Wizard 101 Online
Available from www.wizard101.com
Love the Harry Potter books and movies? Would you like to be a Wizard? Would you like to use magic to dispel evil? Well, have I got a game for you. The game is called Wizard 101 and is produced by KingIsle. This is a Massive Multiplayer Online Game with a website of its own, www.wizard101.com. The trial for this game is free and the trial duration is unlimited. When you set up your unique account on wizard, you will be asked a number of questions as to likes and dislikes, favorite subjects, etc. This game is primarily aimed at the younger set, but I have been playing it for about a month now and am having a great time. One of the questions asked is your birth date, this is to separate the younger gamers from playing with the older folks, a good parental tool to separate the kids from the adults. Additional parental tools include restrictions on the game are limiting interaction with the other player to “canned” text messages or completely cutting off of textual communications. When a gamer has the texting option certain vocabulary is restricted by the program, for instance numbers, either text or numerical characters will not appear on screen. To review more about the parenting options go to www.Wizard101 and click on the parenting options.
To get back to the game, the Wizard universe consists of six worlds, at present. You begin in Wizard City, where your avatar appears as a student wizard. Your avatar is selected from a menu for characteristics, basic outfit and so forth. You select the name of your character from a list with multiple combinations. Your school is selected for you based on the answers to the questions you answered. The schools are Fire, Ice, Life, Death, Storm and Myth. You will be introduced to another school in the second world,
balance. A deck of cards controls your available Magic, which is part of your entrance package. You select the actual spells that you will use in each duel from a selection of cards in the deck; there is also a sideboard of additional spells you acquire along the way by buying, or winning enchanted items.
You advance by completing quests provided for you by various interactive characters in the game. You can also advance by destroying the evil characters that populate the areas you enter. You can strengthen your character by buying clothes, wands, rings, etc. at the stores in the shopping district making you harder to kill. When you participate in a duel against one of the evil characters you do harm to each other by the use of the spells in your deck. If you should lose the contest, you do not die; you are defeated and find yourself back in the common area of the world recovering your health slowly. You can also recover health by staying in an area where there is combat going on and collecting the little red “blossoms” floating along the streets. Beware, however, get too close to one of the enemy and you will find yourself in another fight.
Mana is recovered in one of two ways, by either playing the “Minigames” in the common areas or by chasing the blue “Blossoms” in the quiet areas. You expend mana for each spell you use and it needs to be replaced by this method. Health can be replaced by one of your companions during a fight by spells in their deck, or your own, but not Mana.
The “duel”, the centerpiece of all combat is conducted in a circular format. After you approach your opponent, you take positions on opposite side of a circle with eight positions. Four Wizards on one side and four evil opponents on the other fill these positions. In the early fights, such as in the free areas, each additional Wizard joining pulls in the nearest of the opponent creatures on the others. Duels are fought using the Magical deck you have in your possession. The deck is shuffled off-screen and six cards appear when it is your turn to choose a spell. You choose the spell you want to cast and the opponent upon which to cast it and then wait until all your friends have chosen, or a total of 30 seconds. Spell casting is done in turn, usually monsters first. When you cast a spell upon an opponent, one of two things happens, you do damage or your spell “fizzles”. If you “fizzle” you have done nothing except expend mana and must wait until the next round to do any further damage. One upside to a “fizzle” you collect a “pip” which allows you to cast a more powerful spell upon your opponent. When the screen with the cards comes up for your selection there are three boxes on the bottom of the selection, they are “Pass”, “Draw” or “Flee”. “Pass” allows you to keep the selection of cards you have and accumulate an additional “Pip” in order to cast a higher order spell. “Draw” requires to right-click one of your existing cards, discarding it and drawing one of your “Treasure Cards’, these can be higher order spells that are good only for a single use and disappear from your deck. “Flee” is obvious, by pressing this you immediately lose all your mana and revert back to the common area of the world. If you do this in the middle of a fight with other Wizards, you do not make yourself very popular. If in a fight with other friends your health reaches zero, you can be healed temporarily by other players with the proper shared healing spell, if not, at the end of the fight you will revert back to the common area where you will recover health in small bursts. Lastly, as you go from World to World you accumulate potions. If you complete a fight and must go immediately to another and see none of the “blossoms” around to increase health and mana, take a potion and it will restore both full health and mana, these need to be refilled after use.
The six worlds presently being used in the game are Wizard City, a gothic town peopled by students, shopkeepers, and a few other characters. Tunnels lead from Wizard City to Cyclops Way, Olde Town (Triton Avenue) through the Shopping District, Ravenwood where the schools are and Golem Tower. These are the free areas that are part of the trial and contain a lot of action and quest so that you can get your “feet wet”. There are three “pay for play” areas in Wizard City, they are Firecat Alley and Cyclops Lane in Olde Town and Colossus Boulevard off the Shopping District. To access these areas you can either subscribe to the game or buy entrance with “Crowns”. Crowns are the unique currency of Wizard 101, they can be used to buy access to restricted areas, buy booster packs of “Treasure Spell Cards” or purchasing unique items from Prospector Zeke, who only accepts crowns.
The second of the world encountered is Krokotopia, this is modeled after 1930”s Egypt with its excavations, Pyramids, Sphinxes and tombs. The third World is Marlybone, which is patterned after 19th Century England and populated by dogs including the famous detective Sherlock Bones. After that comes Moo Shu, an area reflecting Feudal Japan, populated by Bovines and Sheep. Lastly is Dragonspyre,a land modeled after the ancient Greek and populated by ghosts and Dragons. The newest land is Grizzleheim. This land is inspired by Norse Mythology and is populated by Bears, Wolves and Ravens. The Grizzleheim saga is intertwined with the other worlds, so that the player finds himself going back to this world time and again.
Without giving out to much of the plots, when you arrive at Wizard City you find the place in turmoil. This is because one of the teachers, Malistre, of the Death School has taken the school from Ravenwood, hidden it and has proceeded to stir up all sorts of trouble amongst the populations of the Spiral. No one knows what his motives are, but you and all other students are assigned to find him and what he is up to.
In the lesser worlds of the Spiral, your Magic will see you through for most of the battles you will encounter. As you progress into the next worlds, you will need to have
friends to assist you in conquering the “Bosses” and the multiples of creatures you will face.
As I said in the beginning, I have been playing this game for a month now. I started out with the free trial, then bought some “Crowns” to open the Wizard City areas. After moving on to Krokotopia, I subscribed on a monthly basis and am now a level 37 Magus Pyromancer and enjoying myself immensely. Yes, like all MMOG’s this can become addictive, but it is so much fun fulfilling quests, stopping wars, seeing what’s around the next corner that you’ll be happy playing this game. Happy Gaming!