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Monday, February 28, 2011

Former PvP Commander Say Wha?

Test realm is going live tonight!  Woot!  Time to buy me some Baconator and a new sword for PvP.  Wait, what?  PvP?  John Lifeglen doesn't PvP.  Um...

Yeah, I was a PvP Commander FOREVER ago.  I got hit with an unlucky streak of sniper bolters before the arena was "fixed" and then my sub ran I never got it back up.  I had subbed for a couple of months in order to get a rank other than Private, and I'm happy to be sitting at Knight right now.  However, the PvP bug has bitten again and this time I'm teaming up with my friend Maria Moonblossom from Wizard101 Central and my friend Matthew Deathcaster.  We thought that having a team uniform that was SUPER DUPER close and yet unique to each of us was something we wanted, so we came up with the idea of wearing school symbol robes of all the same style and then having a common color theme that worked for all of us. 

GREAT idea in practice it was a bit tougher.  Life, Death, and Balance don't seem to have ANY robes in common between them all...except for ONE that all seven schools actually have (though finding the Death one was SUPER tricky, a big thanks to Kestrel's brother Alex for that one!).  Lacking so many robes and pieces of clothing is a bit annoying.  I would love it if somehow (be it dropped, crafted, or...dare I say items...) KI introduced the missing pieces of symbol gear to us.  But, since we did finally find something that works it's ours.  I'm doing it.  Calling Dibs.  Right here and now.  DIBS DIBS DIBS. Yeah, it's a bit immature...but necessary.  Dibs on our team uniform styles! 

Best of luck coordinating your own uniforms should you choose to use them (not that I can really do a single thing about it if you should choose to use our exact uniforms, other than be slightly irritated.).  So, the uniform that I would appreciate you all not using is as follows: Hat in the style of the "pie hat" as Heather Emeraldflame would have called it (also known as a Cardinal's Cap to those who reference Eloise); Robe in the style of Regal Outfit; and Boots in the style of Mage's Boots.  Our color scheme is Dark Blue with White Trim.  Also know that I reserve the right to use this same combination for any other school that tickles my fancy!  Here's a picture of me in the balance version of the uniform.

Let me know what you guys think!

Your [Super Excited To Try PvP Again] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Test Run Feature

So...I was digging around looking at more fantastic fonts (now that I understand a bit more about graphic design) and I stumbled upon the POKEMON font!  Well...I grew up with Ash Ketchum so I've got a history with Pokemon.  Here's my new feature to test.  We'll see how it goes over and how many willing models I have lol!

It's Cassandra Hexthorn!
Cassie is my best friend in the spiral, which many of you know if you added me on facebook and read my description.  I asked her to do this because of the weirdness of it all, because best friends stick together through it all.  Thank you Cassie for the picture and subjecting yourself to my mediocre editing abilities!

Comment with who you think it is!  The winner will get...uh...their comment published! Ok, so everyone gets their comments published as long as it isn't vulgar but the first correct comment wins!  I'll edit this post with the image this is taken from soon :)

EDIT: The Contest is now closed, edits are above between the asterisks (*)
Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Headin' on Out!

Well gang, this title is a bit misleading *I'm really beginning to wonder what my obsession is with post titles now...*.  I am NOT leaving, so stop getting your hopes up. Haha.  The title actually refers to my old header moving on out and being replaced with one of me in my stitched Legendary gear and my crafted balance staff, along with my trusty companion Mr. Zeus *Best Balance Pet EVER!!!*.  I would've posted about it last night but after the greuling work of assembling it in the wee hours of the early morning (when I couldn't sleep) I opened the picture I'd taken for the purpose and FINALLY set to work on creating a masterpiece.  Meh, judge for yourself.  I'm not exactly what you might call "gifted" in the graphical arts (or any art for that matter...especially musical!) but I'm fairly certain I did a pretty bang-up job on it. 

I like it, and while I was looking for other cool fonts to play with I stumbled upon one that looks like an old comic book font complete with jagged-edged bubbles for the words and the Disney font.  I even found something similar to the font from Hercules (the Disney one; and also one of my favorite Disney movies ever).  Then I found THE BRADY BUNCH!  Since that's what I call my account due to the 3/3 guy/girl split on it, if I ever reveal everyone to you it'll likely use that font just for my own personal entertainment. 

Comment away, and don't forget to vote on the poll!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Duel Courtesy (Another Lesson Via Fanfic!)

Hello sports fans and welcome to another exciting...whoops...wrong intro. 

Greetings, Wizards of the Spiral!, and welcome to Through the Eyes of a Sorcerer!  If this is your first visit, feel free to look around and thanks for coming in, if you're a returning guest...WHY? Just kidding ;) After my last piece of fictional writing based around teleportation which can be found either HERE as a single or HERE as a piece of my serialized work (clicky or clicky by the way...) I received a comment suggesting a couple of topics to carry on with.  I see today as a wonderful time to continue with my story of inter-personal communications and relations in the spiral and beyond.  Today's topic, as you might have concluded from the title, involves battle courtesy (and I'm not talking PvP here, that's a segment for another time!).  Let's begin, shall we?


Since my friend and I had enjoyed such a lengthy conversation regarding asking before teleporting, I was wide awake again regardless of the lack of rest.  I invited my friend to come with me into the Grotto to wail on a few sharks in an attempt to snag my Shark Jumper badge.  Only being a few sharks away (3 to be exact) I headed off and he followed, so now only one battle would be necessary.  Because he was life and I am balance, I asked ever so politely if he would mind healing me and I would perform the beat down. 

He happily agreed and we approached the first mammoth sized shark we could see (Due to the underwater nature of the Grotto I summoned my shark Bruce to my aid rather than seeing Mufasa in pain) and summoned a battle circle so that we may channel our powers properly.  I had equipped my short deck since it was meant to be a quick fight and my friend had on a deck designed specifically for healing purposes.  Everything was going great, Mister Zeus at my side giving me accuracy meant a lower chance of fizzling so I was confident in my ability to finish it quickly. 

Little did I know, we had someone behind us.  He jumped into the fight just as I summoned Ra to finish the job; my last attack spell even.  Upon joining our circle, a fourth shark joined into our battle.  No sweat, right?  I gave the person who joined the chance to kill as I was out of cards save for a couple of hits from my Spyglass. 

"Excuse me, but would you mind asking before you join a fight next time? We were just finishing up and I'm out of cards." I said, as politely as I could. 

He replied, "Nah, I do what I want to when I want to.  Just like this!" *Flee*

The conjurer had fled the match leaving me with only two puny hits and a theurgist who was set to heal rather than battle.  Our only choice, in that situation, was to flee after him.  We ended up fighting a second battle after the forced flee to get my badge.  Later, in thanks for his help regardless of the minor hiccup in the fight earlier, I invited my friend to stay the night in the room of his choice at Lifeglen Hotel and I stayed in the Kimono Club Suite, too tired to trek all the way back home.  After fleeing, my magic was barely enough to get me to the Hotel, getting back to the Manor would have been incredibly difficult.  Out of potions and low on mana thanks to the flee-er, it was the best I could scrounge up.


As you can see, joining battles without asking is a problem in the spiral.  Many players prefer speedy kill decks these days as opposed to the more traditional pack-in-everything-you-can-plus-the-kitchen-sink model.   I farm with a short stack most of the time.  Joining a battle and then fleeing immediately is just cruel, and it's bad manners to boot.  Asking to join battles is always the safe bet, and becomes more necessary the further you go from Wizard City. 

Let me know if you have any great ideas on future fanfics!  Know that I currently have drafts of a PvP courtesy and "dating" in the spiral on the way!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

PS. I have a new poll up on the sidebar, and a Wizard101 Facebook account now!  Check out John Lifeglen after you vote!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ravenwood Radio News

Yep, the title says it all *funny how those title things generally work to give SOME idea of what's coming, isn't it?*.  Ravenwood Radio has had a change in hosting for the time being.  The wonderfully talented Overlord Leesha [Darkheart] Live has stepped down and the equally lovely and talented Fallon Deathslinger is sitting across the virtual tabletop from Stephen Spiritcaller.  Thank you to Leesha for your work and dedication throughout so many marvelous episodes, and good luck to Fallon for the future!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unwelcomed Teleports

Greetings Spiralites, and welcome to another exciting installment of Through the Eyes of a Sorcerer. Today's feature presentation includes yet another fanfic meant to educate youngsters (and some older players, too...) about some important issues in the spiral.


I wake abruptly from my slumber in Lifeglen Manor to the vibrant colors of a teleport mere minutes after drifting off from a lengthy day of library research.

 "What the heckhound is going on??" I ask to the person who dropped in unannounced.  They reply with a weak "sorry" and immediately jump into a long winded tale about how Malistaire is actually alive and remarried to Morganthe.  Please! 

Finally, rather grumpily (as I am NOT a person to deal with immediately after I get out of bed...), I ask the person "What do you think you are doing? Dropping into my home at hours that no normal wizard keeps, and starting in on a tirade about Malistaire and Morganthe secretly raising Dworgyn after rescuing him from a clocktower in France.  Goodness, haven't you heard of "knocking" first?  There's this marvelous feature called a Whisper that lets you reach me before porting...and everyone wonders why I never leave my teleportation locator turned on!"  My friend and I then had a LONG talk about teleporting after receiving approval.

I, for one, prefer to be asked before dropped in on unless I happen to be in a publicly accessible area that is not combat based.  For instance, if someone drops in on me at the Bazaar, in the Shopping District, Celestia Base Camp, the Commons (though WHY would anyone EVER go there unless it was to sprint through at top speeds?!?), Pet Pavillion, etc, I'm fine with it.  When someone lands on top of me in the Science Center as I'm offing some Aquabots with a 1-shot Ra when I have my short-stack on (short-stack is how I refer to my quick and easy short case you were wondering) then we have problems.  Also, housing is a touchy subject.  Some people only log in for long enough to tend a garden or drop a furniture item off, and some others really don't want their houses to be viewed before complete. 

Different people have different levels of privacy. The rule of thumb is to always ask before you port unless you are certain the party you are porting to is alright with it.

Moral is: Ask before you port (especially in private locations and combat areas). Establish "safe port areas" with your friends about where you can port to each other without asking.  That will make life easier on everyone!

I'll post this in the "fanfic" tab as well, check that out sometime if you haven't already!  If anyone has any ideas on future "Tips via fanfic", please let me know!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Monday, February 7, 2011

Excellent News!

I just got in from work to find an e-mail from Gabrielle Iceweaver, who many of you might know from Heather's memorial service.  I've been working with Gabrielle to reopen Heather's blog which can be found *HERE* (clicky!). Please be aware that commenting has been disabled on Heather's blog. As it stands it is a lasting record, not something that will continue to be updated by Gabrielle.

This news brief brought to you by John Lifeglen.

PS. If you encounter any problems accessing it, please comment on this post and I'll contact Gabrielle immediately!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Leaning Tower of Honey Sickles (Goes POOF!)

John Lifeglen here again (wow that makes for 2 days in a row...sounds like someone is finally caught up on homework to the point that he can write something!).  As the title implies, this post is about gardening towers.  Yep, they're going away!  KingsIsle has acted very swiftly in removing this exploit from the game.  The super-gardens will soon be leaving the Spiral and all those that so painstakingly created them have created them for nothing.

It was coming.

Exploits that give some players with knowledge of them advantage over those that do not have the knowledge of how they work is downright wrong, and bravo KingsIsle to fixing it (JUST this exploit, keep that in mind).  I'm hoping this doesn't come back to bite everyone, though.  Since this exploit was so far-reaching and it involved the rug bug, I'm seriously hoping KingsIsle doesn't remove a powerful tool in housing decoration.  Yeah, I know it's a bug in the system, but they've let it exist for such a length of time now without ending it that it would crush certain people to lose it.  Before people understood the mechanics of what it did and how it was triggered would have been a better time to chop it.  Only time will tell, I suppose.  This is just one wonderful thing KingsIsle has done in crushing exploits. 

I'm not exactly pleased with a couple other "fixes" they've applied in the recent past.  Primarily, this would be the Wayfinder Scheme.  It would have been great to be able to buy Wayfinder gear for my alts when they "come of age" so to speak, but now I get to grind the WareHouse for Bartleby only knows how long.  Thanks to the exploitation of different colors being worth different amounts of gold when sold on the bazaar.  I can proudly say that I didn't take part in getting gear turned from Auction to No Auction.  At least we can still trade it between our wizards, because John has finally perfected a deck for use on the boss floors in there.

I was watching Ravenwood Radio from the sidelines last week and one Fallon Firefountain pointed out something interesting.  I hadn't thought about it until she presented the argument, and it made some sense.  Her argument is that PvP kills the normal use of spells.  Her first mention was the stun block introduction into the game.  Stun Block wouldn't even exist were it not for PvP, thanks to your friendly neighborhood chain-stunners.  Before Stun Block when I was running my little ice character through Wizard City, he found Freeze to be an invaluable asset.  Now what?  What are the schools that have any type of stun doing with them now? 

The application of four Stun Blocks in the arena post-stun is fine, it's a fix for chain stunning (given that Earthquake is still behaving properly...which is another can of worms entirely), but what about PvE?  I know that I relyed heavily on my ability to stun mobs for a couple of turns in a row in order to give a friend the time to get a good attack off without being killed!  Is there no way to change mechanics between PvP and PvE?  Your friendly neighborhood moderators Kevin Battleblood and Cassandra Dragonheart quickly explained the reasoning, and I noticed she dropped the conversation.  I was rather hoping to see where she went next with her argument as it spiked some interest.  Maybe she'll start a blog and let us all know how she feels, I for one would love to follow it.

As per always, comment away.  I'm hoping Kevin and/or Cassandra will see this post and restate what they told Fallon, as I only remembered her initial argument well and wouldn't want to restate their thoughts improperly.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Saturday, February 5, 2011

KingsIsle, KingsIsle, KingsIsle...Tsk Tsk

As the title of that implies, I'm not thrilled. I'm not even mildy happy. Nor does this mean I'm upset/angry.  Frankly, the primary feeling of this post is disappointment.  KingsIsle, a company many of us have looked to with respect for quite some time now, is slowly irritating a large segment of the player population.  I write this now a few days after the announcement as it has given me time to cool down to some degree, because I have a tendency to fly off the handle and was a bit furious when I first heard about it.

A few weeks ago, Open Chat was revoked for crowns players that had subbed at one point and got to keep the privilege.  Yes, a privilege.  Wizard101Central absolutely exploded when the post came across the newswire from Professor Greyrose and some of it is in the nature that I do not desire to link to.  There were personal attacks eight ways to Sunday.  A few Centralites, including myself, posted calmly in an attempt to a) assuage the crowds and b) search for solutions.  KingsIsle reversed what had been done with a letter from Professor Ambrose indicating that they DO care every bit as much about their pay-as-you-go population as their subscribers. 

Now, the new members benefits are coming through.  This isn't really something that bothers me, I understand that members need something to keep them as members as an incentive to keep paying rather than jumping ship to crowns to save in the long run.  Energy will replenish faster, crafting slots will cool down faster, friends list will expand by 20, and backpack space will increase.  That underlined portion is something that we've been asking for for quite some time.  Now, it's a members only benefit.  Add to that list unlimited Ranked PvP and Derby to that list to see the full set of benefits. 

It almost seems like we [crowns population] are trying to be phased out.  Also, it is my understanding that only credit card subscriptions will get the new perks.  It was previously noted that gift card based subscriptions could get you the same benefits as a credit card subscription.  When issues arose with Open Chat the gift-card-members-as-equals issue sprung up, too.  I know that gift cards are not a valid way to validate age, so Open Chat should not have been available via gift card.  But now alienation from members only perks because they opt to get a pet with their purchase?  What happens to the person that subscribes for a few months on credit, gets a gift card for Christmas, and uses it absentmindedly for a subscription in the middle of his recurring one?  Does s/he lose 20 friend list spaces and backpack slots until the subscription from the card lapses and it's all back on credit?  Somehow that doesn't seem quite right.

I realize they need subscriptions rather than crowns players, generally, because they are a more steady supply of income. Consider this case, though:

Person A is a subscriber on a recurring monthly membership, he does not purchase a year long special.
Person B is a crowns player who buys $80 in crowns (while not on special) to play the game. 
Person A plays for 2 months and then reality gets in the way, he cancels the subscription to not waste money.  Person B plays for the same amount of time, reality gets in the way, and she leaves as well.  Which person did KI benefit from the most?

Just some food for thought, friends.

Your [disappointed] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen