Interview with Swordroll! (Crowns & Closed Beta Code Giveaway)

August 09, 2012 Blaze Shadowhorn 6 Comments

Hey guys! Recently I was given the amazing opportunity to interview one of the Community's bloggers and an amazing friend of mine, Jason Goldriver aka Swordroll. Jason runs the blog Swordroll's Blog which has tons of amazing information on all things Wizard101 and soon to be Pirate101.

Before we get to the interview, I would like to take a second to ask of you, my viewers, to do me a favor. Swordroll's Blog is currently at 99 followers. It would mean the world to me if you went and followed his blog and helped get him to an even 100. You can directly follow his blog my clicking here or you can view his blog by clicking here. It just takes a small second to do this and it would mean the world to me and him. I hope that this RaffleCopter giveaway for 3 Closed Beta Codes for the new MMO RaiderZ will help get him his 100 followers :) You can find the giveaway at the end of this post. So what are you waiting for? Go follow his blog! Thanks for your support :) The RaffleCopter will also be at the bottom of the page till the contest ends.

Swordroll hit 105 followers so he threw in 2,500 Crowns into the contest prizes!!!

Anyways, In this interview, you will find secrets to the magic behind Swordroll's amazing blog, Pirate101 information as well as tons of other amazing stuff. I am really honored to have finally gotten to interview him and share his words of wisdom with all of you. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I do :)

Make sure to check back tomorrow for a special post with a contest where you can win tons of crowns and hoards!!!

Hey Jason! Thanks for agreeing to this Interview! I really appreciate your time, and I hope the fans of Wizard101 and Pirate101 are going to take away a lot from this interview.  Why don't you start by introducing yourself and giving us a little background about what you do?

Hey, Blaze! Glad to do the interview!

I’m Swordroll, and I started playing Wizard101 post-beta, but before Dragonspyre was released, so I’ve been around for awhile. Sometime later, I discovered the Wizard101 community, and created an account on Wizard101 Central. It wasn’t until May 31stlast year that I decided I was really interested in being a part of the Wizard101 community. I created Swordroll’s Blog, planning to change the name later, but it seems to have stuck. My wizard, because many aren’t familiar with my in-game character, is Jason Goldriver, an Archmage Death wizard. It took me a while to realize that I wanted to play on a single character, so I have several other level 60s as well.

As far as in-game play style goes, I prefer a very relaxed strategy. By no means do I have anything down to a science, or turn-by-turn plays mapped out. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I prefer taking enemies down slowly with frequent, low-pip attacks where possible. I take my time in both fights and questing, and like to read and listen to dialogue. Between major posts and blog projects, I’ll take on the occasional pet, gardening, or crafting item.

When KingsIsle announced Pirate101, it took a bit for me to get used to the idea. At first, the thought of playing a wizard, a pirate, and blogging about them both was pretty intimidating, but with more and more photos and information about the game being released, it’s really something I couldn’t resist and am now looking forward to playing and blogging about!

What inspired you to start blogging about Wizard101 and more recently, Pirate101?

This is always a tough question to start out with. I’m a man of my word, and as such, I always explain truthfully. And the truth is, I started a blog because I saw the benefits of having one.

It was about that same time that I’d really been diving further into graphic arts and basic coding, and I started to quickly realize that a blog was quite enjoyable in all aspect – designing, writing (though I’m not at the top of my game when it comes to writing, wording, and grammar), creating graphics, using social media, etc.

Whatever the reason for starting my blog, I soon found a new love for blogging, and I began making changes, and looking more into unique posts. That meant top tens, debates, discussions, ideas, and things other than news.

Before you knew it, I was spending more time blogging than in-game, and that’s true to this day. I’ve now got a new design with new content in the works, while managing the games and blog.

As for Pirate101, I began explaining about. KingsIsle said that they hope that making a new game will have a result something like “Well, it’s a KingsIsle game, so it must be good”. For me, they almost already have that effect. I’m ready to set sail as a pirate to find all new adventures in the Spiral, but I’m glad they aren’t slowing down in Wizard101. They’re staggering the updates. My worry will be how they’ll manage that with the three or four other games in the works.

I hope that some of my newest posts show my true dedication to blogging.

Your known for your blog Swordroll's blog. Everyone is always in awe when they see you post some of your new and incredible in-game backgrounds as well as your amazing headers and post pictures. Would you mind telling us about how you get those amazing shots and the effort it takes to get/make them?

Being “known” was a strange idea for me, because I’m not one to stand in the limelight (though I’ve opened up, and some of you may argue differently). In fact, I’m not the most sociable person around, so don’t take my responses or lack thereof as an insult. I guess I honestly didn’t realize that I was known very well until my one year celebration for the blog. When asked what the best part of the blog was, Ian Stormstaff said something like “Its success. It shows that you don’t have to be official to be successful.”

You know, I was considering throwing out those old backgrounds for some new ones, but perhaps I should at least leave them archived. The headers and post pictures and just different edits in GIMP. Tip – don’t try taking any classes or tutorials on that sort of thing. Play with it, test new things. Try filters, download brushes, get new fonts, etc. That’s how I got so used to using editing programs.

I imagine some of the shots you’re interested in are the ones in the air and such. First, when you take a picture, hit Ctrl+G so you don’t have your health and such in the photo. Take off anything with a glowing effect such as a wand or Mastery Amulet. Back up against something and take a picture.

There are also several points along the way when questing, especially in newer worlds, where you’ll get a birds-eye view of something. If I sense one coming, or am questing with two people, and see one, I’ll hit Ctrl+G before the dialogue so that I can get the view without that box. Be warned – you’ll have to find the “Next” button to get through it. It isn’t too hard with enough practice.

Every single one of your posts always seems picture perfect. You have all the needed information and you write everything so perfectly it keep us all on the edge of our seats. How do you do this? What is your secret to a picture perfect post?

Really? That’s always good to hear. When you do a post, just make sure to include what everyone else didn’t. If you’ve got a recap of the Update Notes, why wouldn’t people just read the update notes? And so you throw in pictures, new information, and things that they didn’t include in the notes, like new crafted spells. One thing I’m not very good at is finding a good post length balance. For example, the “Why 2000 XP Mega Pets and Hard-to-Craft Spells Are Ok” post was probably far too long to hold everyone’s interest. How long is it that they say you have a reader’s attention? Somewhere between 2 and 10 seconds? You’ve got to hook them in that time. If a post requires a lot of information, divide it into parts.

It’s funny that you use the phrase “picture perfect” because pictures really do make a post so much better than one without them. They really are worth a thousand words. People will click on them, and be directed to your useful information and posts.

With the upcoming release of Pirate101, everyone is talking about what they think it will be like and what class they want to be. My question for you is what class do you want to be when Pirate101 is released and why?

Goodness, I haven’t even decided on a Pirate101 class yet! I made a post asking readers what they think. Honestly, I’m making my decision based on combat style and looks. I’ve ruled out Witchdoctor because I played Death in Wizard101, and I’m joining Pirate101 for an all-new experience – and I want to be swinging a sword or firing a gun!

Based on other games, I’d guess that buccaneers are the ones with large armor and two-handed weapons (did a post on wielding somewhere). I didn’t really like the way they did two-handed swords in Wizard101, and they seem to resemble Storm, which isn’t my favorite school, so I’ve nearly ruled that one out. I could be a privateer – have the most possible companions and healing others would be nice. Then again, I really like the look of a Swashbuckler, as well as their combat style (or at least my initial impression of it). However, in real life, I really enjoy shooting, whether it’s a gun or bow, so the idea of a Musketeer is the most appealing – as far as I understand, they have Sparkshooters that shoot lightning instead of bullets. I’m interested. The next thing is that I don’t want to play my live class in Beta.

Everyone remembers your amazing blog, Swordroll's Skyways which you published a while back for Pirate101. What ever happened to that? Do you have any secrets in-store for Swordroll's Blog? If so, do you think you could let us in on a detail or two?

Well, I gave updates for it on Swordroll’s Blog, but I guess I really didn’t ever announce that it closed down. While the design was cool, it did have some flaws. I basically decided that I’d much rather build on the success of Swordroll’s Blog with Pirate101, rather than start from nothing.

As for Swordroll’s Blog, I received some feedback and insights several sources. If you use Internet Explorer, please forgive me – my design looks horrible there! The HTML that rounds the corners does not work in IE. For that reason, it’s bugged me ever since. And so, I decided to create a new design myself – one that would be completely unique and original! With the new design, pages are in a new format, and I’m repackaging some old content, so there’s a lot more than a new design coming.

I’ll let you know that, using conditionals, pages that do not have posts will be full pages, so the sidebar will only be in place with the blog. That means more space for content. To save space, I’m also putting a lot of information in expandable divisions, and it’s some real HTML work.

First, I’ve got to finish getting all my content together, I’ve got to put it into the page editor, then I have to take it into WordPad and add in the HTML elements. After that, I put it back into the page editor as HTML, update it, and hope that it turns out right. Usually, there’s a variety of spaces and things out of place that I have to fix in the HTML.

Finally, after everything is done, I’ll have a downtime on my blog, and spend a few hours putting the new template in place and all of its elements and styles. Then begins the real fun – having everyone else with their various browsers and resolutions test it out, and if it doesn’t work everywhere, I may have to go back to the drawing board entirely. I’ve already had to do everything separately for Internet Explorer and other browsers, so it’s not a fast process. The new design brings some cool things that no other website has, though, so it’ll be cool to see it in action on my actual blog.

I’ve attached a sneak-peek picture.

Thank you for your time Jason. I'm sure all the Wizards and Pirates who read this will love your responses. Do you have anything you want to add?

Just a word to wizards and pirates. Whatever you do – blogging, crafting, etc. – do what you love and do it because you love it! Thanks again for the interview!

Click to Enlarge


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Awesome post. Interesting reading about Swordroll's background, thanks for the raffle too!

    - Malorn

  2. Yeah, I really liked the interview! I recently became a fan of Swordroll, and it was nice to hear the "before."
    Although, I'm not too intrested in the give-away. I'll let other people have a chance. :)

    P.S. Can you add my blog (piratesinthesky[dot]wordpress[dot]com) to your blogroll? Thanks!

  3. I enjoy how detailed your posts are keep up the aweso me work! :D

    1. Thanks Elijah :)

      P.S. Ed and Antonio finished your Pagoda yesterday but since I soloed it, the boss's kind of had me stuck since they went like 8 turns in arrow then my turn :P Needless to say I didn't finish it xD But the dungeon is amazing!!! How'd you get it?


  4. I enjoy your blog as your very socialable and your posts really interest me.

    I like Swordroll's blog as his blog has amazing graphics and that really does lighten up a post!

    I love both your blogs!


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