Monday, 12 September 2011

BETA TIPS: Brewing Potions...EXTENDED

*SPOILER ALERT! This post contains images and information about my experience in Pottermore. So, if you don't want to know anything because you want to experience it all yourself, then now is the time to STOP READING THIS.
Still reading? Then I guess you don't mind, and so, feel free to read and enjoy! ^_^

I've already made my first batch of tips on brewing potions, but I realized that I also have a few tips on how to do the steps specifically. So here are some of my extended tips:

8. One tricky part I found was in POURING the ingredients into the mortar or cauldron, which is the case for the following:

Most of the time, my mistake is that I pour in too much of the ingredients. And so, after much trial and error (I've hit the BACK button so many times), I've found it helpful to wait for the ingredient count to register before continuing to pour in some more. So wait for the count at the side of the mortar or cauldron before continuing to put in some more ingredients.
And again, if you put in TOO MUCH, just hit the BACK button. 

9. Another problem I had the first time I brewed a difficult potion, was the step to HEAT the potion GENTLY. The first mistake I made was to heat it TOO MUCH. Once I made this mistake, I couldn't do anything anymore since you CAN'T COOL DOWN the cauldron once it has OVERHEATED. Another mistake I made was to HEAT IT TO GREEN then leave the heat on until it OVERHEATS again. 
Now after trial and error AGAIN, I realized that the BEST WAY to heat the cauldron gently, is by ALTERNATING between the MEDIUM HEAT and NO HEAT AT ALL. So once your potion turns GREEN, you can alternate between the two so that the potion STAYS GREEN and within the marker of the cauldron's temperature. 

So, that's all for now. Hope I was helpful to you! ^_^



I just finished brewing my first potion for today (Sleeping Draught), when I noticed that I was awarded 11 POINTS instead of five! 

Then I was also curious about what other improvements Pottermore has made, and decided to check if they already solved the issue on the TIME-TURNER cheat for potions. So I tried the cheat AND IT DIDN"T WORK...well, either that or I did it wrong. 

Either way, it's good to know that Pottermore is listening to our suggestions and that changes have already been made.

I'm looking forward to see what other changes they can make. ^_^

What changes have YOU noticed?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Beta Tips: Brewing Potions

*SPOILER ALERT! This post contains images and information about my experience in Pottermore. So, if you don't want to know anything because you want to experience it all yourself, then now is the time to STOP READING THIS.
Still reading? Then I guess you don't mind, and so, feel free to read and enjoy! ^_^

It's officially been a week since I got my OWL from Pottermore. Since then, I've been working hard to help my House (Go Slytherin!) earn House points by brewing potions as that is the only way to earn points for now. After a week, I've come by a few things that might be helpful to those who will be brewing potions for the first time.

So here are my BREWING TIPS:

1. The FIRST and MOST OBVIOUS thing to do would be to PRACTICE potions. Pottermore only allows us to practice using the Cure for Boils. It may be one of the easiest potions to brew, but it allows you to practice how to place ingredients into the mortar or cauldron, crush ingredients, heat the cauldron, stir, and wave your wand. It also makes you aware that there is a time limit to completing all the steps before it brews and allows you to go on to the second half. So before you attempt to brew a potion, practice all you can!

2. After practicing, you can now brew your first potion, and that potion should be the CURE FOR BOILS since you were able to already practice with it already. 

3. In brewing potions, several things can go wrong. A few things that could go wrong, which happened to me, is that YOU RUN OUT OF TIME, PUT IN THE WRONG NUMBER OF INGREDIENTS, OVERHEAT YOUR CAULDRON, OR DON'T FOLLOW THE STEPS IN ORDER. If any of these things happen just HIT THE "BACK" BUTTON. This will allow you to go back to POTIONS and start brewing the SAME POTION from scratch. So far, I am not sure if this step still decreases the ingredients in your trunk, but I think it doesn't. This way, you don't get deduction for your points and you don't waste your ingredients. 

4. But let's say you don't mind FAILING in brewing a potion, you can still gain at ONE POINT for trying to brew a hard potion but failing. Just make sure you DO NOT MELT YOUR CAULDRON because this will cause you to LOSE FIVE POINTS. Your cauldron will melt if YOU OVERHEAT YOUR CAULDRON. If you find that it has already been overheated, DO NOT WAVE YOUR WAND and JUSt HIT THE "BACK" BUTTON.

5. The BEST WAY to avoid any mishap from happening is to carefully READ THE STEPS FIRST before starting. The time does not start during the first time you read the steps, so try to go through each step and VISUALIZE yourself doing the steps. 

6. While reading the steps and visualizing them, it would also be very helpful if you FAMILIARIZE yourself with WHAT THE INGREDIENTS LOOK LIKE. This way you will know what ingredients you'll need to pick up first. Also, try to know which of the ingredients are just PICKED UP and which ones are POURED INTO the mortar or cauldron. I find it harder to POUR IN ingredients since it's a bit tricky to control how much of it goes in.

7. If you want to try to brew every potion in the potions book, try to do THE SAME POTION OVER AND OVER before you go on to the next potion. Doing a potion several times consecutively makes it easier to remember the steps. I have found that after doing a potion for the fourth time, I only read the steps once and can complete them without looking at the instructions again. Also, your time improves since you know how to do each step already. When you've done one several times, try another potion since not all the ingredients are used in the easy potions.

So, those are my BASIC TIPS FOR BREWING POTIONS. I hope you find them helpful. If you know of other helpful things for potions, just leave a comment. ^_^

Friday, 9 September 2011

BETA CASE FILE #6: Brewing Potions

*SPOILER ALERT! This post contains images and information about my experience in Pottermore. So, if you don't want to know anything because you want to experience it all yourself, then now is the time to STOP READING THIS.
Still reading? Then I guess you don't mind, and so, feel free to read and enjoy! ^_^

So we've talked about Hidden Objects, New Material, the artwork of the Philosopher's Stone, the Great Hall and the common room. The next thing on my list of things to talk about would be on POTIONS.

After finding all the hidden objects, the only way to earn House points would be to brew yourself some potions since Wizard dueling is still down. The first thing anyone should do is to PRACTICE brewing so that they won't lose any points if they make a mistake. Brewing really takes a lot of practice since you need to consider so many things, from WHAT the ingredients LOOK like, to the INSTRUCTIONS that must be followed step-by-step, how to PICK things up, how to MODERATE the temperature, AND the TIME LIMIT. So without practice, A LOT of things could go wrong. Unfortunately, the only potion that we can practice on is the Cure for Boils, which I also find to be the easiest. Many of the people I know stick to the Cure of Boils for this reason since all the potions only lets each one earn five points.

So let's get to some of the suggestions I have regarding potions. 

FIRST, since the potions vary in their level of difficulty, I wish that the amount of points we get to earn also differed. The easy potions can still let us earn five points, but the hard potions should let us earn at least TEN POINTS. This way, it would be more rewarding and interesting to try out the hard potions. And it would help us earn more points for our Houses.

SECOND, one of the reasons why the difficult potions are, well, difficult, is because there are so many steps to complete within the SAME TIME FRAME as the easy potions. While I know that potions should be challenging, it should be at least possible for EVERYONE, young and old (remember, the site is also open to kids). So I am suggesting that the difficult potions be given at least a few more seconds in order to complete the instructions. If this can't be done, maybe the instructions could be left open for us to easily access it, or at least the time could be PAUSED whenever we take a peek at the steps. I don't know about you, but I start to get all panicky when I'm not sure about the next step and try to open up the instructions again.

Now,some of the problems I've experienced while brewing are the POTIONS LOOP, where you finish the first half of the steps, click the "Come Back Later" button, leave the page to find that your progress wasn't recorded and you need to do it again, AND; the latest issue I had was while waiting for my Forgetfulness Potion to brew, the Pottermore site was suddenly UNAVAILABLE, so when it finally became available, my potion was brewing past its time limit so I was told I failed. Given all these possible glitches, I am always afraid to click the "Come Back Later" button and just leave the window open and wait.

And LASTLY, I hope Pottermore gets to fix the issue about people cheating on the TIME for brewing. Some people no longer wait for the 85 minutes to be up, but rather, they would change their time settings to advance the time so that they would no longer wait. 

I'm looking forward to see what improvements they'll make before the site goes public. Before that, I'll just keep on brewing. 

BETA CASE FILE #5: Pottermore Unavailable Issues

This may be my shortest entry ever. Just one thought for Pottermore...

NEXT TIME when you decide to be "unavailable" to us all, maybe you could, oh, I don't know... POST a WARNING on your Pottermore Insider. That way I won't bother brewing a potion, wait for 95 MINUTES, just to find out that after SUCCESSFULLY brewing it, I don't even get any points for it.

That way, no one would get disappointed and will leave the site alone while you fix things up. 

Just saying...