April 26, 2020

Opinion: Wizard City, Krokotopia, & Marleybone Should Be Free

Hello Wizards!

As you can tell by reading the title, you might think that this is going to be a controversial blog post. Rest assured, this is far from controversial since I'll be sharing my opinions in a constructive, not destructive, way. So let me start off straight-forward: I believe Kingsisle should make not one, not two, but three worlds free to the public.

Before I start telling you why I believe they should make the first three worlds free, I'd like to tell you that for about 10 years, I didn't agree with anyone that said they should make Wizard City free. It wasn't until this year that I started realizing that maybe they should start making the beginner worlds free. When Wizard101 first started, nobody really complained much about a Paywall because we had 5 main worlds and the first world was nearly half free. Today, we have a total of 13 main worlds - and several sides & dungeon instances. With that, we will have a new world soon and the level cap will most likely be increased to 140 levels.

There have already been new updates that are focused towards beginner players such as spell graphic updates (lower-tier spells - so far), game events, and even beginner storyline updates. While all of this is being updated, there should be something that brings a massive influx of players to the game to get a real start on the storyline - at least 30 levels of the storyline. I hope to see this one day in the near future. But let's talk about something else that I've briefly touched on at the beginning of this blog post. There is always a respectful way to share your opinions.

Many, at least today, complain. Things that could be easily fixed have massive backlash (overreaction). If we want to make the game, or really, anything, better, we should give Kingsisle constructive criticism. Telling them that they're a bad company does nothing but makes you look like you've just wandered out of Cyclops Lane for the first time ever. Let's continue giving Kingsisle our opinions, but do it in a respectful way. If people disagree with you, that's just fine. There will always be people in this life that disagree with you, but that doesn't make you or the person that disagrees with you wrong. I wanted to share my opinion in a constructive way - this can be done no matter what you believe in. This is the way to do it. Let's continue making this community the best place that it can be for everyone. Thank you all for reading. Until next time, I'll see you around the spiral. Feel free to share your opinions down below - whether you agree or disagree. :) 

April 22, 2020

Wizard101 - Strange Beast Pet Giveaway + Spring 2020 Update

Hello Wizards!

Edward Lifegem here. Welcome to my website! Today, I'm giving away 100 "Strange Beast Pets" to 100 different Wizards all at once in celebration of the new Spring Update - which has now been released to the live realm. Keep in mind that this code will run out quickly, so redeem it as soon as you can. Now.. I need to hush up and give away this code.

 Also, when you have a chance do check out the awesome new updates in Wizard101 - and spread the word to your friends about Wizard101. If it's been a while since you or they've played the game, you really should check out ALL of the updates that have been added over the past few years. You wouldn't believe how much this game has improved. If you would like more information about what has been added in the Spring Update, click on the link below! Thank you all for reading. Be sure to check back on this website for more fun giveaways, in-game events, and of course, random blog posts.

April 20, 2020

Idea: Enhancing Community Events

Hello Wizards!

Did you know that Kingsisle created a new Twitter Page called Wizard101Devs? On this new social media page, various Kingsisle developers ask for our feedback on numerous topics! So, today, I'll be answering one of their questions on this new blog post. Here's what they asked the community earlier today:

As you see above, today's question was about enhancing community gatherings. If you know me, I always have more than one answer to questions like this. That's exactly why I decided to make a new blog post instead of replying to their tweet with many... many.. tweets! So, let's get started.

Party Realms - More Wizards In One Area
If you host an in-game event in Ravenwood, you may notice that there are a limited number of people allowed in one area. If you have a larger event, it's the same for any other location in the game. One thing I've wanted to see for a long time now has been the option to have an event where more people could be allowed in one certain area. A Party Realm would be different than any other realm where in-game events are hosted. It would be awesome to have decorations everywhere to show how different the party realm is to all other the other realms in the game. This would be a great way to let everyone that plays Wizard101 know that in-game events do take place. To make them family-friendly (which in-game events should be, ahem!), Hall Monitors could hang out in the realm(s) to make sure it doesn't get out of hand with trolls that wander in from Cyclops Lane.

More Lively Transformations - May I Have This Dance?
I'd also LOVE to see transformations (that can be bought for crowns or gold in the Crowns Shop) have options to do more things than they currently do. We can join battles and stuff, but why can't we dance? If Kingsisle could add anything, I would love to see them add this in the near future. You can make out tons of activities with transformations, so please, make it happen. I would love to see Paige Moonshade host a Transformation Dance Party during one of these Fansite Festivals! Overall, it would really be awesome to see any improvement in transformations to make them more event-friendly.

Bosses - Event Bosses That Everyone Can Farm
Over at SpiralVision, we've had boss farming activities during our events. While they haven't been major bosses like Malistaire or anything like that, I would love to see more bosses (specifically in free areas) that everyone can have a chance to farm. The best times to have events, currently, are during Halloween or Christmas since both Holidays have special towers/bosses. It would be awesome to see one year-around, maybe in the party realm that I mentioned. I don't think that it should be one boss and that's it. I think it should change depending on the time of year. Maybe these specific bosses could drop cute community event-themed pets, gear, etc. This would be yet another major thing that could enhance in-game events.

Overall, I'm one of many that love hosting in-game events. I'm sure any change that Kingsisle considers will help everyone out a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing what they will do to improve not only in-game events, but also the contests surrounding events that are hosted by the community. Anyway, that's all I have for y'all other than Family-Friendly Content Creators (event hosts, bloggers, YouTubers, streamers, artists) are the BEST in this community, BY FAR. Okay, now I'm done. Thank you all so much for reading this blog post. Until next time, I'll see you around the spiral.

April 17, 2020

Wizard101 Tips - Reduce Game Lag

Hello Wizards!

Over the past several weeks, more and more wizards have been playing the game. More wizards = more game lag. It's never fun dealing with game lag when you want to quest, garden, or even doing something as simple as going fishing. I've decided to make a new blog post with some helpful tips to reduce some of that game lag.

Before I provide these tips, I want all of you to keep in mind that this won't fix your computer. There are many more steps you have to take to speed up your computer. I'll only be talking about things that you can do in-game to reduce lag when you're around a lot of wizards aka in a crowded or full realm. These tips may also help even if you're not in a full or crowded realm. With that, let's get started!

Video Options - Set To The Lowest Possible Options
One way to reduce a lot of lag is to set your graphics to the lowest settings possible. If you're running the game on a slower computer, the highest settings possible will increase your lag & game crashes. This really includes the advanced graphics settings option. The next time you log into the games, remember to set your video settings to the lowest settings. Texture Detail, UI Size, and Particles should all be set to the lowest settings to reduce game lag. Turning on Classic Mode will also help. Press the "ESC" key to access these settings. See the images below for an example of where you can set your settings the next time you play Wizard101.

Gameplay Options - Additional Steps To Reduce Lag
There are additional options that you can take to reduce some game lag. Next to the sound options, you can access the various gameplay options. There are numerous ways to additionally reduce game lag you experience. Two major steps to take is to turn off ALL overhead names and gameplay chat bubbles. Doing these two things (and other additional options which I'll display below) will do wonders for your gameplay. You can also reduce the chat size (just make sure you're able to read the chat - I've set mine to Medium - gameplay options 3. Below, you'll see where I usually set up my gameplay options every time I play Wizard101. 

Realm - Change To A Perfect Realm
Last, but certainly not least, remember to check your realm. If you're in a full realm while questing, it will increase your lag. Be sure to change to a perfect realm right when you log into the game. If you're at an in-game event, remember to follow all of the steps I've provided above so you have a better experience at any event you may attend. Slower computers may make events a little more difficult to attend without game crashes or major lag, but following the steps above might reduce that a bit. 

Taking all of these steps will help improve your experience in Wizard101. You may also close all applications outside of Wizard101 - such as your browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer), music players (Spotify, Pandora, etc.), and any other application that you're not using at the time. I truly hope these tips help a few of you reading this blog post. If you have any tips to share yourself, be sure to comment below. Thank you all for reading and I hope to see you in-game. Until next time, I'll see you around the spiral.

April 14, 2020

A Massive Comeback

Hello Wizards!

I hope you're having a wonderful start of the week. Over the past few weeks, I've been getting more involved in blogging and many other community-related things. It's almost as if Around The Spiral is making a major comeback. I mean, technically, it kinda is. So it's best for you to keep an eye out on this website and social media for all of my awesome plans for the community. Speaking of plans, let me first give you an update on our group questing group.

As of late, the SpiralVision group questing group has made it at least halfway through Azteca. We're continuing to make our way through this world while also making it a fun streaming experience for everyone. This is still one of my favorite things to do with friends in the community, and I'm proud to announce that it will continue for a long time. If any of you are interested in joining us, we stream every Sunday @ 530pm Central / 630pm Eastern on www.twitch.tv/spiralvision. Everyone is always welcome to attend. 

On top of group questing, the events and more blog posts are also coming! I hope you're ready for a new community experience. My goal has been and always will be to bring the community together. I truly appreciate everything y'all have done for me since 2009 and want to continue to show that appreciation by doing things that I believe will help the community. All that want to participate are more than welcome to participate in a true community experience. An old community experience.

A lot has certainly changed since I joined the community, but I want to come back with a fresh, non-dramatic, non-toxic, start to show today's community what the community was like when I joined. Now, there's no way I can be exactly like the old community leaders, but I can certainly give everyone the option to support a community that I believe represents all people in the community, not just certain select groups of people. With that, prepare for a major comeback of Around The Spiral. I'll have new blog posts, events, streams, and much more. Also, be sure to follow my official social media pages as well for special event, contest, and stream announcements!

You won't want to miss what's coming to this website. I had time to reflect on my past mistakes and don't plan on repeating them. I'll be using the rest of my time here in the community to make it the best place to be for everyone. That means I will not include myself in any toxicity or drama that is usually a reoccurrence in a small part of the community (which no longer exists to me after the publishing of this post - will never reply to it again). After all, there are better things to focus our energy on. I've planned a lot of great blog posts over the past year and I plan to make every single one of them and more. I'm no longer being held back with self-doubt. Keep in mind, you are the reason that this website, the events, and everything else, is here. I appreciate all of you and I'm thankful for all of you. I've done this for 10 years. I'll continue doing so to help be a small part of building a more inclusive community. So, let's get to it. 

April 12, 2020

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Hi there!

Can you believe it's already Easter?! The past few months have flown by. I still can't believe that it's Easter, let alone, Mid-April. Today, I'm celebrating a few things. First of all, I'm celebrating the resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. I am also celebrating friends and family. (Just adding this note - I hope you enjoy the continuous loop of the Bunnicorn aka Autumn Dreamwalker running).

Today always reminds me of how thankful I am. I'm very thankful for my friends and family. It's also a reminder of how much I appreciate my life - though everything is not perfect, I'm still thankful for the great moments that I have. Remember to hang out with your family, even if it's just today (though, it should be a lot more than just today). But remember not to hang out with too large of a crowd. With that, have a very Happy Easter, everyone.

April 6, 2020

Does Kingsisle Favoritism Exist?

Hi there!

Welcome to another blog post! Today, I thought I'd make another blog post about something that has been on my mind, not only over the past few weeks but over the past year. Kingsisle Favoritism. Today, I thought I'd make a post full of my opinions on why it doesn't exist. I was guilty last year of saying it did, but today, I'll be making a blog post to prove 2019 Edward wrong.

So, let's talk about what I said last year. During a rough time, I made various comments about Kingsisle favoritism for certain members of this community. I truly believed, at the time, that Kingsisle, as a company, only accepted feedback & supported a select few members of the community. But, like I said above, I am here to prove myself wrong. So here are a few bullet points as to why I believe I was wrong. Let's get started, shall we?

Game Spoilers - From A Select Few To A Select Many
In 2009/2010, Kingsisle only shared game spoilers on their official pages and every now and then would allow Official Wizard101 Fansites to share spoilers on their websites. While there were YouTubers that shared their game experience and content creation, not one - no matter how well known they were - got the opportunity to share upcoming game content. Today, YouTubers - no matter how well known they are - have been allowed to share awesome upcoming content with the community. Even some who are on record of criticizing the game the more than most, have been allowed to share game spoilers. In terms of game spoilers, it's quite awesome that Kingsisle is widening the opportunity for everyone to have a chance to share their awesome creations.

Contests - Content Creator Support
As of late, trusted content creators have become quite lucky to receive codes from Kingsisle to giveaway to their communities. Just a few years ago, Official Fansites were only allowed to receive codes. Sometimes, certainly not many times, YouTubers were able to host a giveaway from Kingsisle. It's quite nice that Kingsisle gives every content creator a chance to give away a little something to the community. I'm no longer an official fansite, but they've even helped me out on contests as well - even after all of the chaos of 2019. More people have been included to give so many awesome things away, so I give a special THANK YOU to Kingsisle for all of the codes they create for many content creators here in the community.

Feedback - A Few Official Channels to Interaction With The Devs
One last bullet point I really wanted to include in this blog post is about feedback for the game. Since 2009, there has been an improvement that I never thought I would see. I remember thinking how amazing it would be to talk to a Kingsisle employee on Twitter or the game. Now, the devs join in our Twitch Channels, our events, our channels, ask us what we want in the game, etc. This is the great atomic bomb to my comments last year. Kingsisle has improved its relationship with their fanbase, unlike most game companies, do. Before and After this pandemic, Kingsisle employees joined in on the conversation with the community while at home. They could have spent their time elsewhere, but they're still here dealing with dramatic people. The interaction is massive with anyone and everyone - content creator or not. So with that, I want to give a MAJOR thank you to Kingsisle for their hard work. The majority of your fanbase appreciates what you do for us and we hope your company continues to thrive. So to answer the question. Yes, it does. They favor all of us. (Had to edit the post to include that - hehe).

April 5, 2020

Monolithic Thought: Why We Should Disapprove

Hello there,

Over the past several days, there has been a lot of talk in the community about the upcoming pet updates. Two of these being: how expensive it is to hatch with another pet and the time it takes for a pet to hatch. There are many that disagree with this, but there are also those that agree. With that, I thought I'd make a blog post - one of many somewhat "controversial" posts to come - about monolithic thinking & my opinions (which you may or may not agree with - that's okay).

Agreeing with Kingsisle
Kingsisle has released many updates for Wizard101 in its near 12-year span. There are many great things about the game - which is why we're all still here, to begin with. I know that I support things that Kingsisle does that I know some, or in some cases, many, don't agree with. One of the things that I really do like is the option to run around with your pet. While some might think it's useless, I think it's a very cute feature. Another thing I absolutely love is the graphic updates for the spells. Now, I know we can all agree that it's amazing that these spells are finally getting a graphic update. I look forward to seeing all of the higher tier spells being updated in the future. There are many different things I love about this Spring Update, but let's get on to where I disagree with Kingsisle.

Disagreeing with Kingsisle
While agreeing with Kingsisle on certain things is always nice, it's also appropriate to disagree time-to-time. Many might not believe it, but I actually don't support the price of how much it costs to hatch a pet. I do agree with many when it comes down to new players - since it would be unfair to new players since they're not able to make as much gold when they first start out. I agree with many when it comes down to that. I believe it should be changed back to its original price or if it has to cost more, maybe a little less than it is in the Test Realm now. But in the end, this is the Test Realm and things always change. We can still submit our ideas by clicking on the Bug which is only available on the Test Realm - not Twitter.

A Common Purpose
Overall, agreeing and disagreeing with Kingsisle helps Kingsisle improve the game. At the same time, the community would be able to agree to disagree while also making the game the best that it can be. There are many reasons we should follow this path instead of thinking in a monolithic way. If someone agrees with Kingsisle 24/7, Kingsisle won't see what they're doing wrong & will be destined to repeat these same mistakes. If someone disagrees with Kingsisle 24/7, they won't see the good things that they are implementing for the community and the player base as a whole. At the end of the day, everyone should be allowed their thoughts without being bombarded with how wrong they are (unless they're being disrespectful to individuals - which is an exception). We should also respect those who are still working during these crazy times to make this game the best it can be for the public. At the end of the day, everyone can make this game and community a great place to be. Monolithic Thinking usually only divides the community (even those who may agree with you, but don't agree with your disrespect). Let's follow this common path together. Be respectful and don't think monolithically. Try to understand why those agree or disagree with you. And remember... this is a video game, not real life. Anyway, that's all I have to say. Thank you all for reading. Until next time, I'll see you around the spiral.

April 1, 2020

It's No April Fools Joke

Hello Wizards!

I hope you're having a wonderful start of your April. To start off, I just want to remind you to keep practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and covering your mouth when you cough. Remind your friends of this as we continue through the month of April. So, let's talk about something. Today is April Fool's Day and while I had a joke planned late last year, I decided not to participate in it. Today, I want to talk about something that's not a joke.. The Massive Comeback of SpiralVision and this blog.

Over the past few weeks, I've been thinking about this website and our Twitch Channel, SpiralVision. In early January, I announced that I have decided to focus more on my personal life instead of as much attention on the games. During this 3 month break from events and blogging, I started thinking about the community and the direction it is going. I don't believe I can ever change the community on my own. I also don't believe it's my time to leave the community. While I won't be here a century and a half, I would like to provide more to the community, especially during these crazy times.

I haven't totally been away from the community - as some of you may see, I still tweet and I also participate in group questing every Sunday with an amazing group of friends (everyone is more than welcome to join us). SpiralVision has also been on my mind. I announced a few days ago that I wanted to host a Santa Run, but, I decided I wanted to host a different kind of event (and host the Santa Run in December as we usually do). We will soon be hosting an event called The Wizard Run. We are going to put a lot of work into this event for the community - so do keep an eye out for more information here on Around The Spiral and on social media. You won't want to miss it!

Overall, I just wanted to make this post to let you know that I'm not giving up and I will be back to do my part, along with many other great people here, to make the community the best place to be for all. I'd love to improve upon my time here by recognizing the mistakes I've made and not repeat them. I'd also like to focus on the positive parts of the community and promote it through our events and this website. There are many things to look forward to this year and I hope you join me to make them happen. Let's make this community as inclusive as it can be! Thank you all for reading. Until next time, I'll see you around the spiral.