Wizard101 MMORPG

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Platform Availability: PC and Mac
Developed By: Kingsisle Entertainment

Wizard 101 is a free to play card collecting game aimed at younger audiences where they can explore a fantasy realm known as Spiral as a newly inaugurated wizards to the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. Players will navigate the world of Spiral as they become embroiled in a story-driven adventure as the old teacher of Death magic, Malistaire Drake, has begun to plague the realm with all manner of ghosts and undead, by assisting the school headmaster Merle Ambrose players will travel from region to region to bring an end to Malistaire’s evil plans . Navigating through the game is like a traditional 3D MMORPG, with players able to move around the environment, talk to NPCs to shop or pickup quests, and even communicate with other players.

When first starting out players get to create their character which includes choosing how they look, what they wear, and their name. Choosing a name is done from a list of pre-made words, giving a first, middle and surname in order to keep the family friendly theme of the game and not allowing players to type their own names. From here players are asked a series of questions to best place them into a school of wizardry that best suits them, asking questions such as whether the player prefer to play on their own or go to a party, which type of weather they think is the most powerful, a variety of personality descriptions where they choose the one that best describes them. Players can choose to skip the test entirely and choose a school that they prefer the sound of.

The available starting schools are: Storm, Myth, Life, Fire, Ice, Balance and Death, each school has its own key features and playstyle, such as wizards from the school of Ice typically have the largest health pool in combat and can soak damage, their main spells focus on absorbing wounds and increasing defences, whereas wizards of the Myth school are able to summon various minions (a maximum of 5) with each serving a different role, fulfilling roles similar to those wizards from other schools. Wizards from the school of Balance take elements from all the schools, with no direct strengths or weaknesses, it is their generalisation that is both a strength and weakness itself.

Combat in the game is a turn based card game, players will collect, find and craft their own cards, building up a powerful deck revolving around their chosen school of magic. These cards come in various forms, from summoned creatures to attack opponents, or even beneficial ones to aid the player such as a healing unicorn. Players must strategize when building their deck and react to their enemies choices; opponents can be AI enemies that are met in the world, simply walking up to an opponent will trigger a battle between them, other players that are walking around can see this battle occurring and can choose to jump in and help if they wish (or if they have the same quest that might require destroying a certain number of a particular enemy). When a new player joins the difficulty of the encounter is increased slightly to accommodate the extra player, but the cooperative nature of the game is fun and extremely rewarding.

Players don’t have to work with each other and can instead go head to head in competitive play in the Arena, where they will face each other in duels of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4, whether practice mode or ranked play to try and climb up the leaderboard and earn various rewards. When players reach a high enough level they can even compete in official tournaments against each other for more prizes.

To protect children the game has a parent locked chat system; there are a number of casual popups that players can select from a menu to greet each other and use the most common phrases, however, to use the full typed chat system requires email verification and so children under 13 cannot use the text chat nor see other players using it. As a further precaution there are a wide number of censored offensive words that cannot be typed, adding to the family nature of the game.

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