Sunday, August 18, 2013

P101: Cruising Round Cool Ranch

 Off and on, Two-faced Arlen has been grinding away in Cool Ranch, home of the brave, Bandits, and Buffaloons. It's an amusing configuration after the brief glimpses of Monquista and Valencia, to say the least. But five extra skyways? Dang.

Boot Hill was pretty congested..

I found the El Toro saga to be interesting, albeit long.
Multiple times I found myself doing favors to help out an NPC so as to get to another NPC, do some more favors for him so as to get to yet another NPC, then find out something redemptive in my quest for the Marco Pollo map piece. And then the cycle repeats. With that pace, I was relieved to make a brief stop in my quests at Port Regal.

Indeed, wars have been started in all sorts of peculiar ways.

For instance, a wrong turn effectively started World War I. On June 28th, 1914, a car carrying Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand took a wrong turn, providing an assassin the opportunity to lean in the car and shoot the Archduke. This event triggered a mass of confusing alliances and treaties to go into effect, sparking the greatest war in history up to that point. 

In America's own Revolutionary War, hired hands played a part for the opposition - German soldiers, known as Hessians, were loaned to the British Army for King George's use against the colonies.

Brief history lecture aside, Catbeard would make a terribly cute lap cat.

Ft. Elena is chock full of Armada troops obstructing every path. Otherwise, Port Regal is like Marleybone in daytime, something I can't complain about.

Can't beat hoodwinking an old dog, either :P

Buck Bronco's Cave was the only place I really had trouble soloing - particularly the ugly spiders. 1v3 with enemies that are about my health, yeesh.

Ghosts?! I didn't sign up for this O_o

Last but most, the Haunted Skyway.

Pretty much everything I expected.

Okay, not sure if I suspected that..

Going through the Haunted Skyway - which Jim Masterson calls home - got me to thinking about the mysterious world of Darkmoor. It sounds like a great place for Morganthe to roost, bringing me to think that it could be the next Wizard101 world. It's never been mentioned in the game yet, but the last three main worlds (ZF, AV, AZ) weren't either. Monster movie references, anyone?

El Toro is right - one should blow up rocks in style.

Getting there!

Lastly, I joined the first P101 Petnome farming event - against Tyson for his array of Cool Ranch pets. Unlike my various failed attempts at the W101 farming event for the Hollow Knight pet..
 .. I got the Armadillo. Love the 2 epic abilities :D

I realize that simply posting a variety of screenshots and my personal commentary can get pretty dull. I've got some more original content prepared for later posts, some of it already partially written. With a very busy year up ahead, I don't think I can write many new posts, so I'll have to spread them out a bit.

Next up, I've got a post I mainly worked on in July. It's still good though :P

I've also got a small planned giveaway coming up - a small prize at the end of each new post, maybe, I haven't decided on details. I've got plenty of crowns to spare on my main account, so why not? 

Until then,

Happy Questing!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Aquila - Tales And Fails

After a brief wait for Aquila, I finished the content by Monday. It took awhile to find a successful group to beat Tartarus with, but we finished.

First things first, though -

2,000 health, will effectively take away damage from myself before I attack a boss. Also starts out with more pips than I do.

Still no Critical/Crit Block. I'd gladly have Vassanji be an extra pip or two for the Critical ability - he is a level 75 minion - but alas, it is not yet to be.

I will leave a couple spots for Vassanji in my deck, however. Bosses can do a lot of damage, and his frequent attacks can influence a boss to attack him, effectively taking away a lot of damage meant for me. Kind of like the Minotaur minion, just with a lot more health, no shielding and more attacks.

Back to the main business though.. Aquila!

So majestic.

Mt. Olympus went by breezily, at a Mooshu/Dragonspyre difficulty. I would think it's more designed for Level 40 than 30 - awfully tough for a Magus wizard. 

My favorite part, as evidenced by the pictures, has to be the boss animations. Bird gods with streaming arrows and thunderbolts aimed right at you? It's hard to beat that.

Atlantea, on the other hand, was a definite challenge for my Promethean self. I died several times, notably on Poseidon, but thank goodness for the minions staying dead when returning.

Much like Poseidon, I found it hard to stay alive long enough to kill the Mt. Olympus secret boss, Gladiator Dimachaerus, a.k.a the winning word when Wizard101 has a Spelling Bee. I ended up killing his ice minion, dying and coming back to fight him solo. Not very time-efficient, but soloing is like that sometimes.

First item down! :D
I still have to farm for the Alpha & Omega Ring.. and an Enchanted Armament pet would be nice.

Tartarus is supposedly as far below the earth as Mt. Olympus is above it.
..That picture is misleading, I just thought it was pretty.

Must not be a lot of wizards afraid of that prospect o_O

Eh, looks dark enough.

The Death Satyr and Minotaur were early-Aztecan difficulty (though the 3 minions were particularly annoying). Certain aspects reminded me of the Great Spyre, particularly the mood and music. Snaking around the annoying Bronze Hoplites was reminiscent of those Myth Colossus minions in the Great Spyre, too.

... Now what business did a Gobbler have down here? 

The Stheno maze was simple enough - pick up all the Urn pieces and activate them by I, II, III, IV.
On the other hand.. eww, snake pit.

Cerberus is a huge yet endearing mutt, and a little bit confusing in his battle tactics. After a run or two, though, he's not too difficult.
If you're having difficulty with Cerberus or Hades or just need a strategy, I'd recommend checking out Katherine Lightwalker's in-depth guide over on Central for Tartarus.

First I'm just being recorded to the poets if I die, now I get sent to some sort of heaven? Make up your mind, little birdies!

Evident by the picture, my first run ended in disappointment. One player disappeared early in the dungeon, and the all important storm wizard had to leave in the middle of the final battle, right after all his blades were destroyed by an ill-timed Earthquake. Can't get much more disappointing than that.

The second attempt went off with few hitches, thankfully.

At this point, I'd rather not be a Percy Jackson-esque demi-god.

Honestly, I really couldn't decide which one is better.
Power Pip % and Accuracy isn't a big priority, and the new hat gives better Critical & Resistance, but the old hat still gives more Damage and Health. 

Total Gear Comparison

            w/Poetic Chieftain's Helm (+40% Mythblade card)
    • 4,167 Health      
    • 67% Power Pips
    • 50% Damage
    • 24% Universal Resist
    • 20% Accuracy
    • 188 Critical (31%)
            w/Helm of Unknown Tartarus
    •  4,055 Health 
    • 74% Power Pips
    • 43% Damage
    • 29% Universal Resist
    • 14% Accuracy
    • 261 Critical (47%)

I suppose I should go with the new Helm, but I love the extra stackable Mythblade of the old one. Otherwise, most of the decision hinges on the Critical Rating. Critical is almost obsolete in boss battles, what with their ridiculous critical-block percentage (tone their crit-block down a little next word, please?), but it could come in very handy for normal mobs.

For now, I'll probably stick with the Poetic Chieftain's Helm for most battles, leaving the Helm of Unknown Tartarus for mobs or bosses with sensible (or none) Critical Block Rating. I must say though, it's a little weird when a Level 56 Hat rivals the supposed best Level 90 Hat out there.

Personally, my Aquilan wishlist goes as follows:

- Exalted Life Amulet (Hades)
- Armor of Unknown Tartarus (Hades)
- Boots of Unknown Tartarus (Hades)
- Alpha & Omega Ring (G. Dimachaerus)
- Blade of the Felled Titan (Cronus)
- Enchanted Armament Pet (G. Dimachaerus)
- Harpy Pet (Sand Squid)

Better get cracking some more!

Lastly, I did a couple battles with Cronus. Besides being a prime Amber producer, he drops the new Blade of the Felled Titan.

How exactly was he "felled"?
Cronus was destined to be overthrown by his sons - Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. To overcome the prophecy, he swallowed all of his children. However, he was tricked into swallowing a stone in substitute for Zeus, who eventually grew up, forced Cronus to disgorge his siblings, eventually overthrowing him with the help of other Titans.

Of course, he was cast deep into Tartarus - for eternity in the Cave of Nyx, to be precise.

But.. you're not my father D:

Looks more like Marleybone if anything.

Besides doing Aquilan content, I've been farming the Loremaster and getting some done in Pirate101. The only luck so far is my Balance character getting the Loremaster's own spell - I hope to get Deer Knight on one of my Death characters before too long.

Next up, I'll probably post on my Pirate101 travails, or maybe something else. I've been working on multiple posts lately, so this one comes as a bit overdue.

Until then,
Happy Gear Farming!