Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why am I still playing Wizard101?

I really am out of the question answering business, but I got a very compelling question from Peter that I couldn't pass up:
"I was wondering why you still play wizard101. I do know that you play many other games but I can really only play one game at a time. Also, after around a year or so I quit w101 to play something else. So what keeps you playing wizard101?"
It's the graphics!

just kidding.

As you note, I play a lot of games, and I don't spend nearly the amount of time on Wizard101 like I used to. What keeps me playing Wizard101 is a number of things: 1- it's fun and they keep releasing new aspects of the game, 2- my reasons have a lot to do with people! (aka family, friends, community, readers of this blog, and the fun people at KingsIsle that I've got to know.) 3- I'm making a little bit of money on the side from writing about Wizard101 for Beckett's.

Also, I've learned a lot about blogging from keeping this blog, and for some reason Wizard101 is just easy for me to write about. I tried keeping a Rift blog, but 1- The game didn't captivate me like I thought it would, 2- It was difficult to write about. There seemed to be subject matter all around me, but my passion for those subjects just wasn't there. 3- OMGoodness no sense of humor.

That initial magic that pulled me into Wizard101 was strong mojo. It offered everything I wanted in an MMO: light, interesting game mechanics, moderate challenge, fun, no pressure, no gold sellers, can play with my kids, etc. etc. etc.

Wizard101 isn't for every type of gamer, but for me it's been a life enhancing experience. I've been on two trips to Austin, met a countless number of people through this blog, been able to give away prizes to readers, been featured in a magazine, wrote for a magazine, and rubbed shoulders with video game professionals . . . all brand new experiences for me.

Which brings me to my next point: other games don't have communities this vibrant. Case in point: I love Dungeons and Dragons Online. It's a great game, and it's moderately easy for me to write about. I was even featured in one of their community spotlights. Given all that, I could easily fall in love with the community in DDO and already have to an extent (although breaking into older and well established communities is a little difficult).

Do you know how many hits my blog got from being in a community spotlight on DDO? Oh, I'm going to say it was around 60 hits a day (60 quality hits that I truly appreciate by the way). Do you know how many hits my blog got from being featured in the Wizard101 patcher? 11,000 hits a day. Now *THAT* was an audience.

Sometimes Wizard101 feels too popular for me. Watching Wizard101 attach itself to things like a top 40 CD of music makes me feel . . . I don't know . . . like they're selling out. Like Wizard101 isn't as underground and hip as it was three years ago, and it isn't! It's becoming more and more mainstream all the time, which when you think about it, is ok! From what I've seen of other popular MMOs, the higher an MMO rises, the slower its decay is, which might mean that five years from now (and with a lot of luck), Wizard101 will still be here and will be a much richer game experience for newcomers at that time than any of us can imagine now (or three years ago, as the case may be).

Reflect for a second on Selena Gomez coming to the spiral. At first it made me cringe, but then I embraced it and had fun with it. Selena went away, and a few months later Crab Alley was back and even better than before. Though at first it seemed my game was ruined, it actually ended up improving the game as a whole. It's that kind of positive behavior and respect for Wizard101 that KingsIsle impresses me with time and time again.

Will every gamer's experience with this game be like mine? Never in a million years. I'd guess that most people that play Wizard101 move on when they beat it and never look back (like my old friend Tony), and that's cool with me. I'm just happy that there are people like you, Peter, who remember The Friendly Necromancer as a part of your Wizard101 experience and come back to say hello. I appreciate that. :)


Happy Dueling!


Morgrim Trollfriend said...

I'm happy the game has kept you playing it because your one of the people that made me want to play more and even start a blog about it! Without your input on the updates, and all your cool ideas, I don't even know if I would have come as far as I have!

Thanks Friendly!
(I actually think you were my very first W101 blog that I read!)

Colin Dark said...

Hey! I am Colin Dark, I see your point. Is this Tom or Bailey? If it's tom, then, I hope i can meet up with you! If it's bailey, i hope i can meet with you, and i'd like you to help me farm for... Diamonds!

Paul LegendWeaver aka Peter said...

Thanks for answering my question, I really appreciate it. I actually have recently come back to wizard101 after leaving World of Warcraft. It took too much time and it's not as friendly as it used to be.(Really not nice at all, say something in trade chat and you get insulted/trolled to hell and back) But I guess that's what games become over time. Already here in wizard101 I see some people are little less friendly and elitist, I guess no game can avoid that. But now this game has old friends and new challenges waiting for me.

Benjamin Dragonsword said...

i agree, probably THE BEST thing about wizard101 is the great community. I read your blog every day and I really think that all the blogs are great. I got started because of my friends, and I think that's a great sign of how great this community is.

Anonymous said...

I think KingsIsle is really smart with their updates, the pacing and amount feels just right for casual play (which Wizard 101 is - a casual game).
I agree that it's easy to write about - the quests and features of the game are fun and interesting, with a really lighthearted tone, so writing about it also tends to be fun and interesting. Plus, it's easy for a furry orange monster to play, it doesn't get too confusing, so it's easy to stay interested and engaged in the game.
I'm certainly glad you still plan and write about Wizard 101 - your blog is one of my favorites :)


Icy Wiz said...

I'm so glad you are still playing. You are as much of a constant in the game to me as Merle Ambrose himself. The day you made a trading card of me will always be one of my favorite memories of the Wizard101 community!

Destiny Nightrider said...

Hi Friendly, it has been a long time and wanted everyone to know that I also have been playing for a little over two years now and I still love it. I still have a couple of friends that I met way back then as well and of course some new ones. Glad your still writing :)