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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avacyn Restored Prerelease

Hey guys! Just a quick note to let everyone know Avacyn Restored is going up for sale THIS FRIDAY! I played in both days of Prerelease Tournaments and can say that it's one of the best looking sets I've played in (and I have 2 prior prereleases to compare it to, now.). I didn't pull any game-breakers, but hopefully in the few packs I purchase I'll get some of the cards I wanted. If not, I'm sure I'll be building decks around the other awesome cards in the set. I really want the three dual-colored Legendary Angels, but I won't hold my breath.

Converted Mana Costs (CMC) for the following (in case you don't want to click the links). If you actually want to know what they do, go ahead and click!

Bruna, Light of Alabaster [3][W][W][U]

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight [4][R][W][W]

Sigarda, Host of Herons [2][G][W][W]

If anyone can tell me what their nicknames are from and why they might be called that, you'll gain +5 awesome points with me.  I'm personally most excited about Sigarda.

Your [Planeswalking] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pirate101 Talk

I'm *always* late on the bandwagon with this kind of post. I guess I just wouldn't be me if I wasn't, just like a certain Necromancer wouldn't be herself if she wasn't always at least one world behind! For those of you who haven't crawled out from under your rocks lately, Pirate101 is coming. I've already added the link in the sidebar under KI operated sites. It looks to be interesting so far. Here's a play-by-play of my thought process as I heard about it.

Initial reaction:

Followed by:
This feels a bit...I don't Recycling the 101? Using the same character models? *continues reading* Same universe even? Same lore..."we are not amused".

Followed by:
Ya know, re-using the 101 is a great tie in, and the same models and universe and established lore is a wonderful marketing ploy. I approve. It doesn't look turn-based. That's a plus.

And finally:
It's turn based. Wah. But it's different. I'll give it a shot, at least. Hopefully I'll be wonderfully surprised like I was with Wizard101. I just hope it's possible to get the same name and appearance. I have so many identities as it is x_x

And I've already created a new blogger for it, just in case I can't get the same name. I know I blog here about Star Trek Online once in a while, but keeping both games by KI separate (primarily because of the look) could be very important in not confusing people. If I can use the same name and appearance (physical, not gear.), I'll probably just stick with one blog. It'll change colors and titles, but otherwise will be a conglomeration. If not, I guess I'll be maintaining 2 blogs. I might, anyway. My URL is already reserved for it, and while I won't tell you what it is, I can tell you that you should expect many similarities between this blog and that one. A countdown to a certain new podcast is already up and everything is in place.

We'll see where the Skyways take us.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Pirate101...the second game by KingsIsle Entertainment to offer a family-friendly environment and turn based gameplay. It was announced on April 25, 2012. I heard about it over twitter. This blog, Through the Eyes of a Privateer, will outline the game and the adventures it holds for me. That is, as soon as I'm able to play it.  Here's to many adventures on the high-skys!

[John Lifeglen?]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Bought a Pack...Say Wha?

Yep, folks. You read the title right. I bought some of the new Emperor's Attic packs and I liked it.

But John! You're so vehemently anti-pack!!! What are you thinking?!

Thank you, random internet personality, for voicing that for me. This is the first pack I've actually enjoyed. Why, you ask? It's all furniture (save for some seeds. Which are still sort of pseudo-housing). There are no junky reagents, treasure cards, gear that's no better than what I'm wearing, or over-hyped mounts and pets anywhere in it. Instead, we got over 60 NEW housing items, 8 of which are interactive. The Tag Game is in it, and while I didn't get it there I did win one from Paige Moonshade. Tag is AWESOME! If you don't want to test your luck with the packs, it will be craftable when Avalon hits the live realms.

That's really all I posted to say. This Hoard has my blessing. It's not stuffed full of all old junk that nobody wants or needs, it's not all filler. There are minimal old items in it (such as the Shrines from MooShu) and I can honestly say that I got at least 2 new items per pack every time, usually more.

Oh, and I'm going to open up my Sun Palace tomorrow night for a game of Tag. Possibly multiple games of tag. My Sun Palace is actually going to be a Headquarters for the Council of Light. It's decorated for the most part currently, complete with Aurum and Argentum guarding the gates (+5 points to the first person to comment the literal inspiration for their names, and +10 points to the first person to tell me which book series the names are actually pulled from). The house won't be completely complete until we can mount wands on our walls, but it's coming! I'm so excited and ready for it. Big plans!

So...Tag tomorrow (well, tonight). 4/24/2012. Let's meet in the Myth School Tower, Lincoln Area 1 at 5:15 PM CST. Teleport Bus will be a baby John Lifeglen (Do NOT report for impersonations, please!!!). We'll arrive at Headquarters at 5:30 to begin the game!!! Baby Lifeglen will be wearing a Plain Pumpkin Mask with Black and Orange Guardian Robes and Boots and wielding an Ascendant Staff. Hopefully he'll stand out enough to catch your attention!

Hope to see you then!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Branding Yourself

In an online community, it's important to broadcast yourself the same way through all of your platforms. In the Wizard101 Community, for instance, you should choose one wizard name and stick with it. Avatars can be different across the map, sure, but if you really want to build recognition it's important to build your own "brand" that you can be proud of. Some brands only require a name (aka The Friendly Necromancer) to have everyone on board as to who you're talking about.  Some involve a certain style about them or the pictures they use. Some (like mine) try to tie everything together.

By "brand" I mean something easily identifiable as YOU.  Changing your name constantly on Twitter can make it difficult for followers to know who they're following.

My brand involves a lot of recycling images and colors. My Avatar for Blogger, Wizard101 Central, Diary of a Wizard ConnectX, my Wizard101 Facebook, Wizard101 Twitter, and Wizard101 Google+ all use the same base image. My Twitter one always has the "Support Diarykids Twibbon" on it, but you can still see that it's me. My Signature on Wizard101  Central is made to match the current avatar. I've taken it a step further now, even. I'll update my Header here whenever I create a new set of Avatar and Signature pictures. My Google+ and Facebook cover banners will be getting updates at the same time. I've chosen a specific orange and a specific brown that I'll be using (for now, and it's subject to change) in everything that I do, along with choosing a specific font.

But that's just me. If you're random and like having all kinds of different things going on, that's not necessarily a bad thing. That's your brand, just like I have mine. Make it you. Good branding doesn't have to be cookie-cutter and perfectly matched up. Good branding says "Hi. This is something that [YourNameHere] did." and makes it fully obvious what else goes with your stuff. I find that easiest by giving it a common thread.

Be it a name, a color scheme, a general font or picture, or any combination of those. Make it you, because you're the only you the world has.

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sword of Kings Comparison Data

I was poking around Wizard101 Central this morning after a Business Law exam and did some research on the new Sword of Kings. Apparently it's a level 70 sword with some rather impressive stats...for certain schools. Balance is getting the short end of the proverbial stick once more, it seems. All of the wands give the +1 Power Pip at the start of a match, OK. All of them give some degree of Critical Rating. OK there, too. What kills me, though, is that Life and Balance are so grossly outmatched when it comes to the rest of the stats. I'll let this handy dandy table I put together speak for itself.

*Fire should be +32 Block Rating, not +35. I apologize for the typo!

That should be pretty easy to read. I arranged the columns in Critical-Ascending order. In theory, the Block row should descend and match up perfectly. Hmm...Nope. Something's broken here. 

Notice anything about the Life column? Oh, it's missing a little thing called Critical Block? Oops...

These swords also give something like +4 copies of a wand strike for 130 damage in the appropriate school and +1 trap card for +10% damage. All of them have that (though I haven't seen pictures of the Balance sword, only the stats, so it could very easily be getting short-changed there, too.). 

A simple switcheroo like this would make the chart look much prettier. Increase Balance's critical rating by 1, then move Death's block to Myth and shift Myth and Balance Block both one to the right. Ascending/Descending works again! Wasn't that easy?

I'm not one to complain without looking at the facts, and these facts point to Balance and Life getting seriously shorted here. 

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Edit: I posted my concerns on Wizard101 Central's Test Realm Forum (since I'm a crown player and can't post on the official forums). 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Any fan of The Hunger Games is bound to be both excited and terrified when hearing this line. Unlike "That, is Mahogany!", the title of this post sums up the feeling of an entire nation on a single day every year.

Last year, I attempted to host a Hunger Games tournament in Wizard101. After all, our PvP, much like The Hunger Games, takes place in an Arena. The project was ultimately too over-the-top to grasp the interest of the masses, and the delicate timing was going to cause problem.

Now, my Wizaversary is coming in just over a month. My 3rd Wizaversary, to be exact. I'd like very much to host a small party in a Hunger Games fashion for my bash; and rather than asking for gifts, I'll be shelling out prizes! The problem with something stylized to match The Hunger Games is, of course, the "one person against the world" and "Highlander, there can be only one" mechanics. For this revised attempt, we'll try a 1v1 tournament. It is recommended that all participants be of the current highest level (be it 70 or 80, depending on the timing. If timing proves to be HIGHLY unfortunate, additional gear/spell restrictions will be imposed) at the time of the event. There will be 14 players. One male and one female from each school of focus.

Oh, and when is the event? The kickoff will take place on May the 19th (assuming there isn't a hitch in the scheduling and I have to move it. I reserve the right to move the date) at 8:00 PM CST. I have no delusions about finishing multiple rounds in one night, so the conclusion of the tournament will be based on how quickly events move along. After the kickoff, anyone advancing will be contacted to schedule further matches. And pairings won't be announced before the match in order to keep with the suspense of not knowing your enemy.

Entering is quite simple; you need only comment on this post to enter yourself. Make sure to include your Wizard's name and school of focus (and current level) Remaining in the tournament is another story entirely. You'll be fighting other wizards before you enter the Arena for your right to play. The Volunteers.

And what of the "Volunteers"? If you see someone entering the tournament and wish to take their place, simply post "I volunteer as tribute in place of [name].". If you are deadset on participating, you'll then need to choose a new school to play from, a different gendered character in the same school, or volunteer to take their place. The last person to volunteer for each school and gender will be the 14 in the bracket. Check back often to make sure you're still the acting participant!

In The Hunger Games, the winner received additional food for their District for a year and all of the glory that comes with it. I can't provide food per say, but I can shell out either two Mega-snack Packs or four Evil Magma Pea seeds. The choice will be for the winner to make.

The tournament will NOT take place if I don't have a full set of 14 tributes. If that happens, the party will instead be free PvP by all. Additional information about how the tournament will function to come soon. May the odds be ever in your favor.

If any of you would like to be "Gamemakers" and host a match in the tournament in an Arena you own, let me know (either by comment, tweet, or e-mail. There's a mailto linked in the top section talking about countdowns.)! The Arena is always supposed to throw tricks at the opponents and different surroundings are always interesting. It's a chance to show off your decoration skills!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Friday, April 13, 2012

Isn't it Cute?!

This isn't a Wizard101 post. It's another Star Trek Online post! I was wandering around ESD (Earth Spacedock) and came across this cute little captain. So tiny. Playing with her pet Sehlat Cub. Until I clicked her and realized she was a Vice Admiral ready to kill Borg in a single blow! Looks can be deceiving!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

School Pet Idea

The school pets are revealed for level 78...and quite a few people aren't all that thrilled. I got to thinking during the Ravenwood Radio afterparty (by the way, you NEED to download RR#62 from iTunes when it's released. Trust me!) that it would be cool to get a piggle as a school pet. A piggle with a school symbol on the belly. You could even dye it to match your style! That's all I had for you, just a quick little post. Lemme know what you think!

Your Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spells of Avalon

There's been quite a bit of discussion going on over at Wizard101 Central over the 28 new spells included with the Avalon patch. I'm writing up as much as I can about each of them, and then opening the comments section up to discussion. Rather than talking about each spell by level, I'm going to be giving chunks of information by school so we can see how each made out overall.

At level 70 each school (save for balance) receives a "Mass SchoolName Prism" that puts a prism on all enemies for 2 pips. At level 80 each school (save for balance) receives a SchoolNameSpear. Those all give +10% Armor Piercing to next SchoolName Spell. Balance receives nothing at level 70 and receives 2 Spear spells at level 80. Elemental Spear and Spirit Spear. Both give +6% Armor Piercing to the related schools.

   Level 72: Snowdrift. 2 Pips. Steal one HoT (Heal over Time).
   Level 75: Cooldown. 3 Pips. Remove 1 tick from all DoT (Damage over Time) effects.

   Level 72: Detonate. 4 Pips. Destroy 1 DoT and deal 100% Damage.
   Level 75: Backdraft. X Pips. +15% Per Pip to next Fire Spell.

   Level 72: Enfeeble. 3 Pips. Remove all positive charms from enemy.
   Level 75: Healing Current. 4 Pips. 3 Pips. 1100 Healing to target or 10000 Moon Damage to self.
100, 400, or 1000 Heal.
   Level 72: Master Triage. 3 Pips. Removes one DoT from all friends.
   Level 75: Guardian Spirit. 5 Pips. Regain 25% Health after being defeated.

   Level 72: Master Infection. 4 Pips. 3 Pips. -50% to next heal for all enemies.
   Level 75: Bad Juju. 1 Pip. 4 Pips. 500 Damage to self, put -90% damage charm on opponent.

   Level 72: Shift. 4 Pips. 6 Pips. Push one DoT to target.
   Level 75: Dimension Shift. 3 Pips. Trade all hanging effects with minion.

   Level 72: Mana Burn. 5 Pips. Deal damage to target based on number of pips. Deal 80 damage per pip your opponent has and remove 3 pips. 
   Level 75: Supernova. 9 Pips. 2 Pips. Target with active aura takes 535 damage. Target Aura is destroyed, dealing 535 damage. 

Ice seems to have made out OK. The already difficult-to-kill tank class now has more spells at their disposal based around surviving longer. It'll make future PvP much more interesting...and likely much more challenging against all-ice (or 3 ice and a life) teams.

Fire also made out fairly well. Detonate will (from my understanding) take any ticks that are on the target and blow them up, dealing the full amount of damage that would be dealt at once. Backdraft looks to work like Supercharge, taking all of your pips and putting them into a trap. This could be lethal with an Efreet! Just make sure to put it on after you apply the Mass Fire Prism.

Storm got lucky with Enfeeble. Being able to strip massive amounts of stacked blades in one fell swoop and leaving your infections and dispels you worked so hard to place. Healing Current looks like a bit of a joke to me. With no solid way to defend against moon damage it seems as though it's not meant to be cast. The only way I can see it being useful is as a heal if you've got 3+ stackable weaknesses. Or as a way to "Heal or die" to remove ticks or save your life, either way. It has its's just a bit of a catch 22.

Life made out WONDERFULLY! Master Triage is going to be a fantastic defense against Snow Angel and Rain of Fire spammers. Guardian Spirit looks very nice, as well. Being able to put an "If, then" effect on you seems like a wonderful addition.

Death has finally received the spell they've been begging for for as long as I can remember. Master Infection finally applies a heal negation to the entire team. Spritely will still be a problem to manage with it, though. Bad Juju looks a lot like Dark Pact. Following the classic "hurt myself to hinder the opponent" mantra that is necromancy, it could be great. Assuming they add in "cannot critical" to it ;). With the pip cost changes on 4/11, Bad Juju won't be a spam issue if you have a Spritely happy pet. The reduction in Master Infection's cost is nice, but ultimately disappointing as I expect spam will happen much easier now. Especially since Empower gives you 3 pips...

Myth receives a couple of interesting spells. Shift will work like a "redirect" of sorts on DoTs, moving them "return to sender" style (or return to other team's healer ;) ). Dimension Shift (which I wouldn't have named that way. It doesn't behave the same as Shift. Dimension Shift would imply moving one DoT from each ally to each enemy in my opinion.) Trades all "hanging effects" with your minion. I'm not sure what's included with "hanging effects". To me, that would be any and all wards, charms, traps, and ticks (both HoT and DoT). It's interesting to think about. I can't wait to see some of the uses for it.  With the change to Shift on 4/14 from 4 pips to 6, I see it being used much less often now. Let's get Snowdrift increased in pip cost now, too, or Ice will become even more unbalanced and overpowered. 

And finally Balance. I could write a novel about why I'm disappointed with it but I'll spare you. I was seriously hoping Balance might finally get a shield, blade, trap, prism, something. Instead we receive two sets of "Spears" that do less piercing than their individual counterparts and cost a pip, to boot. We receive Mana Burn for 5 pips (instead of the 0 on the Test Realm currently that caused a royal rhubarb on Wizard101 Central). It looks like it'll be fun, especially if it eats through an opponent's pips like it claims. I'm expecting it to be nerfed and possibly made more expensive, though. Only time will tell.  My only thought is that balance can't play support if our pips are constantly being cranked into these larger spells. And the Spear spells scream support, because they'll stack with the school-specific counterparts. Only time will tell, I suppose.  THIS JUST IN. The 9 pip spell for balance is a royal piece of junk! 9 pips to deal 535 damage to ONE opponent IF the opponent is under an aura? No thank you. Balance gets nothing from this new update whatsoever!  I can honestly say I am not excited about anything new that Balance is getting.  How disappointing.

As of 4/11, Mana Burn is no longer "broken" like so many people considered it. Rather than removing a rack of pips, it is limited to removing 5 now. It also deals 80 damage per pip. I'm not certain if this is per power pip (as though the caster had used it) or based on your school casting an out-of-class spell. Supernova is MUCH more exciting now. The pip cost has been reduced by a whopping 7.  It does still strip blades/traps/shields (to an extent) but only those that could stack (ie. not 2 of the same Tower). We aren't sure if this is intended yet or not, and as I know more I'll let you all in on the secret.  It strips the Aura and deals flat damage. Consider it a Detonate for Aura spells. Still situational, but I'm willing to give it a chance now.

Your [Highly Disgruntled] Friend Always,
John Lifeglen

EDITS are made in red ( for 4/11) or green (for 4/14) or stricken through.