Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There and Back Again: A Pyromancer's Tale

Hey Gang,

So two years ago from this day exactly, I began playing Wizard101:

It was a very nice day, and I'd been on summer break for around 12 days. I had just graduated 8th Grade, and with absolutely nothing to do on a fine summer afternoon, I decided to take a walk over to my neighbor's house. When I got there, I saw him on his computer playing some ridiculous child's game. When I asked him why in the world he was playing something so childish, he tried to convince me that it really wasn't all that bad, and he told me to make an account so he could show me that it was pretty fun.

So I went home thinking I was going to completely bash this game next time I saw him. I made an account, took the test and got Balance. I thought this was pretty neat, but my neighbor said that the Balance School was in a completely different place other than where all the schools are. So I took the test again (maybe a bit more truthfully this time) and I got Fire. I was revolted by this idea, for back in my World of Warcraft days, I was a Frost Mage, and I honestly just loved my Frost Specd Mage. However, my neighbor was an Ice Wizard, and I didn't want to be the same school as him.

So I went on with the Fire School. I went on designing my Wizard and creating my name. I decided to create my wizard wearing black robes with red lining (although I didn't notice it at the time, I had the wrong hairstyle selected and I'm eagerly awaiting a barber to visit the Spiral!). I thought this looked particularly awesome, so I went on to naming my wizard. At the time, I was reading a book called The City of Bones (interesting book, if you ever want to pick it up), and there's this character named Luke GrayMark (in the series, he's a werewolf and honestly one of my favorite characters in the series). Since the Wizard101 name creator didn't have my real name, I figured I'd stick as close to Luke GrayMark as possible. When I saw they didn't have "Gray" or "Mark", I decided to go with a color and an object. And so, the name "Luke GoldHorn" was born.

After playing it for around two hours, I suddenly found an interest in the game. I was planning out all the different paths my character would take (For example, my secondary school was Myth for quite some time). I had loads of fun staying up late and farming the Kraken and the Harvest Lord with my neighbor. Before we had even gotten to do Firecat Alley and Cyclops Lane, we were both level 12 (which is pretty high for the area in the game). Then, I bought myself a membership (boy, I can remember the trouble I was in for buying a membership with my mom's credit card without permission!). I played the game for a solid month, exploring Krokotopia and most of MarleyBone. When my subscription ended, I wasn't allowed to purchase another, so I was forced to leave the game at Level 31 a little before Katz Lab.

When October hit, my neighbor was still playing the game with a membership he manged to get (with or without permission, I have no idea). I kept telling him to stop playing, but he claimed that it was too fun to pass up. He mentioned this extremely crazy idea of spending $80 on buying the whole game. I asked him if he hit his head early that morning too.

Eventually, he talked me into playing again, claiming I should save extra lunch money to purchase crowns and buy areas. So eventually, little by little, I progressed into Mooshu (I'd say around the end of November or mid December). Mooshu was such a great time, and I can remember being so happy and proud seeing my little wizard evolve into such a powerful Pyromancer. By January, I was in DragonSpyre.

When I tell you that I was excited to be in DragonSpyre, that's an extreme understatement. I must have done a victory dance for hours. I remember being so surprised when I learned that you'd have to fight Cyrus, as well as scared. When I beat him, I gave a huge victory cry. Throughout January and February, I trekked through the ruins of DragonSpyre scrounging up every drop of experience I could. I remember the joy in my heart when I got my Dragon spell and, even more exciting, my new Helephant (which didn't have to hatch way back when).

It was by the end of February that I had beaten Malistare and reached GrandMaster. I was so proud of little Luke, that I decided to make two more wizards; Mycin StarGem and Patrick FrostHorn. My neighbor picked out Mycin's name and had trained him through Wizard City to Colossus Blvd, however I picked Patrick's name and trained him through by myself (Patrick was also made before Mycin). I decided to do Balance on Patrick because that was my original school (and because I heard they were amazing at PvP). This was also when I made my first blog on Wizard101 Central.

During the month of March, I focused on leveling these two Wizards up and posting on my blog. I did some theory-crafting on Celestia, and the Astral Schools back when they were just speculation. The month of march was pretty uneventful in game other than leveling up Mycin and Patrick as well as the occasional BriskBreeze run, however there was something pretty cool going on around this time. During this time, I made some friends in the community like Stephen SpiritCaller, Christina IceDreamer, Leesha Darkheart, Thomas LionBlood, Alric RavenSinger, and so much more. Poor Stephen was so nice to me, letting me get an interview with him back when Ravenwood Radio was in it's early stages (I imagine it was probably really uncomfortable for him because, well, I was awkward!).

April was super exciting, as this was when not only Celestia and the Astral Schools were confirmed to be coming soon to the Spiral, but we were told that a "secret" new update was coming sometime in May. People began speculating what was going on, but no one could really pin the nail on the head. I had loads of fun speculating on my blog and with my neighbor. This was also a time where I started to grow apart from Central, as I saw that it was limiting my blog as to the things I could write or do.

During May I disbanded from Central completely, making this blog here on Blogger! I'm so grateful that I made this decision, because I was nervous about doing so at the time. I was worried that people wouldn't see my blog, which was true for some time. But with the help of some friends, I learned that I could get even more views right here on Blogger. Another thing that happened during this month was the Pet Update which was very confusing at first. I had very long conversations with my neighbor talking about how it worked. I remember being in Drama Club asking if I could leave early because of the update but being forced to wiggle around in my chair due to all my excitement!

I also grew closer to Christina IceDreamer during this month, as I interviewed her as well. The original interview had my neighbor in it, however the interview wound up being over two hours! We planned on doing it again due to bad recording and editing software on my part, so we did another interview that lasted another two hours! That was such a good time in my Wizard101 life and I'd even stretch to say it was also one of the best moments in my real life as well.

Another thing about this month that made my experience so much better was meeting Paige Whisper, a Life Wizard. I met Paige leveling Mycin through DragonSpyre. She was so polite and had some awesome retro Crowns gear on from back in the old days as well as a nifty Pioneer Dragon (only players who played Wizard101 within it's first week of launching could obtain one). She was part of a team of wizards my neighbors and I decided to train: Noah GoldHorn, my Myth Wizard, a Life, a Death, and her Death Wizard. Our goal was to get these Wizards to GrandMaster by the end of the Summer.

In June the Celestia preview came out. I can remember the planning Piage, my neighbor, and I did to figure out different plans and strategies for the tower. The only wizard that actually went through and completed this dungeon was Luke, but I figured it wasn't such a big deal.

We accomplished our goal by the end of July as we constantly played throughout our Summer break. I noticed that each time I leveled up an alternate character through the game, it seemed to go faster and faster each time. So I decided to take on the challenge with Paige to see how fast we could level up alternate characters. I created Diana GoldHorn (inspired by my mother) and she created Ryan RainCaller (who was a girl; she was constantly made fun of all around the Spiral for having a "guy's name" on a girl character). We got these alts to GrandMaster in two weeks!

By this time, it was August, and everyone was getting ready to go back to school. By this time in my gaming experience, I had 5 GrandMaster Wizards, and I decided it wouldn't hurt if I played and Ice and a Death through the game as well. With the help of my Summer job, I created Valdus GoldHorn on another account as well as Gilroy SkullFlame on my main account. They didn't reach GrandMaster until the middle of September, and I was proud to see that I had a GrandMaster of every school. During September, I also made my Wizard101 Twitter Account.

When October came around, so did Celestia. Paige and I (and even some of Paige MoonShade :D) blew right through this underwater treasure, I on my Balance and Paige on her Fire. We had a lot of fun discovering all the new areas and spells, and we even made a Lounge Lizard guide on Central. When Celestia hit the Live server though, Paige had exhausted herself, and eventually wound up quitting the game. Before she left, though, I bought her an Epic Bundle Gift Card, which was all the rage back in November.

November and December were honestly kinda dull, as there wasn't too much going on. Gardening came out, which was kinda fun I guess, and I had Luke at GrandMaster Gardener in no time. I also got an Epic Bundle for Christmas, which I was very excited about.

January, Feburary, and March were a blur as well. All I could remember really was being involved with some drama on Skype and leveling Luke, Noah, and Valdus through Celestia (Mycin was my first to get through the entire plot). April was pretty exciting, as we heard of WinterTusk, and in May it finally came. In May I quested with Cassandra GriffinDreamer through WinterTusk, and I currently still have three wizards needing to complete it (Noah, Gilroy who still has to defeat Jotun, and Mycin).

And now, here we are in June. I hope you enjoyed listening to my tales and adventures throughout the Spiral, as I honestly enjoyed telling the tale myself. It has been an honor to serve this community along my friends. Although I've given even if just a tiny bit to this community, I have taken a lot from it. This game and this community has helped me with so much that's been going on in my life, and I really just want to take the time now to say thank you so much. I will always remember each and every one of you just as I hope you might remember me.

Thank you for making this experience truly an astounding one,

Luke GoldHorn

P.S: Don't forget to check back later to see the winners of the Featured Wizard Contest!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post, buddy. It's not often that one sees such a marvelously reflective piece of writing in this community.

    My hat is off to you.