Well, I figured I'd go ahead and post about this game in case anyone was curious.
Name: Wizard 101 (aka W101)
Genre: Fantasy wizardry geared towards family play. Harry Potterish only in the sense you are a wizard at a wizard school, but other than that it's a pretty unique game.
Style: MMO RPG
Combat Style: Turn-based Card battle
Learning Curve: Simple as all get out
Crafting: Simple but extremely difficult to find certain materials
PVP: Arena-based PvP 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4. Official Tournaments are held by W101 and the biggest W101 fansite Wizard 101 Central hosts unofficial, rule-based Dueling Tournaments as well.
Role-Playing: For adults with access to "Open Chat" it's doable but I seldom see it. For anyone under 13 the chat is limited to in-game statements, which allow a decent amount of interaction, but keeps chat a safe haven.
Leveling style: Level based basically, though you can earn Training Points to get new skill (Cards) outside your primary school.
Server Pop: Over the 2 million mark. Heavy, but I've had no problem ever logging in. There are no servers to choose from. You're simply added into new servers as worlds fill up. However, you can still join up with your friends using the "Go to Friend Location" tool without worry of population issues.
Stability: I've only hung up once in six months of casual playing. There are a few game glitches but they are few and far between.
Immersion: 9/10 - Every NPC is voice-acted and the story line flows so smoothly you can't help but become immersed if you are willing to listen through the dialogue.
Graphic Quality: 7/10 - It's by no means a cutting edge graphics game, but certainly pleasant and you can customize your wizards look with any gear you find. Just like Aion, you can take the stats of one piece of armor and apply it to the look of another.
Sound Quality: 8/10 - Sound is not out of this world but nor is it distracting. If you include the voice-overs for the NPCs this is worth every bit of 8 points.
Content Quality: 8/10 - If you actively follow the quest paths and complete each arc in eadch world you can't help but have something to do always. Once you get close to the level cap (lv 50) you can start to stall. But the arena is always a fun place and I've spent weeks just doing that, both ranked and practice bouts.
Overall Rating: 9/10 - for a free to play MMO this game is one of my favs. Games like Fiesta and Priston Tale and Shim Megami Tenshi are all very grindish, where Wizard 101 is not. It's completely quest based (quest after quest after quest) and you hardly, if ever, grind a single bit. I've not had to grind XP at all in all my playing.
Brief Description: I blew brief a long time ago. Just read the rest if you've come this far :)
- Simple for anyone young, old, veteran MMOer or newbie
- Family-oriented design
- Interesting classes (Schools - Fire, Ice, Storm, Life, Death, Myth and Balance)
- The simplicity doesn't detract from the strategy
- A very repeatable game. Once you start one wizard you'll probably want to roll nother school just to see what they can do.
- Player Housing/Bank/Shared Account bank
- Parents can control the purchases made on a main account if you subscribe
- If you do chose to subscribe it's Cheap! ($60 for a year)
- Solo play is fun and certainly doable.
- Group play is easy to engage in and it's never necessary to progress. (i.e. Dungeons and such can all be solo'd)
- Limited chat functionality - a byproduct of a child-friendly focus
- No guilds or inherent social game groups (yet)
- It's free forever BUT, but in order to do Ranked PvP (for arena gear and titles) or progress quickly through the game you'll need a subscription
- Hard to grind XP. If you do choose to grind XP be prepared for a long journey. Quests are the only real way to level.
Other Comments: There's little else to say. It's a fantastic, well-rounded game. You'll have to try it to see what I mean. It was made for anybody, but I'm sure it's not for everybody.
Payment options: Free to play as long as you wish but you must pay for access to certain areas. You can also buy "Crowns" to just open up certain areas and buy unique gear. $60 year subscription is a limited time option.
Download Size: Another awesome thing... it only downloads what you have access to. The inital DL is quite small, you basically start creating your first wizard right away. While your in the creator it DL's the world data. As you progress more areas DL while you're already playing!
Cheers and enjoy,
Nice review. Would be good to paste a copy into here so it doesn't get lost in the system.
I'm happy to know a bit more about it, I hesitated when the game released.
I played this a lot in the closed or maybe open beta before they started charging for it.
I thought it was really well made and fun but as an adult player couldn't really see it holding me in and i find the cost to play a bit too high for what it is unless you're a kid maybe. If it wasn't so expensive i'd keep it as a game to play ever now and again.
In some ways i'm really glad they ended up doing well as they deserve it but also surprised that they got away with charging so much for it.
If you are looking something for your children to play then maybe this might be worth having a go. I don't have any though so can't speak from experience on that front.
Wizard101 is having a competition - there are some cool prices to win such as 1 year subscriptions. All you have to do is be a bit creative ! :)
Read more below in this article that I've found on FreeMMOgamer.
I have to say that I had a lot of fun in this game. My new girlfriend actualy likes video games a bit so I might have to introduce her to MMOs some time with this one. Like mentioned above it's very simple yet still a lot of fun.
Although Free Realms is also pretty good and is for a similar target audience.
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