Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Willow's Guide to Pottermore Potions: The Basics

I was lucky enough to get into Pottermore early, so I got an early start in perfecting the art of potion brewing. Potions are a delightful little mini-game that can win you House Points without the stress or risk of competing against other people.

Willow's Guide to Pottermore Potions

My Pottermore username is WitchWillow140, so I take that to mean I'm a witch named Willow (how very Buffy). And this is my potion brewing guide, complete with a cost and time analysis for potion brewing. It turned out quite a bit longer than I'd originally envisioned. I don't intend anyone to read it in its entirety, but hopefully if you have questions or are experiencing some issue or other, you can find the necessary answer. If you find any mistakes, or things that have been changed, let me know.

This guide is broken into the following sections:
1. The Basics - If you've never brewed a potion, read here what it's all about.
2. The Ingredients - Where to find all the ingredients used in the 6 potions currently available.
3. General Tips - Advice that could be useful on any or all of the potions.
4. Potions Walkthrough - What you need to know to get you through the brewing of each potion.
5. Potions Cost/Benefit Analysis - OK, so which potions should you brew? I do a simple mathematical analysis to determine which potions give you the most bang for your buck--or for your time.
6. Video Tutorials - I've started doing screen captures of my potion brewing, narrating with helpful tips. If you want to see rather than just read, check these out.

The Basics
When brewing a potion, your table will look something like this:

All potions require three different ingredients, though some also use an additional fourth "Standard Ingredient" (see Ingredients section for details). Potion brewing always follows this basic structure:
1. Do stuff*
2. Wave wand
3. Leave for a while
4. Return and do more stuff*
5. Wave wand
6. Profit!**

* "Do stuff" can include any combination of:
-Adding a number of ingredients to either the mortar or the cauldron
-Crushing ingredients to a certain fineness in the mortar
-Heating the cauldron to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time
-Stirring the cauldron a certain number of times in a certain direction
See General Tips for details on how to deal with each of these types of steps.

** You don't actually gain Galleons for this, but you do win House Points, which are incentive enough. Also, you get a nice potion for your collection. At present, though, potions don't have any use other than as potential gifts for friends.

You have a limited amount of time to complete all of those steps. The hourglass shows your remaining time. An additional timer will pop up if you're down to the last 10 seconds. If you mess up any of the steps (add too much of an ingredient, stir the wrong way, etc.), or if you run out of time, then the potion fails, and you get 0 House Points. If you fail really badly, the cauldron may explode! If that happens, you lose the cauldron, and 5 House Points.

You can only brew one potion at a time, so choose wisely.

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