Wizard 101: a Fantastic MMORPG that has Stood the Test of Time

Wizard101 is a piece of art not only in the world of MMOs but in the greater world of modern video games.

Wizard101 Logo

Wizard101 Logo

Do you like traveling and experiencing the diverse landscapes that the world around you offers? Do you also like magic? If so, Wizard101 just might be the closest thing to enjoying both without having to leave the comfort of your bed.

An engaging video game that’s enjoyable for both the avid gamer and the casual player, for both old and young, Wizard101 is a piece of art not only in the world of MMOs but in the greater world of modern video games.

With development beginning in 2005 and the release of the game being in the second half of 2008, Wizard101 has been a longtime player in the MMORPG scene. Since then, the game has thrived and continues to thrive, receiving constant updates and having a strong player base. As of today, the game has over 2.9 million total players and daily player counts in the past year were regularly reaching the six figures.

Players travel through the worlds of Wizard101 as wizards (hence the game name) enrolled in the Ravenwood Magical School of Arts. At the beginning of the game, wizards must choose from one of seven schools of magic that are taught at the college to major in. From there, they learn the many spells that the school has to offer. As the wizard learns more magic, they are sent by Merle Ambrose, the school’s headmaster, to solve problems in the eighteen different worlds of the Spiral galaxy that Wizard101 exists in, most of which are caused by other powerful wizards who have used their immense knowledge and skill to advance their own agendas at the expense of the wellbeing of the Spiral’s inhabitants.

Each world welcomes the player with its own storylines, landscapes, characters, creatures, friends, and foes. Many of the worlds are also based on real world settings, with Marleybone being based off of 18th century London and Mooshu being set off of Feudal Japan. Although the wizard’s main goal in the game is to use their magic and travel all across the Spiral to solve its problem, there are many other activities that Wizards can partake in, from extensive PVP gameplay to collecting and training pets to in-game photography. Furthermore, because of how massive the game’s landscapes are, exploring what they have to offer is an activity in itself.

Many other popular MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games), like Toontown Online and Free Realms, were released and thriving alongside Wizard101 during the 2000s and 2010s. However, unlike these other MMOs, Wizard101 has not only survived the trend of these MMOs dying, but has since continued to thrive into the 2010s and the present decade. Wizard101 is an anomaly in that it maintains unique, high-quality, and updated gameplay in a genre where many have failed because they couldn’t accomplish having these crucial traits.

There are numerous aspects and details in Wizard101 that allow the game to have such admirable qualities. One amazing aspect of the game is the attention to detail put into the different worlds of the game. As mentioned before, each different world has its own unique architecture, landscapes, creatures, and characters, both good and evil. On top of these varying details, almost every world is based on a unique historical period, from that of Ancient Egypt to that of feudal England. These two facts make Wizard101 a very diverse game in terms of its setting. It stands out from other video games, many of which are based off of a single theme, period of time, or aesthetic.

Another great thing about the game is the sheer amount of content that exists within it. There are eighteen worlds in the game, each having a main storyline as well as hundreds of “side quests,” all with their own lore,rewards, and tasks. On top of these tasks, like using magic to battle monsters and exploring dungeons, there are many smaller hobbies within the game as well. For example, there’s a thriving interior designing scene in the game, with players competing in decorating the houses that wizards can purchase and display. Other hobbies, like photography, collecting pets, and crafting, are integral parts of the game as well. Players will never be exhausted from things to do in Wizard101.

One beautiful aspect of the game is the nostalgia that it triggers for players. Since its opening, the graphics of the game haven’t advanced at the rate of other video games from its time. This, however, isn’t a bad thing at all. Many of today’s players of Wizard101 used to play when they were children. Coming back to the game after so many years to see that, aesthetically, it’s the same game that brought them joy in their childhoods, makes them loyal players again. For people who have never played Wizard101 before, they still get to experience a homey aesthetic of gaming that isn’t common in today’s games. The outdated graphics actually add to the game in a profound way rather than take away from it.

One background detail that adds greatly to the game is its soundtrack. Every single world has its own unique soundtrack album, most of them having about fifteen different songs within them corresponding to different locations within it. The musical composers for the game did a great job at contributing to the ambience and aesthetic of the diverse worlds through the large amount of music they created.

One negative aspect of the game is its pay-to-play payment model. Simply put, everything is too expensive. To access anything past the first world in the game, one has to buy a membership or purchase game zones with in-game currency. One month memberships cost $9.95, six month memberships cost $49.95, and twelve month memberships cost $79.95. The in-game currency can be obtained for free but at extremely small amounts that are never enough to purchase game zones, so players must spend money on that if they don’t want to buy a membership. Progressing through the game without paid gear is also very difficult, so many players have to resort to dishing out money on top of their already expensive memberships to be able to have a more enjoyable playing experience. Despite these high costs, many players are willing to dish out hundreds of dollars on the game. However, the high costs also leave the game unplayable for many.

Wizard101 is the definition of “old but gold”; an expensive yet high quality MMO that has stood the test of time unlike its peers in the industry. With a sentimental allure unlike any other game of today, Wizard101 is a beautiful game with such great content and attention to detail put into it and that is easily appealing to both newer players and gaming veterans alike!