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About a year and a half ago, I started doodling in the Abradadoodle style. It started out as simple, pencil-drawn attempts like this (these are a few of my favorites):

Doodle 2-4 Doodle 3-10 Doodle 4-1 Doodle 4-7 Doodle 4-10 Doodle 4-16 Doodle 4-17 Doodle 6-7 Doodle 7-4

After a week or so of doodling by hand, I decided to get a free drawing app for my KindleFire, Sketchbook Express. (I later “had” to upgrade to Sketchbook Pro because Autodesk stopped supporting all other versions.) When I first started using Sketchbook, my doodles looked about the same as by hand, just colorful. It didn’t take long for me to start adding layers and backgrounds, and basic textures. A few of my favorites:

Sketch17502437 Sketch175145543 Sketch164225846 Sketch175163151 Sketch186173511 12919155_955586984537861_1402622360_n Sketch186145229 Sketch182125014 Sketch20411453 Sketch1459298 12921174_955586991204527_1372564815_n 12899924_955587007871192_1323832789_n

Unfortunately, after school started again back in the fall, I stopped doodling as frequently as I used to. I’ll still do an occasional doodle, but not very often.

Saturday night, I decided I wanted a unique header for both of my Wizard101 blogs (regular/original wordpress blog and the Duelist Community Edition version of that blog). I did a little bit of research and stumbled across GIMP. I decided to download the program Sunday afternoon. I’ve probably been having a little TOO much fun with the program. 🙂

I started out with the header:

90832118-ca5b-44fd-a614-8eab1893ec70 14399cb6-574f-4b39-958a-97d8b46178f9 Doodle Header 1 Header Spells Header NPCs

I made several before deciding on the doodle one. (After all, those little Abracadoodles are the reason I started exploring art based on Wizard101.)

I found the program easy enough to use that I wanted to keep creating, so I put together extremely basic character graphics. They weren’t anything exciting, especially the lettering:

Jenna Pyromancer Kayla Thundersong Diviner Natalie Warlord 1 Suri WinterSong Ice

Between Google searches and YouTube, I learned a few other new techniques like icy text, flaming font and glowing letters:

Suri WinterSong Ice 2 Jenna Pyromancer 4 Natalie Warlord 5

Then last night I was browsing Central and came across a whole bunch of guides for making signatures, avatars, and wallpapers. I’ve made quite a few of those:

Emma Banner 1 Emma Banner 1-A Emma Banner 1-Cxcf Suri Wintersong JennaBanner 1-B Jenna Banner 1-A Suri and Jenna Banner Fallon Banner 1 Balance Avi Emma Avi

I think my favorite so far is the one of Jenna and Suri (Together we are Unstoppable). I also really like the second one of Emma and the profile Emma. I’m really enjoying making these graphics. They’re a lot of fun, and not very difficult to put together either! ^-^

~Emma

I was really surprised Friday morning when I saw double pet is back again. We had double pet 3 or 4 weeks ago…As much as I love double pet, I was hoping for free tournaments or free respect (free training point buy back)–we haven’t had either of those since September! Even though I’m disappointed it’s the same benefit two months in a row, I’m taking FULL advantage of it!

So far, I have trained two pets to Mega: one from Ancient and one from Baby. I have two other pets I’ve trained to Ancient and one is well on it’s way to Epic. I’ve also trained several pets to Adult. Since I did a bit of training on Test Realm Friday before the servers closed for the weekend, I saved myself a little heartache (and snacks!) by not training a few pets that were supposed to be promising, but failed at Teen and Adult. Thanks to Test Realm, I only trained one true fail instead of three or four! (The failed pet was one I hatched this weekend, so he wasn’t available in Test.)

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Before now, I never thought I’d consider May Cast Unicorn a failed talent, but in the case of both Nala and Maddie, it is. I really want a pet with Fairy, Spell Defying,  Spell Proof, Pain Bringer and Pain Giver for Natalie to use in PvP. But Nala is definitely one of the best pets I’ve ever trained and will work really well until I get my dream, generic pet!

Charlie was originally deemed a fail when he got the fire damage talent at Epic (since I wanted the double resist, double damage, & fairy pet) but after talking to a friend for a bit about Charlie, I realized he still had the potential to make a great fire pet for Jenna! I was hoping he’d get the other fire talent in the pool, Fire Dealer, but I would be happy with Proof or Fairy instead. He got Fairy! Now I’m trying to hatch a new fire pet with Pain Giver, Pain Bringer, Fire Dealer, Fire Giver, and either Defy, Proof, Fairy, or Infallible. (The bottom pet was a failed attempt at that pet.)

I still have a day left to train. I’m planning on getting Maddie to Mega unless (he? she? it?) gets a selfish talent (read: cunning). I’ll also have time to try another fire pet hatch and make good progress on training. Fingers crossed that I don’t have any more “major-put-on-the-shelf-and-never-touch-again” fails (like Annie) for the rest of this month’s double pet!

~Emma

This post started out as a response to Mora Misthead’s post “My Name“. It was originally going to be a comment, but, try as I might, I couldn’t cut the story into “comment length”. Instead of fighting it, I decided to simply write my response as it’s own post…a post that turned out a LOT longer than I had originally planned.

Mora ended her post posing this question: “How did you come up with your name? Do you have a story?”

The short answer is all but my first 3 characters got their last names based on the schools I picked for them. My first 3 got names I liked, my first being the name of a favorite book character. Out of all the character’s I’ve created (and I’ve created a lot, though only a few have progressed passed Wizard City), 3 have stories behind their names, one of which has a very special and profound meaning in my life.

Jumping Jenna 2My first character is Jenna. Just Jenna. I remember when I was creating my account, I wanted her name to be EXACTLY the same as my favorite character’s. (Jenna Heap from the Septimus Heap books.) Ironically, Jen looks NOTHING like Jenna Heap, despite my desire to name her “Jenna Heap”. In past years, I decided that I didn’t like Jen not having a last name, so I selected an “honorary” one (one that isn’t even a game option): Firedancer. In my mind, in any short stories I write featuring this character, my Transcendent Fire, my first character, is Jenna Firedancer.

My second and third characters have no story or reason to go with their names: Natalie Emeraldflame (who I recently deleted and replaced with Natalie Daydreamer–both “versions” myth) and Emma Dreamweaver (who became my main character on this account).

After Emma, I started picking last names that matched the school I had selected. My storm, Kayla Thundersong, was the first I did this with. I had gone into the character creation with the intent of giving a storm the last name “Thunderbird” since the storm colors (purple and yellow) were my school’s colors and the Thunderbird was our mascot. I was disappointed when “bird” wasn’t an option for the “third” name. (I would have been happy with “byrd” too!) After a little thought, I decided that “song” worked.Kayla BattleSince Kayla, I have created (in no particular order): Fallon Deaththief (death), Alyssa Rosethorn (life), Natalie Daydreamer (myth), Isabella Iceshard (ice), Anna Deathhunter (death), Rachel Summerleaf (life), Alia Storycrafter (myth), and Suri Wintersong (ice).

Out of all my characters, Suri’s name holds the most meaning. She was created in August of 2014 on a second account, and she was created for a very specific reason that’s dear to my heart. Earlier that year, I began suffering with feelings of worthlessness, had no self confidence, didn’t see myself as beautiful, and felt weak, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In April of 2014, I was smack dab in the middle of this dark, dark time, and was in a terrible place, making decisions that were emotionally scaring and I now regret. It was then that I met someone who has since become a very beloved friend. He fondly nicknamed me SiRi and helped me make it through and recover from the darkness. He taught me that I’m stronger and worth more than I believed–that I could hold my own in battle and tank my way to victory. Suri was created as a reminder of what I had learned and who I had become. “SiRi” was a scared, weak girl with little to no self esteem. Suri on the other hand is who SiRi became: strong, pSuri, Skates, Green (2)owerful, confident, beautiful. I’ve since let go of SiRi and no longer identify with that nickname. Over the last year and a half, I have become the person Suri represents.

I remember telling my friend about Suri and the reason I was creating her the day that I did. I remember telling him that I was planning on working hard at creating a powerful ice who could hold her own and take the damage so effectively, it wouldn’t even phase her. I’m in the process of reaching that goal. Currently, she can resist 52% of any one school at a time, and up to 87% in a single school (fire). I’ve spent hours researching tank gear and have discovered that by 75, Suri can be immune to any one school at a time (though I have to really buckle down and work on crafting and pets if I want to reach that) and have universal immunity by 100. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll succeed in creating the type of character I said Suri would become.

~Emma

After YEARS of owning a Royal Estate (the large Marlybone house), I FINALLY finished the inside to a point where I am completely content with how it looks. 🙂

I bought the house the summer of 2011. It was the first house I bought on Emma. (Although she’s my highest and main wizard, she was the 3rd I created. I don’t remember if any of my other characters had houses before her–I think I got Jenna’s Wooded Cottage before though…) Anyway, it was my first, and for the longest time, only house on that character. As I quested through the Spiral and found new housing items, I slowly began filling the house. In October 2012, I bought my second house, the Wysteria Villa. I abandoned the Royal Estate to decorate the Villa, deeming the Estate complete.

Then about a year ago, I spent some time looking over my first housing project and decided I didn’t like it, that I had wasted so much potential by decorating it the way I did. So, I began emptying it, tearing it apart room by room. (Now, I really wish I had taken screenshots of what it used to look like…It’d be fun to compare before and after.)

Well, today I added the last finishing details. It’s not on tour because the outside is still a mess, but I’m excited to show off the inside of this house. Enjoy!

Front Entry (Next 6 Images)

Front Entry (Next 6 Images)

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Main Floor (Next 10 Images)

Main Floor (Next 10 Images)

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Basement (Next 3 Images)

Basement (Next 3 Images)

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Upper Floor (Next 6 Images)

Upper Floor (Next 6 Images)

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If I choose to put this house on tour after the outside is finished, then I plan on figuring out an elegant way to block off the crafting room since it doesn’t really fit the theme for the rest of the house. Anyway, what do you think?

~Emma

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the term “perfect pet” over the years. It bothers me because there isn’t a single perfect pet. THE perfect pet simply doesn’t exist. I’m tired of players judging other wizard’s pets. It’s one thing to critique a pet when someone asks if you think it’s a good pet, but it’s quite another to go up to someone and tell them that their pet “failed”.

For example, shortly after I trained Emma’s Carnation Fairy, Lily, to Mega, a friend told me it was a failed pet. When I asked why he thought that, he simply told me he personally wouldn’t want most of the traits Lily has. I understand that some of her traits aren’t ideal, and there a one or two that I’d be fine if I didn’t have, but she by no means failed, especially since I wasn’t expecting a pet nearly as good as she turned out. There was absolutely no reason for this friend to tell me that MY pet was a failure.

Unfortunately, I’m expecting to hear this a lot once I finish Suri’s “perfect pet”. Her perfect pet would ideally be ice, preferably the one-headed hybrid ice hound. I want the pet to have Spell-Proof, Spell-Defying, Fairy Friend, two “selfish” talents that enhance to resist stats, along with a third selfish as a jewel. If it all works out correctly, Suri will have a pet with 21% universal resist and may cast fairy.

Before you judge me for wanting selfish talents on my “perfect pet”, you need to understand Suri’s role in her team and how I play my ice character.

I quest Jenna (Fire) and Suri (Ice) together along with two of Cameron’s characters, Cameron Hawk (Storm) and Daniel Hawk (Balance).

Cam Hawk and Jenna are primarily hitters. Sometimes they’ll play support for each other. Sometimes the attack the same target(s) one after the other. Sometimes they take out different targets the same round. It depends entirely on the type of battle and who draws what cards when.

Dan Hawk primarily plays support. He keeps Jenna and Cam in blades so they can hit fast and hard. He sometimes will play healer with Availing and Helping Hands and sometimes with Treant Polymorph.

Suri is the tank. She’s always first in the battle circle (except for the rare occasion when someone gets dragged in on accident). For boss battles, she wears a hodgepodge of gear that gives her the highest possible resist. She has an average of 65% resist to any one school at a time, with the highest at 86%. My goal is to get her to 100% resist to any one school by level 80. I’m hoping to have her at 100%+ resist to ALL schools by level 100. It’ll take work: a lot of farming and a fair amount of crowns to succeed, but it’s possible. But in order to succeed, I NEED a pet with 21% resist.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, THINK BEFORE YOU JUDGE A PET WITHOUT BEING INVITED TO DO SO. It’s hurtful, thoughtless, and mean. You never know if the pet that you perceive to be a failure was intended to be the way it is, or if the pet belongs to a child, or if it belongs to someone who doesn’t want to invest countless hour and snacks trying to “prefect” a pet.

If someone asks for your opinion, give it (preferably in the nicest way possible), otherwise, please leave any critical thoughts to yourself. Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.

On a different, but related note, I’m currently actively working on three “perfect” pets: one each for Suri, Jen, and Kayla. I’m also passively working on improved pets for Emma, my Life, Alyssa, and my Death, Fallon. (Which basically means if I stumble upon a pet with useful talents for them while working on Suri, Jen, and Kayla’s pets, they can have it.)

Anyway, I’m working on getting the above mentioned Ice pet with Proof, Defy, Fairy, and three improving selfish talents for Suri. So far I have a pet with proof and two if the selfish talents. (9% resist at ancient!) on Suri’s account. I also have a pet with Defy on Emma. That pet has a chance at developing Fairy Friend. If it does, Suri’s hatching process will become simpler….

Ultimately, I want Kayla to have a Spark Beast with a combination couple storm damage talents, universal damage talents, a may cast heal, Galvanic Field may cast, and universal resist. I realize that’s far more talents than talent slots. Ideally, I would want Pain-Bringer, Pain-Giver, Storm-Dealer, Storm-Giver, and may cast Galvanic Field, with Storm-Boon as the socketed jewel. Although right now, she’d probably benefit more from Pain-Giver, Storm-Dealer, Spell-Proof, Fairy Friend, and Galvanic Field

Jenna’s, like Suri’s, is more exact. I want her to have a Blaze Beast or Fennec Fox (both give extra Fire Blade card) with Fire-Dealer, Fire-Giver, Pain-Bringer, Pain-Dealer, and either may cast Furnace or Fairy Friend, with Fire-Boon in the jewel socket. Since she’s a hitter, the more damage she has, the better off she is. I’m hoping to have well over 100% fire damage by the time she reaches 100. From what I’ve seen, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

~Emma

(I initially wrote this post back in November for my other blog. I still hear a lot of complaints about the new critical system, so I thought I’d share my thoughts here too.)

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging now is because of the Polaris update, especially the new critical system. Ever since the beginning of Test Realm, I’ve heard nothing but complaints and claims that KingsIsle “ruined” the system and now critical is “broken”. I’m not so sure that’s actually the case.

I might be the only exalted wizard to say this, but I LIKE the new system and I think it’s far better than the old one. Yes, I get that the percentages have dropped, in some cases by a lot, but is that REALLY such a big deal? You’re far more likely to land, even if you only have a 1% critical chance. If you critical, you are guaranteed a chance to land.

At the start of the update, my critical dropped from 65% down to 29% and my block dropped from 53% down to 29%. But is that a bad thing? I am inclined to say no, it’s not.

Prior to the update, if I had a critical rating of 350 and my opponent had a block rating of 500, there was no chance I was going to land. My critical rating had to be higher than my opponent’s block rating to even have a chance at landing.

The update changed how this works, primarily by raising the chance at landing. For example, I have a 29% chance at criticaling. Let’s say my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. This means that every time I cast a spell, I have a 29% chance that I will critical. If I critical, my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. Even if I had a 100% chance at criticaling, this no longer means I will land. The only way a block will be guaranteed is with 100% block.

So why is this a good thing?

Balance, Myth, and Fire wizards should be especially excited for this change. Why? Now, multi-hits (like Hydra, Minotaur, and Chimera) and DOTS (like Fire Elf, Frostbite, and Poison) are no longer “all or nothing.” For example, prior to the update, if the first head of my Chimera was blocked, then that meant all three hits would be blocked, too. Now, I can land the first hit, the second hit be blocked, and the third head land again. (Or any combination of hitting and landing you can think of.) It’s similar with DOTS (Damage Over Time Spells). The initial damage from your Fire Elf might get blocked, but the TIC will land or vice versa. I think it always should have been this way.

There’s another reason this is a good thing. The original critical system was first introduced when Celestia came out. Prior to the launch of Celestia, the max level was 50 which meant at launch, the cap was raised to 60. With the Polaris update came the cap of 110. That means it has been 60 levels since the original critical system was introduced. Just prior to the Polaris update, when the max level was 100 and the old system was still being used, I had met several wizards, primarily Storm, who had 100% or more critical. I had also met a few wizards, primarily Ice, who had 100% or more block. How is one supposed to improve from 100%? What would be the point? With the new system, there’s reason to go beyond 100%, but keep in mind, Polaris is only the start of the third story arc. Both of the previous arcs had 5 worlds and 50 levels and there are 2 side words, plus Aquila and the Four Dungeons (Pagoda of Harmony, Barkingham Palace, House of Scales, and Darkmoor). I think it’s safe to assume that the third arc will also have 5 worlds and will end in 50 levels (150).

Assuming that is the case and the critical system wasn’t changed, it would be safe to assume that Storm would easily have 200% critical and the average wizard would easily be able to reach 100%. In order for the upcoming worlds to be difficult, the monsters would have to have an insane amount of block so it wasn’t too easy for the Storm wizards. They’d also have to have an insane amount of critical so it wasn’t too easy for the Ice wizards. So, where would that leave everyone else? By changing the system, the upcoming worlds can be fun and challenging for everyone, without being too difficult for the causal player or for children, but also not being too easy for the more hardcore players.

I don’t know how many have noticed, but Conviction has been updated to aide us with this new system. Prior to the update, the trained card gave 90 block and 90% stun resistance and the TC (Treasure Card) version gave 95 block and 95% stun resistance. With the update, trained Conviction now gives 15% critical block and 90% stun resistance, while the TC version gives 20% critical block and 95% stun resistance. Keep in mind that Vengance still gives 15% critical if it’s trained and 20% if it’s a TC. Trust me when I say these help a lot. Don’t forget about them!

I know it’s frustrating that our percentages have been dropped, but if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t make the new system as effective. There also wouldn’t be much growth in our wizards’ abilities between now and 150. And besides, criticaling isn’t everything. 🙂 These changes give us a chance at exploring other strategies for play.

~Emma

P.S. Let me know what YOU think about the new system in the comments. Please keep all debates civil. I’m hoping for an interesting and lively debate!

My first Reagent Map is ready to go! It is completely filled in (to the best of my knowledge). If I come across an unmarked reagent, I’ll update the map. Here it is!Stone Town Reagent Map

When I first became big on crafting when I was in Zafaria two years ago, I was frustrated by the lack of information I could find on locating reagents. I could find lists of locations on Wizard101Central and other fan sites, but none specified how common the reagent was in the area or where to look.

Overtime, I’ve learned where many of the spawn spots are, especially in my favorite farming areas. About a year ago, I marked the location of all of the Parchment spawns in Caer Lyon. That’s when I first got the idea of Reagent Maps.

My Reagent Maps are exactly that: a picture of the area map with dots to show where the reagents are located. I only have he Caer Lyon Parchment map done so far, but I’m excited to make more!

I’m creating these maps because it’s something I wish I had before I memorized the spawn spots of the reagents I look for most. I sincerely hope that these maps help others with their questing endeavors.

~Emma

I’ve been playing Wizard101 for a couple of years now and I love it! 🙂 I have 8 active characters and probably a dozen “on the side” characters. (I love creating new characters, but hat deleting them!) My main wizard on my main account is Emma Dreamweaver, Prodigious Sorcerer. She’s not quite done with Polaris yet, but getting really close! My main wizard on my second account is Suri WinterSong. She’s ice and is level 73. I quest Suri with my fire, Jenna, and my best in-game friend’s balance (Daniel Hawk) and storm (Cameron Hawk). Emma quests with his life, Cameron Starcatcher.

I’ve slowly been trying to become more active in the Community and not just in game. Several months ago, I started an external blog by the same name as this one, but haven’t figured out the best way to get the views I desire. Today, I stumbled across the Duelist’s Community and decided to make a second blog here. I’m planning on having a few unique posts just here and a few unique to my other blog, but for the most part, they’ll be very similar and often will share posts.

I’m excited to share my thoughts with the Wizard101 community!

~Emma

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