Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boom Jet Upgrade Paths with Damage Numbers

Alright, here is the final of the four "test subjects."  Boom Jet was actually the very first SWAP Force Upgrade video I recorded...

I have to stress that outside of Boom Jet, Free Ranger, Trap Shadow, and Freeze Blade all Swappers will follow the 5 Video format.  My first recording with Boom Jet obviously features the Base Upgrades, Storm Bomber up top, and Sky Writer down below...The 2nd Boom Jet took the correct format so I have stand alone Base Upgrade, Squad Leader, and Ace Gunner Upgrade videos...

Once again, past these 4 character everyone will follow the selected 5 video format and I won't have to talk about it anymore...I just have to cover it at the start to avoid people assuming I didn't cover base upgrades or certain paths since they won't have stand alone videos...I do that because not many people read video descriptions...

Anyway, one of the real perks is getting to highlight and document each and every upgrade...And in the case of Boom Jet, that turned out to be a REALLY BIG DEAL...I will tell you why below!

Boom Jet Base Upgrades

Boom Jet Damage Numbers

Boom Jet Base Upgrades with Storm Bomber and Sky Writer

Boom Jet Squad Leader Upgrade Path

Boom Jet Ace Gunner Upgrade Path

Now, if you noticed there was a special note on the Damage Numbers Spreadsheet...

It pertains to Boom Jet's Bottom End Soul Gem, Mach 2.

My first recording featured the Sky Writer Path...Mach 2 granted +7 Speed and looked to deal 32 damage at the beginning of the dash...

Much to my surprise (and shock in all honesty) Ace Gunner did not follow suit.  There is nothing in Ace Gunner to make Mach 2 special or stand out...It should be exactly the same as Sky Writer.  However, I saw 150 as the damage number and assumed it was some freak combo...That was incorrect.  150 is the actual damage number put out by Mach 2 when you are down Ace Gunner.

I am not sure if Sky Writer has it too low, or Ace Gunner has it too high, but there is a HUGE DISCREPANCY between the two paths and their respective Soul Gem.

I thought it might be tied in specifically to the Wii U version of the game so I tested it out on Xbox One while the videos uploaded...Again to my surprise I found the results exactly the same!  Sky Writer saw Mach 2 put out 32 damage and Ace Gunner saw Mach 2 put out 150.

Again, I don't know which number should be correct, or why they are not uniform, but I would strong suggest you check it out for yourself and take advantage of Ace Gunner's unseen benefit!

I know many of you just sport 1 figure (unless Boom Jet is a favorite) so you might be oblivious to the discrepancy.  I searched the net for this and came up with nothing, so as far as I know this is the first report on the incident.  For what it is worth the stats and other upgrades matched up perfectly between the Wii U and XB1 versions of the game.

This again showcases how nice it is to have the Training Ground and how it gives me the chance to document all the damage numbers one-by-one.  Will we see more changes like this?  Stay tuned!

If you have a different version of the game (Wii, 360, PS3/PS4) and can test this out let me know what you observed...Given both the Wii U and XB1 have the 32 vs 150 I am inclined to believe that is not just an anomaly for one version of the game.

Doom Stone Giveaway Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at Toys'R'Us Times Square

Well, while not applicable to the vast majority of us, next Wednesday will be a special Skylanders Day at the Toys'R'Us in Times Square.  Fans can land some sweet deals, see costumed characters, and more importantly...the first 500 will get Doom Stone, the final SWAP Force Swapper (outside of alt-decos) and of course, my most anticipated.

The main reason I'm posting this though is that this gives us an idea of how close the rest of us are to expecting Doom Stone in stores...This is somewhat similar to what we saw last year with Giants...I hope that the delay isn't as pronounced, but I am inclined to believe TRU has a good change of being the first to have him...possibly a mid-week deal like we have seen in the past...Again, that is just me speculating, but the bottom line is we are getting closer to Doom Stone's release!

Here is the official press release on the event:


Fans in Line to be Among the First to Receive the Final Skylanders SWAP Force Character Before it Hits Store Shelves

Activision Publishing, Inc. and Toys"R"Us® are giving fans the rare opportunity to receive a complimentary Skylanders® toy at a special Toys"R"Us Times Square event celebrating Skylanders Day! Before the final Skylanders SWAP Force character, Doom Stone, is released to the public, the first 500 Portal Masters to line up at The World's Greatest Toy Store™ on Wednesday, April 23, will be among the first to get their hands on this must-have figure.*            

Fans attending the event will get the chance to meet Skylanders costumed characters, experience the bestselling kids' videogame franchise at in-store gaming kiosks and receive other fun Skylanders giveaways.

Eager consumers can also take advantage of the following Skylanders deals and discounts, valid only at Toys"R"Us Times Square, on Wednesday, April 23:

  • SAVE $25 Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack (Was $64.99; Now $39.99)
  • BUY ONE GET ONE 50% OFF ALL Skylanders figures and accessories - prices vary**

Toys"R"Us Times Square, Lower Level
1514 Broadway (at 44th Street), New York, NY
4pm Eastern

*All giveaways and event materials are available while supplies last and will be distributed to braceleted event participants only. Limit one per customer. Quantities limited; no rain checks.

**Discounted item must be of equal or lesser value to the lowest priced item purchased. Excludes all clearance items.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Free Ranger Upgrade Paths with Damage Numbers

Free Ranger was the 2nd SWAP Force Upgrade I initially recorded, and subsequently we have his Base Upgrades packaged with Storm Focus and Lightning Linguist.  Luckily, I had left Legendary Free Ranger box stock and he will appear in the correct format.

Legendary Free Ranger Base Upgrades

Free Ranger Damage Numbers

Legendary Free Ranger Wind Slasher Path

Legendary Free Ranger Tornado Thrower Path

Free Ranger Base Upgrades+ Storm Focus Path + Lightning Linguist Path

Up top, I don't think you can go wrong with either path.  His Stormblades are so powerful with just the base upgrades, no one could fault you for enhancing his tertiary attack with Storm Focus.  Going that route will gie you a great range to soften up enemies before heading in with Ride the Wind, or Stormblade attacks.

Wind Slasher basically just adds a combo to the base upgrades on the Stormblades...that said, it is an insane combo that deals tons of damage.

Ultimately, I would suggest Wind Slasher for rookie players and those looking for an easy and effective way to upgrade Free Ranger.  If you are more of a defensive player and value range, go with Storm Focus.

For the bottom end you kind of have to pick your poison.  Lightning Linguist offers a single lightning bolt at the START of Ride the Wind.  Tornado Thrower shoots out a tornado AFTER Ride the Wind.  Overall, the Twisters to more damage, but they are limited to a straight line...So if you don't anticipate the move finishing, or have it lined up right ,you could blow your chance...literally.  Lightning Linguist is probably most helpful to beginners while Tornado Thrower will yield greater benefits to experienced players.  That said, either path is cool and you wouldn't have me object if you picked one because you like the looks of it...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trap Shadow Upgrade Paths with Damage Numbers

Please note, as I mentioned in previous posts and the video itself...Trap Shadow was my test subject for "Option 2" in terms of recording.  Thus, his first recording consisted of Base Upgrades with Trap Trickster AND Prowler Path being showcase.  Luckily, I used the 2nd Trap Shadow to follow the selected format and will be able to have some uniform structure.  That said, here are the videos and damage numbers:

Trap Shadow Base Upgrades

Trap Shadow Damage Numbers:

Trap Shadow: Feral Instinct's Path

Trap Shadow: Shadow Combat Path

Trap Shadow Base Upgrades + Trap Trickster Path + Prowler Path

Again, my apologies for this one not following the 5 Video format, but like I said, he was my test character for "Option 2."

For beginners I would recommend Feral Instincts and Shadow Combat.  For veterans I would suggest Trap Trickster and Shadow Combat.

The top paths are tough because Trap Shadow is pretty salty as is in terms of his primary attack...However, the combo granted with Feral Instincts is a big time damage dealer.  That said, Trap Trickster is likely the most beneficial as it enhances the tertiary attack more so than Feral Instincts.

On the bottom end you can't go wrong with Shadow Combat.  Prowler Path is best suited for players who really like that sort of thing, or enjoy the challenge etc.  I have yet to play in-game with these paths, but I have to say that from Woodburrow Shadow Combat is the definitive choice for the bottom end.

Freeze Blade Upgrade Paths with Damage Numbers

Well, here it is...the first in a series of immensely detailed posts outlining damage out from EVERY single upgrade for each Skylander.

I am getting things started with Freeze Blade, one of the test subjects in the recordings debate...However, his test method was the chosen method so it worked out well for him to be posted first.

You can consult the Cheat Sheet below for a quick look at damage numbers...If you are unsure of my explanation (when required), just watch the corresponding video.  Hopefully this method works well for you and comes in handy in upgrading and researching your Skylanders!

Freeze Blade Base Upgrades

Nitro Freeze Blade Base Upgrades
(I will only Double Up like this for "Special" Characters)

Freeze Blade Damage Numbers
Fore More Detail Consult Videos

Blizzard Blade Path via Nitro Freeze Blade

Ice Sculptor Path via Freeze Blade

Trail Freezer Path via Freeze Blade

Ice Skater Path via Nitro Freeze Blade

Skylanders SWAP Force Upgrade Path Showcase

As I type this (3 AM CST), I have 4 videos uploading, 1 rendering, and 1 still to edit/render.

I have mulled over how to stage the upgrades for this game for quite some time.  I ultimately set up a poll and sought your feedback in terms of what you would prefer.  I took all that info and compiled it with my own experiences from a few test runs and have ultimately decided on a set format.

*Let me again stress that this format will be in full force with pretty much everyone, minus Freeze Blade, Trap Shadow, Boom Jet, and Free Ranger.*

The format I have decided on is pretty simple...

I will make a video for the base upgrades and then for each upgrade path.  This format will go for both SWAP Force Skylanders and core Skylanders.

In the past I would take a box stock Chop Chop and go all the way from Upgrade #1 to the Soul Gem or WowPow when applicable.  I still like that format, but the addition of the Swappers and their 4 potential paths really pitched a curveball.

With my old format, the only debate was "should I record the base upgrades again when showcasing the other upgrade path?"  This was a simple debate and the fact I could crank out those 4 upgrades pretty quick resolved that issue.

After a lot of thought and the aforementioned experiments, I truly believe the multi-video format works best for several reasons.  It is the most efficient, easiest to search for, and archives the best.

Let's say you want to know about Freeze Blade's Ice Sculptor Path...If I were to do a "box stock to fully upgraded video" you would have to either spend 30 mins getting a complete education on Freeze Blade's other upgrades, or scrub thru the video.  If I make a video dedicated solely to "Ice Sculptor" you simply find it via a search, the posts here, or the playlist etc and spend fractions of the time only seeing what you want to see.  Say that you took Blizzard Blade and Ice Skater, but wonder if the other paths would have been better...You can simply watch those vids and reference my archived data here to make that determination.

For those of you that are relying on these videos to pick your paths for the first time...You have the most expansive set of data and videos for reference on the web.  I have been playing Skylanders since Day 1 and if anyone has taken the time to archive all of this info and make it available publicly in easy to follow formats I have somehow missed it.  You can literally breeze thru just the spreadsheets and make a good call...the videos will back that up with concrete samples.

If you recall, one of the things I was most pleased with SWAP Force was the Training Grounds with the Enchanted Dummies...Most people overlook this or just use it to get quick cash.  I definitely cash out from time-to-time, but the real reason I was stoked for this added feature was because of the chance it would give me to not only showcase the new upgrades, but also document their enhanced damage numbers!

In SSA and Giants I would simply showcase them at the Ruins or on Flynn's Ship and then go into a Heroic Challenge to give you a feel for fully upgraded gameplay.  The simple fact was, with so many upgrades "enhancing" another one I would have had to spent a ton of time going in and out of Heroics.  Granted, if I wasn't recording this I totally would have done that and archived it...Factor in making videos to upload to YouTube and would just be way too tedious.

The addition of the enchanted dummies, right by the Power Pod at that, is huge for hardcore players like myself.  It gives me the perfect chance to showcase 98% of all upgrades and in a very efficient manner.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...

A HUGE THANKS to whoever it was at Vicarious Visions that came up with this feature.  I really hope it becomes a staple in every future release as well as on the 3DS versions of the game.

That said, to get back to what you probably care about, here is what you will see on the coming posts:

Video #1: Freeze Blade Base Upgrades
Video #2: Freeze Blade: Blizzard Blade Path
Video #3: Freeze Blade: Ice Sculptor Path
Video #4: Freeze Blade: Trail Freezer Path
Video #5: Freeze Blade: Ice Skater Path

Granted, I will almost always record a Top Path and then a Bottom Path, but I can order them in the playlist and on these posts in the split manner for even easier viewing and research.

I actually like this method so well I think I am going to utilize it with the Newlanders and probably S2 and S3 Skylanders.  Basically you would see this format:

Video #1: Punk Shock Base Upgrades
Video #2: Punk Shock Conductor Constructor Path
Video #3: Electrocutey Path

The only time you will see me overlap the base upgrades will be for special characters (Legendary, Enchanted, Nitro, Jade, etc).  I only do this to simply showcase the special character's looks and full upgrades.

That said, hopefully that makes sense...the video rendering just finished so I am off to upload it and start editing/rendering the last one tonight.  Again, some characters (Freeze Blade, Trap Shadow, Free Ranger, and Boom Jet) will not entirely follow this format, but that is siimply due to me recording the Air guys way earlier and then experimenting with Trap Shadow and Freeze Blade.

Hopefully you will like this new format and find it easy to view and utilize for path research!

I will try to make a quick channel update on this tomorrow, but for is the text version!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unboxing McDonald's Skylanders SWAP Force Happy Meal Toys, The CompleteSet

Unboxing the Complete Set of Skylanders SWAP Force Happy Meal Toys

Here is a run down on the figures for you:

#1 Wash Buckler
#2 Eruptor
#3 Free Ranger
#4 Rattle Shake
#5 Magna Charge
#6 Prism Break
#7 Freeze Blade
#8 Chompy

Which one is your favorite?  Cast your vote in the newest poll!  You can find it just under the Twitter Feed on the Right Hand Side of the Blog.

You can check out the original preview video here: