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Wizard101 (W101)
KingsIsle Entertainment | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 09/02/08)  | Pub:KingsIsle Entertainment
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:$09.95
System Req: PC Mac | ESRB:E10+Out of date info? Let us know!

Wizard101 Column: Five Really Cool Things About W101

By Suzie Ford on December 20, 2012

Wizard101 is a great game for many reasons, not the least of which is its family-friendly, cross-generational fun factor. But there’s a lot more to Wizard101 than that. There are tons of one-of-a-kind things about W101 that make it one of the most playable and fun MMOs on the market today.

In this column, we’re going to take a look at five fabulous things about Wizard101. Five things, I might add, out of tons of others that I’m sure to have left off the list.

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Without further ado, here are my five choices for the coolest things in W101:

5. Amazing spell effects

One of the most gratifying moments in Wizard101 is the first time your character casts an epic spell. Whether it’s a giant Heliphant or an Ice Giant or an arrow shooting Centaur, the spells in Wizard101 are the best in the business. Even low level spells contain their own special form of awesomeness. There are just not enough good things to say about the cinematic quality of the spell effects in the game. Every other MMO out there seems positively dull by comparison.

On the flip side, because I have to say it, a lot of people complain about the amount of time casting all these spells takes. It does and if you’re in a full circle of four wizards, each round can take a goodly amount of time between your team’s spells and those of the opponents. But even so, it never gets old or boring, at least to me.

4. Astonishing housing and decorative options

Every player is gifted with a dorm room at level 15 that can be decorated with items either found or purchased in the world. In addition, KingsIsle has made a huge variety of other domiciles available to players from fantasy castles, to Bedouin-like tents, to cave systems, Imperial palaces and many, many more. Prices range from modest to luxury and some can be purchased via game time cards or through the Crown Shop or from in-game vendors for gold. Even the ‘modest’ homes are huge and can contain a large variety of decorative items.

In fact, decorating homes is something of an art form. Each world a player travels through yields housing items that are themed from that area. For instance, questing in Krokotopia sees Egyptian-themed items dropping or in Marleybone, 19th Century-ish things will be found or purchased.

If you want to check out some of the best of the best decorators in the game, go no further than Paige’s Place, a site that showcases housing excellence throughout the game.

3. Encouraging kids to read

As a former teacher and the mother of a young child, it is always refreshing for me to see sites that encourage kids to do more than just game. Wizard101 has made a commitment to reading by including Harold Argleston’s Book of the Month Club in each and every Ravenwood Bulletin. In it, the community team at KingsIsle takes the suggestion of a user and posts a book title and short summary to entice kids to read it.

This month’s book, FYI, was suggested by an Earth librarian from Texas: Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funk of Dragonrider fame. If you haven’t read either yet, now’s a good time!

It’s great to see developers with a conscience about making sure that the main demographic of their flagship title are well-rounded individuals. It’s abundantly clear that many of these men and women are parents themselves and I hope they know how much the rest of us appreciate their efforts.

2. Constant game client updates

I can almost conclusively say that not a single time has gone by when I’ve logged in and gotten at least a small update to my game client. I said this in my Pirate101 review but it stands equally true for Wizard101 as well: KingsIsle is driven to squash every bug in the game. They are hyper-vigilant about making sure that the bug reports submitted by players are addressed in a timely fashion. There are few, if any other, companies that can claim the same. It’s a rare occurrence to see the same bug more than a few times and I give huge props to KingsIsle for this.

1.  New content added at an incredible pace

One of the most popular “adult demographic” MMOs out there is Trion’s Rift. It is usually given high praise for the speed of content updates, nearly on a monthly basis. Often overlooked, however, is KingsIsle’s equally astonishing rate of pushing out new content. In fact, in 2012 alone, Wizard101 was updated with not one but two new game worlds, Avalon and Azteca. In addition to that, smaller content additions are always being added from new gardening activities, new pets, new mini-games and more. These folks are demons of content creation. They have managed to keep the locusts at bay with their new material, a feat that deserves our highest praise.

So there you have it, today’s five fantastic things about Wizard101. Never fear, I know there are a hundred (or more!) others out there. What are some of the things that you find utterly cool about Wizard101? Let us know in the comments!


 

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