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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wizard101: Advanced Castle Building Guide


Creating a house with the building blocks from Wizard101's latest card, the Arcane Builder's Bundle, can be tricky. And whether you're just envisioning your first house, or you've already built several, I think you'll find some useful tips in this quick guide to getting the most out of your bundle.

The Arcane Builder's Bundle

Right now, the only option for building your own castle comes with the Arcane Builder's Bundle. This is a bundle available at GameStop with three different plots and sets of housing blocks. Learn more and see the original houses HERE.

Controls

Building a house is actually very simple. Building a good house is a little bit tougher. All you have to do is place blocks and floors down. There are a few options you should know about, though.
  • Selecting a castle block that is either in your inventory or in your house will zoom you out much further for building.
  • Castle Blocks are a separate 250/250 count in these new houses only. You can use decorating space instead, though. In the Arcane bundle houses, if you use more than 250 blocks, the count will bleed over into your decorating count. Using a Bric-A-Brac does not increase bonus block count.
  • All castle blocks are under the outdoor category, but can be placed in the interior of houses.
  • Castle Block Options are accessed through a housing button that shows up when you click on a housing block that is either in your inventory or in your house.
  • You need to have your house equipped to be building, or your block count will automatically move to your item count

Castle Block Options

Your castle block settings have some defaults that are very useful, but there are some times where you'll want to change them. You access this button by clicking on a castle block. The button is circular with a house on (seen in the image above).

Automatically set next block will automatically select the next block of the same kind that you place. So, for example, if I have six floor tiles in my inventory and I place one, instead of having to go to my panel to find the next, it will already be on my mouse and ready to be placed. This will not work with different kinds of castle blocks, only those of one type. This is turned on by default.

Snap blocks will move your castle blocks to specified spots and allow you to build with a more controlled structure. However, it tends to make blocks difficult to place where you'd like them, and so I recommend not using it. This is turned off by default.

Hide higher items will turn off a roof or higher level you've placed when you're below it. This allows you to more easily see and select objects. There will be times when you'll need to turn it off, but for the most part, this is a great feature. This is turned on by default.

Lock blocks will allow you to decorate your castle and select castle blocks, but you will not be able to pick up or move any blocks. Be careful to keep at least one block in an attic, bank, or inventory, as placing all blocks and locking them will currently leave you unable to access the castle block settings to unlock them. This is turned off by default.

Confusing Blocks

There are some blocks in particular that you may not be able to visualize without an image or which may be hard to distinguish. Here's a highlight on just a few of those blocks.

Balustrade LG Castle Block
Crenelation Castle Block
Floor/Ceiling LG Castle Block
This is essentially a railing, meant specifically to be decorative on a balcony or elsewhere.

These can go around a balcony or on the edges of the top of a castle for their decorative value.

This is one of the most common castle blocks, and it used to create additional stories in your house.

Wall LG Castle Block B
Stairs/Ceiling Castle Block
Secret Passage Castle Block
This is another very common type of castle block that is used to surround your castle.
This is a set of stairs that allows for another floor above the one the stairs take you to.
Identifiable by its blue color, the secret passage castle block can be walked through.

More Than Building: Looking Good

It's one thing to put together a house, but it's another to put together one that actually works without any major flaws. You are going to quickly notice that there are some issues you run into when trying to place blocks.

Walls act differently based on how you place them. If you put a wall on regular flooring or a platform or whatever else, it will sit on top of it. If you place it on any panel that is a floor/ceiling combination, as shown above, it will sink in. Sometimes you'll want one look or the other.





Walls don't work in your favor for surrounding standard blocks.

Block Size
Floor Dimensions
---
Small (SM)
Large (LG)
Extra Large (XL)
WxL
1x8
8x8
16x16

Block Size
Wall Dimensions
---
Wall/Post
Wall/Post Short
Wall LG / B
Wall MD
Wall Short
Wall Short MD
HxL
8x1
4x1
8x8
8x4
4x8
4x4

When building, you will have to account for this. You cannot JUST use walls to enclose an area. The only way to make that work is to have two sides on the panels and two off, which produces an uneven top, as shown to the left.

The better option in most cases is to surround the tiles (instead of placing the walls on them) and use single posts to fill in the areas that need them. Medium walls can also be of some use, and can be turned sideways for a decorative effect.

When using crenelation blocks, short, medium walls and short posts can be used to fill in gaps, as you'll no doubt encounter some at some point in decorating.

Creating Unique Looks

When you build your castle, you don't just want four walls with a door. You want something unique and different and perhaps that has a different shape and variations in size of walkways and floors and so forth. While you want to maintain consistency in what you design, diversity overall is important. That means that not every floor is going to be the exact same size, but that you're also not going to use a bunch of wood and tile blocks together to create a load of randomness. Yes, that's what it is.


Use the orientation of your blocks to your advantage. If two sets of tiles do not match up (white is touching white and not brown; two rows are the same as opposed to alternating because of how you placed the tile), then rotate the tile and replace it. To create variation in the block design when using individual posts, rotate them as well. This is a little trick that can make a big difference. Take a look at the example on the left of turning individual posts for texture.

Be creative with your wall placement. Sometimes, instead of using various single posts for your walls, you can simply place a large wall one space out that overlaps the others. If you do so, you will have to follow that pattern for all walls above it, but it's a very cool way to get a different, even decorative, look while saving blocks.

Turn medium walls inward. Instead of using three posts to fill a space, you can turn three medium walls sideways and use them to fill that space. Now you have this sort of column or divider that makes the room look less square while you saved pieces.

Pro Tip: Putting Pieces Where They Don't Want to Go

Sometimes you run into an issue where you are one space short of fitting a piece or placing an object. In the example below, I have a line of archways going, but the last one doesn't quite fit, and I don't want to leave the space open. So what I do is then place down another tile, put the archway on, and then pick up that extra tile, leaving the archway where I intended it to be.


You don't just have to use this for pieces on one, level, though. Say you want to connect two towers with a walkway through the sky, like in the Massive Fantasy Palace. You can use the floor/ceiling pieces to build up to the spot, and then pick up all the floor/ceiling pieces below the one you're using for the walkway.

Speaking of walkways and archways, I really love using the arches for walkways and the front of castles. They're great for open up into other spaces or transitioning from inside to out without a door. Just be careful - you can walk through them, so some of your balustrade pieces may come in hand when you use them on higher levels.


Castle Block Management

When you buy a bundle, you're going to get over 500 castle blocks. Needless to say, that's a little bit over your inventory space. You can pick up all items in your house and place them in your attic so long as you have under 300 items in your attic. Understand this - the limit is 100 for putting individual items in, but you can pick up all items up to 300. So if you pick up everything inside and have 250, you can then pick up everything outside, and have 500.

However, that's assuming you have nothing in your attic. If you do, you've got a problem. I recommend at least picking up everything in the area you're going to build in. Then place all the items inside so as not to add too much to your count, and then you can see them all and take your pick, or just access them from your attic as needed.


Common Issues and Solutions

You're going to run into several issues when building castles. It's inevitable. Here are some common problems and their solutions.

Issue 101: I can't select an item on a lower floor; it's just selecting the roof.
Solution 101: Hit "H" twice to close and then open the house placing options and you will be zoomed in closer. Select the item you want and move or pick it up from there. Note that once you select it, you will zoomed back out, so be careful with your selection.


Issue 102: I am trying to place an item higher than I am currently and it's not working.
Solution 102: You need to be at least on the level of the item you're placing, so build up to where you want to be. In an earlier picture, you see me standing on an angled roof. Use these to view higher areas without having to build up.


Issue 103: I cannot walk onto my staircase. I am just walking through it.
Solution 103: When this happens, you need to exit the area you are in (go to the inside or outside depending on where you are) or teleport away completely and come back. It should work then. (Thanks for the tip, Paige Moonshade!)



Issue 104: I can't get back onto my staircase once I go up to the next floor.
Solution 104: The reason you are not able to get back onto the staircase is because you are not high enough on the platform you're standing on. Place some floor or floor/ceiling tiles and you should be able to go down the stairs once more.



Issue 105: Castle block options aren't coming up.
Solution 105: Again, you need to select a block in your inventory or in the house and then look for a circular house button to change the block settings. Remember that blocks are under the outdoor category.






Issue 106: I can't place walls on top of other walls as I build my castle up.
Solution 106: Chances are that you placed some walls in floor/ceiling tiles and some walls in only floor tiles. They will act differently, and will vary in height. If any height in not consistent, you can't place something on top of the area.


Issue 107: I placed a staircase and two floors later, I can't put anything on top of it.
Solution 107: You used a regular staircase as opposed to a Staircase/ceiling. Pick up the staircase and place two floor/ceiling LG tiles, and another two on top of those. Use slanted roof tiles to move up floors to place a third. Pick up the first two and replace the staircase.
Issue 108: I am addicted to castle building and having too much fun with it. What can I do?
Solution 108: Unfortunately, there is no solution to this problem currently. You are stuck with the excess fun. I recommend not reading the rest of this post, as it includes details of future house-building materials and will excite you more.


Getting Creative

Don't just use blocks the way you see them in houses to being with. Get creative! In this picture above, I've taken a few extra pieces to build what become one of my favorite parts of the house. You'll notice that with the way it's set up, I would have one extra space on one side. Instead of simply leaving that extra space, I use two wall posts as a double support. Try out different block combinations, change up the flooring, and so on.

This is a video of me working on building a basic tower. You'll notice that I make a lot of clear mistakes and have to correct those. You'll see my using some of the tricks I discussed in this post guide as well. 


The following is the first castle I built in Wizard101. I will walk you through all parts of it, and then zoom out to castle view and show you what it looks like to navigate between floors. This is built using only the pieces from the Midday Estate's two castles.


Which Castle Blocks With What?

The following is a list of all of the castle blocks you receive with each bundle. The Night Garden is currently missing and will be added later. If no number is present in the box, you do not get any of the block with that bundle. Remember that this is between both the inside and outside castles in each house.

Castle Block
Midday Estate
Meadows at Dusk
Night Garden
Archway Castle Block
8
14
24
Balance Tower Roof Castle Block
1
-
-
Balustrade LG Castle Block
15
15
4
Balustrade SM Castle Block
8
2
5
Crenelation Castle Block
35
45
57
Death Tower Roof Castle Block
1
-
-
Door Double Castle Block
3
6
1
Door Double Magic Castle Block
1
-
1
Door Single Castle Block
6
-
-
Door Single Magic Castle Block
1
2
-
Fire Tower Roof Castle Block
-
1
-
Flat Roof MD Castle Block
-
-
44
Floor LG Castle Block
19
17
44
Floor LG Wood Block
15
8
3
Floor MD 2 Story Castle Block
-
21
36
Floor MD Castle Block
-
-
32
Floor SM Castle Block
-
12
29
Floor SM Wood Block
-
-
12
Floor XL Castle Block 
4
-
9
Floor XL Wood Block 
-
-
15
Floor/Ceiling LG Castle Block
44
145
51
Floor/Ceiling MD Castle Block
-
-
63
Floor/Ceiling MD Wood Block
-
-
5
Floor/Ceiling SM Castle Block
2
-
54
Floor/Ceiling SM Wood Block
-
-
7
Floor/Ceiling XL Castle Block
34
1
2
Floor/Ceiling XS Castle Block
-
-
3
Floor/Ceiling XS Wood Block
-
-
6
Gobbergoyle Castle Block
2
2
2
Ice Tower Roof Castle Block
1
-
-
Life Tower Roof Castle Block
1
1
-
Myth Tower Roof Castle Block
-
1
1
Roof Corner Castle Block
8
12
10
Roof Peak Castle Block
-
8
3
Roof Slanted Castle Block
14
23
11
Round Tower Castle Block
6
3
2
Round Tower Roof Castle Block
-
1
-
Secret Passage Castle Block
6
5
2
Stained Glass Castle Block
12
31
11
Stairs Narrow Castle Block
-
4
2
Stairs Wide Castle Block
2
6
-
Stairs/Ceiling Castle Block
4
1
4
Storm Tower Roof Castle Block
-
2
-
Tower Corner Castle Block
-
14
10
Tower Corner Top Castle Block
-
1
4
Tower Door Castle Block
-
2
3
Wall Corner Castle Block
-
14
8
Wall LG Castle Block
52
35
20
Wall LG Castle Block B
68
34
23
Wall MD Castle Block
32
8
42
Wall Short Castle Block
5
2
1
Wall Short MD Castle Block
1
4
9
Wall/Post Castle Block
71
39
89
Wall/Post Short Castle Block
4
2
15
Wall/Window Castle Block
20
5
21
Windowed Tower Castle Block
4
10
2

510 Total Blocks
559 Total Blocks
740 Total Blocks

Update: Crafted Castle Blocks!

As of a July update to Wizard101, you now no longer need bundles to get your own castle blocks! You can instead craft them, and get the recipes from a vendor in the shopping district! There are a ton of blocks - every block available in a bundle can also be crafted. Rather than re-post all of the recipes here, I'll direct you to Duelist101's guide HERE.

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! I can't wait to see what you come up with! Credits: Thanks to Evan Silver for the Night Garden numbers!

25 comments:

  1. Fantastic! I am a SIms builder form way back and I love it, love it, love it, that I can finally build my own castle!!!! Thanks for the run through.

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  2. Just brilliant. Awesome details and patiently explained. I think my favorite is Issue 108 :D

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  3. Great guide, one of the most in-depth on this Arcane bundle that I have seen!

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  4. Have been following you on twitter and have to say, I appreciate this guide a ton! Although we have not made the jump to purchase the bundle yet, this really brings to light everything a novice builder needs to know! AND you answered a few of my questions right here in your guide! Great job!

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  5. Love this guide! Thank you for the details! By far the most helpful ever!

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  6. Thank you for the giveaway. :) Its really great that you give back to your followers. :) Love reading your posts!

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  7. I hope to see more build a castle stuff soon :D

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  8. This is kinda a ripoff .

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  9. Brilliant! and i love this blog ;D

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  10. I can't wait to try this, love the whole idea of it!

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  11. Wow! Amazing job Jasom, maybe this will help with my home!

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  12. This information about the bundle can help everyone learn about it and also learn how to build even with the videos added as examples are great also.

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  13. This is good for everyone that watches this because we can learn and how to build with like a professional.

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  14. I think this was an absolutely wonderful idea on KingsIsle's part and a lovely idea of you to post a guide to help with the building.

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  15. Unable to get the pack over here but your post has fully satisfied my curiousity about it. Thank you very much.

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  16. This is awesome, designing your own home WOW!!!!.

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  17. Thanks! When I get the bundle I will try this out!

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  18. Very nice guide! I am looking forward to getting one of these at gamestop. I hope that, KI will release, more "build your own" bundles in the future!

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  19. Nice guide....did not know such details before...thanks for guide

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  20. I am impatiently waiting for the ability to buy this bundle and this guide is going to sit on my bookmarks bar until I can put it to good use! I also might link this to WU because it's the best guide out there for the houses and it ca't be easily recreated. Great job Jason!

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  21. Any tips on how to get the roof to fit together properly? Mine looks jacked!! D=

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    Replies
    1. Getting the roof right can be tricky! Can you describe your issue in a bit more detail?

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    2. what if you get midway house and only want to pick up the first house not the one inside the cave? Can you do that and if so how and still use your attic inventory for just those blocks from that house without disturbing the one inside the cave which i love and dont want to change..please help me ty
      i will be standing by for your knowledge

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    3. Ah! Manipulating your attic can be tricky. Here are a few rules to remember:

      - Pick up all items is your best friend
      - You can only use "pick up all items" if you have 299 or fewer items in your attic
      - You can only move individual items to your attic if you have 99 or fewer
      - With Bric-A-Brac Elixirs, you can place up to 550 items in one zone
      - Your max attic space, therefore, is 849

      So your best course of action is to make sure you have less than 300 items in your attic. If you don't, take some items out and place them in the same area as the castle you DON'T like (so outside). When you have 299 or fewer, use the "pick up all items" button to pick up everything outside. Your castle inside will remain in place unless you use the button inside the cave, too. Now your outside is free to build or use and your inside castle is still in place.

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