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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gear Selection, PvP Talk, Question of the Week, Rewards Update, The Sixth and Seventh Days of Voting, and the "Other Resources" Section

Well, It's my last blog post before my week long "break." I'll be travelling, and internet won't be easily accessed. For this reason, as the title might tell you, I'm filling this post with all the information you need and want to know... and maybe some you don't want to know or don't care about. I amaze myself. Blogging is so much fun that I can keep posting even when no one is reading.

BIG topic: Gear selection. I've always wanted to sit down and discuss it, but I've never found the time, it's such a broad topic. I'm going to address the major gear selection intervals, 50-60. You'll get to listen to my bit on gear selection for my Storm, Fire, Ice, Balance, and Death, as well as my take on gear selection for other schools.


The Overlord Set for sale in the Crown Shop
To starts off, clothing, outfits, gear, whatever you wish to call it, has come a long way. Back in what some refer to as "The Golden Age of Wizard101," or what you could call the First Generation (based on crown gear), I'm not sure what the maximum level was, but level 35 gear sold in MooShu was the best possible. Back then. prices were greatly affected by color, so while the level 15 Coat of Stomping that gave amazing bonuses for that level cost 30,000 gold, changing the colors to brown reduced it to 15,000 gold - and for a piece of good crown gear, too. At level 5, you could buy a robe with a Balanceblade card, health, 6% resist, and another bonus. That was impressive for level 5! This amazing crown gear didn't last forever. Later with the Second Generation gear, crown gear was really no good any more. No one thought of purchasing second generation gear, before it was quickly replaced with the Third and final generation of crown gear, which could only be purchased with crowns. With the release of Dragonspyre, level 50 gear became available, and gear selection was no big deal. You farmed Malistaire, maybe threw some crowns in his chest, and got your robe, farmed a specific boss for you hat and another for your boots, then killed the Gurtoks for your ring and athame, purchased a nice deck, maybe farmed for a wand, then called it good. You were on top of things, there was nothing more to work for.
One of the sets of level 35+ crown gear
The Valkyrie and Overlord sets were later released. Compared with the level 35 crown gear, one out-did the resist, but lacked in damage (pictured above) and it also gave accuracy instead of power pips. The other set out-did the damage, but gave less resistance, and if you wanted accuracy, you were out of luck. In fact, with the level 50 gear, I couldn't decide whether to keep my level 35 gear or not, but I finally concluded that I'd pass it down to my lower level wizards.

With the release of Celestia, big gear changes were made. What can I wear? Where are the best bonuses? Most people thought that the level 58 gear was the best, but it lacked sufficient critical rating for some. I finally made my selections:

For my Death - The crafted hat and robe that gave death and life critical, as I enjoyed healing with my life spells, as well as the crafted ring and athame with healing bonuses, and an amulet with feint.

For my Ice - he needed to keep the resistance, so he went with level 58 gear, and his best possible ring and athame, plus the crafted Iceblade Vial amulet.

For my Balance - he went with the level 58 gear because of its varying resists, plus his best ring and athame... I never did pick an amulet for him.

For my Fire and Storm - they both went with hats and robes that gave good critical bonus, and their level 58 boots.

The decisions weren't that hard at this point and time, but then Wintertusk and the Waterworks were released. To help wizards decide on gear, one Wizard101 Central user posted a guide to help you compare. The entire guide is actually pictured to the right. It compares the level 58 Celestial gear with the Celestial crafted gear and the Waterworks dropped gear and the Wintertusk crafted gear. There were ups and down to all of the gear sets, I could see that, but decisions had to be made.

For my Death - He's going with the Waterworks gear, it gives the best universal resistance and good bonuses, including incoming healing bonus.

For my Ice - He's going with the Waterworks hat and boots, but will keep the level 58 robe for the extra resist. The 5% out-weighs the extra health from the Waterworks robe.

For my Balance - He'll also be using the Waterworks gear for the same reasons as my death. He may craft the Wintertusk hat and robe for the extra power ups, but also had amulet discussed later in gear selection.

For my Fire and Storm - They'll also be using the Waterworks gear.

Recommendation for Myth - Use the Waterworks gear unless you have a strategy that could really make use of the extra blade from the crafted hat, or you do a lot of healing and might appreciate Life Critical.

Recommendation for Life - Use the Waterworks gear, with the resist and healing bonuses, you'll be in good shop, but the extra blade could also come in handy.

Now what my characters chose to wear is not necessarily my recommendation for your characters, it just fit my style of play, which I will explain later.

Now that there was such a selection of gear, no one seemed to look the same, but you did see more Waterworks gear than anything. Now athames, rings, amulets, and wands were now a whole new issue, and probably where most of the debate was and is. Wintertusk certainly didn't help any with its selection of rings that gave the usual health and mana and power pip chance, plus block and damage rating, not to mention the six new craft-able rings/athames. Then with that, you had Mastery Amulets to select from, amazing card-giving amulets, and maybe you wanted an amulet for it's newly found health bonus. So here is what I personally decided for my characters:

For my Death - the crafted Dark Pact amulet. It gave almost 200 health, the maximum amount and amulet could give (198 to be exact) and a boosted Dark Pact that could stack with the original. Having been in a position where I powered up a storm character for a large hit on several occasions, this really came in handy as an extra universal power-up.

For my Ice - I'm really still deciding on an amulet for him. Do I want one that gives 200 health, which with his resist, is like 400 health, or do I want an extra blade for damage?

For my Balance - the amulet that gives a boosted Balanceblade and Hex at the moment, because he hasn't gotten a hold of the other one. If he crafts the hat, the blade won't likely stack with the one from the amulet, so he'll use an amulet that gives a boosted Bladestorm and another card plus some health. Then he'll have three addition power ups.

For my Fire - The amulet with the boosted Feint to help power my Storm's spells.

For my Storm - The amulet with that good old boosted Balanceblade and Hex.

Again, what I've listed isn't necessarily my recommendation for all the characters of that school, it's just what I use. Finally, the selection of rings, athames, and wands. Ah, my favorite!

For my Death - At the moment, he is wearing the crafted Wintertusk ring and athame with the best power pip chance. It gives some block and some damage and some energy. It also had a little bit of healing bonus, about 20% total per item. He uses the Dragonrider's Balance Blade. I'm not interested in spending money on the Lifeforce blade, when this is very close in comparison, lacking only a small percentage. For looks, he'll use the  Cerulean Edge. He prefers poisoning his enemies to death with the occasional skeletal dragon and Wraith/Vampire/Ghoul for healing.

For my Ice - I'm undecided. I could use the crafted Wintertusk ring and athame, but I don't do much healing. I'll probably go with the ring and athame that gives the best health while maintaining a good power pip chance. I haven't decided on a wand that he'll use for looks, but he just uses his Shivering Spear from Celestia. Loves to use lots of blades to power a big spell followed directly by another big spell.

For my Balance - Now with both a Life secondary and Availing Hands, balance can heal like life! I'm using the crafted ring and athame from Celestia with the best healing bonuses, which also offer sufficient power pip chance. He uses the crafted wand from Celestia, the Staff of Stasis for both looks and stats. His small Spectral Blasts and Judgement help to activate Cloud O' Bugs and Balanceblade for extra power and hitting plus Spritely for healing. They also give a better opportunity for Gargantuan and  Monstrous to be used, therefore getting more damage per pip than if he were using big spells. If possible in the arena, he will use large Judgments, though, which are aided by those extra power ups from his amulet. If he ever gets the opportunity to get a life amulet, it would be very helpful. He currently has 8 training points which he may or may not use for Feint which will make for extremely quick killing, even through tower shields.

Now I can hardly make any recommendations here, these items really reflect game play and how you run your characters. [On my Posting screen, all of the guide images are right underneath each other, but I can tell by the preview that it won't turn out that way... Oh, well]

Thanks for listening to my entire bit on Gear Selection! It's time for PvP Talk and the Question of the Week, combined into one!


Do you like the collision? This week's "Question of the Week" is also this [insert time frame here]'s PvP Talk.

Question: How does the new Dragon's Hoard Pack affect PvE, PvP, and general game play?
Answer: It affects some of these area's more than others, and some hardly at all. Regarding PvE, the new gear involves pets, mounts, wands, gear, etc. that all help with questing, as well as plants for farming and reagents for crafting. PvE will remain the same, really, some will have gear and such to help them progress faster and others won't.

As far as PvP is concerned, I don't think it's much of a problem or help at all. The Polymorphs from the pack are marked "No PvP," and there is already plenty of gear to help wizards win duels and go above and beyond the rest, not that this gear couldn't be helpful. I suppose the biggest issue here is the new "may cast:" Tower Shield. This could hurt strategies that involve many small hits, and if the tower shield is triggered by general damage like Spritely, then it could be a major problem, but it's likely handled like the rest of the shield "may casts," so it cant' be too much of a problem. I'm super excited that there's a new "may cast," I've always loved them and am searching out this talent now.

For general game play, this is probably what's changed the most, but still not much. Begging has always been an issue, but it is given new motive with the Dragon's Hoard, but we can't let beggars keep people from getting their hoards. With the new pet talents, Auras and Sun Spells will be able to be introduced early to low level wizards, but I don't foresee that being too much of a hazard.

While we're on the subject of the Dragon's Hoard pack, I recently sent KI an email regarding the difference in look from the shiny armor on the website to the dull, worn armor in the game. Here is the response I received:

In case you can't read it, the response is:
Hello, Excellent catch! No, there's no bug. We've adjusted the portrayal on
the website to closer match the in-game attire. Our sincere apologies for
any frustration (the attire in game has been used in battle, it's bound to
be a bit smudged) Regards, Kingsisle Support

 They said they've changed it "to closer match the in-game attire," but it looks the same as it did to me.


Now on to update my rewards! I have yet to receive that Storm Beetle, and I'm going to work hard to obtain it tonight, but if I don't get it, I suppose I don't get it. Here's a list of new rewards:

Frosted Cupcake x1
Moon Pie x1
Gold x1475
Lollipop x1
Jar of Jelly Beans x1
Caramel Popcorn x1
Golden Pizza x1
Chili Cheese Fries x3
Green Tomato x1
Evil Carrot x1
Chocolate Peanut x1
Golden Grapes x2
Tiny Fish x1
Star Fruit x1
Orange Jalapeno x1
Cow Pie x1
Glowing Taffy x1

I think I may make a last minute crown purchase, those Dragon's Hoard packs have me wanting more. 

And with that, I'd better continue with our song (which I'll gladly finish when I get back)...

"On the seventh day of voting, Swordroll said to me, 'No, it's rather annoying,'
'Perhaps this song is distracting?'
'Why Do I Even Bother?!'
'This is just useless,'
'Maybe I should just vote,' 
'Where are the voters?' 
and 'Vote for a site name please.'"


Just one vote, anyone? Ah I forgot, I'm "blogging to a wall." 

For my final bit tonight (Is it tonight already?), I'd like to introduce something new to each of my blog posts from now on.


Gear Selection

PvP Talk and Question of the Week

Rewards for Pet-A-Palooza

Other

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