I made a grave miscalculation in the flurry of F2P MMOs I downloaded while looking for some brief weeknight fun to fill the gap left by Mass Effect 2. I was on a breather from Aika, and decided to download Wizard101, which I played for a month or so upon release.
I had forgotten how much fun that game was, and how addicting I found it. Wizard101 had most of the elements in games that I look for:
- An epic storyline (fully voiced, no less) with an (gasp!) ending
- Interesting combat that is newbie-friendly but still allows for deeper strategy
- For-pay content is largely limited to pay-by-area and cosmetic items; most items are still available for in-game money
- Large degree of character customization
- Player housing
- Arena-based PvP
I originally stopped playing simply because I had already spent the initial batch of crowns to open up areas to Krokotopia, and was going to have to pay again to continue progressing. I decided to take a break since I didn’t really want to level up an alt and wasn’t ready to buy more crowns at the time. Since I last played (and upgraded my computer twice, losing the installation), Wizard101 has added mounts, crafting, grouping and group chat, and additional areas, so there was really nothing preventing me from re-installing. Well, nothing except for that niggling fear that there is something wrong with me for being a thirty-something without children who enjoys the game so much I lose whole evenings playing it.
I have been having much more fun than I expected to since my break from the game, leveling my alt character, a Myth wizard in contrast to my Life main. I have also created a Balance wizard that I plan to take through the game at a later date. I have not yet bought the additional crowns for access, but intend to do so, rather than paying the monthly sub.
I still hope to get to Lt. Commander and my new ship in STO this weekend, by hook or by crook – it has been more difficult than I anticipated to find even an uninterrupted hour to play in – but this is a different game for a different mood.