"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!
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. :)