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!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My 5 Favorite Pirate101 Additions of 2016

Ahoy Pirates!

The new year is here.  I hope everyone had a great holiday season!  I definitely did.  We had our first white Christmas in years, so that made me happy! :)

Anyway, before I get started on new posts for 2017, I wanted to recap a few of my favorite things that Pirate101 added in the past year.  They had an awesome year with a continuation of the main story, as well as a few other updates along the way.  Keep reading to see my top five favorites!

1.  Valencia Part 2 - This was the largest update that Kingsisle added to the game in 2016.  After quite a long wait, it as great to get back in game and continue with the story.  This world is really beautiful to look at and a great challenge to quest through.  This update also brought new levels as well as the addition of new companions and promotion quests.  I can't wait to see what 2017 brings to the main story!

2.  The Armada Dreadnaught - In September, KI announced a new addition to Skull Island.  The Armada Dreadnaught is a epic turret boss type battle in the Skull Island Skyway.  Battling this thing is extremely challenging and fun.  Once you defeat it, you can go inside and battle it out with the bad guys, getting some awesome drops.  One of the cool things about the Armada Dreadnaught is that it's in a free to play area. While I haven't had a chance to run through this in the live game, I did a few times in test realm and it was a lot of fun.  Farming it in the live game is definitely on my 2017 To Do List!

3.  The Ashes of the Armada Pack - Along with the new dreadnaught, Pirate101 also go a new pack!  This pack gives out some awesome weapons and tons of cool furniture from around the spiral.  However, the reason it made my list is because of the Armada companions it drops.  Yes, that's right! Armada companions! I, along with many others, have wanted one since the game was in beta and now we can get them!  I was lucky enough to get Custos Modatrix, a buccaneer,  right before Christmas.  You can see a picture below.  I cannot wait to try him out in battle!

4.  New Powers, Talents and Epic Ranks - I think everyone loves finding ways to make their characters stronger.  I know I do!  Pirate101 added a host of new powers and talents to the game in the past year.   Some of these can be trained, while others can be acquired through special items and pets.  Stronger pirates means new worlds to come, right? :)

5.  New Holiday Decorations - This may not make some peoples' lists, but it does make mine.  I LOVE Christmas and seeing Skull Island all decked out for the holiday was awesome!  Kingsisle really outdid themselves with the decorations this year.  And let's not forget about the gift boxes! Those are always a lot of fun to open.  I hope they do the same thing next Christmas.

Anyway, those are my top 5 additions.  I could have added some other things, like new pets, mounts, ships, etc., but these really are my top 5.  Comment below and tell me what your favorite thing added in 2016 was.  And thank you to Kingsisle for make 2016 a great year to be a pirate!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Couple New Projects!

Hey everyone!

I have some news about this blog! I have a couple new projects I am starting for the new year.  Hopefully this will bring some life back into the blog by giving you all something new and interesting to read.....and maybe give me more ambition to post on here more often. :)

First, I posted a poll on twitter a couple months ago asking if people would be
interested in me adding some info about my favorite board games on here.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, so I have decided to add a new section just for board games.

There is now a link on the menu bar called "Board Game Reviews" that will bring you directly to all the posts I make about board games.  There is also a new label called "Board Games."  So far there is nothing there except this post, but I am hoping to make my first board game post sometime this week. I hope you all enjoy reading this new section!

The second project is a Pirate101 project, which is also the result of a Twitter poll.  You all may remember the Pirate101 Challenges series I wrote this past year.  Well now that it is finally finished, I have decided to create a new pirate and try out one of the challenges for myself.  Twitter people voted and decided that I should try out challenge #5, which is basically permadeath companions.  You can read all the details of this challenge here.
My main pirate's companions
How long will my new pirate's companions survive?
I will be making this character during the week following Christmas and start to level on her.  I have decided she will be a witchdoctor, but I haven't chosen a name yet.  If you have any name suggestions let me know by commenting here, on my Twitter account, or on my Facebook account!  If I get more than one suggestion, I will make a poll of my favorites and let you all vote.

A third project is also with a pirate, but she is one that already exists.  I have a level 14 swashbuckler (Autumn Walker) that I haven't leveled on in a long time.  She was originally created to quest through with my daughter, who has since given up most gaming. I have decided to continue questing on her solo with a twist.  This will be another "challenge" pirate, using Challenge #1: No ship or ship equipment upgrades.  She is currently in Monquista, so from here on out I will be using only her raft.  I will be making sporadic posts to update her progress, but those posts will mainly be about my nautical adventures.

So that's all for now.  Be sure to look for my first board game review post this week and let's hear those name suggestions!  I can't wait to start questing in Pirate101 again!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Santa Run 2016 Recap

Hey everyone!

Yesterday was the Santa Run.  I actually logged on and went afk at about 8pm Friday night.  I knew it would be a huge event and I wanted to make sure I got a spot in the first area.  Well, it was a great idea, because that area filled up really quickly! We ended up with five or six areas full of wizards by the time the run started.

Here I am in areas one and two, joining in the dance lines.
Area 1 dance line
Area 2 dance line!
After the run through Wizard City, we ported to my houses.  I had decorated five different houses, all connected with teleporters so that there would be plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  I had a lot of fun jumping between all the houses, asking some Christmas movie trivia questions and awarding packs to people.  Next year I will be sure to check all my questions ahead of time to make sure that both the questions and answers can be seen in text chat!
Trivia and PVP!
Photo courtesy of @Iridian_Willow
I was so busy porting people and answering questions and doing trivia that I didn't get a whole lot of time to just chat with everyone, but I did get to meet and add some new people, which is always fun! I also didn't have a chance to take any screenshots of the after party, but I do have some from other wizards that I will share with you.
Getting ready to run!
Photo courtesy of @KristenTheWild
Reindeer line!
Photo courtesy of @KristenTheWild
So many wizards!
Photo courtesy of @BmmFlames
A PVP snow globe!
Photo Courtesy of @ChrissyzTweet
So many PVP peeps at the Polarian Shipwreck!
Photo courtesy of @Iridian_Willow
Chilling in the Candy Cane Forest
Photo courtesy of @Sky_Cori
The Polarian Shipwreck group
Photo Courtesy of @Sky_Cori
Is there a mystery to be solved?
Photo courtesy of @BiGxBaDxWoLFY
I really did have a lot of fun at this event.  I can't believe how many people were able to show up!  Many of you told me this was your first Run, and I hope everyone had a great time.  Be sure to thank Edward from Around the Spiral with Edward Lifegem for planning and hosting this event.  Also, thanks to Michael Frost and Frostcaller for helping co-host too!  I cannot wait until the next event.  I hope to see you all there!
Merry Christmas Kingsisle!
Photo courtesy of @ChrissyzTweet

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
Please look for the following people to add during the event. They will port you to the after party houses:
Autumn Dreamwalker
(Level 1 Balance)

Chase Deathhand
(Level 110 Death)

Bradley Lionwielder
(Level 110 Storm)

Edward's Giveaways
Twitter RT Contest - $10 giftcard
Twitter RT Contest - Mirage Raider's Bundle
Facebook Contest
Edward's YouTube Contest
Screenshot Contest - Take a screenshot during the event and send it to edwardfrostgem@gmail.com to win a Mirage Raider's Bundle!

Autumn's Giveaways
Twitter Retweet Contest
Join me for Christmas Movie Trivia during the event. Christmas packs will be awarded to the winners!

Michael's Giveawayss
Michael's Screenshot Contest
Michael's Blog comment contest



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. :)