build and see the same thing, to insure that everything looks OK. Just copy the password (if you're interested) and then paste it into the page on Painterly that the "Share" button directs you to!  If you modify the pack or have a really neat one you want me to see, e-mail or comment me the password from your new pack so I can see it! My e-mail is linked in the Countdown/Contact Information box directly beneath the header. 

That wraps up my stuff!

EDIT: Painterly's "Share" is having issues with the internal server. You're welcome to try using it whenever, but it might not regain functionality for a little while. I'm sure it will be back up soon, though.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Muahaha-Torture. Oh, and News

Noah here again. I'm torturing John, yay!!!

Yeahno. I'm not really tormenting anyone. Mother Nature has left poor John out in the hot desert sun (serves him right for being balance in my honest opinion) while I curl up in my Ice House and cool off. He's even begging me to cast a blizzard on the surrounding area. I keep telling him to go visit Alhazred and maybe sneak off into the Hall of Champions and help out some lowbies (the kind way to say noob) and maybe run the Vault of Ice. Sad part is that he's actually considering it. Silly Legendaries! That's what they get for not having any quests of their own left. Haha.

The main reason I am sitting down to a laptop and taking the risk of melting part of my house from the residual heat was to let everyone know a few things about the Dragon's Hoard pack. Yeah, I'm late to the party (guess that must be a family thing, I don't remember John ever being on time) but it's something that needs to be addressed.  I was trying for the Dragonrider's Death Sword because it gives me Critical and Block chance on a sword I can use at level 50. It's really sweet, totally worth it. But getting that puppy was a hassle!  Most people tried forever for the Bone Dragon mount. It's nice. I have a few of them now thanks to trying for that sword. How is it that I can get an epic item multiple times before achieving a rare one?  That just seems a little bit ridiculous to me.

John was also saying something about KIFreeGames. He told some of us (me and 2 of the other cousins) to help ourselves to the Galvanic Hammers in the shared bank. We were questioning why they were there to begin with, and why he was farming such a low tier. Apparently John has been having trouble getting a Shardtail Dragon (same tier). 4 Galvanic Hammers before one pet. It seems that the luck is just not with us right now!  We love the hammers, but it seems like chance is against us. Does anyone have a "target score" in Doodle Dug that you've received a Shardtail from?  Maybe each tier has subdivisions?  Who knows. Let me know what you think and I'll pass it along (or more likely John will see it first, since he's the only one with clearance to approve comments -.-)

Keep it Frosty,
Noah Mythglen

PS. John was proofreading my post before publishing it and told me to mention that there's a whole slew of new furniture in the Crown Shop. Most of it (if not all!) available for gold, too! Check it out!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Port Capsules"

So I was dusting off my Nintendo DS from the real world (the original one. Giant, silver monstrosity that has been compared to a make-up case multiple times) and I turned it on and realized Pokemon Diamond was in it. Now, playing in the Sinnoh Region was fun for quite a few reasons as many of you probably know. One of my favorites was the ability to customize Ball Capsules.  For those of you who don't know, a Ball Capsule is a way to edit the entrance of a specific Pokemon to the field. You could purchase lightning bolts, clouds, confetti, and various letters and symbols in order to customize your Poke-team even more.  

This got me thinking. Wizards have magic. We already vanish in a swirl of magical confetti symbols in our class colors and pattern. What if there was a way to create custom teleport actions, even for a small crown premium. If not truly custom, what about a way to celebrate the holiday's in a magical fashion. Pumpkins or bats swirling you when you teleport for Halloween, trees or snowmen for Christmas, shamrocks for St. Patrick's day. Maybe even little flags for the 4th of July. Turkeys for Thanksgiving. Hearts for Valentines. The list could go on and on. 

Maybe there could even be a couple of generic ones all year round, or to enhance your current teleport (adding stars to to your current teleport if you trained the star school and want to show off). 

Who knows, if this takes off maybe we could get brighter or larger teleports based on level. Start everyone off at level one with just a small swirl of magic, and as the power increases (every 10 levels) a few additional swirls come into play.

I realize this is just a cosmetic idea, but how people love the bunny suit or the turkey hat?  Some holiday items are just plain cool and can really let you express yourself. Let me know what you think of these ideas!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen