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Monday, May 30, 2016

Fifth Blogoversary Site Updates & Contests


It's hard to believe that it's been seven and a half years since I started playing KingsIsle games and five years since I started this site. I want to take a quick look back, share some updates to the site, and take a look at some contests to celebrate!

Looking Back

Swordroll's Blog has grown a lot over of the years. Last year for my blogoversary, I showed the process of designing and re-designing the site. But it isn't just the look that has changed over time. There's a lot of content here, if you think about. There's a doubloon database, a hybrid guide, backgrounds, background packs, icon packs, community links, fortunes, mini-games, contests, Zeke guides, dungeon guides, countless guides in posts, theorycrafting, bundle and pack reviews, and more.

Through it all, some of my best memories have been outside the site. For my third blogoversary celebration two years ago (I can't believe it) Sonja of Soultamer Gaming put together a whole surprise party. You'd think that on that day, I'd be expecting something, but it hit me totally out of the blue. It is one of my favorite memories here.

Highlighted Blog Posts

Over the past year, there are a lot of cool blog posts, but six that I really want to highlight.

  • Pirate101 Pet Morphing Guide: I have a love for pets in Pirate101. They're cheap to morph and there are lots of them. But hybrids in particular always caught my attention. Getting them all was a lot of work, but I did it. Some I had to hatch and re-hatch and re-level for all of the egg and art images, but I did it, and I love it. It's the only place in the Spiral you can look at one page and based on your egg know exactly what you got from a morph.
  • An Assessment of Online Interactions: Earlier this year in March, I did this post looking at player interactions with each other, with KingsIsle, and from other angles. This turned into a pretty beefy post full of thoughts and I'm pleased with how it came out.
  • Wizard101 Darkmoor Castle Block Idea: I hit 600 posts this February. I have actually done a variety of different forms of art, but this was a new frontier for me - basic modeling and texture art. The results were really cool. Not only did I build a set of Darkmoor Castle Blocks, I actually used them to assemble two different castles.
  • Polarian Shipwreck House Map: I have done one other map before of the Amber Estate and it was well-received. I really love creating these, so I did another, and I think it turned out pretty cool... no pun intended. The Polarian Shipwreck is a great house.
  • September Guest Post Lineup: It is not this post itself that's cool, but I did start a new tradition that I hope to continue this year. It was awesome to hear from five different people, all discussing some cool topics. One of them - the very first guest post on Swordroll's Blog, in fact, was the winner of the Aztecan Builder's Bundle from my blogoversary contest last year.
  • Wizard101 Idea: Arctic Bundle: This past August, I completed what is probably the most popular piece of artwork I've done - a bundle image. Complete with gear stat creations and more, this was a pretty thorough concept for a bundle.


Site Updates

Main Site

  • The sub-navigation link to the hybrid guide has been updated to reflect a change in location.
  • To celebrate the release of Book 15 on the Pirate101 Test Realm, the site has a temporary new header and background!
  • I'm experimenting with some new numbering to make traveling to older posts easier at the bottom of the page.

Hybrid Guide

  • All of the newest hybrids have been added to the guide
  • Some layout restructuring has been completed on the back end.
  • The hybrid guide has been moved to a post rather than a page.

Doubloon Database

  • Several new doubloons have been added to the database. Please consider contributing!

Guides

  • Moo Manchu's Tower drop guide now has an incredible 99 of 113 total items! Let's wrap this one up.
  • The Witch Hunter's Bundle overview is now up!


Fifth Blogoversary Contests

I've got three exciting new contests for you in celebration of my fifth blogversary! To see all active contests, visit the Contests page on the sub-navigation bar.

Search for the Deadly Toxin Contest

Prize: Witch Hunter's Bundle  |  Begins June 20  |  Ends June 30

Craving Wizard101's latest game card? The Witch Hunter's Bundle could be yours if you can successfully complete the challenges leading up to it! The quest from the Jewel Bundle Hunt will continue on your road to the bundle. But don't worry if you missed that contest, there will be a quick story recap before beginning. 

This contests starts June 20 and is updated with a new part every other day, five times in total. The contest will close at the final reveal, where wizards will be competing for the bundle. The contest was fairly popular last time I did it, and we've got some new things in store for this one, including talent from around the community - you don't want to miss this, even if you aren't playing to win.

Best Battleboard Builder Contest

Prize: 10,000 Crowns  |  Begins May 30  |  Ends June 15

While this contest is definitely geared toward Pirates, anyone can participate for the crowns! Simply design your own Battleboard with win conditions and all using the BattleBoard Builder on the site.

  • To keep things fair, you may only use the functions of the Battleboard Builder. No additions can be made.
  • To submit your entry, email a screenshot of your board and your pirate name to swordroll (at) gmail (dot) com. 
  • Battleboards will be judged for creativity and use of different elements.
  • One winner will be chosen to receive 10,000 crowns.
  • You may not win more than one prize between the Battleboard Builder Contest and the Rafflecopter.
  • Players under 13 should get permission from their parent or guardian before participating. 

Rafflecopter

Prizes: Grand Tourney Gauntlet; 5,000 Crowns  |  Begins May 30  |  Ends June 15

For wizards and pirates unable to participate in the above contests or who are looking for a few additional opportunities, you can win a Grand Tourney Gauntlet Bundle or 5,000 crowns.

  • You can answer a series of questions and participate in promotions to increase your odds of winning.
  • You may claim a free point each day.
  • One winner will be randomly selected from all entries to win the Grand Tourney Gauntlet and another winner will be randomly selected to win 5,000 Crowns.
  • You may not win more than one prize between the Battleboard Builder Contest and the Rafflecopter.
  • Players under 13 should get permission from their parent or guardian before participating. 

Thanks for reading for five happy years! Here's to many more! See you in the Spiral.

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