LookingForClues - Article

  Online Games EverQuest Wizard101

Online Role Playing Games are Very Popular!  Please enjoy our article that compares two popular online video games for the computer: EverQuest and Wizard 101.  EverQuest was one of the first popular MMORPGs and Wizard 101 is fairly new. There are similarities and differences.  Here is an introduction to Sony's EverQuest and KingsIsle's Wizard 101, written by someone who has played them both!
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Video Games - MMORPGs: EverQuest vs Wizard 101

by Kenny Crane   6/16/11

I've been playing Sony's Massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest since March 2000, about a year after it first came out. A friend had already leveled up his Mage to level 50, the highest level you could go to at the time, and was playing the game daily. He was already in trouble with his girlfriend over the amount of time he spent at his new hobby, and my girlfriend didn't particularly care for me getting involved with this time sink. As it turned out, I played daily too for a year or so, and so did my girlfriend! We enjoyed the game and although we never were online and in the world of Norrath at the same time, we enjoyed watching each other play, and talking about in-game battles and other occurences.

Over the years, I continued to renew my yearly membership at EverQuest and played about once a week for a couple of hours. I enjoy spending time in the alternate world of Norrath that EverQuest provides. Although there are far less players than in the early days, I'm pretty much a solo player anyway, so I have my pick of MOBs to hunt in most zones, as no one else is around camping the creatures.

Last month, someone hacked Sony's database and got member information on 77 million Playstation Network members. Sony took the Playstation Network down for a few weeks. A few days after they took down Playstation Network, they decided to shut down Sony Online Entertainment too. That is the division that runs EverQuest, so EverQuest was offline as well. About the same time, I heard about Wizard 101. I heard it was designed for kids but that people of all ages could enyoy playing it. So I downloaded it and gave it a try! The game runs perfectly on both my 3 year old desktop and my 4 year old laptop. It uses less hard disk space then EverQuest, but when you go to a new area, the files for that place will be downloaded onto your drive.

After you download the game, they will ask you a series of questions which are supposed to help determine what school of magic your character should specialize in. I was advised to be a Pyromancer, someone who uses Fire spells. I began the game by taking the newbie tutorial and then began to do quests. I quickly leveled up to 6 or 7 before I realized that I missed getting my second new spell (you get one at level 1) - Fire Elf - which does very nice damage over time (DOT, as it's called). Once I got that, learned when to use it, and kept enough healing spells in my deck, I breezed up to level 10, and a new Fire damage spell, Sunbird!

I also hatched a pet, went to the Pet Pavilion and raised it from Baby to Teen by playing the Dance game primarily. It's a version of "Simon" where you have to repeat increasingly longer series of arrows (pointing Up, Down, Left or Right) and tones. It takes 125 points to go from Baby to Teen, but 250 points to get to the next level of Adult. But Teens can enter the Pet Derby, so I'll try that and see what happens! (I entered a practice race and came in last out of 4 racers, lol! I recommend you try the practice races a few times to learn the controls and tracks.) The value of pets is a bit of a mystery to me. Apparently, every time you level them through their 5 possible levels, they gain a talent which may be of use to you in your battles. They might give you an extra spell card or increase you health, mana or other stats. You can also hatch a pet with another player which is an advanced topic!

EverQuest is back online but I haven't played yet. I'm still having fun with Wizard 101! I think there is a little more strategy in Wizard 101. The fighting mechanism is different than what is in EverQuest. In EverQuest, you can hit your opponent or you can cast spells, which take a few seconds to take effect. The enemy you are fighting will also be hitting you, and may be casting spells - all this is happening at the same time that you are doing the same. Your spell could fail to work if you are hit while casting it.

In Wizard 101, enemy combat is in the form of turn-based spell duels. Either you or your opponent goes first each round and you alternate in casting spells which are similar to the kinds you see in EverQuest. Spells include direct damage, Damage Over Time (DOTs), damage increasers and decreasers, healing spells and more. But timing is everything! Each round of the duel, you receive a "pip" - and the number of pips you have determine the rank of the spell you can select from your spell deck. Some spells use 0 pips so that pips can accumulate during the fight, allowing a more powerful spell to be cast as the fight progresses. If you use a spell that requires 1 or more pips, you will also use the same number of mana points when you cast that spell. Also, each round, only certain randomly chosen cards from your deck are available to be used, so you have to design your deck to match the type of enemy you intend to duel. If your spell doesn't "fizzle" (fail to work) and is a damage spell, you will lower your enemy's health. Your opponent is also trying to lower your health, and first one to zero loses! If you are defeated in EverQuest, you lose some experience and reappear at your bind point, but in Wizard 101 you do not lose experience and you reappear in The Commons where your health will slowly return over time. There are good guides online for all 7 kinds of Wizards, and I recommend that you search for and read one before you go too far. It will really help you understand the game.

Wizard 101

EverQuest has about a dozen slots that you can equip with armor - hands, arms, chest, back, legs, boots, rings, earrings and weapons. In Wizard101, there are only hats, boots, robes, and rings (all give statistics like health, mana, resists, and boosts); wands (gives spell cards), athames (something like a sword that gives stats) amulets (gives an extra spell card), and pets that may give stats too. You may also get mounts like brooms or horses that let you travel around a lot faster! (EverQuest has mounts and pets too.) See Prospector Zeke in The Commons of Wizard City to buy yourself a mount using Gold, the game currency you can get from dueling and selling items you get from winning duels.

EverQuest has been around for 11 years; Wizard 101 only a few years. There are not too many players still playing EQ but W101 is crowded! You will be able to make some online friends in Wizard 101 if you want to. For the last few nights, I have been teaming up with a player named Emma who has a cute unicorn pet! We work well together, and sometimes we play with one or two other people. Four is the maximum duel size in W101. A fighting group in EQ can contain up to 6 players. Keep in mind that many of the players of Wizard 101 are tweens and teens. There is a strict chat filter that will not allow certain words and numbers to be typed. I have seen people use similar words and phrases to get around the filter, but speaking inappropriately in the game can get you banned! In any case, be kind and helpful to the people you meet in online games, just as you would in real life!

It cost a fee, about $100 a year, to play EverQuest. You can play Wizard 101 for free, up to a point. There are only certain areas where you can go for free. I have found that doing the quests in Wizard 101 is a great way to level up quickly, much more so than in EverQuest. But many of the quests after about level 7 will require you to go to places that are not free. You can buy areas with Crowns, which sell for about $10 for 5000 Crowns, and most areas are between 600 and 1000 Crowns. Crowns can also be used to buy in-game items. Or you can become a member for around $60 a year. Then you will have access to all areas.

Try Wizard 101! If you don't like it, you have lost nothing but the time you spent trying it out. You just might find an enjoyable strategy based past time and you may even make some cool and fun friends! If you're interested in playing with me and/or some of my younger family members who also play, leave a comment! Or if you have any advice or thoughts on EverQuest, Wizard 101 or other games, leave a comment about that too! Thanks, and have fun!

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Kenny Crane has been writing about YouTube videomakers and their videos at YouTubeStars.com since June 2006. He also publishes the YouTube Top 100 Weekly Chart of the Most Popular YouTube videomakers.

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