Originally posted on http://hudshideout.com/blog/
Oh hey everyone. Caught me just up and chugging down a hot x-large of Dunkin Donuts, the company that is kicking Starbucks in the teeth.
Let me just click a few icons here…there we go. Yup ok lets try logging in. Oh, what is this. Maintenance again. Hmmm. Ok lets try this little icon here.
Yup yup, I accept the EULA. Hmm all low population except two oceantic servers. Boring.
World of Warcraft servers are down again, Warhammer is really empty this morning, and I can’t find the means to tear myself away from Wizard 101. Might as well talk about it.
Yesterday, with the WoW servers down, I played Wizard 101 more than I would care to admit. Yes ok I am addicted to the game. Even if the WoW servers had been up, I would have played for at least 2 hours. You see, I found the Halloween quests (a bit late I know) and started to really get hooked on those before I had to head out for a 3:30 movie at the local theatre.
If there is one thing that irks me about the game, it is the incredibly hard chat system and just how locked down it is. Wizard 101, being for all audiences, really tightens its grip on the whole “young kid safety thing” and makes it virtually impossible to type out a complete sentence without being edited like a Cold War edition of Pravda. This type of lockdown can lead to some funny chats, much like Stargrace and I had last night. Simple things such as trying to type out what level you are lead to comments like “fourth plus the first” or “second plus a third”. Getting around that requires some finageling on your account page, but there is still no hard way to turn off the in game chat filter. Still, besides that fact, I found myself taking quests and running about attempting to get many things done. One of them was killing a skeleton that lives in a tower in Unicorn Way named Rattlebones. This would be my first attempt at killing a named, and I went in not thinking or knowing what to expect. The first attempt was miserable and I died. After recovering, I went back and was determined to help Ceren Nightchant take that skeleton down. This time I entered the fight a little better prepared.
One thing I am noticing about Wizard 101 is that it does in fact play like a collectible card game. You need to notice patterns, and think ahead about what cards to play especially if you have a hand that stinks. This time I noticed that Rattlebones always buffed himself and that would give me a free round to plan a heal ahead of time (with Life magic, which was my secondary to my Fire primary school). I had to take his little minion out first as well. Planning that way, I was able to win the battle easily the second time.
When I grouped with Stargrace later in the evening I learned that the first person to step into the battle ring was usually targeted first. Everything has a pattern. Since I entered the battle first, being a little anxious, I was easily dispatched since I was only level “FOUR PLUS ONE”. Anyway, even though I didn’t get to clear the “halloween tower” I still got gear that I cannot use until level 10 and 15. Not bad for a few fights. The Halloween Towers only appear during the holiday, and what is cool about them is that you can pick 3 levels of difficulty. Grouping in this game is done openly, so before you go in to the instanced spooky towers, you step on a teleporter pad and wait for your friends to step on also. Now much like an errant Star Trek tractor beam gone bad, some people may JUMP onto the pads and join your party before you head in, which leads to some unexpected company when you arrive in the instance. I didn’t mind really, but I wonder what were to happen if you had 3 friends and all of you didn’t get a spot on the teleporter pad at the right moment, and someone (like a red shirted Star Trek crewman) got left behind. I haven’t cleared a whole tower yet. My two attempts ended in my death for one, and the other my little group of Harry Potter rejects got stuck on the second level when the stairs would not open. Got me on that one.
Overall, with the minigames, quests and Halloween events I am finding more than I can handle to do in this game, and that is all I ask of my MMO’s. Tons of people are playing, the world is vibrant and alive and I have to say this game was quite a surprise. I am starting to amass a collection of gear and trinkets and special cards and it is really starting to come together. At level 5 I was able to train new cards into my deck and expand my attack abilities so it is really starting to take shape.
One last rant today as I foresee the angry blog posts from jaded “I don’t do end game” bloggers start to filter in around the community.
Today is a day dedicated to World of Warcraft. Midnight tonight is the opening of a new expansion that will bring two years of hate posts, happy posts, raiding quibbles, angry bloggers and tons of downtime to our servers. Midnight marks the end of an era for Burning Crusade, with 60% of the bloggers that hate it so much never even trying it or attempting to run a single five man or ten man. I myself never saw more than one 25 man raid. Mainly because I quit and was left feeling sorry for myself, exactly what a lot of bloggers do when they level cap and pout. Not this time. You have to work in any MMO at the end game. if you don’t want to, then simply do not bitch about it. I look at blogging content the likes of which we see over at The Ancient Gaming Noob and I have to think he is doing it right. John basically caps out, and moves on. If you do not want to participate in that part of the game after level cap, or even attempt to make your character the best it can be, then quit pissing and moaning and just move on.
Those of us that DO want to make our characters the best they can be, whether through tradeskilling, PVP or raiding, just do not want to see our game harshed on by writers that essentially amount to rookies in MMO end gaming because they “give up”. Over half of the gear that I raid in with my mage is tradeskilled, gotten from 5 man badges I bought the gear with from a VENDOR or gained from casual PVP. What is YOUR excuse then?