Santa Run 2016

It's time for the annual Santa Run in Wizard101! Click here for more information about the run, afterparty, giveaways and more!

Exciting New Pirate101 Updates!

Pirate101 has added some awesome new updates to the game, including a new pack! Click the image above for more details!

Lots o' Pirate101 Swag!

Click to check out all the new items in the Pirate101 Zazzle store! And keep an eye out for more new items in the future as well!

Pirate101 guides are now available!

Get information about secret pets, Spiral maps, clues to Zeke quests and more!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Halloween 2016 Scavenger Hunt Answers

Hey Everyone!

A couple weeks ago I had a series of Pirate101 Halloween contests.  Most of the contests consisted of me tweeting out coded messages and awarding a code to the first person to decode them.  I also had a Hide and Seek in game one day, a word search contest, and a retweet contest.  The final contest was a culmination of all these previous contests, a scavenger hunt that included all the previous codes, hide and seek, word search, as well as a retweet "step."

I had estimated that the scavenger hunt would last about 30-45 minutes. However, it took a little over an hour to get three winners.  Congrats to those three people, @Tallahasee79 (1st), @BrandonOwlSword (2nd), and @_ConfettiWap (3rd).

People have asked me to post the answers to the scavenger hunt, so here goes.  If you would like to see what the rules/requirements were, please use the link above to see them on the original post (under the schedule of contest days & times).  Also, please note that the links (not including the Twitter links) I describe in the descriptions below will no longer work, since the scavenger hunt is now over.  Ready? Here goes!

Before the Scavenger Hunt
The evening before the scavenger hunt, I made the following tweet with most of the ciphers people would need to complete the puzzles in the scavenger hunt. All of these ciphers had been used earlier in the week.

Here are better images of all the ciphers included in the above tweet:
Cipher #1
Cipher #2
Cipher #3
Cipher #4
Scavenger Hunt Part 1
Step A - On October 30th, the Scavenger Hunt started at the predetermined time with the following tweet:
Using Cipher #1, this says "Retweet this tweet and I will DM you the next clue. Good luck!"  As I saw people retweeting the tweet, I sent them the following DM (Direct Message) on twitter: "Go to the Contact Page on my site."  I am pretty sure most people figured out this code.  I had A LOT of DMs to send and to be fair, I sent them in the order people retweeted the tweet.

Step B - Once people went to the contact page, they could see the following coded message:
This message can be decoded using the following: Emoji=Letter, (#Emoji)=Number.  This is where a lot of people seemed to get stuck, so after 10-15 minutes, I started giving out hints.  I don't remember the order I gave the hints in, but eventually I told people that the first four characters spell "HOME."

The emojis are: Horse, Orange, Monkey, Envelope, Pig, Apple, Guitar, Envelope, (#3 music notes), Rainbow, Dog, Snake, Lemon, Ice cream, Dog, Envelope.

The key is to take the first letter of each emoji to spell a word and for the "number" count how many things the emoji represents.  So this message said "Home page 3rd slide." This meant to go to the home page of my blog and click on the third slide in the slideshow.  That would bring you to a page that no longer exists with the clue for the last step of Part #1.

Step C - This final step was the first of 3 hide and seeks.  The page that the previous clue brought people to had the following on it:
SVAQ ZR VA TNZR NAQ FNL NUBL!
This clue can be decoded using Cipher #2.  It says "Find me in game and say ahoy!"  The image shows a clue to the realm and the location.  I was hiding in Old Scratch realm in the witch doctor office aka Madame Vadima's Sanctum.  When people found me there and said "Ahoy" I gave them the first clue to the next part of the scavenger hunt.

Scavenger Hunt Part 2
Step A - The clue I gave to the people who found me at Madame Vadima's was "Go to the Pirate101 Guides page on my site." 

Step B -  This brought them to a page with the following word search puzzle at the bottom:
Word List


_ _ _ A _ _

C _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ E

_ L _ _ _

_ _ _ T _ _

_ _ _ K

The words that needed to be found gave the clue to Step C: "Pirate Challenge Page Click Bottom Link."

Step C - Clicking the last link of the Pirate Challenge page, it would bring you to another Hide and Seek clue.
URMW NV ZMW HZB SVB YFXPL!
This clue can be solved using Cipher #3 and says "Find me and say hey Bucko!"  This Autumn was hiding in the Buccaneer office in Ratbeard realm.  When people found me and said "Hey Bucko" I gave them the first clue to the third and final part of the scavenger hunt.

Scavenger Hunt Part 3
Step A - The Autumn Walker hiding in Ratbeard realm, she told them "Go to the My Pirates page on my site."

Step B - This brought them to the following code, which could be deciphered using Cipher #4.
This code/cipher works like this: The shape shows you which letters to look at on the cipher.  The dot means use the second letter in that shape/area. No dot means use the first letter.  A "#" means use the number in that space. So the above code says: "Events Page Link 7" which means people needed to go to my Events page on my blog and click the seventh link.

Step C - The seventh link on the events page went to the final Hide and Seek.
..-. .. -. -.. / -- . / .- -. -.. / ... .- -.-- / -.. .. -.. / .. / .-- .. -. / -.-- . -
This code is Morse Code, which I did not provide a cipher for, since it is such a well known code.  There are numerous Morse Code translators out there that can be googled.  This code could be copied and pasted into a translator and tell you what it says, which is "Find me and say did I win yet." I was hiding in Avery's office in Avery realm.

That was pretty much the whole Scavenger Hunt.  When people found me and said the above phrase, I told them to take a picture with me and direct message it.  Once they did that I sent them one of the following three images to reply to my original/first clue tweet with.

These last two steps (with the screenshots and tweeting the images) allowed me to verify who had won and completed all the steps.  I was also watching and keeping a list of each pirate who found each of my characters in the correct order.  This allowed me to be more fair in case someone had somehow found the wrong Autumn at the wrong time or found a way to skip ahead (which did happen a few times.)  I would turn those people away and tell them to keep looking for the correct Autumn.  

Anyway, I have had different types of scavenger hunts in the past, but none were this involved. I had a blast setting everything up and watching you all try to figure out the clues.  I hope you all had fun with it too, even though it was one of my harder contests.  Leave comments below and let me know if you think I should do something similar in the future, or if I should keep my contests more simple.  Thanks for reading! See you soon!

Santa Run 2016

Hey Everyone!

The holidays are coming up fast!  It has become a tradition for Edward Lifegem from Around The Spiral to host a Santa Run before Christmas.  This year he has asked me, Frostcaller, and Michael Frost to help him host.


So what is a Santa Run? Well, it's similar to the Halloween Run we had in October, except it's Christmas/Holiday themed.  That event was a huge success and this event is sure to be even better.  Keep reading for more information.

When
Saturday, December 17, 2016
12:00pm PST - 1:00pm MT - 2:00pm CST - 3:00pm EST

Where
Meet up in the Commons
Greyrose realm
You can watch this video to see where we will be running.

Hosts
Edward Lifegem (Host)
Frostcaller/David Silverhunter (Co-Host)
Michael Frost (Co-Host)
Autumn Dreamwalker (Co-Host)

What to Wear
Santa outfit, Christmas colors, Snowman/Elf transformation, etc.
Anything Chirstmassy!

After Party
After the run, we will be porting to an after party.  There will be several houses (connected with teleporters) for housing games, PVP, gauntlets and more!

Portbuses
There will be portbuses to port everyone to the party houses after the event. Please check back for more information,

Giveaways
There will be giveaways for this event! Please check back for more information!
Graphic by Frostcaller
This event will be a lot of fun! Don't miss out on the biggest holiday event in the Spiral! I hope to see you all there. :)


Friday, October 28, 2016

Pirate101 Challenge #10: No Side Quests

Good morning Pirates!


Well, I did it! This is the last post in my Pirate101 Challenge series.  Thanks for joining me on this journey, especially since it took me much longer than anticipated.

This last challenge is one that many people might already do naturally while playing Pirate101, but with a twist.  The goal is to complete the main storyline of the game without completing any side quests. Let's take a look at the rules.

Rules
1.  Do not pick up any side quests, including companion promotion quests.
2.  No Prospector Zeke quests. This will give you less practice points to spend.
3.  No class trainer quests, including quests from your own class trainer.
4.  Complete as much of the main story through Valencia part 2 as you can by completing just the main quests.

Tips and Tricks
1.  Every time you have to fight ships, fight a few extra to help raise your nautical level.
2.  Battle extra bosses and mobs to help get more gold and raise your level.
3.  Focus on leveling and promoting companions that can be promoted with gold.

Exceptions
As stated above, you can still promote companions that are promoted with gold instead of a promotion quest.

Variations
1.  Make this harder by trying to complete the game without doing extra nautical and PvE battles.
2.  Make this easier by adding companion promotion quests back in.
3.  Make this harder by not promoting any companions, even those that promote with gold.

So that is the last challenge.  I would love to hear from anyone who has tried any of these.  Comment below and tell me your experiences!  Also, I will be posting a poll next week for a new character I will be making to try out one of these challenges with, so watch for that.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pirate101 Challenge #9: Badges

Ahoy Mateys!

I am almost done with the 10 Ways to Make Pirate101 More Challenging series!  After this post, there will only be one more, which I am planning on making later this week.

There are so many badges in Pirate101. Badges for completing quests, defeating bosses, discovering new areas, and more!  Another cool this is that some of the badges give you rewards when you complete them. This challenge requires you to complete all the badges in the game.  Read on for more information.

Rules
The only rule for this challenge is to complete every single badge in the game.

Tips and Tricks
1.  Many badges will be unlocked once you defeat a specific boss or type of enemy or visit a world for the first time.
2.  Here is a pretty comprehensive list of Pirate101 badges: Badge Guide.

Exceptions
1. Badges that are not included in this challenge are badges for PvP, Smugglers Arena, Moo and  Manchu Tower.

Variations
1. Make this harder by completing the badges for each world before you move on, including badges for defeating bosses (such as Gortez) 25 times, as well as the "Defeat a certain type of MOB" type badges for that world.
2. Complete the badges listed under the "Exceptions" section in addition to all the other badges.

So that's it.  While this may be one of the easiest challenges, it will probably be one of the most time consuming, especially defeating the amount of MOBs and doing all the side quests to get the badges.  I know all my characters still have several badges that need to be completed.

Comment below and let me know if you have tried any of these challenges yet!  Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Friday, October 14, 2016

2016 Halloween Contests

Happy October everyone!

This is an exciting month for Pirate101 because not only is it Halloween, but it is also Pirate101's 4th birthday!  To celebrate both of these occasions, the KI community manager has given me some codes to give out to you all!  I have decided to have 3 different ways to win as follows:

1)  Enter this retweet contest on my Twitter account and be entered to win a Hoodoo Bundle.

2) Enter the raffle at the bottom of this page to be entered to win 10k crowns and The Vampire (shades/accessory item shown below) - Starts tonight at midnight EST!

3) Watch my Twitter account from October 21st through October 31st for many chances to win various codes for crowns, facepaint, bundles and more!  I will be posting a complete schedule on this post for the Twitter contests/giveaways in the upcoming days.  Please note the following rules:
  • You may enter more than one of my contests.  However, each person will only be eligible to win once.  This will give everyone a more equal chance to win.
  • You will need a Twitter account to enter my Twitter contests.
  • Please no begging/asking for codes. If you don't win you can always try again or check out the many other fansites giving away prizes as well.
  • Have fun!
Twitter Contest Schedule:
All times are Eastern Time
Times may change. If they do, I will mark them as "Updated."
October 22nd - 11:00am *Updated*
October 22nd - 5:00pm
October 23rd - 7:00pm
October 24th - 7:30am
October 25th - 10:00am
October 26th - 10:00pm
October 27th - 7:30am
October 28th - 7:00pm *Updated*
October 29th - 2:00pm
October 30th - 10:00am

The final contest on October 30th @ 10:00am will be a sort of scavenger hunt incorporating all the codes and other giveaways from the previous 9 days.  To participate you will need the following:

  • A Twitter account that is not private (so I can see your activity to me) as well as the ability for me to Direct Message (DM) you.
  • Access to this blog (www.secretsofthespiral.com)
  • Access to Pirate101
On Saturday the 29th, I will make a tweet (or 2) with most of the ciphers I have used throughout the week.  This contest will take some time to complete, my guess would be about 30-45 minutes.  There will be 3 winners as follows:
First Prize - Hoodoo Bundle
Second Prize - 10k crowns and the Vampire
Third Prize - 5k crowns and Vorpal Bunny facepaint

One last note: If you have won one of my other Halloween giveaways in the past 9 days, you are still welcome to try the scavenger hunt. However, you will not be eligible to win a prize.  This is to give more people a chance to win.  I think this contest will be a lot of fun and I hope you guys will think so too!  


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