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 now...here is the text version!