April 6, 2017

The Future of Prince's Isle

No, I am not shutting down this blog.

What I am doing however, is changing how I publish my posts. I have been getting increasingly busy, and I'm not as motivated to write on Prince's Isle anymore. The reason is simple. This blog became a chore to me. So many bloggers have said this happened to them, but I didn't think this would ever happen to me, since I enjoy writing, but it did. I've been getting busier, making it harder for me to write posts, so I've had to publish more half-effort posts like countdowns. This pressure has turned what I thought I would enjoy doing weekly into a chore.

Therefore, I will no longer be posting things on a schedule. Instead, I will have a goal of posting every week, but it will not be a requirement. This way, whenever I am posting it is because I want to, not because I have to. This way, I can publish more high quality posts, even if the quantity shrinks. I bet that's what everyone would prefer: higher quality, even if there is lower quantity.

Also, I would like a new hosting service for this blog. Specifically, one that matches the following:

1) ...doesn't own the content you post. You have 100% of the rights associated with it.

2) ...doesn't censor content like on YouTube (learn more).

3) ...respects your privacy. Yes, blogging services can have a problem with this.

4) ...has similar features to blogging services such as Wordpress and Google's Blogger. However, I'd still like to know about blogging services that follow the first three requirements, even if they don't follow this one.

If you know of any blogging service like this, contact me at jamesgames1990@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

March 27, 2017

10 Stereotypes in Wizard101

A stereotype is a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. Like it or not, you can find them everywhere. We are all probably familiar with the stereotypes in our own cultures, but what is often less thought about is stereotypes in internet cultures. In this post, I've compiled ten stereotypes you can see in Wizard101 in reverse alphabetical order.

Fun Comics

10. The All Access Alumnus







This stereotype assumes that anyone who is a max level has completed the game and has access to all the areas. They could be a Crowns player who occasionally bought membership cards, meaning their access is limited. They could be a completionist, and have done a lot of side quests and dungeons, so could've maxed out early. Level is a guideline for this, not a rule.

9. The Canny Consumer








This stereotype assumes that anyone with a Crowns item has Crowns. Some Crowns items are possible to get for free with crafting, farming, or through other means like gifting. Yes, it's a safer bet to assume that someone with a Crowns item has Crowns over someone without one, but it's no guarantee.

8. The Class Conformist













This stereotype is, understandably, one of the most common. It assumes that all wizards will assume the role their school was designed for. However, it is possible for a school to assume another role, especially with a mastery amulet. For example, Balance wizards can sometimes beat Storm wizards in damage.

7. The Commons Coercer













This stereotype assumes that anyone you find in the Commons or Pet Pavilion is mean and stubborn. There are usually a lot of people in the Commons and Pet Pavilion. Of course you will find mean and stubborn people. Also, imagine how much begging goes on there, which tends to get on people's nerves.

6. The Game Gossiper









This stereotype assumes that anyone hosting a housing game just wants to show off their house. They probably just want to have fun. Also, even if they were show-offs, why is this a problem? You get to play a game.

5. The Modest Mouse











This stereotype assumes that anyone who is a low level in the game or low-ranking in PvP is shy, bothersome, inexperienced, and mooching. They could be the wizard of someone who owns or owned a high level wizard. They could be lagging, making it look like they are bad at the game.

4. The Mute Moron













This stereotype assumes that anyone that can only use Menu Chat is inexperienced and doesn't know how to play the game. They could be an adult playing on an account their child uses. They could be a smart kid. They could be an older person who put in their age wrong. They could have gotten muted by staff.

3. The Old Creep













This stereotype assumes that anyone who is a teenager or adult on Wizard101 is a creep. Wizard101 is a family game, so of course you'll see older people. Wizard101 has also gotten increasingly more complicated, which means it has gotten further away from a kids' game. Also, about 60 percent of adults ages 30 to 49 are gamers.

2. The Supreme Snob













This stereotype assumes that anyone who is a high level in the game or high-ranking in PvP is boastful, narcissistic, judgmental, and irritating. They could instead be a decent person. When they were an inexperienced wizard, they could have been intimidated by a high level, and made a vow to themselves to not model them.

1. The Tempest Tantrum Thrower













This stereotype assumes that all Storm wizards love and voraciously use the Tempest spell. To be honest, this spell is highly overrated. Storm Lord costs 7 pips and deals 690 base damage. At 7 pips, Tempest can only do 560 base damage. It takes Tempest 8 pips to get 50 base damage points below Storm Lord. Sirens costs 9 pips and deals 880 base damage. At 9 pips, Tempest can only do 720 base damage. It takes Tempest 11 pips to deal the base damage of Sirens. When it's the only AOE spell Storm wizards have, it is great, but after Storm Lord, it becomes a ripoff.

BONUS! The 4.0 Farmer













This stereotype is not as common, but it assumes that anyone who spends a lot of time farming for desired items is really smart. The logic some people use for this is that these people are able to sit through taxing activities for rewards. This would indicate good focus, good test-taking abilities, and good delayed gratification abilities. What is important to consider though, is that people tend to be more motivated to complete things when it isn't assigned to them.

March 24, 2017

The Case for Clans

Wizard101 has stated that clans will not be a part of Wizard101. A clan is a group of people with a common interest. There are two different types of clans in video games. Built-In Clans, as the name suggests, are built into the game. Most of the time, players can create a Built-In Clan. These clans often give built-in benefits to the players that join them. Extraneous Clans, on the other hand, are always created by players, and don't give any built-in benefits, but they may give player-provided benefits, such as help on a quest. Both clans often participate in activities and events.

As you can see, there is nothing inherently wrong with clans. Clans become harmful when they adopt the 'us vs them' mentality, where the 'us' is the players in the clan and the 'them' is the players that aren't in the clan. In other words, clans become harmful when they become cliques. Wizard101 should not ban clans as they do now, but they should ban cliques.

Wizard101 has a forum and on it, posts must be approved, and posts advertising clans are never approved. Since it is impossible to tell from a post whether or not a clan will become a clique, they should continue this practice. This practice does not stop clans from being created, however. Since clans can be hard to regulate, there are clans in Wizard101, but not very many. Not all these clans are harmful, and they can often be helpful, so if Wizard101 changes the clan ban to a clique ban nothing much would change. In other words, the change would not be harmful.

Wizard101 already lets you create groups, which is a form of a Built-In Clan. However, these groups automatically disband once all the members have logged off, and do not provide built-in benefits. Having permanent groups are useful to players because they can team up while questing, and team-ups often last longer then a day. Also, families can create a family group, which would be good for the family-friendly purpose of the game. Getting rid of the feature that automatically disbands groups would not do much. Again, there are already clans in Wizard101, and clearly they do not need groups to thrive.

Having permanent groups would make being able to delete groups and create multiple groups important features, since team-ups don't last forever, and not all groups are for team-ups. Being able to create multiple groups would actually decrease the risk of cliques forming, since players can simply create a new group for a different interest. Also, adding built-in benefits to groups would not be harmful. There is simply no logical way they could encourage the 'us vs them' mentality.

Could the expansion of the group system into a clan system encourage the creation of more clans that could potentially turn into cliques? Yes, but when cliques are harmful to players, they break rules. People already break the rules. That's what moderators are for. You see, it isn't really an issue, which is why most MMOs have clans.

Another argument against clans is that there are already too many things to beg about, and clans would cause people to beg for members. Hatching causes people to beg others to hatch pets with them, so let's get rid of hatching and make pets useless as a piece of gear! Treasure card trading causes people to beg others to trade treasure cards, so let's get rid of that too! Heck, having quests causes people to beg others to help them with quests, so let's throw them out as well and defeat the whole purpose of the game! See the problem here? If someone is begging you for something and you want it to stop, use the handy-dandy ignore button.

So now that we've dealt with why clans are okay, let's throw out some of the things clans could do. You should be able to name a clan you create, obviously. If you are in a duel with one of your fellow clan members, you could get more in rewards. Also, you could get stat boosts when fighting with fellow clan members based on their school. Item trading could be permitted among fellow clan members. A clan could have their own backpack, and the items in it could be used, for example, to craft a piece of gear for everyone in the clan; this obviously would require a collective effort by the clan.

So, what do you think about clans now that you've read this post? If you're for them, say your ideas of what they could do in the comments! Also, in the next post I plan on discussing what often causes clans, usually cliques, to form: stereotypes. Stay tuned!

March 12, 2017

Wizard101 Tutorial in Real Life

"Commissioner Ambrose! Commissioner Ambrose!" Officer Lincoln was panicking. "We have an urgent situation."

Merle Ambrose woke up from his slumber, drooling on his desk. "Shh, I'm sleeping...just give the quest to the young officer we kidnapped the other day." He said groggily.

"You did WHAT?!" Officer Lincoln began to wonder if Merle Ambrose had finally lost it at his old age.

"Gamma and I...we decided Don Malistaire was too much to handle for our police force, so we decided to find a gifted young child to help us deal with that pesky mafia boss." Merle Ambrose calmly explained.

"Commissioner Ambrose, have you and Gamma been going to that bar again?" Officer Lincoln was exasperated with Merle Ambrose. He was confused as to why Sheriff Bartleby hadn't fired him yet. Then again, he was even older then Merle Ambrose.

Merle Ambrose paused, and Officer Lincoln heard him fumbling around with something behind his desk. "Where's the giant polka-dotted Handsome Fomori?" He muttered.

Officer Lincoln sighed and mumbled, "He's a person of rare intelligence. It's rare when he shows any."

"What?" Merle Ambrose was starting to fall asleep again.

"Well, I'll go take the child back to his parents."

"No, no, no, wait!" Merle Ambrose began to panic and fling his arms all over the place. "If you take the kid home, the meteor will crash into the Earth!! It'll cause an APOCALYPSE!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!"

Officer Lincoln rolled his eyes. "...If you say so, Commissioner." Officer Lincoln left Ambrose's office and looked around the police station for the kid Ambrose had brought in.

Officer Argleston walked up to Lincoln. "Are you looking for the kid Commissioner Ambrose brought in, Officer Lincoln?"

Lincoln sighed, exasperated. "Yup. He's lost his marbles, hasn't he?"

Officer Argleston chuckled. "I don't think this is news, Lincoln."

"How are we supposed to do our jobs properly if this buffoon is our Chief of Police?" Lincoln asked. "If I wanted to kill myself I'd climb his ego and jump to his IQ."

Officer Argleston chuckled. "He's as bright as a black hole, and twice as dense."

As Lincoln and Argleston were talking, Merle Ambrose quietly tip-toed out of his office to take the gifted young child he had kidnapped to a crime scene for hands-on training.

The kid was crying when Merle Ambrose came over. "I want my mommy."

Merle Ambrose crouched down and approached the child, smiling. "It's okay, you don't need your mommy now. Let me tell you a secret. If you stay with me, you can be a hero and save the world!!"

The kid stopped crying and gasped. "Wow!"

"I'm about to go deal with a big bully called Don Malistaire." Merle Ambrose frowned. "I don't know if I can take him. Do you want to come and help me?"

"Oh yes, yes, yes!" The kid clapped their hands.

Merle Ambrose picked up the kid and put them on his shoulders. The kid squealed in excitement.

"Let's go!" Merle Ambrose said.

When they went outside, the sun was setting and there was a thunderstorm. Officer Gamma was waiting for them in the passenger seat of the car. On the car ride over to the crime scene, Officer Gamma somehow managed to explain the police, how they worked, and what they do to the kid. Ten minutes later, the trio hopped out of the car. They had arrived.

It was freezing outside, and the pouring rain didn't help. The area looked rural, but it was close to the city. To the right of the road was an expansive valley of dead grass and petrified trees. The trio was to the left of the road, standing on crumbling rocky pavement and near a run-down abandoned office building which faced away from the road.

There was a screech, and everyone jumped. It sounded as if the screeching was happening right in front of them.

"He's here." Merle Ambrose said grimly. "He must be close. You can tell by the screeching." He took out a flashlight and led the trio into the office building.

For almost an hour, they followed the sound of the screeching, until they realized that they had forgotten something critical to the investigation that could put them all in jeopardy.

Merle had forgot to put his phone on silent.

"AHHHH!! What is this blasphemous contraption?!" Merle Ambrose started to fumble around with his phone. "How do I...hmm...interesting." The screeching stopped after Merle Ambrose had pressed a few buttons.

"So that's what the screeching was." Officer Gamma said.

"Aw man, that's lame!" The kid said.

There was a deep chuckle nearby. "Old fool, getting distracted so easily."

"Malistaire." Merle Ambrose said grimly.

A tall and imposing man stepped out of the shadows and sneered. "Ambrose."

Malistaire's eyes came upon the kid that was with Merle. "Is this your latest cabin boy? My henchmen will see to your little friend!"

"Hurry along, junior police officer." Merle Ambrose told the young kid with him. "Take these boxing gloves and deal with his adult henchmen who have a black belt in several martial arts, including karate. I will tend to Malistaire myself, but will occasionally yell pieces of advice to help you out."

"That's a simply excellent deal!" The kid said excitedly. "I'm sure I can take them, even though I haven't had any training in martial arts!"

"That's the spirit, son." Merle Ambrose said encouragingly.

"Don't be so sure of yourself." Malistaire mumbled threateningly.

"Run up and confront the henchmen! Be brave! I will guide you!" Merle Ambrose said to the kid.

The kid started fighting with the two henchmen, barely managing.

"Kick them in a vulnerable area!" Merle Ambrose yelled.

The kid kicked both of the henchmen in the face, but it didn't seem to hurt them. The fight continued on, with the kid getting clobbered.

"Oh my! Are you hurt? You need to pay attention to how much pain you are in." Merle Ambrose was concerned about the kid. Perhaps he shouldn't have brought him to a crime scene where he could get killed. "Also, remember, if you get tired, you won't be able to do much. You'll be at the mercy!"

"Why so distracted?" Merle said. "We're under attack? Oh my! Call me a fool...I had all but forgotten!"

"Aha! You doddering fool! Your cabin boy is no match for my forces!" Malistaire yelled.

"Oh no! You're in trouble!" Merle Ambrose yelled, concerned. "Take this ice pack."

The fight continued, and the kid started to gain an advantage.

"This one learns fast, Malistaire. Two can play at that game!" Merle Ambrose said.

The battle lasted for ten minutes but ended with a victory for the kid, mostly due to Merle's intervention.

"Excellent work, junior police officer!" Merle Ambrose congratulated the kid. "This is a completely realistic and obvious outcome! Now let me see to Malistaire...I'll show him. Endangering a young kid is a horrible thing to do! I would never put an innocent kid like you in danger!"

"Another time, old man. I have what I came for. And now, I'll take my leave of this wretched place." Malistaire and his henchmen left.

"He's gone, and none too soon! What sinister goal brought him here? Hmmm...." Merle Ambrose rubbed his chin. "Oh my! You look a bit worse for wear. We have to get you to the hospital as soon as possible! If only I could have done something to prevent this..."

March 5, 2017

Wizard101 Guide to Free Permanent Mounts

Do you want mounts without using your hard-earned money? Are you a max level with nothing to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, read this guide! It will give you a surefire way of getting free permanent mounts!

Okay, enough with the clickbait lingo. I've dug through the Wizard101 Central database to not only find sources of dropped mounts, but sources of permanent dropped mounts! I've also listed other sources of free permanent mounts, excluding the Crown Shop, which has some free permanent mounts such as the Chestnut Pony. To view more details on the sources or the mounts, just click on them. If I have missed something, please tell me in the comments.

Advisor Francy Fries

This NPC sells the Calixco Magic Carpet for 75000 gold.

Astraeus

This boss drops the Stormrider Hare.

Bellosh

This boss drops the Mander Palanquin.

Bentley Daysong

This boss drops the Bone Dragon.

Brandon Mistborn

This NPC sells the Unicorn Charger, Gorilla Juggernaut, Unicorn Courser, and Gorilla Skirmisher for 9000, 9000, 10000, and 10000 arena tickets respectively.

Captain Kettay

This NPC sells the Tabbi Magic Carpet for 75000 gold.

Carson Spritethief

This boss drops the Bone Dragon.

Declan Wyrmdust

This boss drops the Bone Dragon.

Elite Battle Mage

This boss drops the Orange Fairy Wings.

Forest Grump (Tier 1)

This boss drops the Tanglewood Stalker.

Forest Grump (Tier 5)

This boss drops the Tanglewood Stalker.

Guillermel

This NPC sells the Dromel Magic Carpet for 75000 gold.

Ixcax CursedWing


Kestrel Blackstorm

This boss drops the Bone Dragon.

Khalkos Coppersmith

This NPC sells crafting recipes for mounts at 60000 gold each. The mounts are the Balance Whirlwind, Death Whirlwind, Fire Whirlwind, Ice Whirlwind, Life Whirlwind, Myth Whirlwind, and Storm Whirlwind.

Krokopatra (Rank 8)

This boss drops the Fire Whirlwind and Myth Whirlwind.

Krokopatra (Rank 14)

This boss drops the Fire Whirlwind, Life Whirlwind, and Myth Whirlwind.

Loremaster (Telegraph Box)

This boss drops the Orange Fairy Wings.

Meowiarty (Rank 12)

This boss drops the Balance Whirlwind and Ice Whirlwind.

Meowiarty (Rank 14)

This boss drops the Balance Whirlwind and Ice Whirlwind.

Omen Stribog


Patt Minotaur (Tier 1)

This boss drops the White-Striped Ziger.

Patt Minotaur (Tier 2)

This boss drops the White-Striped Ziger.

Patt Minotaur (Tier 5)

This boss drops the White-Striped Ziger.

Prefect Josapat

This NPC sells the Sayameez Magic Carpet for 75000 gold.

Quinn Legendbreaker

This boss drops the Bone Dragon.

Ra


Rattlebones (Rank 7)

This boss drops the Death Whirlwind and Life Whirlwind.

Rattlebones (Rank 14)

This boss drops the Death Whirlwind and Life Whirlwind.

Robin

This NPC sells the Hoods' Magic Carpet for 75000 gold.

Rose Piper

This NPC sells crafting recipes for mounts at 60000 gold each. The mounts are the Digmoore Pogo Stick and Ravenwood Pogo Stick.

Sylvia Spitfire

This boss drops the Blue Fairy Wings and Orange Fairy Wings.

Temple Phantom

This boss drops the Blue Kirin, Gold Kirin, and Silver Kirin.

Warlord Minak

This boss drops the Mammoth Mini.

Zeus Sky Father (Rank 14)

This boss drops the Fire Whirlwind, Life Whirlwind, and Storm Whirlwind.

February 26, 2017

Deck Reform Now

Decks have a lot of issues that KingsIsle still hasn't addressed, so I am going to address them in hopes that KingsIsle will as well. Two simple reforms could revolutionize duels.

1. More spells can be put in decks, but the spell limits don't compensate.
It's funny how a simple graphics issue caused this. KingsIsle animated it so they didn't have enough space to compensate for more spells in the end. The deck control panel needs to be updated.

In the animation, simply remove the slots. Whenever you add a spell to your deck, let's say Satyr, a Satyr icon will appear on the blank space. If you add more Satyrs, more Satyr icons won't be added. If you put 5 Satyrs, it'll simply say x5 somewhere around the icon (I imagine the bottom right). If you put any other number of a certain spell, it'll work the same way. I know as I have this solution now, it'll simply delay the same issue. So, just add a scroll bar.

If this solution is implemented, KingsIsle can keep spell limits, but they can be reasonable spell limits. If spells are added to the game that can't replace other spells in your deck (spell upgrades), spell limits need to compensate.

By the way, this should be the same for treasure cards.

2. Despite having more complex decks, we still have to rely on primitive battle planning.
During battle, with our more complex decks, not only can we not see how we designed our decks during battle, but our spell hand is too small and the time limit is too short. Seeing effects applied to ourselves was an improvement, but we still can't see the effects applied to our enemies.

Firstly, we need to see the effects applied to our enemies as well. During battle, we need to be able to see our whole decks somehow [and voluntarily mark or tint/color our spells (if tint/color, it can't be school colors), this could be used to keep track of all the charms/wards we don't wanna use, since we already have]. Also during battle, our spell hand and the timer need to be increased at higher levels (perhaps at Celestia). Also, you need to fix the glitch where you lag after discarding, lag after enchanting, lag after switching rounds, lag after casting spells, and all the other lag experienced during battle.

An idea of mine is that when it's time to select spells, you can see your whole deck, but the spells you can't use are greyed out [or, in order not to conflict with the tint/color mentioned earlier, could be below a line]. To draw a treasure card, you could check off a spell then click draw.

February 19, 2017

Yago and the Origin of Onis

We first heard about onis in MooShu. We first heard about Yago in Wysteria. Where are the onis from? How are they connected to Yago? That's what I'll be addressing in this post.

One thing that needs to be gotten out of the way before addressing the origin of onis is whether onis, helephants, and gurtoks are all the same thing. The answer is yes. Remember Kogasha, in the Tower of the Helephant? He's considered a helephant (who would've guessed?). He infamously uttered the following quote.
"Long ago, Lyon pulled me from the stars, where I dwelt in peace with my people within the star-fields of Yago."
The staff of KingsIsle have acknowledged multiple times that Kogasha is an oni. For example, in a thread back in January of this year asking about the origin of onis, Dworgyn stated the following sentence.
"Librarian Fitzhume reminded me that Kogasha has some interesting dialog in the Tower of the Helephant . . . something about the 'star-fields of Yago'? Maybe that's a clue? Interesting!"
So, that's pretty much settled. Helephants are onis; I'd guess that they are Fire onis. The name difference most likely has to do with culture. To get off on a quick tangent, what types of onis could there be? I notice a pattern in the naming of onis: Death Oni, Jade Oni, Plague Oni, and War Oni. It's time to consult the Book of Secrets. Except for 'war', all these titles are something you can find in the Book of Secrets. Using this information, I'd guess that there are onis for each school (Death Oni, Myth Oni, etc...), onis for each gem (Ruby, Sapphire, Amethyst, Peridot, Jade, Onyx, and Citrine Onis), and onis for each listed disaster (Earthquake, Volcano, Blizzard, Hurricane, Tornado, Plague, and Sandstorm Onis). Considering that there is a War Oni, there is probably a Peace Oni.

I'd question why there are multiple of the other kinds of onis (presumably, considering helephants) and one Death, Jade, Plague, and War Oni. Perhaps they are the last of their kind (or the most powerful), but keep in mind, in Celestia, there is a boss with clones, Blue Bart. This could be the case with the Death, Jade, Plague, and War Onis.

Okay, let's get back on track. In Dragonspyre and Grizzleheim, there have been Gurtok Demons. Not only have they been referred to as helephants (and onis) by staff members, which we already know are onis, I'd guess that Gurtok is a title and not a species. Regardless, their status as onis or not is irrelevant, because onis are shapeshifters, and they could simply be taking on the appearance of Gurtoks. However, it doesn't seem like KingsIsle would do something like this.

Now, as we learn from Kogasha, Yago is most likely the world of the onis. This world will probably have a dark, outer space theme (hence star-fields), most likely with areas catering to different types of onis. There could be a sun-themed area for the helephants. Another interesting thing to consider if Yago is released is the release of a new secondary school: Zodiac Magic. Not only does this fit into the outer space theme, but it fits into the MooShu theme, setting up a good situation to combine both the more familiar Zodiac system as well as the Chinese Zodiac system. Similar things have been speculated before, as you can see below. Contrary to some of the posts, I'd say what would be ideal is if Zodiac Magic used Zodiac pips, however. This additional stat wouldn't be too much to worry about if gear was designed appropriately.

Secondary School - Zodiac Ideas
New Secondary School: Zodiac
Zodiac Signs!

I'm guessing Yago will be a Fourth Arc world, not a Third Arc world. Why? If this is the place where the onis were summoned from, and assuming this will be a world, then the summoner of the onis will most likely be revealed. This concept would have great potential for its own separate arc (most likely featuring the summoner as the villain), especially considering how much it would develop and dig more into the plot. Why was the wizard summoning the onis? Do they have any relation to Emperor Yoshihito (perhaps rivals) or Malistaire? What about Morganthe? How did they change the plot of the worlds where the onis were summoned? What would of happened if they never were summoned? What do you think? Comment below!

February 11, 2017

10 Non-Player Character Spells

It's a pity that with all our powerful spells, we can't call upon our friends and enemies. I think it's about time. In this post, I've compiled ten non-player characters and what their spells could be like in reverse alphabetical order. I know this has some obvious omissions, and that is because I don't have good ideas for those characters. I do not own any of these images.

10. Alhazred












Alhazred can be a damage-over-time spell. He can do Life damage the first round, Storm damage the next, and Fire damage the last. This can have three DOTs or one balance DOT. I imagine Alhazred having the Order of the Fang behind him, both being surrounded by many books and scrolls, during the animation. The inspiration for this is the Sun/Solar charms and wards, who combine these three schools.

9. Arthur Wethersfield












Arthur Wethersfield can deal Ice, Death, and Myth damage twice then convert half to healing. I imagine him howling like a werewolf to a moon in the sky during the animation. The inspiration for this is the Moon/Lunar charms and wards, and I think I've drawn on the schools they combine quite nicely.

8. Cyrus Drake












Cyrus Drake can shatter all the positive charms and wards like the nice guy he is. He then can go on to attack. A minion will be summoned, but it's health will be a percentage of the damage Cyrus dealt. For example, if the percentage was 50%, and Cyrus dealt 1000 damage, the minion would have 500 health. It could be a Cyrus minion. I imagine him, during the animation, looking at each enemy, analyzing them, then pointing with his staff to the chosen target and shaking his head, then striking. I know Witch's Housecall summons a minion, but I published this idea on the official forums before that spell came out. Did KingsIsle get that idea from me? I'm afraid we'll never know.

7. Dalia Falmea











Dalia Falmea will give a -50% accuracy debuff then place a 6-round damage-over-time. I imagine Dalia blinking, smiling, and coming across as friendly during the animation. Then her eyes can light on fire and she can angrily reach into her pocket and spin while blasting wildfire out of her hand.

6. Dworgyn












Dworgyn can attack with his lantern then beguile. Dworgyn could also brush the floor of a house and the dust could be used to damage the enemies. I also imagine him being in Dimwood Vale with bats flying about during the animation. After being beguiled by his aunts for so long, now he can beguile others. Something in the spell should probably highlight Dworgyn's childishness.

5. Halston Balestrom












I've never found Tempest that useful in the Second Arc, so I thought of a unique spell idea that combines your average attack spell with Tempest. Halston Balestrom can start with base damage, but for every pip you cast him over his usual pip cost, his attack will get stronger. For example, if his base damage is 500 for 4 pips, it increases by 100 damage every pip over, and you cast him with 10 pips, it will deal 1100 damage. I imagine him doing one of his science experiments, and maybe something could go wrong, causing the attack. Or we could appeal to his history and the spell animation could be something like Halston attacking the enemies during his jail escape because he thinks they are guards.

4. Lydia Greyrose












It's about time the Ice school got a healing spell, and what better healing spell would be the kind-hearted fairy Lydia Greyrose? I imagine her on a hill made of sugar with candy sticking out of it. She can then throw the sugar on each of the caster's allies, healing them. She can then give them a tower-over-time, which means every round for three rounds a tower shield will be generated. Tower-over-times would be a neat and useful function to have in the game.

3. Malistaire Drake












Frankly, Malistaire Drake is a misunderstood guy who did the wrong things for the right reasons. That's why I think we can cut him some slack and give him an unselfish Death spell. He should attack all enemies. He could start by attacking one enemy, healing the caster, and for every other enemy he attacks, he can heal an ally. Not so bad of a guy, is he?

2. Malorn Ashthorn












Malorn Ashthorn can be like the spell Qismah's Curse, allowing you to select two targets. He can deal 600 damage to the caster in order to give the caster or an ally a +30% Balance Blade and 3 pips. He can heal another ally for 600 health. Peers help each other out.

1. Morganthe












Yes, I know there are Morganthe spells that are item cards, but not only can they be used if you have the right jewel, but they are not the actual Morganthe. She can take a percentage, for example 10%, of each ally's current health, including that of the caster's. Then she can convert it to damage for one enemy or divide the damage among all the enemies. Sharpen Blade could potentially be used to increase the percentage. The initial percentage would probably have to be low so it doesn't damage the team too much. The percentage could be higher for the caster to prevent this from being used to troll your team.

February 6, 2017

How a Restricted Chat System Hurts Minors

In a game like Wizard101, clear communication is essential. Teammates with menu chat can sabotage battles, especially if they aren't aware of cheats, to the point that people actively discriminate against menu chatters, avoiding fighting with them at all costs. Here is a real player's account of this issue.
"Get rid of menu chat. I suggest making a replacement chat that is more filtered then text chat but still allows you to actually talk like a human being. My main account got muted for ten years so I understand the struggle. Which by the way I got wrongly muted, I don't now nor have I ever had open chat, just text chat. And I constantly got reported for dumb reasons which lead to my mute. But anyway, as someone who is forced to use the chat on a daily basis, I can tell you it's awful. I can't tell you how many times people have refused to add me, quest with me, etc., simply because there's no real communication. Using menu chat is like being a robot. So overall, I'd suggest scrapping menu chat and replacing it with a chat system that still allows people to talk by typing but maybe has a more strict filter then text chat. And I don't mean a chat that just lets you say like: hi, hey, I am level 100, stuff like that. Because again, a team-based game like Wizard101 needs communication. And saying hi just doesn't cut it. And I know you can say more then just hi but again it makes you sound like a robot. Not to mention it's annoying having to click on a bunch of different little tabs to find what you want. I literally had to memorize all the different clicks in the menu chat just to somewhat engage in a conversation. I can't stress this enough, Wizard101 is a team-based game and you know it."
Have you ever seen a max level menu chatter? I didn't think so. Menu chatters struggle with the game much more because of the communication issue. A study investigating how communication changes the video game experience recorded the average level in a sample of video games with a max level of 100. They found that the ones with less communication freedom had lower average levels.
Not only can menu chatters sabotage battles, as I have mentioned before, but players often avoid helping them. It's not only hard to battle with menu chatters, but they don't always understand your response if you are unavailable to help them, so they often keep bothering players for help. This leads to them getting deleted to halt the pestering. The study I mentioned above gathered the average numbers of friends on their sample of games. Once again, the games with higher communication freedom had higher friend averages. The games with ~90% communication freedom took up nearly half of the friend averages added together.
Menu chat isn't the only problem, as you can probably see by now. A poll on Wizard101 Central revealed that ~73% of players were dissatisfied with the chat system. To give an example of the silliness, the word 'grapes' passes through the text chat filter, but not the open chat filter. This is only scratching the surface. An awfully lot of completely innocuous words are filtered out.

What most people, including KingsIsle, don't seem to realize is that less communication freedom actually decreases the safety of video games. When players are under a more restricted chat system, they often create new accounts with a less restricted chat system then either start over or transfer their wizards to that account. This has been happening in record numbers with open chat, serving to expose minors to things they should not be exposed to. The complaints about the chat system spread and players just joining started inflating their age. If text chat had been less filtered in the first place, most players would have complained less and likely seen going to a less restricted chat system as not worth the trouble, and thus not have been exposed to the things they would've been. In games with one restrictive chat system, hacking increased. This could be due to players trying to free up the filters.
Toni Dimayuga, a game reviewer, put Wizard101's overall mood/quality and graphic setting as well as the general fun nature of the game in the pro column. The combat, in particular defeats, and the overly restricted chat system were seen as the major minus points, however. Most video game players would agree with Toni. Less restricted chat systems soak in more profits for video games on average. One of the factors could be foreigners having an easier time with communication because they aren't fluent in the video game's main language.
So what's the secret of the mostly free chats of some of these games in the study's sample? The companies leave it mostly up to the parents to police their kids. Think about it. Age is merely a guess at maturity, it by no means tells you how mature someone is. Remember, people lead vastly different lives. That's why you have to judge people as individuals, not as the collective. KingsIsle is not enabled to do this; the best they can do is judge people as the collective. 

Parents, on the other hand, know their kids more then anyone else; they've lived with them all their life. If parents can set filters for their kid, it could both be less restrictive and more protective. For example, they don't have to filter out every region; they can just filter out the region they live in. This can apply to other personal information. Parents can set reasonable limitations for their kids because they know them best.

If this is implemented, no longer does KingsIsle have to ask for your year of birth. They don't have to implement a privacy-invasive system like sending pictures of your ID in order to get open chat. If the company could hand over some of their power to the parents, both Wizard101 and Pirate101 could become better games that other games look up to mimic the massive success they would gain. 

Addendum 1:
Another interesting point to think about is that Wizard101 and Pirate101 aren't really kids' games. You barely see any young people who are good at the game and you see a ton of teenagers and adults playing it. Just take a look at this thread on the official Wizard101 forum. Every single person there isn't going to be lying about their age.

I think KingsIsle should definitely start marketing to an older audience. Think about it. Nine to thirteen year olds aren't going to be paying ten dollars a month for a membership; the game is too expensive for the audience it's directed at. In PvP, players are spending a lot of money to be ahead of the game, and it requires a certain level of reasoning and skill that you don't see that often in nine to thirteen year olds. I recommend this video if you want to see this argument more in depth.

Addendum 2:
Before some of my fellow nerds go typing in the comment section of how I only cited one study, I propose one question to you: if you wanted to see a deep scientific analysis, why did you come to a video game fansite? I have lots of other studies to back this up, but chances are this post will get more success if I don't overload people with scientific data. Also, the study gave the data points for their graphs, so I simplified them using a chart making service in order to axe irrelevant data and make them easier to read. For example, some of the original charts showed results for games that weren't MMORPGs, which is clearly irrelevant. Besides that, though, it's loyal to the study.

January 29, 2017

Wizard101 Jokes to Make You Laugh

No, I'm not changing my weekly posting time again. 😄 One thing I will say however, is that I may sometimes post on Saturday. Anyway, I wanted to address something. On Wizard101, I was telling people about my blog, and when some of them asked what it was about, I said it was mainly about theories and ideas. I do plan on focusing on these mostly, but the reason I've only made two posts like that so far is because I want people to know about my theories and ideas, so if I post a bunch when my blog isn't that popular not many people will see them. 

Since my blog's creation, I've have 451 views from the United States, but I don't know how many of those are mine, because even though I told Google not to track my views, it doesn't seem to be doing that. I've gotten 25 total views from other countries, so I know those are legit. However, this past week, I've gotten 7 U.S. views and 1 view from Spain, so you see my problem here. Anyway, let's get to the post!

How do treants count? One, two, tree.

Let's get kraken!

The Fomori Giant didn't like his home in Avalon, so he decided to move to a town of humans. He had trouble fitting in.

What's a turkey doing in Colossus Boulevard? There's not? I thought I saw a gobbler!

What color did Dalia Falmea get on her manicure? Hot pink.

What did Bartleby say when Malistaire came to take his eye? "Leaf me alone!"

What did Dworgyn say to Rattlebones? "I have a bone to pick with you."

What did Jabberwock say to his minions? "I like mine fried."

What did the fire student say when he found out that Dalia Falmea's hair was actually fire? "Well...I guess she's hot-headed."

What did the Wraith say to the Clockwork Golem? "Your time's up, pal."

What do Cyrus Drake and Baba Yaga have in common? A do not disturb sign.

What does a crafter say when they want to know how you are feeling? "How ore you today?"

What does a pool become when a Fire wizard goes in it? A hot tub.

What do leprechauns call blades? Lucky charms.

What do wizards sing on an Ice wizard's birthday? Oh, freeze a jolly good fellow!

What is Dalia Falmea's favorite candy? Fireballs.

What is Dalia Falmea's favorite soda? Doctor Pepper.

What is Dalia Falmea's favorite way to descend a tall building? The fire escape.

What is Gamma's favorite Beyonce song? Owl the Single Ladies.

What is Halston Balestrom's favorite game? Twister.

What is Moolinda Wu's favorite soda? Sprite.

What is Cyrus Drake's favorite genre? Myth-tery.

Where is Kembaalung Village? At the Himoolayas.

Who is responsible for giving you pips? Pippi Longstocking.

Who is the funniest teacher? Moolinda Wu, because she is 'udderly a-MOO-sing'!

Why are there B.O.X.E.S. quests in different worlds? Because they are M.O.V.I.N.G. B.O.X.E.S. silly!

Why did Rattlebones visit a barbecue after he got defeated? He was looking for spare ribs.

Why do dragons have such bad breath? They can't brush their teeth because it melts off every time.

Why doesn't Cyrus Drake let Lydia Greyrose use his laptop? When he did, it froze.

Why doesn't the helephant go to the beach? Because he can't keep his trunks up.