Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy Autumn!

The calendar may say it's autumn, but it still feels like summer around here. I'm soaking up the sunshine and warmth while I can. With night coming sooner and sooner and the weather gradually turning colder and wetter, I imagine we'll be spending more time on HI2 in the months to come! This week, we didn't do much besides occasionally compete and/or flute a wild horse.

First, I'll give you an update on Kudos, the livery horse we have been competing on a bunch for a club contest. He hit 3,000 experience points this morning in Cutting Group II, and then he kept going! For once, we rarely came in last place! (The one time we did, it was because I got distracted and messed up big time.) Much of our success was probably due to the fact that several of the other horses competing had less fancy tack, but some of it may be Kudos's improving stats. We've all noticed that he can sprint after that cow longer than he used to! Good job, buddy!

He's up to 17 wins now! =D

We also got our first win ever in Group I on any horse, which was pretty sweet.

I doubt 3,000+ points will be enough for us to win anything in the contest, since we know of several club members whose horses are already far beyond Kudos. It's been fun to challenge ourselves anyway, and while we're still far from being pros in any of HI2's arenas, we've all gotten better with practice.

For our second bit of HI2 news, check out this wild Jutland! We fluted him on Grass Isle one night this week. 
I'm pretty sure we've never captured a horse with a personality so close to 10 in every category! 
My sisters were thinking about retiring him in our ranch's Millennium Fields, but I didn't get the memo and auctioned him. Whoops. Sorry, guys...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

From Gold to Bronze

Well, we've finally decided on names for the two 6/6 horses we caught in August. Let me introduce you to my new Nokota stallion, Brushfire:
Ha ha, he looks like he could use a good brushing!
And to Julie's new Irish Draught mare, Galena:
Hmm, will she call her Gal or Lena for short?

In addition to choosing names at long last, we also competed a ton this afternoon in barrel racing with Mr. Contest Horse, Kudos. Most of the time we placed near the bottom, as usual, but there was a short stretch of time when we did quite well in Group III. He's up to 8 wins now, the lucky boy! More importantly, his experience broke 2,000 points! Yay, Kudos! Here he is modelling the new falcon tack:

Sorry, I know his accessories clash!

Last thing to mention: Flora and I went wild hunting with a buddy this morning. We weren't all that successful - we only found three horses between the two of us after searching two island complexes. The only horse I found was this one from Islands Lake Isle, the first isle we searched:

Not a very impressive avatar, is it? She's a lot more interesting up close, I promise!

A +5/6, +79 bronze-toned Quarter Horse with markings galore and bright blue eyes! Ooh!

Those eyes are already getting me thinking about names, and you know what that probably means... 
I looked up blue paint sample colors for inspiration (those often have such creative names!), and here are my favorites:


It's going to be a tough decision!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gold in the Mountains

I know we're supposed to be competing our hearts out with our club contest horse, but we took a break on Labor Day to do some mining in the eastern mountain isles. In addition to mining gems in the twisting tunnels, we always take the time to check ledges for golden eggs, lost Dutchman mines, and wild horses. We found a few of all three this time around. When it was my turn to play, Ophelia and I found this pretty golden mare:

It turned out that she was a Grade Draft Horse. While purebreed HI2 horses vary from +25 to -25 in each stat category for their breed, HI2's grade horses vary from +100 to -100. You'd think this would result in some awesome, super high skilled 6/6 grade horses, but there's a catch: grade horses' base stats start out far below purebreeds' stats. This means that even 6/6 grade horses tend to be sub par stat-wise. (I'm sure there are some 6/6ers out there that are near +100 in all 6 stat categories, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim. We've never found one and never expect to, that's for sure!) It's a shame that high stat grade ponies, saddle horses, and draft horses are so rare, because they come in a wide range of colors and have nice artwork.   

Hence, I was a bit disappointed when I discovered the pretty gold horse was a grade draft mare, but obviously we lassoed her anyway. As it turned out, she is by far the highest-stat grade horse we've ever caught. Her stats far surpass the stats of the 6/6 brown blanket appaloosa Grade Draft stallion that Felicity caught back in September 2013. She's +296 for a grade draft, which sounds ridiculously high... until you realize grade drafts can theoretically approach +600. When you add her gene stats together, you only get about 1800, while the horses in our herd tend to have gene stat totals between 2000 and 2400. So... yeah, unfortunately, her stats are nothing to get very excited about.

Still, she is, like I said, the highest stat Grade Draft we've ever encountered. Her avatar is lovely, she's amusingly huge, and she has a nice mid-range personality. It's really tempting to keep her!

Back to our contest horse, Kudos the Holsteiner, we aren't exactly putting experience on him in leaps and bounds, but we made a good effort today. At least we aren't always coming in last place anymore... today in the cutting arena, anyway. He even got his first 3 wins in cutting group III wearing our new falcon tack! No wins in group II, but here's proof he isn't always last!

Here's a look at Kudos with his new companions, which we decided to treat him with on Thursday night: Star the hedgehog, Lady the Falabella, and Charcoal the Daschund. (We just left them with the names they came with for now due to lack of inspiration.)

1,399 experience points in 13 days? Well done, sisters! Well done, Kudos! It may not come close to what the experienced competitors in our club are doing, but we should be proud of ourselves!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


First, the sad news.

We said goodbye to that adorable but rather small 6/6 Pony of the Americas today. We didn't really intend to sell her just yet - it was all an unfortunate mistake. I had just taken over playing after Julie had caught several wild horses on Amber Sands Isle. I was auctioning the wild horses off, and I accidentally clicked on the POA because we had left her tagged for sale. (We wanted anybody who happened to see her to know she was for sale, and we figured we'd never be careless enough to auction her by mistake. Ha! If there's a way to screw up, I generally will find it! Lesson learned!) Since I thought I was selling a random low-stat wild, I didn't have any minimum bid on her. I was pretty bummed, let me tell you!

I guess it worked out okay, because it was a fairly active time of day for auctions, and people did at least bid. If that foreign bidder had gotten her, I'd have felt absolutely horrible. She had just made it to 500 experience points, which was a nice number for somebody else to start with. She went for $35k to a player who bid multiple times for her - I'm hoping that means she really wanted her. I congratulated her on the win afterwards and casually rode up to her on that stretch of grass where people like to gather on Plains Isle. She was riding the pony - a good sign, I think. 

Here's one last look at her:

Goodbye and good luck, little POA! <3
On to something more happy!

The club we're in is having a contest to see who can put the most experience on a horse adopted from the livery by the end of September. (To make it fair, the horse must have 0 experience points when adopted, and a player must agree to put all the experience on it herself/himself.) We figured hey, why not? Even though we think our odds of winning anything are pretty slim, it sounded like a fun challenge anyway. And it was an excuse to treat some lucky livery horse to lots of attention!

Of course, when the contest started and we were looking for our livery horse, we couldn't find a single one, mare or stallion, with very impressive stats. So, we ended up agreeing on a big lug of a Holsteiner. Our reasoning: he was a he, he had only one negative stat, and his one white foot was pretty cute. XD

Here he is a week later, all decked out in our fancy competition tack with the companions we happened to have on hand to give him, a platypus and some fireflies:

As you can see, in the week or so we've had him, we've managed to put some experience on him beyond the few points he gets automatically every day at our ranch. When we are online and see people are competing in the bonus arena of the day, which isn't as often as we thought, we head over for a few rounds. Those points are coming mostly in sad little trickles of 6's, though. Getting last place after last place in Group II is pretty dull, but we're hoping that as he gets more training it won't always be the case! Maybe we should invest in some premium companions for him? I don't know how much of a difference this actually makes, but most other competitors have them...