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?

Comment!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SADNESS (and Hope?)

Hello, friends. I hope you all are prepared for a tidal wave of unbridled drama. :)

So, let's start at the beginning.



WHY, AJHQ????? 

WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DO THIS TO US????

THE PHANTOMS DIDN'T HAVE TO STRIKE CLUB GEOZ, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO COME OUT AND JUST SAY "whoop dee doo, Geoz is gone 4 good!!!!! Time for Diamond Shop 2: the sequel :)"

IF THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING, AND THE PHANTOMS WILL LEVEL EVERY SINGLE BUILDING IN THE TOWNSHIP, WILL THIS JUST BE AN ANNOYING EXCUSE TO RENOVATE EVERYTHING PAST RECOGNITION? WILL THERE BE NOTHING BUT DIAMOND SHOP CLONES SOON? 

IF YOU'RE PLANNING THAT, STOP! IT'S SO UNCALLED FOR. RENOVATION OF OLDER ROOMS JUST DRIVES PEOPLE AWAY



MY FRIEND MEEK TINYMOON LOUDLY AND VIOLENTLY AGREES WITH ME, YOU JUST CAN'T SEE IT IN THIS SCREENSHOT. (:

AND ALRIGHT, I ADMIT IT, THAT SECRET ITEM YOU GET BY CLICKING THE MUSIC NOTE BANNER IS PRETTY NICE AND I WANT TO WEAR IT FOREVER. BUT WHEN FUTURE JAMMERS RARE-IFY THESE DUMB HATS AND TRADE THEIR KIDNEYS FOR THEM WILL THEY EVEN KNOW WHAT 'CLUB GEOZ' IS???? WILL THEY???? HUH???


One word, AJHQ:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

....


....


*ahem*

I'm okay now.

So, friends, what do we know?

1. AJHQ probably knew that a lot of Jammers would be upset. Especially the ones who love and defend underrated rooms.

2. The Jamaa Journal claims that Club Geoz is "closing its doors for good". Again, that was probably to make people freak out. Like I did.

3. Aside from the Pillow Room/Medical Center shift, no room has ever just been removed from Jamaa. Club Geoz, while old, is very different from the beta medical center. During beta, no one ever went in the Medical Center. Club Geoz has always been a fun place, it just became a little less popular since the Diamond Shop crowded it out. 

4. Still, according to the party AJHQ started in their Sneak Peek video, and the fact that they felt the need to give us a uncharacteristically awesome nonmember item as a consolation, they are well aware that a lot of people still LOVE Club Geoz.

5. A few years ago, AJHQ said that Club Geoz would be remodeled. The remodels were abandoned. Maybe that's relevant.

From all this evidence, it seems that there is a strong chance that Club Geoz will NOT be entirely replaced, despite what the Jamaa Journal claims. 

And the fact that they called the consolation item "Club Geoz Hat and Headphones" seems like the name "Club Geoz" isn't going away. 

So, what's the most likely outcome of this?

This whole thing might have been partially intended to get everyone interested in Club Geoz again. And perhaps give them a feeling of actual anger toward the phantoms as conflicts build.

Club Geoz will most likely get remodeled. I hope it comes back the same way it was, but it probably won't. :(



Honestly, even though it might not seem very flashy to a lot of people, I always liked Club Geoz's "dustiness". It seems appropriate– AJ isn't a glitzy game with too many bright lights, it's a natural game. Club Geoz seems very unique and important in its earthiness. 

Its dustiness is honestly my favorite thing about Club Geoz, as well as any room on AJ. It also is probably what makes beta items so appealing to many people: an earthy dustiness, as if each thing from beta is ancient. That's the AJ aesthetic.

Well, maybe this will turn out okay in the end. It seems like AJHQ is slowly building up a feeling of serious-ness with the phantoms that does not stay strictly in adventures. It's in Jamaa now. Maybe they want us to focus on that rather than the more light-hearted aspects of Jamaa, like silly parties.

Maybe when all of this is over, Club Geoz will reopen and we'll have a huge dance party. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

See you in Jamaa!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Adventures in Aldan

Meanwhile, at Animal Jam court...

AJHQ: Step forward, Apprentice.

Apprentice Courageouselephant: *steps forward*

AJHQ: Do you know why you are being banned, Apprentice?

Apprentice Courageouselephant: ...

AJHQ: While you have been a good Jammer, a courageous elephant, for most of your time in Jamaa, it was scamming that finally did you in to the moderators, correct? 

Apprentice Courageouselephant: ...Yes, AJHQ.

AJHQ: And what is the punishment for scamming, Apprentice?

Apprentice Courageouselephant: Permanent banning, AJHQ.

AJHQ: No longer will you terrorize the land of Jamaa. Any last words before you explode?

Apprentice Courageouselephant:


Narrator: And with one last futile cry into oblivion, Apprentice Courageouselephant exploded, never to be seen again. THE END.

Do you ever go into Jamaa on a crowded server, to trade and whatnot?

Do you ever wonder how you understand what people are saying?




Just imagine being a new player... you spawn into the Township, excited to start your adventure, but no more than a minute in you are suffocated by chat bubbles screeching "ORNG SHORT RED LONG BETA BETA BETA JAG" 

You don't know what 'beta' means, or what a 'long' or 'short' is, and you have no clue why Major Majormajor is demanding you 'jag' them.

Your mouse hovers by the log-out button, and you click, never to return to this terrible place again...



...But no matter how hard you push them out of your head, their words will forever haunt you...

~DoomyPanda

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Glitchy Sarepia + Future Secret Passageway?

Heyyo Jammers, happy first day of October AKA the first day of Halloween! 

So today I was walking around the Forgotten Archives, wondering about Zios, when I had a thought. All this interesting lore is amazing, but it's only a portion of what makes AJ so cool for me. Another area of AJ that has been neglected and underrated is the learn-about-nature section. 


The thing about that part of AJ is that there IS a ton of cool stuff about nature all throughout Jamaa, but it just isn't emphasized as much by AJHQ as "NEW SPIKE WILD WEEKEND!!!1!" or "NEW den/pet/item/promo!!!" 

Honestly, AJHQ could create a lot of positive change just by changing the order of the Jamaa Journal pages. Put the new Conservation Museum exhibit on the front page, and push the "wild weekend" notice back a page or two. It sounds reasonable to me– an entire room changing its content seems a bit more interesting than a few new items, right? Items come out every day.

In addition to that, keeping the lore news (lines of power, lore hints, etc.) around the back of each issue of the Jamaa Journal will be more exciting to find and read, encouraging Jammers to read the whole issue. I dunno, it just seems annoying that the "biggest" news is on the first couple pages and it gets less and less interesting with each page turn. 

Even if you couldn't give a HOOT (haha owl joke) about educational nature stuff, just keep in mind that Animal Jam is technically classified as an educational fantasy MMO– not just a spiked collar simulator. It should just make this TINY lil effort to keep with its name.

So anyway, I decided to go to Sarepia Theater to watch the Bat Eared Fox video, but then–


NO, SAREPIA THEATER, THE PHANTOMS GOT YOU TOO!?!!?!!!

This glitchiness has got to CEASE. Just walking into Jamaa Township this morning one of those dang Night of the Phantoms coffin decorations was teleporting across the ground and no one seemed to care. ō_ō

Did the introduction of The Forgotten Archive really mess everything up? It seems that glitchy things have been happening way more frequently ever since it was unlocked.

Speaking of the Forgotten Archive...


Doesn't this look like a potential secret passageway to you?

I bet we'll hear about this sometime soon...

Until next time, see you in Jamaa! :D

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Glitch-o-Ween + Coconut Crab

Hey Jammers! Yeah, I know this post is late... I have a ton of school assignments I need to get through, and a big test next week! Blah. School can be really annoying sometimes.

Because I should really get started with my homework, this post will just include what I believe to be the highlights of the update, as well as an extra surprise at the end. ^-^

First off, Jamaa is spooky now, in more ways than one...


You see those static-y rectangles? Yeah, that's never happened to me before until this morning when I logged on. I included them in the picture of the phantom statue to let you know just how spooky AJ is right now.

Adding onto the spooky glitchiness, I randomly decided to go to a Jammer party for the first time all year. It seems like I came at a bad time:


e_e

I had also heard something a couple days ago about no one being able to get into the Wolves Only Party for some glitchy reason. 

I guess AJHQ doesn't have to work so hard patching bugs during the Night of the Phantoms. Static rectangles? Blacked-out rooms? Locked parties? No glitches here, just the phantoms making everything wacky!

Interesting things are also afoot in the center of Jamaa Township...


You can't really see it in the screenshot, but icy blue "lines of power" have been seen lacing across the Township in mysterious shapes.

Perhaps this might have to do with the Mira statue being replaced with a phantom. Maybe it's causing an odd unbalance? Remember the passage in The Forgotten Archives: these lines of power can be drawn upon for a darker purpose.

Also, I just came up with a theory for Night of the Phantoms. The phantoms want to destroy Jamaa, so why do we have a whole month celebrating them and letting them come into Jamaa? I think it might have to do with some kinda compromise that was struck at some point in time –– the phantoms promised to not to do something if they could have a month where they are allowed in Jamaa. Maybe. What do you think?


These lines of power look like they could somehow be compared to a map of Jamaa to determine where the "power centers" are. 


So far, I have no clue where they fit.

Although, I did observe from the brief power line flashes that a circle goes around the well around the bottom of the Township. Hmm...

In addition to this, a new book passage has been discovered in The Forgotten Archive:


I believe that every major update, a new excerpt will be revealed. Maybe at some point we'll be able to put all of them together into full volumes?

On a side note, I really like that image of the rabbit, wolf, and monkey. The style is so cool! I love all these images printed in the excerpts.

I also love how there is a desk with raw material to make printing pigments in the Forgotten Archives:


If you think about it, this desk's existence makes it seem like Zios might also have a body along with a floating mask, if he was physically able make pigments. 

...Or maybe Peck just made them. It really isn't certain what the Alphas' roles are involving the Archive.

You know, with AJ, I used to think that stuff was just coincidently decided, like putting phantoms in Jamaa during the Night of the Phantoms. Now, with AJ becoming increasingly accepting of lore and fan-theories, I keep wondering about every little thing!

Before I go, here's that surprise I promised at the beginning:




Do you know who this is? This, my friends, is a coconut crab! He is a large crab who lives on land, and, as you can probably tell from the name, loves to eat coconuts! He climbs up into coconut trees, uses his strong pinchers to cut down a couple of coconuts (which either break on impact with the ground or are opened up by the crab himself), and then carefully crawls back down to eat his lunch! 

I didn't take the above pictures, I found them in a YouTube video showing the coconut crab. They are so cool wonderful to watch! ^-^

See you in Jamaa, my friends~

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Tortoise

Hey Jammers! Just a quick post today, nothin' fancy.

...unless you count this wonderful tortoise I found in a nature reserve yesterday:


This photo doesn't do them justice, but they had very beautiful eyes that glowed like embers. The tortoise was very still while I sat by them, but occasionally their eyes would quickly dart around.

They let me touch their shell gently (it was lightly grooved, a bit like a fingerprint) and when I got up to leave, they pulled their legs back out of their shell and walked on their way back through the underbrush. 

I don't know if you see it too, but don't the patterns on their shell segments look like handprints?

In other, more Animal Jam-related news, AJHQ changed the webpage title once again:


When I first looked up at my screen in-game and saw this, I thought I'd made a mistake and went to one of those scammy shady fake AJ's. 

Y'know, the ones that were linked by ads like this:


But luckily, I think I wasn't. You can normally tell when you go to Animal Scam™ when the homepage looks like this:


Ahh... just look at that Quality formatting. A truly professional computer game run by W1LdW0rks™ ,, with millions of fans.

That's all for now, Jammers,

See you in Jamaa!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Membership Glitch?

Heyyo, guys! While I was writing the last post, I had said that my membership would expire the next morning. I had read the settings tab, and that's what it said. Or should have said.



Well... it's been a few days since my 30-day membership should have expired. I have genuinely no clue as to why this has happened– I turned auto-renew off and the billing history hasn't had any new additions!

Y'all might be surprised to hear that I'm actually looking forward to being nonmember again. I only get brief 30-day memberships so I can make some Masterpieces to put in my den. 


I can't fully explain why I like being nonmember– I guess it feels simpler –but what is really clear is that this glitch is WEIRD.


Has this ever happened to you?



Monday, September 18, 2017

THE ALPHAS ARE JERKS

Hey Jammers!!! Wow... I just realized something really terrible.

First, let me start at the beginning: 

My membership expires tomorrow morning, and because I probably won't renew it for a year I decided to spend all evening going on members-only adventures. I completed The Hive successfully, got a Phantom Pod. The Great Escape was next on my list, and though I completed it multiple times a glitch happened where I didn't get the reward at the end. A little irritating. I kinda wanted a Mira Emblem. :(

My last adventure was Greely's Inferno, hard mode. It took sooooo long to finish, it feels like I aged 10 years over the course of the game. But at least I ended it completely with little to no glitching. 

I got the reward I was looking for: Greely's Desk!

Out of curiosity, I looked up all the prizes for the hard mode of Greely's Inferno, just to see what I might have missed.


Greely's Bookshelf, Greely's Desk, Greely's Passage... and the normal mode of the adventure gives you a choice between Greely's Blackboard and his Wardrobe.

What do all these items have in common?

They're all Greely's furniture.

...Alright, I know that's obvious, but think for a moment about when Cosmo, Graham, and Liza gave them to you.


They had greeted you by the portal, not Greely. Which, again, is obvious to anyone who has done the adventure. Greely has just frozen the volcano before it could erupt, saving all of Jamaa, but it is unclear and unlikely that he survived. 

From these three Alphas' lines of dialogue, it's clear that they are near-convinced that Greely is dead.


Because he's presumed dead, there's no need to keep his stuff lying around AJHQ, right?

So, to clear up space, as well as save themselves the trouble of collecting cool prizes from the rubble of the volcano, the Alphas decided to just give out Greely's old furniture to random Jammers like some kind of awful yard sale.


THANK HIM!?!? For what, dying so you could finally get rid of all his dusty furniture!? I see you, Graham... I see you...

It's been some time since Greely's Inferno came out, and since then we've been on other adventures that have let us know that yes, Greely is still alive and spooky.

But even after all this time, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when Greely might wanna drop by and pick up his stuff again...

See you in Jamaa!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Treasure Trove of Lore

Hey Jammers! Wow... boy oh boy, this is one amazing update.

It's so amazing that I think I'll save the best for last and quickly talk about the smaller side-stories first.

Saving the best for last, here's the not-so-best first: Goats are back, with no new land along with them as was predicted by their departing message. I guess that message was flexible– it wasn't necessarily a hint.

A little better news: a new, pretty different exhibit is over at the Conservation Museum!


This exhibit is about domestic animals. Eh... I'm not too wild about it, no pun intended. I had thought it would be about important "jobs" animals have in ecosystems, like fungi and vultures helping decomposition, wolves keeping deer populations stable, and bees and bats in pollination.

I guess the main problem I have with this thing about domestic animals is that they did not ask to be isolated, bred, and used against their will for things that do not help them as individuals. They just wanted to be independent and free. But that's just my humble opinion, I don't wanna get into any arguments lol

Next up, some pretty cool news that made me very happy! 


In celebration of World Rhino Day on September 22nd, rhinos are for EVERYONE!!! Click here to learn more about how to celebrate and help protect these beautiful beings.

Now if only along with this, nonmembers could get an extra animal slot. I don't wanna have to choose between my rhino and my turtle!

Pet scorpions are here– an extremely cool creature! Mama scorpions carry their babies on their backs like this:


How sweet!!! I love little desert creatures ^-^

And now... what you've been waiting for...

The unveiling of the Forgotten Archives.


This is only a small part of the archive rooms. It is one of the coolest rooms in Jamaa, having a similar vibe to The Basement of Secrets. Only there's more to explore!

If you click different books and scrolls, different passages appear. Here are all of them so far:




I wonder if those lines can be "decoded" and ascribed to different areas in Jamaa. 



That eclipsed sun is a shutting eye! It reminds me of something I might doodle on my notebooks. I like to draw shutting eyeballs for some reason. :D

Is that the eye of Zios? 

You know, I think this update really shows how willing and adept AJHQ is at balancing a lighthearted educational game with some good, genuine lore. 

The lore, especially the recently revised stories, have good messages against divisiveness and support a moral of environmental respect. Honestly, I think those are the most important things to talk about, especially today. 

I am so excited about this new archive.

I'm sure there will be new passages to piece together soon...

Before I go, here's an inspiring quote from my friend:


Truer words have not been spoken.

And here's a Masterpiece I'm trying to finish before my membership expires:


See you in Jamaa! :D

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