Ditto the Monster looks at the world of family friendly online games from a Fabricated American perspective

Fabricated American

Happy Mother’s Day from Ditto!

Ditto wishes all mommys out there a very happy and wonderful Mother’s Day!  Hope it is a wonderful one!  And if you have a mommy, make sure you do something nice for her today!

Video Bloggy Thingy – April 27, 2011

Here’s my weekly video bloggy thingy for this week!  I talk about Twitter, and Youtube, and Test Realm, and all kinds of stuff…  Oh, and please be careful for the new Facebook virus that’s going around, sending ‘Hack Facebook’ events to people.  Don’t click on them!

A Furry Orange Monster’s Guide to Blogging

Blog:  noun – a web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.

I created this blog a little over a year ago, and in that time I’ve had a number of people ask me for tips and ideas about starting or improving their own blogs.  I certainly don’t claim to be a professional blogger in any way – I’m just a furry orange monster, after all – but I have learned a few things in the time I’ve been doing this, and I’m always happy to share.

Choose your Topic
Before you start a blog, you should have a topic or theme in mind.  This can be a video game, a favorite TV show, your math homework, or even general thoughts about your day, but you should know what you’re going to talk about ahead of time – that will help you decide your overall site style and theme.
Another suggestion on topic – you should start with something you know a lot about and have a deep interest in, because you’ll probably be writing about it a lot and you don’t want to get bored or run out of things to write about.  You can also start a blog about something you’re learning, to chronicle your experiences (This is what I did with my blog, after all)  – you can usually get help and feedback from the larger community.

Chose a Web Host
If you’re going to start a blog, or any website really, you need a place to put it.  There are a lot of great, free to use website and blog hosting services out there, like wordpress, blogger, blog.com, and livejournal, that offer many different levels of service and features.  I like WordPress, personally, but there are lots of different options – you just need to find one that matches your theme and design style.

Be Original
There are probably at least a few blogs out there on your topic of interest (unless your topic is YOU, of course) , so try to speak in your own voice, have your own ideas and design.  I’ve seen blogs that really just copied the style, layout, and sometimes even content of a different, more popular blog, and that’s definitely not what you want to do.  Your blog should reflect your own personality and your own take on the topic.  Maybe you look at things form a comedy angle, or statistics, or pictures, or original fiction…

And speaking of original, all the successful blogs I’ve seen have featured their own original content, not just a bunch of re-posts from other sites, though some re-posting is expected in some cases.  If your blog is about a game, for example, you might re-post some information from the official game developer about upcoming events or features, but keep most of the content original and give your readers our opinion and your own take on the news from the game developers.

How Often Should You Post?
This is very open to opinion and has a lot to do about your chosen topic and what you’re writing about, but if you want people to visit your website often, you need to give them something new to read or view.  One of the things I’ve read in multiple places (but honestly have had a really hard time implementing myself) is a regular schedule, like ‘new post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and a new video on Saturday’ – if you can keep up a regular schedule people will know when new content is available and they’ll visit more often to check it out.

Of course I don’t know too many blogs that actually follow a regular schedule – I certainly don’t.  If you can’t keep to a schedule, you should at least try to post new content once or twice a week – again, if your goal is to attract and keep readers, you want to give them a reason to keep coming back.

Regular updates are a challenge, of course – new content doesn’t just create itself, after all – but I try to create multiple days’ worth of content when I have an afternoon or a quiet morning to work on my blog.  You can also set aside an hour a day, or some similar schedule, to focus on working on your blog.  If you want a good blog that people enjoy coming to, you’ll need to dedicate some time to it.

Embrace New Media
Blogs can have so much more than just words now, thanks to services like YouTube (for embedded video), PodBean (for audio and podcasting), and image sharing.  Where a few years ago you could only describe a game walkthrough or how to build a race car by writing about it, today you can show videos and detailed pictures about how to do it.  Video blogging is also popular and more accessible than ever, with very affordable digital video recorders and even phones with HD video capabilities.  My Video Bloggy Thingy posts are actually some of my most popular posts here at Dittomonster.com, people really enjoy that personal interaction.

Don’t Feed the Trolls!
If you have a blog and you allow comments to your articles, chances are you’re going to attract trolls – people who post negative things, insult you or your other posters, or just post really awful things because they have nothing better to do.  A bad troll infestation can really ruin your day as well as hurt the reputation of your blog – trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

The first thing to do is try to prevent the tolls from posting in the first place – prevention is always better than reacting after the fact.  While allowing people to post responses to your articles is valuable to create a dialog with your readers and to learn about your given topic, you should always turn on moderation of some sort, so that responses don’t show up automatically as soon as they’re written.  You should have the ability to deny and even block posters who don’t want to play nice, and you should also keep an eye on the comments people are making to keep things clean and safe.

NEVER ‘feed the trolls’ either – that should be a universal law.  Don’t respond to people who are being rude or posting awful things to your blog, that’s exactly what they want, so it makes you look bad and makes them happy – that’s a lose-lose situation.  Delete their posts, messages, and emails without comment, and never take it personally.  Trolls are a sad fact of Internet life, and the truth is, the more popular your blog or website gets, the more you’ll attract.

Of course that doesn’t mean you need to delete any post that doesn’t agree with your point of view – if people have a different opinion, but post that opinion clearly and respectfully, you should be open to that and even start a dialog – after all, you probably started blogging in order to share what you know about a topic, as well as learn more about that topic yourself.  Be open to other people’s opinions and always be respectful when they differ from your own, and always be open to the idea that you might, in fact, be wrong about something.  Nobody’s perfect, right?

Spread the Word
Finally, once you have a blog and you’ve got some content to share, start sharing it!  You can use all kinds of social media – Twitter, Facebook, and topic-related mico-networks like Ning are great ways of connecting with others who share an interest in your topic.  Share links with other bloggers as well, add other topic-related bloggers to your links page or blogroll, and ask them to link back to you.

Don’t be insistent or rude about that last part, though – bloggers have their own criteria for linking back to other sites, and sometimes your site isn’t going to meet that criteria.  Again, don’t take it personally, and maybe even politely ask the other blogger why – sometimes you can use it as an opportunity to improve your site.

I personally won’t link back to another site that only has one or two articles up or doesn’t post content regularly.  I like to see that a blog has a track record of publishing new quality content on a regular basis, because I feel that adding another site to my blogroll is endorsing that blog in a way, and if it’s not a blog that I would personally go to at least once a week, I feel it’s not right to tell my readers to go check it out.

Keep it Up, Keep it Fun!
Establishing a blog takes a lot of work and can take a long time.  I’ve been running this blog for over a year, and I’ve done a lot with it, but there’s a lot more to do, you have to keep evolving and keeping things interesting.  Don’t get discouraged if, after a month, your blog isn’t in the top 10 somewhere, just keep at it, keep getting feedback, and don’t give up!

The final, most important thing I have to tell you is to always have fun with it – if you’re not having fun, if you aren’t getting what you want out of it, then you need to re-think your plan, honest.  If your blog starts feeling like a job and not an enjoyable hobby, then what’s the point?  You’re not getting paid for it, so make sure it stays fun and enjoyable! That’s that it’s all about!

Keep Playing Safe!

Ditto’s week and the hardest duel ever! (so far…)

Wow, what a week it has been for this furry orange monster. PAX East, interviewing Fred Howard from KingsIsle, guest hosting Ravenwood Radio, getting my stories posted or linked on Beckett MOG and MMO Crunch and who knows where else… It really all comes down to having the BEST community of any game out there, and having amazing and supportive fans and followers! I couldn’t do any of this without all of you! Well, I COULD do this without you, sure, but what would be the point really? It would kind of be like talking to myself, wouldn’t it? And there’s nothing sadder than a furry orange monster just sitting there talking to himself… oh wait, where was I?

Oh yes – back to Wizard 101, since I’ve had a few spare minutes this week to jump back in. Inspired by all the pet talk this week, I’ve started training Madame Jasmine again and got her to Ancient, I’ll keep working with her until she’s all the way to ‘super old’ or whatever they call it…. I’ve also been working my way through DragonSpyre – this place is pretty terrifying! It seems like every other fight is a boss fight or else you’ve got to get through a tower with like seventy levels of elite battles to get to your end goal, which is usually just reading a book, and sometimes eating pudding. It’s very exciting though! Well, maybe not the pudding, but all the other stuff is really exciting!

And speaking of exciting – I’m working my way through the Plaza of Conquests now and had to go talk to Mavra Flamewing for ‘shield training’. I’m not sure where she got her teaching degree, but I was under the impression that saying ‘Here’s a storm shark, good luck with it’ wasn’t really ‘teaching’… This turned out to be the most difficult fight of the game, I think!

It's shield-tastic!

Mavra and her shiled-tossing minions!

For anyone who hasn’t gotten to DragonSpyre or hasn’t made it to this quest, Mavra is a storm boss with 2000 health – certainly not huge, I’ve taken out bigger and meaner. The trick is that she has two ‘minions’ with her, which are these little ‘protective pox’ critters that do nothing but throw out every shield imaginable. Elemental shields, absorbs, tower shields, you name it, they shield themselves – and Mavra – with them. Sure it’s nice that they don’t hit you with damage, but putting up to three shields up (one from each pox AND Mavra, and yes they CAN all land on the same target, I’ve seen it done) every turn makes dealing damage VERY tricky!

Fortunately, as a pyromnacer I can specialize in damage over time, which it seems to me is the only way to beat this foe, at least solo. I got rid of helephants and even my beloved meteor strikes and loaded up with link, scald, even fire elf and heck hounds, as well as every shield I could personally carry, then maxed out healing spells and dove into the duel.

The duel took a long time – I’d say 20 minutes? Wasn’t paying that close attention but it was around there. I would toss up a shield and then hit with a DOT spell, trying to stack as many DOT as I could. Scald was really nice because it hit all enemies, so I was slowly working the pox’s down as I was focused on Mavra. Oh yes unlike most boss fights where you try to take out the minion first, because it’s quicker, for this fight I recommend going after Mavra 100% until she’s down, because once she’s down the Pox minions can’t hurt you, so you’ve bacially got as long as you need (or have cards) to take care of them, and without Mavra raining damage down on your head every other turn, it’s much less stressful!

In the end, it was a double stacked ‘scald’ that won the day and got me my victory dance. I kind of wish I have taken video of this fight, but honestly it would have been twenty minutes of me whining about yet ANOTHER shield going up and ruining my winning shot….

Victory Dance for Mavra

I beat Mavra and her annoying shield minions

So that’s about it for this week – not that I could have handled any more!! Next week things ‘should’ be back to normal, in theory – I’m actually kind of looking forward to that. For now, I will content myself to sneaking a cupcake while Miss Narrator isn’t looking…

See you in the Spiral, keep playing safe!!

PAX East in Images

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture from PAX East must be worth a lot more… Here are some of the things we saw and did during PAX!

Ditto Meets Fred Howard from KingsIsle

Ditto Meets Fred Howard from KingsIsle

Checking out the tabletop gaming area at PAX East


Ditto’s PAX East Roundup

PAX East, while an amazing and at times overwhelming show, definitely posed certain challenges to this intrepid Fabricated American blogger. For one it is HUGE and completely packed with people, and I have short furry legs, so getting around was a little tricky. Fortunately for me this was easily remedied by riding on Miss Narrator’s shoulders. That was going well until I jokingly said ‘Giddy-up’, of course, and then… Let’s just say that Miss Narrator has a line that should never be crossed.


PAX was gigantic!


Headed to PAX East!!

Hello Everybody! Ditto and Miss Narrator are on our way to PAX East in Boston right now!! (Well, as you’re reading this, not as I’m writing it, obviously…)
I just wanted to say hello to anyone who is coming here for the first time after meeting us at PAX – hi there!! I am Ditto Monster, I am a proud Fabricated American of the furry orange monster variety, and this is my bloggy thingy!

I love playing family-friendly online games, especially Wizard 101, and I like to talk a lot about staying safe online, because that’s really important, and that’s one of the things I will be doing at PAX East is asking other gaming companies and players more ways to stay safe and have fun online!!

I will be trying to update my YouTube channel and twitter with videos and pictures from PAX all day, so stay tuned, it’s going to be a lot of fun!!

Bound for PAX East!!!

So if my blog has been a little quiet this week, it’s because I’ve been in full blown PAX preparation mode! PAX East is my very first convention ever, and I honestly have no idea what to expect – I’m SO excited, but the more I read about it the more intimidating it seems! I’m pretty sure I’m all ready now; I’ve got my business cards, my cameras, interview questions, plus a few other surprises that I think people are going to enjoy! I can’t wait to get to Boston!

I’ve gotten some really great questions from my readers, it’s going to be hard choosing just five, but I’m not going to make my final choices until Friday, so if you wanted to ask KingsIsle a question you should send it to me today at dittowizard @ gmail.com and make the subject ‘Question for Kingsisle’ and I’ll pick my favorites before we head to the show!

So if you’re going to be at PAX East this weekend, especially Saturday, then keep an eye out for me – I’ll be the furry orange monster, I’m pretty sure you can’t miss me!

All packed for PAX East

On my way to PAX East!!

Ditto’s Weekly Video Bloggy Thingy 3/7/2011

Yay, I’m actually posting on a Monday like I wanted to! So this is my new weekly video bloggy thingy – Apologies for Carl, he’s the new camera guy, he’s still learning. Anyway, this week I’m very excited for PAX East, I can’t believe it’s only days away! Also, I discuss the terrifying DragonSpyre , the AMAZING Celestian Observatory, and of course gardening. And a reminder, I’m taking questions for Kingsisle until the end of the week and I’ll choose the five I’ll try to ask them on Friday. Just email me at dittowizard at gmail dot com and make sure the subject says ‘Question for Kingsisle’ – thanks!!

More fan art!! I love fan art!

So I opened my email this morning and was greeted by the most wonderful picture from Patrick Hawktamer, who did a great scene of me in Mooshu – he even did my blue eyebrows! And even better, he knew not to send me any personal information like his phone number or address, which is great!

So THANK YOU Patrick Hawktamer, you made my day!

Ditto in Mooshu - Fan Art by Patrick Hawktamer

Ditto’s Video Bloggy thingy and CONTEST!

So here is my weekly video bloggy thingy – can you believe it’s already March? And with March, aside from hopefully the end of cold weather and snow in my fur, we also get PAX EAST!! That is right – PAX East is less than two weeks away, kicking off next Friday, and Ditto and Miss Narrator will be there! And I decided, since I will hopefully be talking to the folks at Kings Isle for a few minutes, it would be cool to find out what YOU want to know from them. So if you have questions for KingsIsle about Wizard 101 (or whatever) send them to me at dittowizard at gmail.com and use the subject ‘Question for KingsIsle’ so I can sort through them easily. I’ll choose five questions and I will do my best to ask the wonderful KingsIsle people at PAX East and get answers to them. My plan is to get it all on video too – we’ll see how that goes, right?

I’m getting so excited!!!! Woohoo!

New MMO Crunch Article posted!

That’s right, it’s Wednesday and my newest MMOCrunch article, ‘Playing it Safe, part 2’ is now posted! Enjoy!


Video Bloggy Thingy 2/21/2011

Here is my video bloggy thingy for the week. This week I talk about lots of things, like PAX East, my 250th Twitter Follower, plus I have a great idea for KingsIsle related to gardening, and I take a twitter question. Yes, only one, because it’s early and I only got one – I’ll try to do better next time…

It’s Ditto’s Anniversary!!

So one year ago today, a furry orange monster started playing an online game called Wizard 101, and decided it would be fun to blog about it, because he really couldn’t find any other Fabricated American bloggers out there. He started playing around with his roommates’ video camera and writing and talking about the game, and something cool happened – people started reading his blog, and watching his videos, and they liked him! That is to say they liked me, because him is me. And them is you, too, right? I think I confused myself again…

In any case, in the last year my blog has grown a lot, I have branched out from Wizard 101 – still my favorite game – to discussing a bunch of other games and topics, I’ve done interviews with people, and I’ve started writing for another site as well, MMOCrunch. It’s been an amazing year with a lot more great stuff to come, and I thank each and every person out there who reads my posts or follows me on Twitter or enjoys my videos, your feedback and support are what keep me going, that’s the part I love the most about all of this! I couldn’t do it without all of you!

What’s in a year??

    3 MMOCrunch Articles
    20 episodes of ‘The Daring Adventures of Ditto’
    43 Levels for my pyromancer, Digby Hexcrafter
    142 videos posted
    205 Facebook friends
    217 Blog posts
    241 Twitter Followers
    1,160 Tweets
    30,000+ Unique pageviews
    New friends – priceless…

Best… Day… Ever… Thank you KingsIsle and Wizard101

There are some events and some days that will live with you forever. Your first MMO character, the first time you join a huge raid and beat the final boss, your wedding day, college graduation, or the first time you run out of your usual shampoo and find this strawberry scented shampoo plus conditioner that… Never mind, you get the point.

For me, today dwarfs all of those things. Today, I, Ditto P. Monster, humble furry orange monster, have hit ‘The Big Time’….

An icon of ME and a link to my latest MMOCrunch article are featured in the Wizard 101 Launcher!!

Best Day Ever

My article is in the launcher!!!

The best part of this is that the whole point of me taking the gig at MMOCrunch (which is a wonderful publication run by kind and dedicated gamers, by the way) and writing these articles was to help people, especially younger people, stay safe online. By posting my article on the launcher like this, KingsIsle and Wizard 101 are helping to get the word out that safety is important for everyone, and I REALLY appreciate that!! THANK YOU KINGSISLE!!

And to top it all off, there is a new live episode of Ravenwood Radio on tonight at 8pm CST, 9pm EST… check it out, it will be a great show (as always!)

Ditto’s Rules for Online Safety

I got an email last night – it was a really sweet email, from a really nice boy who said his name was Jordan (though I’m pretty sure that was his ‘game name’) and that Saturday was his birthday. He didn’t tell me how old he was, which is good, and he didn’t tell me where he lived, which was good, but it was pretty clear from the email that he wasn’t a ‘grown up’ type person. This was really nice, it really was, and it made me happy to hear from him, but it wasn’t all good. You see, what Jordan wanted for his birthday was a phone call from me, Ditto Monster, and he gave me his home phone number, area code and all, to call him. And yes, this really happened, this isn’t a metaphor or a made up situation to make a point, I wouldn’t actually do that. This boy sent me his home phone number and asked me to call him for his birthday. Now, for anyone who doesn’t really understand what I’m getting at, I’ll just spell it out – this is a BAD THING for any kid to do, ever.

Staying safe on the internet is a really important thing to me, and this isn’t the first time something like this has happened – I guess I have an honest face, or maybe it’s the fur, who knows. It probably happens to other popular internet people too – I’m willing to bet Justin Beiber could publish his own phone book with all the numbers he gets from people on twitter or through email. The point is that, no matter who it is, sending information like this to someone over the internet is very dangerous. Even if you’re sending information to a friend, even someone you know in real life, you have to be really careful.

I’ve put together some simple rules for internet safety – I didn’t invent them and there are lots of places to get the same, or similar rules, and they really should all be common sense, but I really want everyone who is a fan of mine, who reads my blogs or follows my daring adventures, to be safe, that’s really important to me. This is important for parents of ‘internet kids’ too, because being aware of potential dangers and problems can help you avoid them.

Rule #1 – Never give out any personal information online. Not just your phone number and address (though you should NEVER give information like that out, EVER) but also seemingly ‘innocent’ information like what school you go to, where your parents work, what sports team you play for, and things like that. While you might never even think about giving a stranger your home address, telling someone what school you go to and what sports team you play on could give them just as much information.

Rule #2 – Be really careful what you put online. Social networking, video, and picture sharing sites are great places to talk to friends and share pictures, music, and videos, but did you know that once you put something online it can be impossible to take it back? Take it from someone who knows – I posted a dumb video three years ago and it still pops up now and then…

The most important rule to remember here is NEVER assume anything you put online will ever be ‘private’, and never assume that if you send a picture or video to someone, even someone you really really trust, that they’re the only person who will ever see it.

Rule #3 – Not everyone is who they say they are online. Just ask Kanye West or any of the other celebrities who have impersonators on sites like twitter who cause them trouble. There have been waves of ‘celebrity impersonators’ in games too, and even Wizard 101 has had people saying they were Professor Falmea or Lydia Greyrose, who really weren’t.

Rule #4 – Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s true. And I’m not just talking about local gossip – major news organizations have been fooled by fake Twitter posts and blog posts. Once, major news organizations had reported that Will Smith died in a car accident – literally reported it out to millions of people, one of whom was Will Smith, sitting in his living room watching the news, very much not dead.

Rule #5 – Be Polite! One of my big pet peeves and certainly not the first time I’ve talked about it, but if you wouldn’t say something to someone in person, don’t say it online! It’s simple and it’s common courtesy. Just because you’re typing the words instead of speaking them doesn’t make it any less true!

So that’s it – five rules, common sense, very simple, but they can help you stay safe, and that’s the most important thing!!

I’m a writer!! I’m a writer!!

OK, I guess I’ve been a blog and podcast writer for a while, and I wrote all that ‘Harry Potter’ fan fiction before that… oops, I wasn’t supposed to mention that, was I? Anyway, I’ve been writing for my own amusement for a while now, but today I am officially writing for OTHER PEOPLE’S amusement! That’s right, I am now an official contributor to the fun and fabulous MMO magazine MMO Crunch!! My column is called ‘The Game Monster’ and today they posted my very first article, ‘By Way of Introduction‘! I’m very excited and really thank the staff at MMO Crunch for taking a chance with a furry orange monster like me! I hope everyone likes the articles I’ll be putting out – they won’t impact my normal posting schedule here, because try as I might I don’t really have much of a posting schedule here… but I’ll still be posting all the time, so don’t worry!

And don’t forget – an all new live Ravenwood Radio tonight, including the exciting climax of Ditto’s Marleybone adventures in another installment of ‘The Daring Adventures of Ditto’!!

Video Bloggy Thingy time!

So I’m back with another video bloggy thingy – sadly not a ton going on lately, at least not that I can talk about yet. The biggest news I guess is the snow – boy do we have lot of snow! That seems to slow everything down, doesn’t it? And it’s so cold and yucky and gets all stuck in my fur. So, any Ditto fans out there in Hawaii or South Florida or Southern California feel like adopting a furry orange Fabricated American? Just kidding!

Ditto’s Blog in review – 2010!!

Ditto and Friends in Big Ben

I have to say I’m really happy with this – these are the numbers that WordPress collected on my blog for 2010, and for my first time out, and as the ONLY Fabricated American blogger out there right now (as far as I know, anyway) I think I did great!
What I’m MOST proud of, though, is the fact that my ‘Safety First’ article was my most read article this year – that’s really great, because more than all the silly videos and game tips and stories, I think that’s my most important post of the year, and everyone really should read it!
Thanks EVERYONE who made my blog such a success in 2010 and I’m looking forward to an even more incredible year in 2011!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Ditto and Friends in Big Ben

Ditto and friends in Big Ben

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 186 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 98 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was July 29th with 554 views. The most popular post that day was Safety First!!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were thefriendlynecromancer.blogspot.com, twitter.com, facebook.com, asset-server1.libsyn.com, and my.diaryofawizard.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for backyard monsters, backyard monsters defense strategy, ditto wizard, backyard monster, and backyard monsters best layout.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Safety First!! July 2010


About February 2010


Wow – Welcome to Wizard 101 Selena Gomez!! September 2010
1 comment


My current games September 2010


Words can still hurt, even if you’re just typing them… August 2010

Happy New Year from Ditto!

Well here it is, 2011 – it seems like 2010 was over before I knew it. Last year was certainly a pretty amazing year for me, starting this little bloggy project, joining Ravenwood Radio, all these great things that have happened, I’m certainly looking forward to a lot more in 2011!
So here is my 2011 New Years Resolutions, plus I did some great predictions for the coming year – enjoy!!

I got fan art!!

I got this emailed to me today – I’m so HAPPY!!!! Thank you thank you thank you! The artist used their real name so I don’t feel it’s proper to use that here, but I’m just so thrilled by this!!

Though I am really happy and excited by getting this wonderful fan art, I want to say to any kids out there – be careful who you email your name and age to, and make sure your parents are helping you, OK? I’m a happy and cheerful Fabricated American and I love all my fans, but not everyone out there is quite so nice, so please just make sure you’re safe online, that’s really important!

Ditto Wizard Fan Art!

I'm so excited - someone made me fan art!!

Merry Christmas Greetings from Ditto!

Just wishing all my friends, fans, and followers a happy and joyful holiday!!

Ditto’s Holiday Video Bloggy Thingy!!

Hello everyone and happy holidays! Here is my video bloggy thingy, where this week I talk about what furry orange monsters think about the holidays, my big Twitter update, and what I want for Christmas! As always, enjoy and I’ll see you in the spiral!!!

Can Daring Adventurers garden?

So the new fad sweeping across the spiral is gardening – you can buy seeds and use magic spells to grow adorable plants in your dorm room or house, and then you can harvest things like spell cards and gold from the plants. It’s fun and cute and looks like it will be a good time, with some pretty decent rewards.

My problem with this is that if you’re spending all this time and energy gardening, then how do you go on daring adventures? How do you swing into action and save Grizzleheim villages when you’re worried about watering your daffodils? How can you defeat Meowiarty if you’re fertilizing your sunflowers? And how is a furry orange monster supposed to work his way all the way through the perils of DragonSpire when his Dandelions are almost ready to harvest?

Instead of complaining, however – as monsters try very hard not to complain, we’re very ‘people’ oriented – I have some potential solutions to this dilemma! And in the interest of both enlightening and entertaining, I shall list them here:

1. Get a crafting quest to build a clanker style robot with a rake for a hand and a watering can for a head. You can program HIM to be your robot gardener and take care of the plants while you are on your daring adventures! A drawback, of course, is that like most clankers he goes haywire and attacks you every time you come home, but a surprise duel will help keep you on your toes!

2. Pocket-garden! Plant a full garden, then get a ‘shrink’ spell that enables you to keep it with you at all times. IF the plants need water or some sunlight, the pocket garden can beep and let you know it needs attention – a real Palm(tree)Pilot. You can stop and take care of the plants at your leisure. Of course one downfall is that if you’re too active in your daring adventures and jostle the mini-garden around too much, you could open it up to find tossed salad instead of your lovingly cared for plants.

3. Daring Adventures in Gardening!! Instead of shrinking your garden, YOU can shrink down to the size of a bug (eewww, bugs!!) and then go on many daring adventures and exciting battles against the pests and creepy-crawlies in your own garden! Duel mites and tomato worms and horrible squishy grubs as you defend your garden! Sure, you have a high chance of getting eaten by, say, your own pet CrimsonZilla (Madame Jasmine, you spit that out right now!! Bad dinosaur, bad!!) but just think of the possibility for adventure you’d have!!

4. Zombies. Seriously – you’ve got the plants already. Throw in some lumbering zombies for the plants to attack and you’ve got some serious daring adventure material! As long as you don’t do anything to make the birds angry, this definitely cant’ miss!!

So there you have it – Can Daring Adventurers garden? Maybe not quite yet, but just you wait… I’m sure KingsIsle is writing all this down right now!

See you in the Spiral!