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Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year In Review: Remembering 2011 in Wizard101


This past year has been a great one, and will forever add to the history of Wizard101. Let's take a look back at the year, the highlights, updates, and everything else, too. What was different at the beginning of this year? Has it been that long since the release of those updates already? Time to take a look, but first, grab a cup of coffee, because it was a long year!

Table of Contents (You're Kidding, Swordroll)
... Just in case you don't have all night. They are numbered so if you hit "Ctrl+F," you can type in that number and find the start of that topic.

[1] January
[2] February
[3] March
[4] April
[5] May
[6] June
[7] July
[8] August
[9] September
[10] October
[11] November
[12] December
[13] Describing 2011 in One Word
[14] Swordroll's Blog By the Numbers
[15] Notable People in My 2011 Wizarding Adventure
[16] Swordroll's Blog's Posts to Read From 2011
[17] Conclusion

[1] January

At the beginning of 2011, everything from the previous year was still cooling down. In the last three months of 2010, we had Celestia, new schools, new spells, and gardening! At the beginning of January, the Giving Tree, part of an opportunity to give to Children's Medical Center, and Austin's Children's Shelter, was just seeing its last days in the Spiral. There was all sorts of other buzz, too - new ringtones, contests, and more. January also played host to the 18+ chat option debate. Originally, all players who were subscribed with a valid credit card at some point had open chat. They changed this - you now needed to be an active subscriber to keep open chat. Because of what they said was "a very poor job of notifying" us, and the feedback they'd received, they reverted these changes, so that anyone who had, at one time, been a subscriber could keep open chat.

In January's Feedback Friday, Professor Falmea asked wizards what places in the Spiral should be accessible that weren't already? Barkingham Palace, the doors in Nidavellir, and library corridors were popular responses. We never did see any of these open up. At the end of January, gardening and world updates, plus Celestia housing was released into the Test Realm! 

I decided to take a look back at January's pictures. Here are a few of the more interesting ones that I found:






[2] February

If you thought last month was busy, February was going to be a surprise! During the first of the month, they released a new gardening commercial!


Unfortunately this was also a month of massive banning. Several players lost their accounts because they found ways to infinitely harvest elder plants by moving the pots - this is fixed now, but it remind you not to exploit bugs. Houses were closed and the game shut down temporarily to fix this bug. Fortunately, they gave those of use who were still active two energy elixirs to save any dying plants we might have after the downtime! Ditto's Blog was features in the Wizard101 Ravenwood News, too! 

At the end of the month, Celestia housing a bunch of updates were placed into the Live Realm! The Island Getaway was placed in the Crown Shop, and the Celestial Observatory was available to craft! Along with a plethora of gardening updates, Membership Benefits, Grizzleheim wallpapers and flooring, and many other minor things were added to the game! Has it really been a year already since those things were released?

I dug up a few February pictures, too!








[3] March

March was a slightly slower month, but eventful none the less. Trinity University did a study on playing games with family, and if you were a member, you could take the survey and earn 1000 crowns! Ravenwood Radio was also featured in the Ravenwood News because of their interview with Ditto! Check out Ravenwood Radio - it's a great Wizard101 podcast!

Official Fansites were also giving away mounts! The real news of the month was announced near its end - Wintertusk, the exciting conclusion to the Grizzleheim story! Crab Alley was also returning. As usual, I grabbed some pictures in March.






[4] April

For April Fools day, KingIsle released something that was no joke - a pet rock!


This limited edition pet hopped around with you, and learned "Taunt," a talent that allowed the pet to occasionally cast "Taunt." April also came with a sneak peek of Roaming Mounts!


On the 13th, Mastery Amulets were released. One school could now have the power of another, being able to use power pips with the school that the amulet they owned belonged to. However, depending on when you bought crowns, it cost a good $10-$20 an amulet! Later, on the 26th, Wintertusk was in the Test Realm, and it was announced that the music was composed by a mystery composer! And, of course...







[5] May

In May, KingsIsle was back to showering us with updates - Wintertusk hit the Live Realm, and this amazing world offered something for all sorts of wizards. Because it was the key to level 55 spells and level 58 pets, it made wizards who had opted not to do Grizzleheim angry, and made those that has very happy. Besides that, the world had a great storyline - Wintertusk revealed Grandmother Raven to be the narrator!

Falmea was back, and asking for housing item ideas based on what we'd seen in the Spiral! Stun Shields were also updated, so that after you were stunned, you received a number of stun shields equal to that of the number of opponents - 1 shield for one opponent, etc. This made chain stunning very difficult, and impossible in some situations. The Mega Bundle was also released this month!

Wizard101 also had a new Wintertusk video for us!


With Wintertusk came Roaming Mounts, level 35 and 55 spells, and new pets! Although Balance was given the healing power of Life with Availing Hands, Myth came out on top with Talos, a 5-pip minion that was like another player. They also got Shatter, a 3-pip spell that destroyed every shield your opponent had!

Waterworks was also released here, along with the statement "not all wizards will look the same, now!" They weren't quite on target, there, everyone was soon in full Waterworks gear!

And besides that, if you loved the look of one wand, and needed the stats of another, Wand Stitching was released. And finally, people like the Friendly Necromancer could go questing through Wintertusk "Hidden to Friends," so that he wasn't bombarded with messages! Among a variety of other updates came new stun resist gear from Diego, the ability to use damage increasing spells on drains, and more updates to stuns!

At the end of the month, Swordroll's Blog began! Here are some pictures taken during the month:








[6] June

At the beginning of June, Falmea wondered what sort of plant you'd create. Sunflowers - plants with suns on them? June was also Pet-A-Palooza month! That meant amazing rewards from KI Free Games - Energy Elixirs, Mega Snacks, Mega Snack Packs, and even retired pets! I quickly began playing in my spare time. To this day, my gift window is still more than full of items - mostly my snack supplies and such from this month! Not to mention my FOG Unicorn and other unique pets!

On June 6th, KingsIsle released the Pet-A-Palooza video!


The real "big day," however, was June 10th! This was not only Falmea's next Feedback Friday asking players about their favorite parts of the Mega Bundle, but it was also the release of the Dragon's Hoard. Immediately, threads buried Central in heated debates on whether or not the pack was justifiable gambling, and whether or not this pack has a place in a children's game. Despite any and many concerns, the pack stayed... and it wouldn't be the last!

It was soon announced that Prepaid cards would be coming to Canada this past fall. On June 14th, Pet-A-Palooza ended, along with the great sales on pets in the Crown Shop! The Evil Sandman and the Patriotic Leprechaun were released as well.

Later in the month, Katherine Light's Blog was featured in the Ravenwood News for a post about the education values of Wizard101! Here are some pictures from June:





[7] July

You might as well add the title Sale-A-Palooza to July, because that just about sums it up. Save on crowns, Epic Bundle moving to Toys R' Us, Save on Membership, Save on Crowns again, Facebook Giveaways, Save 50% on your first month of membership, and a sale on the Dragon's Hoard! Whew! Falmea got in quite a few Feedback Fridays this month, with topics including fireworks in the Spiral, Chat options, and what you would have a personalized sign in a house say!

Besides the Fairy Wings and new housing items added to the Crown Shop, there wasn't many new things this month, but several things were featured in Ravenwood News, including Fan Art, Paige Moonshade's contest, and  the Petnome Project's Birthday contest.

Seeing as July was a slow month, there weren't many pictures.

[8] August

August was a big month! Wizard101 Central turned three! New housing items, the Samoorai, the Wyvern's Hoard Pack, and teleporters were released in the Crown Shop! Considering the fact that we've seen now personalized signs from last month's Feedback Friday, this month's are worth taking a look at, too. Falmea wanted to know what you'd like to find in GOLD chests! This month was also House-A-Palooza. With a couple of sales, Prepaid cards arriving in Canada, and the announcement that Wizard101 was going to China, we thought that the month was just about wrapped up - until Wysteria was released! But first, take a look at KingsIsle's video, "Now you're playing with Teleporters!"


Wysteria was a side world beginning an all new adventure that strangely resembled Harry Potter in the fact that students from various worlds and schools came together for a massive competition... but what would a world be without a little trouble. This thing is, you're the suspect! If you weren't ready to venture into a new area, you could sit down in one of your new homes available in the Crown Shop - the Wizard's Watchtower and the Sunken Palace. Unfortunately, and I was glad I tested this before it was released on the Live Realm, you couldn't place items in any of the running water within the Sunken Palace... and that was a lot of it!








[9] September

September had a variety of highlights. On the first, Evil Theurgist was featured in the Ravenwood News for his Cancer Walk to raise awareness.






Pegasus Mounts arrived the same day. On September 2nd, Wizard101 turned three. Later on the 6th, all teleporters were on sale and the Teleporter Video Contest was announced. To this day, they have yet to release any further details on this, and have certainly not named winners, although 60,000 crowns were promised to multiple videos. Here's my entry!


I also released a video called "Explore Celestia" with some of Celestia's highlights during September. It was only my second real video project, and there's plenty of background noise, but it didn't end up going too badly.


The Sandman soon left the Crown Shop and wizards were asked to vote for them for the Audience Award and they'd get a free Wyvern's Hoard Pack, and a mystery pet if they won. Sure enough, they won, but the now retired pet was a Yellow Elf.

After sales and the mentioning of Fan Fiction, they wrapped up the month with five new pets in the Crown Shop.







[10] October

October was another full month. Halloweenfest arrived in Wizard City and Wizard101 Central hosted many interesting contests for great prizes, including a variety of mystery items!

Ravenwood Radio was featured again here for their 50th episode! Way to go Ravenwood Radio! Besides Halloween, it was Gear-A-Palooza. All gear in the Crown Shop was up to 50% off! Free Barbarian outfits were given away, sales took place, and Falmea wanted to know what the best pet talent was. On the 18th, the Nightmare Pack was released. When is Pack-A-Palooza? Unlike the two previous packs, this one, along with it's Nightside Tapestry, Nightmare Mount, and a variety of new pets and decorations, were all leaving at the end of October. New Prepaid cards were released, too - the Hawkrider Bundle and the Super Bundle! With it came a new house, and I made one of the first video tours, though at the time, we didn't know its name.


New Canadian Prepaid Cards were also released. The Epic Bundle retired, and the Panther Mount and customizable signs arrived. The highlight of the month was probably several teaser pictures showing what looked like a new world.






[11] November

November was likely the high point of the year. A trailer for Zafaria and new spells was quickly released!


Soon, it was discovered that the new world was the continuation of the Morganthe storyline, and the only one released this year! Massively asked players if they played Wizard101 with the family. This month marked the end of the Design Your Own Gear Contest, and it was time to vote! You can see the winners HERE.

On the 18th, Zafaria and a variety of updates were released! Level 70 was now achievable, there were new level 68 spells, and new Astral spells, too! New henchman, Armor Piercing, Pet Feeding, and Music Players and Scrolls were a nice addition as well. 

The Epic Bundle was made available online, and new Zafari mounts were released. To top it all off, MMORPG had a massive, 10,000 code giveaway! Each code was good for a Wvyern's Hoard Pack and one other item - it could be a pack, outfit, crown item, or retired wand or pet. There were event mount possibilities. At the end of the month, they released a new video, "Merle at the Movies."







[12] December

In December, KingsIsle tried something new for Christmas - the Twelve Days of Wizard! Each day, there was a new sale, contest, item, or something special. We ended up with a Charity Chrismoose benefiting two local charities, a holiday poem contest, a free light strand, 50% off the three most popular packs in the Crown Shop, an Arctic Ninja Pig, 18 new housing items, a free snowman transformation, new candy-cane mounts, mystery email discount codes, a free Silent Nightcap, new Boon Tree plant, 50% off select mounts, and one the thirteenth day, we got a Snowball pet!


They also released one of their most impressive commercials yet - Welcome to Zafaria!


They also added "Zafaria - a behind the scenes story."


And they also wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, hehe...


And if you weren't burnt out on videos yet, the released another commercial - "Wizard101 for the Family." Check out the Friendly Necromancer AND Paige Moonshade!


December was also Plant-A-Palooza, which meant up to 50% all Crown Shop plants, plus several new ones. There was also a new pet - the Yuletide Spirit! I'd rather not remember that part of the year...

The Mega Bundle was also made available at Blockbuster. 









[13] Describing 2011 in One Word

It was quite a year in Wizard101! What's that? What did I think of the year? Hmm...

I could go on an on here, so I suppose I'll sum it up in one word... "Moving." I won't elaborate completely here, as a full explanation ruins room for interpretation, but I will say that I have learned so much this year and met so many great people. It truly has been a great year, and I can't wait to see what 2012 will bring.

It isn't just my opinion that is valid, though, right? Here's what others thought of 2011 in one word... in most cases.

"WOW" (Orange24)
"Shocking" (~Lifeless Eyes~)
"Social" (Chase Lionhammer)
"Fun" (Justin)
"Interesting" (Raptorzy)
"Crazy" (Necrowman)
"Adventurous" (Keira Duskshade)
"AWWWWsome" (Pikachu Obbsebsion)
"Nice" (Flaming Lioness)
"Bestyearyet" (Party Poison)
"Productive" (Super Death Wizard)
"Unforgettable" (Potroast42)
"Eye-Opening" (DeathByChocolate)
"Annoying" (HooVooLoo)
"Eventful" (Tylerthewizard or Mason Swiftblade)
"Phenomenal" (The Piggle Master)
"Indescribable-in-one-word" (Browni)
"Fun" (Cooltoy)
"Outstanding" (Excaliber)
"Snazzy" (Okay101)
"Awesome" (Edward Emeraldshield)
"Pathetic" (Blink Rules)
"Uneventful" (Hockeygeek)
"Stressing" (maxvarya2)
"Interesting" (rockydodgers)
"Neutral" (~Luke~)
"Social" (Prof. Nomnom)
"Over" (sica3820)
"Amazing" (Breeze)
"Interesting" (Xx_Mysteria_xX)
"Memorable" (xXRaikouXx)
"Awesome" (someone163)
"Busy" (Caleb Goldstone)
"Hectic" (Natee1)
"Magical" (Hypebeast)
"Interesting" (DeathEater)
"Eventful" (theblackcrowking)
"Eventful" (Autumn Ice)
"Mistakes" (Madii)
"Shaky" (Amber Moonstone)
"Love" (JoshyWoshy)
"Entertaining" (~Frostbite~)
"Memorable" (~Joshy~)
"Intense" (Ryan.)
"Wow" (Adrian D.)
"Incredible" ($eth)
"2thousand11" (Challenge Accepted)
"Depressing" (Happy King Harry)
"Long" (Steven Lifecrafter)
"Risks" (Aria)
"Everlasting" (Amber Stardust)
"Rollarcoaster" (Andromeda)
"Interesting" (Amphitrite)
"Exciting" (Shelby)

[14] Swordroll's Blog By the Numbers

Wondering about my blog, and how it has done? Here's Swordroll's Blog By the Numbers.

102 posts posted.
29 people following the blog.
124 comments.
17 blogs added to the Blogroll.
10,373 total Pageviews.
10 countries have 50+ pageviews recorded on the blog.
2,369 hits from Google.
1,281 hits from the Friendly Necromancer.
20 headers created (though not all used).
8 videos posted on YouTube.
36 followers on Twitter
15 "Likes" on Facebook.
1 adventure of a lifetime.

The last line is what truly matters, but there's that, just in case you're curious!

[15] Notable People In My 2011 Wizarding Adventure

There are so many people that need to be featured here, forgive me if I leave you out. Here's what I'd like to thank you for.

Fiona Wildshade and Christo Deathgiver for several of my best experiences in-game.
Mcburger for being a close friend, and always leading me to lead Jester to the discovery of the Frosthound.
Mason Swiftblade (tylerthewizard) for extending his support and always playing his role as a great friend!
Lord Stormrider and Veridia for some generous pet hatches!
The Friendly Necromancer and Paige Moonshade for being considered "celebrities," and yet being someone you can honestly talk to.
Malorn Ghostrider for allowing me to be part of Housing101 and helping me through all of my issues.
Destiny Soultamer for sharing my love of blogging and always being there to share a conversation or comment with.
Kevin Battleblood and the Petnome Team for their outstanding site and guidance.
The Readers of the blog for their support, suggestions, and comments.

Speaking of good friends, be sure to check out Destiny's Blog, including my blog featured as her first Blog of Note!

Thank you all so much!

[16] Swordroll's Blog's Posts to Read From 2011

While I put time and effort into all of my posts, some are more interesting than others. Take a look at the ten favorite of readers:
[17] Conclusion

I've loved 2011, despite the fact that the years continue to progress faster and faster. Thank you KingsIsle for the fantastic game that we all love. Happy New Year, and see you in the Spiral!

1 comment:

  1. This being the year I returned to Wizard101, and being the year I returned to the blogosphere, I could describe it as 'inspiring', or 'Critical!'.
    Thank you for mentioning me (twice), and I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year!
    Des

    ReplyDelete

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