Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Pet Actions!

Hey Jammers! My apologies, but this will be a rather rushed and incomplete post as I'm actually supposed to be doing my homework right now. Yikes! And to top it off, I won't be posting at all this weekend because I'll be going away for a couple days. Sorry... "^^

But anyway, let's leap right into the Jamaa Journal!!!

Lotsa stuff...

In other news, the buddy list now looks weird:

...But at least you can have twice as many as you could before!

Still, it's gonna be hard for me to get used to it. XD

Another new thing is that pets now have unique actions! They still do the same things when you click them or when they dance, but now they play, hop, sit, and sleep as well!

How adorable!

There's also a new Jammer-wall thingy(?) in Jam a Grams:


Sorry for the short post, dudes. See y'all on Monday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Offline Plaques From AJHQ!

Hey Jammers! Sorry for my lack in posting this week, I've had a ton of homework. Well... more accurately is that I've been doing my homework early rather than waiting until nighttime and rushing. All that extra time makes me go a little slower for some reason. I don't know why, but it feels like I spend the majority of the time zoning out into the wall and then BAM! It's 11 PM and my eyes hurt too much from wall-staring to use my computer.

But enough about me, let's talk about ANIMAL JAM! Animal Jam, and how AJHQ is now giving out plaques awarding you for Animal Jam-related things you do while normally not logged into Animal Jam! 

Well, if you're confused it really isn't as complicated as I try to make it sound. Scroll down and all will become clear!

Click to read OR go to the official AJ Instagram account!

You see those shiny blue things? Those are the new award plaques just released today! Or yesterday, depending on when you're reading this post. 

Here are the original plaques (that you can still earn!):

You can get the painter's palette plaque if you get your art in the Gallery, the Howl plaque if a howl you submitted got published, the film reel if Brady Barr or Tierney Thys answers your question, the camera if you get an article published on the Daily Explorer, the world if you pass the Online Safety Quiz, and the paw if you win a Jammer Snaps contest.

Here are the elusive unreleased plaques that a select few Jammers claim to have:

The castle is assumed to be a plaque you would get if you win Epic Dens, and the star is assumed to be a plaque that you get if you win a contest. Sadly, even if you do win Epic Dens or a contest, the likely scenario is that you won't receive either of these plaques. They were either released as a mistake, or were made and a few were put into the game but weren't used as awards.

All these original plaques appear to have a dark brown wood backing and a golden shape, while these newly released plaques are dark blue and metallic with ice blue shapes. They also seem to be sparkly.

So how can you earn them?

The pencil/paintbrush plaque is called the Fan Art Plaque and you can earn it if AJHQ highlights AJ fan art you post on Instagram.

The trophy/ribbon plaque is called the Community Contest Plaque and you earn it if you win a contest proposed by AJHQ on Instagram. For example, yesterday AJHQ asked people to share a screenshot of their animal wearing the Rare Item Monday on Instagram, and whoever won was featured and got the plaque.

The film camera plaque is called the Videographer Plaque and you can earn it if the Animal Jam videos you post online (usually YouTube) get noticed by AJHQ, or if you reach a milestone in views or online subscribers.

...And finally, the heart plaque! This plaque is called the Positive Player Plaque and you can earn one by being a helpful and positive influence while playing AJ, and/or on social media. You even get a second one to give to another kind player! How sweet. :)

The reason why I'm calling them "offline" plaques is because unlike the original wood plaques, these shiny new plaques award things mostly relating to social media rather than in-game achievements, specifically AJ-centric social media where the AJ community tends to circulate. For example, Animal Jam Stream!

It's interesting to see AJHQ recognize the community they've developed over the years. Not a lot of games do that, or even have such enthusiastic players to begin with!

It's also interesting to learn that AJHQ is aware of all this fan art, all these YouTube channels and blogs... AJHQ, if you're reading this, hi!!!

If you're curious, click here to look at Animal Jam's official Instagram page.

That's all for now, Jammers. I wish I had enough Positive Player plaques to give each and every one of y'all! ^_^

See you in Jamaa,

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Earth Day + AJ Stationary

Happy belated Earth Day, Jammers! What kinds of stuff did you do yesterday to celebrate? While not exactly on Earth Day, me and my brother planted a ton of flowers and other plants in our backyard a couple days ago. There's been a lot of sun and rain so I can't wait until they grow! :D

Despite it not being April 22nd anymore for another year, there are still a ton of easy things you can do to make a positive difference in your area and your Earth:

Plant some beautiful flowers! 

Honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators are very important to all ecosystems. Without pollinators, there wouldn't be plants, flowers, fruit... or even any life on Earth! 

Here's where you come in. Pollinators use nectar as food and can have trouble finding enough suitable flowers, especially in cities. There is actually a worldwide shortage of honeybees because of it!

 You can make a fuzzy little bumblebee or an elegant butterfly very happy by planting some flowers. Some favorites include lavender (which also has a wonderful scent!), bee balm, coneflower, yarrow, sunflowers, black-eyed susan, horsemint, astersweet clover, and many more.

Walk, bike, or take public transportation when you can. :)

Aside from being really expensive to maintain, being usually slower and more prone to get stuck in traffic, driving exclusively in a car has been widely & thoroughly proven as being a harmful pollutant to the environment.

The amount of toxic chemicals leeched into the environment by 40 people riding the bus is way less than if each of those 40 people drove their car. 

There are many other ways to help the environment, but I'm sure you're dying to know about the new stuff on AJ today. If you wanna add anything, feel free to comment! :)

The new items of today are sold in the sister shops of Jamaa Township, Jam Mart Clothing and Jam Mart Furniture. ^^

The Egypt set is steadily making its way into shops, so we can expect to see things like the Egyptian Pillow and Egyptian Couch hit the shelves sometime soon. Which item in the set is your favorite? :D

In other news, some word on the upcoming AJ merchandise has come, and it's all about books!

"Penguin will introduce two chapter books for ages six to 10 in summer 2017, followed by two more next season."

"We want to immerse them in the world the same as the game does."

"The titles will feature two or three digital codes per book, embedded within the narrative, which will unlock online content"

"[...] Wooky Entertainment's Style Me Up! craft and activity books,"

Here's an image of what will most likely be the craft and activity books:

The stationary set seems to include a journal, a pen, a pencil, a cute eraser in the shape of a pet pony/zebra, and a ruler. There also looks to be a coloring book next to it, with the word "collection" on it, so it may include some codes to special items. I don't recognize that giraffe's jewelry, so maybe that is a prize? :O

This is all the information out just yet on the upcoming books, but with June approaching, we have the figurines to look forward to!

Taken from Clark Stacey's Instagram page

Along with being adorable, they seem to make great cake toppers, too:

Also taken from Clark Stacey's Instagram page

There's so much to be excited about! What are you crazy about the most? :D

• • • •

That's all for now, see you in Jamaa!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What Spiked Collars are REALLY Worth

Hey Jammers! A quite heated topic of debate on AJ is the true rarity of the Spiked Collar or Spiked Wristband, usually referred to as "spikes," "longs," "shorts," "long wrists," etc. 

"Long" Spiked Wristbands

"Short" Spiked Wristbands

"Long" Spiked Collars

"Short" Spiked Collars

Due to their tremendous popularity, a few non-rare spiked/studded collars have been released in the Diamond Shop in the past. Despite being currently out-of-store, they're not considered as rare as their original counterparts above.

Here are the "knockoff" spikes/studs:

With all these different kinds of spiked collars and wristbands running amok, how do we make sense of what they're worth? How rare is each one?

...But, what even is rarity anymore?

A while ago, that would have been an easy question to answer. An equal combination of release date and demand, of course! Ideally, it would have stayed that way, but as the years went by, rarity became less solid. The idea of fairness began to depend more on the person you're trading, rather than a set of guidelines that everyone followed.

Recently while trading I learned just how confusing the whole "fairness system" is nowadays. In Aldan, all of Crystal Sands was convinced that A., any item that isn't in stores is automatically "beta," no exceptions, and B., the time an item was last released doesn't change its rarity. 

This may not be the common belief through all of AJ. But a whole near-full Crystal Sands– in the "trading world" –full of people who believe that any item out of stores is automatically rare? It seems at least like a popular idea, if not a common one.

In a way, however, these assumptions have some truth to them. The entire concept of how rare an item is has always been in the hands of who trades. However, it's certainly a lot more confusing now!

Because it's so confusing and I'm sure that you just want to get to the point, I'm going to try to sort it out as easily as possible:

Ideally, rarity would be an equal combination of DATE and DEMAND. Date would determine how old an item is, and demand would be how much people want it. Both factors would play an equal part in how much an item is worth.

Right now, however, it's mostly DEMAND that seems to matter among people. Spiked Collars, for instance, can be acquired in the Forgotten Desert. They could also be won as a prize in this year's Lucky Clovers. If only date was taken into consideration, Spiked Collars would only be worth a Tan Carpet, another prize in The Forgotten Desert. 

However, despite the Spiked Collar's repeated rereleases, the amount of value it supposedly has is completely unchanged. This is how powerful the demand is. 

Despite how powerfully demand can overcome date, the demand of an item changes. A LOT. This is why you can never say for certain what an item is worth, or what kinds are rarer. 

There also seem to be eras of AJ in which certain items are more sought after than others. Around when I first joined, all kinds of Gloves were high in demand. Nonmember gloves that you don't even acknowledge anymore, Lava Gloves that are now just sold in the Diamond Shop... just all kinds of things that are considered worthless in trading. One of these days, you can expect to see Spiked Collars start to go down in demand as well.

But what are Spiked Collars worth right now, while they're popular?

Because you can get so many varying answers, it's hard to say if Spiked Collars really do have a defining value. Things change, and right now it all relies on demand.

Even if you KNEW for sure what a Spiked Collar was worth, in the end it wouldn't help you at all. There will always be someone that won't agree or who doesn't like your offer. Even if AJHQ themselves descended down upon you and told you exactly what a Spiked Collar was worth, it's pretty likely at least a whole room full of people won't agree. 

If you want to know what Spiked Collars are worth, they're basically worth what you and your trading partner can agree upon in the moment. No predetermined rule of rarity can change that.

Thanks for reading, Jammers! See you in Jamaa! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Educational Stuff

Hey Jammers! The new item of today is being sold in Jam Mart Furniture:

Sand Pyramids! A flawless replica of the real thing if you can't afford to see them yourself. A+ craftsmanship

In other news... something small. I just noticed that Animal Jam switched it's title from "Animal Jam: Adopt pets, play games, yadda yadda yadda..." to simply "Welcome to Animal Jam!"

I guess AJ is so far along in popularity right now that it doesn't even need a description. "Welcome to Animal Jam!" seems just right. ^^

Over on the Daily Explorer, have you been seeing the posts by Tierney Thys every Tuesday?

Click the image above to read it clearer. :)

I don't know about you, but I love the educational aspect of Animal Jam. Unlike school, it doesn't force boring assignments on you based on memorizing basic textbook information. AJ does have opportunities to write essays and get them displayed on the Daily Explorer, but it's more about kids learning and being engaged the way they want without being forced to fulfill a pointless requirement.

I think the educational content on AJ is a really good starting point, too. I always see some interesting factoid in a Journey Book or game that I end up researching later. I don't know about you, but I think it's really great. ^^

On the topic of education, did you know that the amount of tigers in the wild has increased? In 2010, the worldwide estimate for the population was a mere 3,200. This year in 2016, however, that number increased to 3,890 wild tigers.

It doesn't sound like much, but if you put it in perspective this is nothing short of incredible. Ever since 1900, the official estimate has steadily decreased... up until now. That's an amazing milestone, and means that conservation efforts have been working. The battle isn't over, but right now it's going in the right direction!

(Source: Number of Tigers in the Wild is Rising – The New York Times)

That's all for now, see you in Jamaa! :D

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Missing Items + NM Clothing Ideas

Hey Jammers! Sorry for not posting yesterday, I was at a museum for a big part of the day. :)

The new items are part of the returning Egypt set in Jam Mart Furniture:

Hmm... I wonder why these are returning. Maybe they were released originally in April? Regardless, it's sure that the whole set is soon to come out! Unless they release the whole set except one to keep it rare? Hmm...

As Summertime begins to approach Jamaa in a ray of sunshine, soon we will see the return of the Beta Party and all of the trade-related confusion to come. However, do you remember the animal banners?

Last year and the year before that, "Beta" Animal Banners were sold at the Beta Party, one for each original animal present in beta testing. 

...Except one, which mysteriously and annoyingly still appeared in the party! >:O

Ah yes, the elusive and pretty much nonexistent panda banner. Present in both the 2015 and 2014 Beta Party decor, yet just out of reach from the shop. One question: Why was it not sold? What made the panda banner unable to be sold? And yes, I'm aware that was two questions. 

Because we don't know enough to answer those questions, the only thing we can do right now is just wait and hope that AJHQ will change their minds and sell the panda banner during Beta Party 2016.

In other news, after not doing so for a while I've organized a few nonmember clothing ideas for you to use! I don't have many items, none are really considered "rare", much like the majority of nonmembers. Making outfits as a nonmember can be a struggle, so here are a few ideas to potentially help you. ^_^

Personally, I don't focus on items as much as colors, which is partially why some of these are a little simple-looking in terms of clothing. However, better ones are on the way! I kind of just threw these together last minute. "^^

That's all for now, Jammers. See you in Jamaa!

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