Video Games - MMORPGs: EverQuest vs Wizard 101
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.
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!
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.
Click to read Comments and
add your own Comment!