Monday, April 22, 2013

DragonVale Updates

I have created this sister page for DragonVale to keep it separate from the original review page for the game app.  I will keep the fresh information at the top and bump older data down the page.  This page is not intended to be a Breeding Guide.  That job has been more than tackled by Macenstein over at his page.  I strongly encourage you to check it out; he usually has the combos for new dragons within 12 hours of them being released.  This record will be a log to track new dragons as they come out, but it is primarily here to track the game updates and any new game play innovations that come with itThink of it like a fan/information page with lots of commentary. Enjoy!

Dragon Maxing Conclusion
Ok, so why did I drag everyone through 21 days of drudgery?  Who cares about me leveling up my River Dragon?  Any good DragonVale player should, because what I have attempted to demonstrate with this project is just how difficult it is to get your dragon to Level 20.  With a head start that equaled about 1 day's worth of work, it took me a total of 22 days to generate enough food to elevate my River Dragon from LV1 to LV20.  22 days. Three weeks.  That is insane.
It is more insane when you consider that I have 82 dragons capable of being elevated to LV20.  That means, unless the game changes in some significant way, it will take me 4.5 years to get all of my dragons to LV20.  I like DragonVale, but 4.5 years and new dragons being added all the time?  Something about the price of food or the amount of food needed to elevate dragons needs to change.
Why not create a new superfood that yields more food for less, but takes a bit more time?
Something, because this realization has dampened my love of this game.
Who will be my next 22 day LV20 dragon?  Probably my BlueFire Dragon, he's really cool.
Thanks to everyone for playing along.  If you have better strategies than the ones I employed for this project I would love to hear them (just don't tell me to fill my park with Rainbow Dragons.  I'm not doing that.)

Dragon Maxing Day 21
AND HERE HE IS!  The crowned head of Old Man, the River Dragon!  Yes indeed, he is mighty, he is majesty personified!  None can deny his indisputable greatness!  Every man wants to know him and every woman wants to change him!  He is Old Man, LV20!
Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you why I have put everyone through all of this...

Dragon Maxing Day 20
Oh, so close!  And no, there was no way to fudge a bit, I had already used Kairos this morning to get this far.  But, looks like tomorrow is the big day.  Go get your best coronation dress dry cleaned!

Dragon Maxing Day 19
No time for snarky comments, I've Skyrim to play.  You don't need to tell you that we've a long way to go to LV20 (ok, maybe time for one snarky comment...)

Dragon Maxing Day 18
Sorry again about the belated update.  Friday night is "date night" here in the EF house so tasks scheduled for that afternoon or evening often get a bump so the lovely wife and I can relax and watch a movie and eat take-out (we live the exciting life of people with a 7 month old...).
But, that does not take away from the fact that Old Man eked his way 1/5 closer to LV20 yesterday!  So close and yet so far away!  As you can see by the inset, the next 1.3 million food is a ways off...

Dragon Maxing Day 17
While it may not surprise you that we must wait yet another day to raise Old Man 1/5 of the way closer to that beautiful crown, I am surprised that I got as close as I did today!

Dragon Maxing Day 16
No surprises here either, but it is nice to see the symmetry in the amount of food I have.

Dragon Maxing Day 15
No surprise that Old Man was elevated 1/5 of the way to LV20, but I have another two or three days until I can raise enough food to take him up another 1/5.

Dragon Maxing Day 14
The long journey into LV20 continues...

Dragon Maxing Day 13
It's going to be a long journey to LV20.

Dragon Maxing Day 12
Well, it's a start.  Old Man got just enough food yesterday to push him into the heart of LV19 territory. However, as you can see by the inset, things do not look good for today.  1.3 million food is not an easy or quick amount to raise.  Efforts have been further hindered by the appearance of a new Meteor dragon and a new island which costs 500million to buy.  Saving for that island will have to wait, needless to say.

Dragon Maxing Day 11
Well, LV19 is not being kind to Old Man.  I managed to raise 879,600 food, but it was not enough to raise him 1/5 of the way to LV20.

Dragon Maxing Day 10
LV19!  Congratulations Old Man!  Just one level away from the shiny crown!  The bad news: the amount of food needed to raise just 1/5 of the way there is over 1 million!  That's well over 5 million food to reach the pinnacle!  I have a feeling the final leg of this journey is going to take a while...

Dragon Maxing Day 9
Our second drought day comes not too long after our first.  I was so close, as you can see, but came up just short.  I do have a Kairos power to activate tomorrow and I am now exclusively breeding only Rust Dragons to sell for $$$, so hopefully tomorrow will be a catch up day and we can get back on pace.

Dragon Maxing Day 8
Creeping into our second week with Old Man.  Despite the heavy hold over from yesterday, there was only enough food to raise him 1/5 of a level.  There is moderate hold over tonight, so tomorrow we should be able to break LV19, just keep in mind that once we get there, the food requirement will double, as will the time it takes to raise him up.  Hang in there, Old Man.

Dragon Maxing Day 7
Well, we are a week in and Old Man's progress is slowing down compared to how the week started.  I managed to raise him another 2/5 of a level today, but that was it.  I am closer to having enough for a second feeding, so maybe tomorrow we'll break LV19.  Old Man is taking things in stride.

Dragon Maxing Day 6
And our first drought day.  We came close to raising enough food; I even used the power of Kairos to advance time, but it was not enough.  As you can see, we just missed the mark by a little over 100K food.  This builds hope for a better tomorrow.  Old Man doesn't seem to mind, he's doing his happy dance.

Dragon Maxing Day 5
And so we have reached the choke point.  As you can see from the picture, Old Man only went up 1/5 of a level today, and that's not good news because I have been increasing my play time a little bit to try to keep the gold and food flowing, but it seems I might be at my limit.  I am breeding and selling Rust Dragons to help keep the income up, but at 600K food per 1/5 level, it is hard to generate enough in a single day to raise his level more than 1/5.  What's worse, if you look at the graphic, raising Old Man 1/5 of the level nearly wiped me out of food entirely.  Unlike previous days, I'll be starting from near scratch to raise him another 1/5 tomorrow...Face it, true believers, we are in for a long haul from LV18 to LV20.

Dragon Maxing Day 4
Sorry about the lack of an Old Man update yesterday; the real world has a way of superseding the hobby world.  But that just means you'll get double the Old Man treatment today (which sounds rather dirty and gross, really).

Huzzah!  Huzzah!  Old Man made it to LV18 yesterday afternoon!  It took some doing, but he is one rank closer to that crown.  It's not all good new though, as the amount of food required to take him to LV19 has doubled and is now over half a million food per 1/5 level.  That much food does not come easily or quickly, but I am optimistic as I have successfully bred for all of the available dragons at this point and therefore can turn my attention to breeding more valuable dragons like Rust Dragons, which should dramatically increase my income and food production.  We shall see.

Dragon Maxing Day 3
Oh dear, oh dear.  Things are looking grim for Old Man.  I was only able to raise enough food to elevate him 1/5 of a level today.  I have been trying to play a bit more often to collect more money from my lower capped habitats (everything below Metal) so that I can grow more food, but the amount needed to raise level increase so dramatically at this level that it is difficult to do.  I have Kairos due to recharge in a day or so, that will help a little bit.  I've also not been breeding for too many dragons that sell for high prices.  Rust Dragons sell for 1,650,000 the highest price you can get for a non-Sun/Moon/Rainbow/Treasure Dragon that I am aware of.  Right now I am trying for Diamond and Thunder, neither of which reliably yield many profitable dragons.
Oh well, Old Man, we'll try again tomorrow...

Dragon Maxing Day 2
Things are looking great for Old Man.  Yesterday's harvest has only increased him 2/5 of a level.  He now sits at 17 3/5.  To be fair, I didn't get to play as much as I would have liked, but I doubt that would have yielded a bountiful overage of food that would have pushed him into level 18.  Hopefully tomorrow will prove better.

The Insanity of Maxing Out a Dragon
Thanks to the advent of the Gold Shrine, it is possible to raise your dragons to level 20, allowing them to earn more gold and adorning them with a shiny golden crown!  It is, I assume, the goal of every DragonVale player to have a park populated by level 20 dragons.    But don't get too excited because getting there isn't exactly going to be easy and is definitely not going to be quick.  To prove my point, I am going to demonstrate, in real time, how long it takes to elevate a dragon to level 20.  Heck, I'm even going to  handicap it a bit by starting out at level 15, so the easy work is out of the way.
A couple of notes before I get started.  First, know that I have a park maxed out at level 40 (I've been there a long time now), with at least one of every possible dragon offered (a few duplicates here and there).    I play fair, I'm not like one of these guys who just has a park full of Rainbow Dragons who is gold scumming because they roll like that.  I play an honest game.  Each day I guarantee to spend every last septim in my coffer on growing dragon food and using every last bit of food from my larder to raise my dragon's level.  My every effort over the course of this experiment will be focused on raising my dragon to level 20.    Growing Dragon food is the most efficient way of raising enough food to feed a dragon.  Winning food at the Races is a losing proposition as the most you can win is 4K food for 50K gold; a poor and risky rate of exchange considering I can grow 3K reliably for only 25K more. The same is true for trying to win money at the races.  While few prizes on the Gold Wheel are losers, not every win brings back the cash. Also note that I routinely visit my park several times per day, but I do not sit and tap the Plant Habitat every 30 seconds to collect the 50 gold, so yes I do lose out on some income as habitats sit with full chests of gold waiting to be collected, but let's be reasonable.
So my process is simple:  collect as much gold as my park can generate in 24 hours, turn that into as much food as I can (I will be growing beanstalks each time), and then raise my dragon's level as much as possible.  We are starting today and we'll see just how long it takes.

Meet Old Man.  He is my River Dragon (because I think I am oh so clever).  He is one of my favorite dragons as I think he looks pretty cool.  He's dignified but also knows the score.  He's been with me since he was introduced and I quickly raised him to level 15 because up to that point growing enough food to elevate his level has been pretty easy.  So here he is at the starting point, a level 15 River Dragon.  You can see the amount of food required to raise him up 1/5 of the way to the next level as well as the amount of food I have on hand below his picture (I have doctored the image for simplification purposes only).  He seems pretty happy and restful.

Since today is day one, I have taken all of the "profits" from yesterday and invested them in dragon food.  The yields have given me enough food to raise Old Man to level 17 1/5.  As you can see this makes him rather happy and he does a little dance. (he always does that dance, whether I feed him or not, I think he has a mental disorder).   So we'll leave Old Man here at level 17 1/5 until tomorrow, when we can feed him again, and we'll see how he's faring.  Not a bad start, things are moving along pretty well, but stay with me. Notice the considerable jump in the food requirement to raise him 1/5 of a level.  It doubles for each level, so that number will climb rather dramatically over the next day or so.

This little guy is Motley, the April Fools' Dragon.
At a measly 123 gems, this guy is a steal, so even if you cannot breed for him, he's an easy gem purchase!

The "Wizards" at Backflip just dropped an update on us bringing many more levels past level 40, lots of new habitats to unlock and an exciting fun new mini-game to play.  Don't I wish.  Instead we get a storage tower to store 5 decor items, a minor goal update and two new decor items.  I guess fans are pretty happy being capped out at level 40 for as long as they can remember, having no room for more dragons, and not much else to do around the park.
Don't get me wrong, I still  love DragonVale.  It is the best app game I only have to play for about 2 minutes a day.  But I'd like to play it more!  I'd like to have things to work toward, because raising food incredibly slowly for a month just to raise one dragon to level 20 isn't cutting it.
The storage tower is ok, I just don't know why I need it.  I have plenty of room for the decor I want and there are very few seasonal items that need to be put away until next year.  I guess I will put my snow globe and Valentines Tree in there. The two new decor items are pretty, but again, it seems a little lackluster.  And as for the goals, I love goals, but hatch a Spring Dragon and hatch a Thunder Dragon?  That's it?  I already have a Thunder Dragon, but I guess I'll hatch another to get the goal.

Oh, and the birds.  I cannot forget the birds.  I usually play with the sound off, and the birds give me plenty of new reasons to continue doing so.  As background ambiance, the Wizards have now added bird sounds to the game so that the otherwise pleasant, if a bit repetitive, music is now punctuated by the tweets and whistles of birds.  Other various items will also make sounds now when you tap on them.  Sure beats adding level 41...
Not quite the update I was hoping for, but then again, I'm not overly upset. I can continue to keep playing this game for my customary two minutes and day, that leaves more time for Mermaid World and Smurfs' Village after all!

The Sakura Dragon is back and has brought the Spring Dragon with it.  Wait, don't I already have a Spring Dragon?  Isn't it just 1/4 of my Seasonal Dragon?  Ah, well.

Note to Backflip:  We need more habitats, more levels and more stuff to do in-game.  The races aren't cutting it without more levels!  Also, the price of food to raise a dragon to level 20 is just insane.  I have a lot of gems I would love to convert into food, any way to make that happen?

If you blinked this weekend, you probably missed the shortly offered Celtic Dragon.  With the rush job on it, it felt like a bit of an after-thought, and it is a damn shame, because that is one cool looking dragon everyone should have!

The March Birthstone dragon, Aquamarine, has arrived!  A much cooler looking, two-headed plesiosaur!  If history is any indicator, it will be around March 28 when I successfully breed into this bad boy.  Why are Birthstone dragons such a cast iron beast to breed?

DragonVale Update hit today.  The update promised a bug fix, and lots of Luck o' the Dragon, whatever that means.  I can see nothing new in this update, not even the return of last year's St. Patrick's Day decor items nor the Clover Dragon.  Odd.

And when did this sorceress show up?  I've not raced in some time, due to having maxed my levels and the rewards being so minute, but I raced the other day for fun, and there she was!

Backflip has released another new dragon!  This time is the River Dragon, a much better looking dragon than the Thunder Dragon, but not as sleek and watery as one might expect.  The River Dragon is a Water and Earth type and can be bred using those base dragons.

Also Backflip has given a face lift to the shrine graphics.  They are similar to the old graphics, but a bit more intense and chiseled with much more vibrant colors!  Why the change?  Who can say, but I'm digging it, even if they scare me just a little.  The game needs more of this aesthetic and less of the goofy cartoony stuff.  Thanks Backflip!

Due to popular demand, I am going to start updating the DragonVale page a bit more regularly.  I still maintain that your best source for dragon breeding combinations is this cat Macenstein.  He seems to have the inside track on that, but I'll be posting more stuff here about game play innovations and anytime a new dragon shows up, I'm sure I'll have something to say about it.

Like the new Thunder dragon.  Am I the only one sick of these fat and stupid looking dragons?  We need more dragons like my friend Kairos!  He is down right terrifying!

Also in the latest update, they have finally made Shrines upgradeable with gems.  Thanks.  I am about 3 dragons away from having all gold shrines!  Where were you six months ago Backflip?  Sheesh!

The latest update did help us out though, because load times are much better (thank you!), but we DESPERATELY need more levels!  I've been at level 40 for MONTHS!  More habitats, islands, treats, and new games would also be VERY welcome! 

By the way, in the interim gap, I completed the pillar of Kairos, he speeds up time so you can harvest eggs and breed faster.  He is very cool.  But I miss the questing...

Kairos is Coming!
Buy his perch and win (or buy) the pieces of his puzzle to lure Kairos to your islands!  You will need a free habitat slot to buy the perch.  Win puzzle pieces at the races and complete the monolith and Kairos will show up.  What happens next, I have no idea, but I'm working on it!  Stay tuned!
Also, we finally get new levels!  Thank you!


The kind folks at Backflip have given us a truly awesome update that includes a new island, new habitats, new dragons and types, and best of all DRAGON RACES!   That's right, in addition to having your dragons battle it out in the arena all day long, you can also put them through their paces at the races.  

Playing the game is simple.  Tap the Races button and a selection screen will come up with all of your available dragons as well as the name of the race track.  Pay attention to the name of the track as it will indicate the conditions of the race.  For instance, a track named Marshland is going to contain elements of both water and plant habitats.  This is important because the dragon you pick to race will want to match as many elements of the track as possible.  The more compatible your dragon is, the better they will race.  A Lava Dragon will flounder in the Marshland Track, but a Seaweed Dragon will soar. 

Once you have selected your dragon, the race will begin.  The actual race is pretty simple.  When the gun goes off, your dragon will start down the track.  Ahead of your dragon will be a golden vertical line.  Along the racetrack there will be other vertical lines.  When your dragon's line crosses the track's line, you tap the screen.  Doing this gives your dragon a speed boost.  The timing of your tap will determine the amount of boost you get.  There are three kinds of boosts: GOOD, GREAT, and PERFECT!  A series of perfect boosts can put you far ahead of the competition.
Speaking of the competition, the computer usually generates one ringer dragon that will give you a real challenge and indicate what kind of dragon does best on a given track.  The other competitors are usually a mix of dragons that almost always includes one sad dog who will drag behind the pack and limp across the finish line long after everyone else.  If you enter a special dragon breed like Sun, Moon, Rainbow, etc. you will see special dragons in your race!
Should you win, place, or show, you will be shown on the podiums and then asked to SPIN THE WHEEL to determine you prize.  The wheel is divided into several sections that contain prizes including dragon food, XP, Gold, or Gems!  The better you place in the race, the better the prizes on your wheel.  If you MAX out your XP, XP prizes will not appear on your wheel.  Prizes can be as big as 100K XP or 2 Gems, or as small as 2,750 food.  Occasionally, a small bonus will have a gold bonus attached to it to make up for the lousy reward. 
Playing Dragon Races is unlimited per day and only costs 50K gold, so higher level players can play all day for cheap, particularly when you consider nearly all cash prizes on the Gold Wheel are over $50K.
The Dragon Racetrack is a very welcome addition to DragonVale. It had become routine for me to check in whenever an egg was ready or a dragon pair had finished making whoopee, clear out my gold, clear out the Colosseum (once a day) and then close the game.  Now, I have a reason to stick around for longer, win some prizes, have fun, and then move on.  My one complaint is that the races are a bit too easy to win (I win every time), so more challenge would not have been unwelcome.

This update also includes a new island to expand out into and for that I am thankful, it was getting crowded.  Now I have plenty of space and can pair my habitats down to avoid boost conflict and still maintain the integrity of my park!  The +1 Habitat addition is also welcome as I can use the additional revenue stream!

The final part of this welcome update was the inclusion of three new dragons and a new habitat of a type which pays homage a certain athletic competition that occurs every four years in different cities across the planet (I have to be careful because the legal hounds from the organization that owns the rights to said competition will sue if the colors red, black, green, blue and yellow are even near each other and someone doesn't pony up their extortion dollars.  They seem to want to actively discourage people from being excited or proud about the competition unless they give them money)  But I digress...

These new dragons come in three varieties, each corresponding to certain awards that are granted during said competition.  The Gold Olympus Dragon is the rarest and the other two are also appropriately rare for their status.  For specific breeding information check out this cat's site. It may not be as swank as mine, but it has all the gory details about breeding combos and gets updated promptly.

So a big thank you to the good people at Backflip!  This most recent update has been a shot in the arm!  Keep 'em coming!


And here she is!

Lookie, Lookie!  And I've got a Solstice on the way too!  Now to get the Quicksilver!  Mud + Blazing = Solstice.  Seaweed +  Snow = Pearl.  
Also, this cat has a great breeding list for every possible combination.  Check him out!

Two new dragons this week!  Not having much luck getting the Quicksilver so far, lots of Rust.  Just found out about the Solstice, so nothing yet.  And STILL NO LUCK with the stupid Pearl!  I like a challenge, but come on Backflip!

Still trying to breed a Pearl Dragon, but no luck.  In the interim, it seems they have decreased the price to upgrade the breeding habitats (they were outrageous!), and so I upgraded my main breeding pit.  It was well worth it!  The upgraded pit looks super cool, and it decreases breed time by 20% (pretty cool).  The Breeding Island costs less now too, so I hope I'll be upgrading it soon as well.  Any tips on breeding Pearl Dragons?  I'm listening.

Two new dragons today!  The obligatory Pearl Dragon for the month of June, and the Forge Dragon (Fire + Metal).  There is a clue in the Pearl Dragon description about swimming which suggests a Water Dragon influence, but I have no tips yet on how to breed.  More information as it comes available.

Copper Dragon is here!
Got my first Copper Dragon today!  Metal + Lightning = Copper (obviously).  The egg is dark grey with an aqua lightning bolt.  Pretty easy to breed and oh so pretty in your park! 
First Metal Dragons and now Gem Dragons!  The kids at Backflip are keeping things fresh for DragonVale fans!  (however, they don't seem eager to give us new levels.  I've been maxed out at level 30 for about 2 months now...)  The new Gem Island update will enable you to breed and raise Gem Dragons who have the unique ability to generate gems!  Each month a new Gem Dragon will be released for that month only and will be reflective of that month's birthstone (yeah, I know).  Gem Dragons can only live on their own special, magical island which you will need to purchase for 400K.  This island consists of four distinct habitats that can hold 3 dragons each.  Tidy, since there are 12 months in a year.  The island takes one day to build, but I wouldn't get in an all-fired hurry to pop it out there.  You see the first Gem Dragon you can hatch is the Emerald Dragon and it costs a whopping 1500 GEMS to purchase!  I'm pretty thrifty when it comes to doling out the gems and I only have 200 in my larder!!  Needless to say it is going to be some time until I can buy one of those bad boys outright. 


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  2. Sorry Macenstein does not come up with combinations. He copies combinations, please do not mislead people.

    1. Thank you Jesse, but I never said Macenstein came up with the combinations, just that he had the best guide to those combinations that I have found. I have not mislead anyone, but I appreciate your vigilance.

  3. Hi my name is Dawn I have been playing mermaid world for a while now I nearly have all the mermaids limited and gilded, but I know have no room for them. Do you know if they are going to make more realms? It's getting frustrating, and u am getting to that point where I don't enjoy it anymore. Even if they brought out more lounge space, that would be better than no room. Thanks for all your info, it is greatly appreciated, as soon as we get new limited mermaids I am on your site and I don't go to any other until you have the results because you are most often right. I stick with what I trust. Thanks again. Dawn.

  4. Dawn,

    Crowdstar has announced that they will not be adding any new realms. This is the main reason I have decided to stop playing the game. See my Mermaid World Guide for full details!