Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The New Building That Must Not Be Named

Hey Jammers! I've actually been sick for the past five days so I really haven't even had the energy to post.

But I'll let you know, my dudes, I am not all that happy about the Alpha HQ thing. I'm not gonna rant, that's a bit useless at this point and I don't have the energy. 

But I do have some constructive ideas.

I never use Instagram, but whenever there is an update that annoys me I take advantage of the fact that AJHQ connects to their audience on there and log on through my computer to comment on their most recent post. I try to not be irritating and demanding (though I'm bad at proofreading so sometimes I slip up a bit).

Last Thursday during the update, I told AJHQ that the Alpha HQ looks out of place (in the kindest way I could) and they responded "Thank you for the feedback, Jammer." That's nice! Thank you, AJHQ. :)

A lot of other Jammers are sad that Club Geoz left. Here's a statement from Nafaria AJ's Jammer Opinion post on the subject that particularly resonates with me:

Yes, I hate it. However, beyond the fact that Club Geoz is gone, this new Alpha HQ just looks so... weird. I don't know about you, but it looks a bit too glamorous and glittery for Jamaa Township-- let alone Jamaa! 

Excessive jewels, crystals, and the like are not what I associate with the Alphas. A few here and there are awesome, but this Alpha HQ just coats and studs everything in shiny gems, almost in a show-offy way. Being the hardworking protecters of Jamaa, I would suspect the Alphas would prefer a more natural and practical aesthetic with a little wisp of mystery– like the Basement of Secrets. It doesn't look like they could get anything done in a mansion like this!!!

Of course, a little less crowded than this magical storage basement, but y'all get the picture. The Alpha HQ should be earthy, mysterious, and fit in with AJ's nature-based lore.

You know what? I think I'm less sad about Club Geoz now. We have the Play Wild Party. Honestly, I am fine with the idea of an Alpha HQ. Excited, even! I love all the information about the different adventure items. But you might agree that what we have now could use some downsizing. 

I think today, while I'm home sick from school, I'm gonna draw up an alternative building idea that fits better with the aesthetics present in the adventures, cuz that's really what the Alpha HQ is about. 

I'm planning on showing y'all and AJHQ, and maybe, just MAYBE they might understand. 

Wish me luck! 


Monday, October 30, 2017

My Den is Unlocked! :)

From now on, I'll be decorating and unlocking my den during certain parts of AJ "holidays".

Check out my den, if you want! I have a couple semi-spooky masterpieces you can look at. :3

Happy Night of the Phantoms!!!


Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Trials of Zios + Wolf Heartstone?

Hey Jammers! Wow... it's been a while since I've posted. Don't get me wrong, I check AJ every day for things worth posting about but I never... seem... to remember to post them. XD

So, here my friends. A little compendium of cool stuff!

First up, The Trials of Zios. In this unusually wonderful adventure, you will learn and be measured by the virtues of a true adventurer: wisdom, patience, wit, and fortitude through six trials.

These trials do not come with a hard mode, but if you wanna feel EXTRA ACCOMPLISHED when you finish them you can make the game harder for yourself by restarting the adventure every time the phantoms put you in a deep sleep. Okay, I know that's weird, but sometimes a challenge is fun!

The above screenshot is from the patience trial where you move troughs like in Overflow to direct water from the adorable water source towards a well so you can water every sunflower in the garden.

Something I thought of later: maybe all the plants were sunflowers because Zios' mask symbolizes the sun... XD

This adventure is a sweet and simple one reminiscent of Return of the Phantoms, or Liza's base camp training. Maybe a combination of both of those along with a dash of Meet Cosmo. 

It does not require much explanation and elaboration, but I will take the liberty of telling you which treasure chests hold which rewards:

These are all in order of their placement in the treasure chests. If you wanna go back and get a specific one, you can write something like "scrolls top center" on a piece of scrap paper to remind you. :)

In other news, have you looked around the scrolls of The Forgotten Archives Lately? Because something new and unrelated to the Trials has arisen:

Every update or so, a new scroll in the shelves above the Zios altar is revealed. This time, we get something never before seen: an image of a Heartstone! The wolf Heartstone, that is. What else could that golden jewel be?

Additionally, is it a coincidence that the jewels Zios tells you to collect during his trials look EXACTLY like the wolf Heartstone??? I cannot see how that would fit together. 

So many mysteries, so little time...

Before I go, I just wanted to let you know something quick:

I'm decorating my den for Halloween, and I've decided that once it's done I'll unlock it so you guys can come "Trick or Treat"! Hehe :)

I'll make a post to tell y'all when it's ready. ^-^

See you in Jamaa!!!!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Club Geoz Revival Confirmed?

Click image to read the possible hint easier.

AJHQ picked out of many art entries for their contest "#RIPClubGeoz", so is it a coincidence they picked this one?

Along with all the reasons to have Club Geoz around, I don't think they'd wanna spread misinformation and get Jammers' hopes up, so... could this be a little happy sign that good things are to come?

What do you guys think?

~ DoomyPanda

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Myths About Beta Testing

Hey Jammers! I promised a post like this about a MILLION years ago, but completely forgot about it.

But now, after all that wait, it is here... Myths about beta testing.

In Animal Jam, you typically hear about beta testing minus the "testing" part. People consider some items "beta", and you'll hear many players, old and new, reminisce about the "beta days". 

But what exactly is beta testing? By the title of this post, you've probably already judged that there are some things about beta that a lot of people-- maybe even you --have gotten wrong.

With that in mind, let us begin! ^0^

Myth #1: Beta always looks the same.

A couple of years ago, WildWorks began to release the mobile version of Animal Jam that we all know today as Play Wild, or AJPW. At its beginning, AJHQ advertised it as PlayWild Beta, inviting a small number of Jammers to test it out.

Many Jammers saw the word "Beta" and instantly went into fits of hysteria trying to get invitation codes, thinking that this game would be a revival of "the beta days", with the older land designs, dens, items, and the overall "beta" aesthetic. 

Y'all know what I'm talking about.

Sadly, many of these Jammers were disappointed that PlayWild Beta was just a 3D version of "modern" AJ. A few of these Jammers felt lied to.

But no one was lied to. Why? Because the term "beta" is not simply used by Animal Jam, it's used by every game. Beta is not an aesthetic, but the word for the early developmental phase each game goes through where select players are allowed to play it to report bugs and give feedback.

For a more specific definition:

So there you have it. Beta testing!

Myth #2: Any item that's a bit old/in high demand can be considered Beta

I don't trade often, for a variety of reasons. One reason being is that I always get into so many arguments about what items are beta or not. I remember one time this seal was utterly convinced that Sunglasses were a beta item, and I could not at all explain to them otherwise. -_-

However, I don't hold it against them. I can understand where so much confusion comes from– a combination of The Forgotten Desert giving out beta items as prizes, and simply the fact that there have been more and more years since beta testing, blurring the definitions of what is beta.

Simply put, a real beta item is an item that was most recently released between July 17th, 2010 and September 9th, 2010

That short period of time, barely 2 months, was the period when Animal Jam was in beta testing. Because that span of time was so short, added to the fact that so many items from that time have lost their beta status because of rerelease or The Forgotten Desert, very few "true betas" remain.

(If you're wondering about that "Trading Post" page I added awhile ago, once I get around to updating it I plan to have a list of ALL true beta items in there.)

What gets tricky, however, is whether an item last released in early 2011 counts as beta. It is practically impossible to know the exact date an item went on clearance. Additionally, even if you do find out the date and it wasn't technically from beta, the person you're trading with might disagree with you because its demand is so high. 

How can age and demand factor in to make a fair trade? Is a perfectly fair trade even possible? Stay tuned, because once I update the Trading Post page, that question might just be answered. 0-0

Myth #3: Crystal Sands was remodeled immediately following beta testing

Contrary to popular belief, Crystal Sands' original design did not change to its current one after the last day of beta. In fact, about a year passed by before the waterslides were added on July 7th, 2011!

And even after then, it was a whole other year until Tierney Thys set up her aquarium in 2012. 

Once the aquarium was set up, a bridge of stone became accessible and the Pet Wash was moved up there. 

Ah... I remember that day. I always have mixed feelings about change, but now I really love Tierney's Aquarium! ^-^

Myth #4: EVERYTHING was different in beta testing

The above video was published midway through beta testing, and as you can see, Jam Mart Clothing looks exactly the same today! Not to mention the player bar (although the color has changed) and most of the top-bar settings.

I think a lot of what gives AJ its charm is that they rarely renovate rooms unnecessarily. Because of their interactions with the community, I think AJHQ pretty much understands what we want to keep on AJ.

Well, that's all the myths about beta testing I can think of today. If you know one that I didn't mention, feel free to comment! :D

And in the spirit of things past, I found an old Animal Jam blog from 2011:

Did you know that the Conservation Museum used to be called the Animal Museum? That changed after the first time an animal (monkey) traveled (then called "Endangered"), around mid-2012. Since then, the statues in the center of the museum were replaced by a coloring table. Fun fact: the crocodile statue was never completed.

They have not posted since early 2012 (the time I joined), but their website serves as a nice archive. Check it out: http://animaljamhq.com/?p=420

Were you around during beta? What's something you want to come back?


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