Monday, February 27, 2017

Pale Green Worn Blanket

...sigh

Well, February break is over. I have to go back to school. Back to an irregular posting schedule. Back to stress.

If you're curious, here are today's new Spring items that are part of that Diamond Shop event thingy:


Oh boy, a green worn blanket.

Here's AJHQ announcing this item by being Hip and Cool on The Social Media:


I wonder who was in charge of writing that caption.

In other news... there isn't really much news. I'm sorry this post was so short. I feel tired, a little sad, and I have a lot of homework.

If you're interested, you can enter in this blog's masterpiece contest by displaying a masterpiece you made in an unlocked den or on an unlocked Jammer Wall, and then commenting your username on any post here. The winner will be announced Friday.

Jam on, guys!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What do you think?

Hey Jammers! I hope you can find the time to enter in AJ Stream's Weekly Featured Masterpiece contest to get your artwork displayed on this blog for hundreds of Jammers to admire. Here's how: Display a Masterpiece you made in an unlocked den or an unlocked Jammer Wall. Next, comment your username on any post on this blog! Only a couple of people have entered so far, so you have a great chance of winning.

It's really nice to do a contest that doesn't involve items. Items are only a small part of Jamaa, really. I personally think it's more fun to share artwork. That being said, there will be some item contests on Animal Jam Stream at some point! Keep your eyes peeled.

Before we get right into this post, I wonder if you've been noticing the poll to the righthand side of the blog. 


Here are the results of the last poll question, "Do you participate in clans/roleplays on AJ?". 

I used to do a lot more polls back in the day, but for the longest time I just didn't know what questions to ask, until early this month. I was on an Animal Jam thread on a forum site and noticed a lot of people lamenting about how people don't RP anymore, instead spending all their time trading. 

I was curious about that statement, so I made the poll. Lo and behold, it seems to have been proven somewhat false!

I think the truth of the statement is this: clans are no longer everywhere you look, but they're still there. Big clans are usually held in dens rather than Sarepia Forest, which is now usually home to a lot of miscellaneous roleplaying. 

This first poll was an interesting experiment, so I thought about another one:


This is the poll that's currently up, so go and vote! I'm curious about Jammers' varying opinions.

Seeing how these polls look, they're admittedly a little hard to read. Luckily, I just remembered how to put a background behind individual widgets, so this new poll will be legible some point soon!

In other news, something really helpful is on AJ's official Instagram page! I don't really use Instagram, but sometimes I check the computer version of AJ's page.


This is only a part of a big FAQ on item selling. Item selling is something seriously against the rules but not often fully understood, so AJHQ put a FAQ up on their Instagram page. It's super helpful, you should check it out.

Speaking of AJHQ, you've probably heard of some issues going on with this one Animal Jam YouTube person with the username Julian2. 

I don't normally like to talk about the AJ side of YouTube because frankly, I'm just not interested, but I feel like some things need to be clear about this one incident.

Basically, this kid broke the rules by doing something inappropriate on AJ and was suspended for a week or two. In addition, his animal character was removed from Animal Jam's YouTube channel banner, which features a handful of other YouTube Jammers called "Jambassadors", and was also removed from an AJ YouTuber group chat.

The suspended Jammer got mad and wrote up a long Instagram comment talking about how it felt like he wasn't welcome in the community anymore and felt like quitting. A lot of his YouTube subscribers support him and think AJHQ is overreacting.

Regardless of where you stand, the truth of the matter is this: 

This is all protocol. AJHQ isn't personally victimizing anyone.


Julian2 is not part of AJHQ. He is just a Jammer like you or me, and so has to follow the same rules. He broke a rule, so the protocol for breaking that rule is a temporary suspension. It's only fair for everyone to have to follow the same rules.

As for being removed from the Jambassador banner and the group chat, that is also protocol. AJHQ uses the Jammers on the Jambassador banner to advertise their game. Using someone who broke the rules to advertise their game sends the wrong message to kids and parents. 

Younger kids watch Julian2's videos, so if they stumbled on some inappropriate content there, it would seem like AJHQ condones that content by featuring the perpetrator on the Jambassador banner, as well as the YouTuber group chat. 

AJHQ doesn't have anything against this YouTube person. He's just another Jammer, and when Jammers break the rules, they will face the agreed-upon consequences. It's as simple as that. It's too simple to even call it "drama" 

It's only right that nobody gets special treatment when it comes to rule breaking. That's the only way that Animal Jam can continue to be a fun place.


I really don't like talking about the Animal Jam side of YouTube. I really wanna keep this blog a positive place. There's so much negativity on other websites... and in the real world. It can be overwhelming.

To end this post on a more positive note, here are some cats in the snow:


See you in Jamaa!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Early Spring Update + Weird AJ Merch

Wanna show off your artwork? Enter Animal Jam Stream's ongoing Weekly Featured Masterpiece contest to have your art displayed at a place of honor on the blog for many Jammers to admire! Here's how to enter: display a Masterpiece you made in an unlocked den or a Jammer Wall, then comment your username on any post here! I can't wait to see your drawings. :D

Hey Jammers! AJHQ left us a surprise early Spring update today. It also seems like an early Spring has arrived where I am, too, because it's only February 25 but there's no snow and birds everywhere. I even saw a robin by the river yesterday!

If you're also experiencing a strangely early Spring, you can thank climate change for this El Niño delivering everyone a slew of messed up weather patterns. Hooray!

Here's a fun fact that might interest you: If you regard seasons as annual stages of the local natural environment rather than fixed dates on a calendar, then there are actually 19 seasons rather than 4! Right now, the area where I am is within mud season. Cool, huh?

Anyway, let's jump right into the update!



Oh boy, even more diamond items. At least they're a nice shade of green...



...and at least the first one is nonmember! Maybe I'll like this mini-event. 

I still say "down with the Diamond Shop" though. XD



Llamas have returned, yet goats are not yet in sight. Remember, when goats return, there will be word of a new land! Perhaps an oceanic land, as well...

EDIT: BEEP BEEP! AWESOME NONMEMBER ITEM ALERT!

This item is in the "Summer" Carnival, going for 3,000 tickets! It's only here for TODAY! GO, GO, GO!!!

The update has also granted us a small gift that would be almost unnoticeable if it weren't so loud. Yes, friends, once again, you can hear the sound of other Jammers when they change animals.


Dramatic reenactment of the sound:
"TchhuuuuBWAA"

Ahh, today was like logging on during a 2013 update to the sound of everyone vigorously turning into the newest animal. It's the sound of Spring. <(=^ _ ^=)>

Don't ever take this away, AJHQ! :D

I'm gonna end this post on an admittedly less positive note, but it's just something that's been on my mind lately. Have you ever wondered if AJ is getting too corporate? I mean, there is just so much new merchandise that it's tough to keep track of, and some of the merchandise is a little, well... excessive.



This image is credit to Talloose, courtesy of the blog Animal Jam Whip

So... it's come to this.

Animal Jam Pillow Pets.

Soon to be released.

I never thought I'd say those words together.

– I mean, yeah, they're cute, but it just feels wrong.

In addition to the merchandise, it feels like AJHQ is getting a little weird with the membership advertisements:


AJHQ: "Did You Know That Members–"
Nonmembers: "YES, WE KNOW, AJHQ."

For the fastest growing game in the world, it sure seems like it needs money. Or maybe the growth this year is somehow slower?

Whatever the reason, all these ads are a little odd.

Back to the toys. What do you think about them? Are you excited about the merchandise, or is it getting confusing? 

Personally, I think it's nice to just have a little merchandise, y'know, like stickers and T-shirts to show your love of AJ, but now WildWorks seems like it's trying to rebrand itself as a toy company. Here's something weird from their website:



Toy makers? Huh.

It seems to me that they're churning out mass merchandise to make money and take advantage of children's materialism. They seem to be enforcing that with online items, too, always putting item-related stuff on the front page of the Jamaa Journal.

What do you think? I wanna hear other opinions.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Weekly Featured Masterpiece – Winner #3!

Happy Friday!!! And do you know what that means? It's time for this week's winning Masterpiece to be announced!!! Woohoo!!!

I wanna give a big shoutout to the awesome lpslover98989, 113457, iluvsnowdrop, Purplestarclub, and lostfairy for entering round 3!
If you've only just arrived, let me explain. This is an ongoing art contest on Animal Jam Stream with a winner every Friday. The winning Masterpiece gets a spot of honor at the top of the blog for many Jammers to admire, as well as a whole post dedicated to them and their artwork! If you're interested in entering, the super easy steps are at the end of this post.

But most importantly, who is this week's wonderful winner?

This week was particularly tough to decide because each piece was so wonderful in its own way. From lpslover98989's vibrant works of art, to 113457's sunlight-flooded desert, to iluvsnowdrop and Purplestarclub's respective snowy Jamaa scenes, all the way to lostfairy's den of charming drawings, there are amazing artists all over Jamaa.

It was an incredibly difficult tie between two Jammers, but in the end, this week's winner had to be...

...

...

The artistic Purplestarclub!!!



This adorable drawing of a purple AJ wolf smiling amid huge piles of snow reminds me of last weekend when there were literal mountains of snow where I was, just like in Purplestarclub's Masterpiece. It's sadly all melted now after some freakishly warm days this week, but this drawing helped me go back there. 

Purplestarclub has an eye for detail. The distinct way that AJ wolves' noses are swirled was included here and adds something slight yet it completes the drawing! Additionally, Purplestarclub expertly incorporated use of the airbrush tool into a predominantly pixel-brush-drawn landscape. That is something difficult to pull off in the AJ Art Studio, but it even adds an extra layer of depth to the image without taking anything away! And that's all just from that small pink stroke along the wolf's cheek. Super simple, yet effective.

Another interesting thing about this piece is the contrast between the wolf's bright purple hue and the pale snow. It helps establish a clear distinction between the background and the main focus: the wolf. This lets the viewer know what's important while also providing a pretty setting.

You've done an excellent job with this Masterpiece, Purplestarclub!!! Keep on drawing. :D

All warm feedback for this artist will be deeply appreciated and rewarded with a digital cookie.

If you've been in the contest for the past couple weeks and have not yet won, don't be disheartened! I can promise that all of you will win at some point soon. Only a handful of Jammers seem to enter at a time, and I'm going to keep doing this contest for a long while. If you keep entering, you're bound to win.

Anyone who was either in this round and didn't win or has not entered yet can now enter for week #4!

Here's how to enter:

Step 1: Display a Masterpiece you made in an unlocked den OR an unlocked Jammer Wall

Step 2: Comment your username on any post on this blog. I'll go check out your artwork and you'll be entered in the contest!

I can't wait to see your artwork!!!

Here are the past winners:

Week #1

Week #2

 See you in Jamaa!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Unreleased Emoticons

Hey Jammers!!! Today's your last day to enter in this blog's Masterpiece Contest because the winner will be announced Friday tomorrow. I keep saying this, but it's true each time: there are only a  small handful of entries, so you have an excellent chance of winning. 

If you're interested in having a Masterpiece you made displayed and admired at the top of this blog by many Jammers, here's how to enter: display your Masterpiece in an unlocked den or an unlocked Jammer Wall. Next, comment your username on any post on this blog. I will see your Masterpiece and it will be entered in the contest! 

It would really make my day wonderful if you'd enter in the contest. :D

For today's post, I'm back on the topic of weird and unreleased things. Only today I'm not talking about items or achievements, no no, those are way more predictable.

I'm talking about... unreleased emoticons. 

*dun dun dunnn*


These are the emoticons you see every day. Maybe you're a nonmember (like me) and the top section is unusable. Either way, we're all pretty familiar with the emoticons above, right?

But are you familiar with...

THESE??????



The first image is from a Jammer named Alistairz, who claims the emoticon used was a gift from AJHQ. 

The second image is from the now-inactive blog Animal Jam Flash. For around a day five years ago, you could add regular emoticons to your chat bubbles. It was thought that it would turn into a new feature, but it never did.

The second image is definitely legitimate. I'm not sure about the first one. It could have been fabricated for attention. Still, I think it has some truth to it because AJ's signature style would be very difficult to replicate. 

My personal theory about the thermometer emoticon is that it was an early version of the :sick: emoticon, maybe even from before beta testing. I think AJHQ decided to replace it because they suspected not a lot of people would use it.

If what Alistairz claims is true, that AJHQ gave it to him as a gift, I wonder why. Just because he's a well-known Jammer? In all honesty, I hope not. One thing that bothers me about AJHQ is that they break protocol a lot for "famous" Jammers. They don't always ban serious hackers, say, if they make popular YouTube videos inadvertently advertising their game. They even replace scammed or hacked items for well-known Jammers while other Jammers just have to trade them back themselves. 

AJ is a super cool game, but AJHQ giving special treatment to "famous" Jammers is just not cool.

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First Day on AJ + Diamond Shop Idea

Wanna show off your artwork? Enter in AJ Stream's ongoing Masterpiece contest by Friday! There's only a couple entries so far, so you have a great chance of winning! Just display a Masterpiece you made in an unlocked den or a Jammer Wall, and then comment your username anywhere on this blog. :D

Hey Jammers! A new item got released in the Diamond Shop today that made a lot of people excited. For around ten minutes.




Jammers got really excited about the rerelease of the Nature Archway, until they realized that it wasn't the original Nature Archway, but a redesign with the same name.

Here are the four variants of the original Nature Archway:




Before the dreaded Diamond Shop came along, members of Animal Jam used to get monthly gifts. These monthly gifts became highly valued very quickly. I was a member during July of 2012 and received the lava variant of the Nature Archway as a gift:


Ah, July 2012... I played so much Animal Jam during that Summer. It was also the 2nd month of my Animal Jam blog! I believe I started this blog on the day before the last day of school, June 17th.

I also remember the exact date I joined Animal Jam: February 17th, 2012. Of course I forgot the exact date for a while, but a few months after joining I checked my login history and it went all the way back to that date. It made sense, too, because I remember there being heart decorations everywhere because of the Friendship Festival.

My friend had played Animal Jam since 2011 and was always trying to encourage me to make an account. One evening, I finally visited animaljam.com and made an account. My first animal was the panda I still have now, Countess Spookypanda.

I really liked the introduction with Liza and still miss it to this day. It was simple yet really welcoming! 

I remember that I ended up in Coral Canyons and immediately played Long Shot. I think I got to the volcano level on my first try. The next game I played was the claw, and I got a brown panda plushie on my very first try! I completely filled my den with plushies from that point on. I also put a seasonal tree inside my den. XD

My favorite game of all was (and still is) Temple of Trivia. I learned quite a lot about animals and permafrost from playing for hours on end. :D

I didn't immediately look up and send a buddy request to the friend who got me into AJ. I actually randomly met them a week later at the Heatwave Party, then I buddied them.

I remember thinking about how beautiful the game looked. I already loved the natural world, and AJ made me love it even more!

Well, that's the story of what I remember from my first day on AJ. I was instantly hooked and you could not pry me from that computer for a long time after. 

Video games are fun, but remember to go outside, kids.

This is unrelated, but I recently had a thought about the Diamond Shop when I saw this:


This is the Studio Corner shop in the Art Studio, and as you can see, it has a diamond item. 

I wonder... what if the Diamond Shop was removed? I think it would be a good idea to free up space in Jamaa Township, as well as to make it look more visually appealing. Here is what the Township looked like before the Diamond Shop:


Compare that with now...


Admittedly, there is not a massive difference, but there is still a difference. The second image looks noticeably more crowded. It certainly feels that way when I'm in Jamaa Township.

Another good side of not having a Diamond Shop would be that more people would go to Club Geoz if it was closer to the town center. 

But if the Diamond Shop left, where would the diamond items go?

I'll tell ya where.


Epic Wonders, AKA the most beautiful, underrated room in Jamaa.

Epic Wonders is supposed to be the home of special, glamorous, and expensive clothing and den items. Sounds a lot like the Diamond Shop. 

If the diamond items were moved to Epic Wonders and put on the same shelves as the gem items– like the Art Studio shop –then that would put all the desirable items for sale in one spot. This would be more convenient, as well as attract more people to a beautiful, yet often disregarded room.

The armor and clothing items could go in the clothing orb, and the den items could go in the den orb. The dens themselves could just be sold for diamonds at the den shop. It seems all dens these days are for diamonds, so the dens wouldn't necessarily be considered special enough to put in Epic Wonders. They're just dens.

Likewise with the pets and animals. All new ones are sold for diamonds, so they aren't considered as special as the diamond items. They can just have a diamond price tag instead of a gem one. This would also attract more people to Paws n' Claws, another super cute yet underrated room.

Understandably, some people at AJHQ really worked hard to create the Diamond Shop, so this is just an idea I have. 

Still, I think it could improve things. The majority of kids who quit AJ stop playing because "things aren't the way they used to be". Removing the Diamond Shop and moving the items to Epic Wonders would help bring the past back. Once-popular rooms would be populated again, which would make long-time players more likely to stay.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading, guys! Remember to enter the masterpiece contest, and see you in Jamaa~ 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Strange Achievements + Beta Discoveries

Wanna show off your artwork? Enter in AJ Stream's ongoing Masterpiece contest by Friday! There's only a couple entries so far, so you have a great chance of winning! Just display a Masterpiece you made in an unlocked den or a Jammer Wall, and then comment your username anywhere on this blog. :D

Hey Jammers! A week or so ago I updated every single page on this blog, including the codes page. If you're looking for some extra gems, click the button right below the header that says CODES.

Speaking of codes, a new one was discovered recently. It's called TROPICAL and it grants you a gift of 500 Gems. I wonder who at AJHQ decides the names of codes. Is it completely random? Do the names refer to things? I wonder if AJHQ is sick of winter, which would explain the return of the Heatwave Party and the Summer Carnival. Hmmm...

And now, onto the main focus of this post: unreleased achievements. This is going to be a long, hopefully interesting post full of theories and fun facts, so go get some water.

Out of curiosity or boredom, have you ever just scrolled through some Jammer's achievements? Have you ever found an achievement or two that you didn't recognize?

There's one Jammer that has quite a bit more strange achievements than just one or two, and their name is beemabel. I learned about them a while ago on the now-inactive blog Animal Jam Flash.

From the looks of their achievements, this Jammer was certainly around in beta testing. But they might have been a little more than just a beta tester of Animal Jam. They seem to have been a beta tester of AJ achievements.

Here are some of their achievements:

Fun-fact Achievements:





During beta testing, a ton of green fun-fact buttons were around Jamaa, like this:





Here's a beta achievement involving them:


You'd get it if you clicked on all the plant facts in Jamaa. It is completely removed now.

During the time I started playing Animal Jam in early 2012, there were yellow fun facts around Jamaa like this:




I was so sad when AJHQ removed them for no reason.

Here are more of beemabel's interesting achievements:

Quests:









There never were quests on AJ, which seems to point to this Jammer being a tester. 

Early on, however, AJHQ did start planning out things called "quests", which later turned into what we know as adventures.


This is from an old list of member benefits that everyone went crazy over XD

Base Visits:








"Base" refers to den. If ten of one animal visited your den, you'd get one of these achievements. All of those animals up there are the original animals from beta testing. The Perfect Host achievement might have been given out when a certain number of Jammers were in your den at one time for a party.

Jamaa Secrets & Fun:







Thin Ice was awarded after you and enough Jammers hopped on the ice in Mt. Shiveer. Falling Rocks was awarded after enough Jammers hopped on the Coral Canyons bridge. These two unreleased achievements seem to have been given to beemabel after beta testing, as neither lands were around in 2010.

Phantom Dream was intended to be given to Jammers who made phantoms come out of the Zios ruins, Fire Starter was intended to be given to Jammers who danced around the Sarepia fire, and Dance Commander was supposed to have been awarded to Jammers who made the disco ball come out in Club Geoz. Pretty self explanatory.

But the "Can You Keep A Secret?" achievement is interesting... it definitely refers to the sealed trap door in the Chamber of Knowledge. The trap door doesn't open, but a clicking a secret spot on the map leads you to the Basement of Secrets, which is definitely where the trap door would have led. 


You can exit the basement by going up through the trap door, but you can't enter through the trap door. If this whole Basement of Secrets thing is news to you, click here for a post I made all about it

The Basement of Secrets was discovered fairly recently. However, this unreleased achievement seems to imply that it's been years in the making! 

Upon first glance at the hidden room, it looks to be made of background stuff recycled from the Chamber of Knowledge... but could it have been designed in Jamaa's early days? That also would imply that the "Beta Wolf Banner" sold at the Beta Party and displayed in the basement might, in some way, be a beta item. So many theories and discoveries!

I keep going way too deep, but bear with me. Here are some more of beemabel's achievements:

Exploring:



Mapper might have been given out to Jammers once they've visited every location from the map, and World Traveler might have been awarded to those who traveled Jamaa without the map. I love all these non-minigame-related achievements! AJHQ, bring these back! They would be so fun to collect.

You know, that achievement list that AJHQ implemented is a little annoying. It doesn't even include all of the achievements to gain, and it takes away a bit of the mystery of all these unreleased achievements. Because of that list, now you know for certain that you will never get the World Traveler achievement.

Animal Videos:






It can be assumed that these achievements would have been earned by watching interesting videos in Sarepia Theater. Speaking of which, I'm surprised why no one is ever in the theater!!! It's so fun.

When I first saw these achievements, they reminded me of those people who make AJ YouTube videos. What if you could get achievements for that? Expanding on that idea, what if you could get an achievement for blogging about AJ, too? Oh! And what if along with a plaque and a nametag icon for winning News Crew, what if you got an achievement, too? Wow.

Misc. Achievements:


This one is called "One of a Kind"
Chatterbox was most likely for enabling free chat, and One Of A Kind was probably supposed to be earned after dressing up an animal for the first time.

Beemabel has a lot of unreleased achievements. I don't think I can go over all of them right now, but the ones I missed include stuff like "100 Hour Jammer" because there used to be a play timer, and "1 Year Member".


I spent all morning writing up this post, about four hours in total. I hope you were entertained!!! 

See you in Jamaa... remember to enter in the Masterpiece contest...


Zzzzz...
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