This month we are celebrating the 6th anniversary of Wizard101 and it just so happens, my 5th anniversary as a Wizard101 player. So many things have changed since the early days of my adventure in the Spiral, and it has been quite the journey to watch it all unfold. In looking back over the years, I thought I’d highlight a year that was a favorite and one of the most formative for me as a Wizard101 player.
When I began as a newbie Death Wizard in 2009, the level cap was 50. I took my time exploring the various worlds of the Spiral and finally reached that elusive Grandmaster title in March of 2010. The journey was an exciting one and I’ll never forget how proud I was to finally get that last “ding!” with the help of my friends in the Spiral.
Shortly thereafter, the pet system in Wizard101 got the amazing overhaul known as the advanced pet system. What a game changer this was! Can you even remember back when pets were just decoration, rather than valuable assets in combat and skilled racers in the derby? Hatching pets was such a deep and involving system to learn, it launched its very own fan site in the Petnome Project.
That summer we began to get hints that a new world would be coming to the game with the early Celestia preview quests. The excitement and energy in the community was palpable! With each new peek at this underwater world, I anticipated its arrival even more. And that June, I got the special honor of being able to visit the KingsIsle studio and get my very first look at Celestia and the new villain Morganthe. Having the opportunity to bring that back with me to Ravenwood Radio and share with everyone all the exciting tidbits I’d learned was a blast!
Later that fall, when Celestia was released, I dived right in (pun intended)! Not only were the new areas beautiful and unlike anything else that I’d seen in Wizard101, the new Astral schools of magic and addition of Critical and Block were more game changers. Trying new strategies and using the Sun and Star school spells to defeat these new challenges was a learning experience to say the least!
Finally, in December of 2010, another new activity came to Wizard101 in Gardening. This added a whole new way to interact with your house, and with so many cute and funny plants to grow, it was delightful.
2010 was a big year for Wizard101 and a big year for me as a player as well. I will always think fondly of this time of my adventures in the Spiral. It’s hard to believe that Wizard101 has been with us for 6 years now and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Tell us your favorite year of Wizard101 and you could win 60,000 Crowns! To celebrate our Birthday, we’re having a 6th Birthday Celebration blog post contest. Any entry published to the KingsIsle Blog will be a winner, and you can view contest details and enter at Wizard101.com. * REMEMBER * You can only enter by viewing the contest page and e-mailing your entry. Entries submitted via the KingsIsle Blog comments will not be considered.
Arrrgust was quite the month, don’t you think? We celebrated Shark Week, gave away lots of prizes with our fan site contests, introduced new Aquila furniture in the Crown shop, and held the Design Your Own Eyepatch contest. With so many clever and creative members of the Pirate101 community, we received over 1,100 designs for this contest. Narrowing down the entries for our judges to vote was a challenge! Once we’d narrowed the entries to only the best of the best, our team of KingsIsle judges, including members of the Pirate101 development team, voted on their favorite designs. After all of the votes were tallied, we determined our Grand Prize Winner, 5 Runners Up and 5 Honorable Mentions. We even had a tie on the 5th Honorable Mention, so one additional lucky Pirate got a prize!
And the winners are… (Drumroll please)
In a landslide, our judges’ favorite and Grand Prize winner is Dead-Eye Hunter’s octopus eyepatch!
Following closely behind are our 5 Runners Up:
- William Kidd’s Troggy tongue eyepatch
- Reckless Rebecca’s blue mask eyepatch
- Inky Keilani’s skeleton hand eyepatch
- Cowardly A. Devereaux’s shell eyepatch
- Autumn’s spiral and feather eyepatch
And last, but not least, are our Honorable Mentions:
- Clever Cori Mitchell’s green branches eyepatch
- Salty Flynn Gerald’s corn collage eyepatch
- Merciless Angel’s dragon eye eyepatch
- Alexandra Devereaux’s dragon gem eyepatch
- Christina’s feather eyepatch
- Sarah’s dragon face eyepatch
Congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to everyone who submitted eyepatch designs!
I’ve played Wizard101 since the beginning, and it’s been a lot of fun seeing how things have changed and evolved over time. Specifically for this blog post, I was asked to answer the question, “What were my favorite highlights each year?” That’s actually not as easy a thing to answer as it seems! I’ll break my favorites down by year, and hope I can give a little explanation to all my choices
Wizard101 was brand new in 2008 and we were all busy running around The Spiral – on foot . . . without a mount! For me, this year was a time of discovery and I couldn’t have been happier finishing off the original final boss of Wizard101, the Jade Oni in MooShu. The Spiral was so brand new that we saw Halloween decorations for the first time in October and a then a Yuletide Tree in December. I think these festive touches were my favorite updates in 2008. There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing the world you know suddenly transformed with spooky or festive cheer.
This is where it starts to get hard to choose just one update as my favorite. 2009 gave us Dragonspyre, followed by housing, then Open Chat, then Grizzleheim, then mounts, and finally school housing! How do you choose! I suppose looking back if I just had to choose one, I’d pick Dragonspyre. The epic conclusion of the first story arc was amazing. There is nothing like a new world to explore, and Dragonspyre specifically still holds a special place in my heart. I couldn’t be happier crushing Malistaire in his Great Spyre, and feel like I know the place like the back of my hand. It was an awesome feeling to know you saved the Spiral!
This is also a hard year to choose a winner, but I’m going to have to say the introduction of Advanced Pets really changed the face of the game. Building the perfect pet is still a huge craze and racing pets was a favorite pastime of mine – I still wear my 1st age pet warlord badge with pride! We all waited for Celestia for a long time, but Advanced Pets changed the game forever.
While I liked Zafaria and leveling my wizard, I really fell in love with the world of Wysteria, which would be my favorite update of 2011. I really liked the idea of a magic school competition and unraveling the mystery of this new world was a lot of fun. Exploring the strange schools of magic and meeting the off-the-wall professors that taught in Wysteria was a particular highlight. Zafaria would definitely be a very, very close second however.
My life changed in 2012 as I transitioned from Wizard101 fan site owner to employee at KingsIsle, and while you can’t technically say the release of Pirate101 was an expansion to Wizard101 . . . it was just as important to me. Pirate101 took a universe I loved and gave it new depth. With Pirate101, I was seeing the game from the outside in, and it added so much richness to the Wizard101 mythology. That’s not to say that Avalon wasn’t one of the most awesome expansions Wizard101 ever had in my opinion, and I suppose if I strictly had to choose a Wizard101 update, Avalon would be it. I still have nightmares about the creepy house with Spider Legs!
For me, my favorite update in 2013 was the new Halloween Quest with possessed vegetables and the hilariously spooky Nosferabbit. The Halloween quests really hadn’t changed since 2008 and their addition was a really welcome treat. In fact, I can’t wait to see these quests resurface in 2014!
I have to give it up for fishing this year . . . even though the end of Story Arc 2 is about the most amazing thing ever. I just love the new fishing update! I love all the new hilarious fish, the stackable aquariums, and the fun way to spend my energy when I’m not gardening. Fishing brought new depth to an already incredible game and it was something that players have wanted for a long, long time.
Thanks for taking this look back with me throughout the years! While my favorite choices certainly may not be yours, I’m happy I was able to share them with you. Happy Birthday Wizard101!
What were some of your favorite updates from the past six years?