A little bit about how I play Wizard 101, and Ditto’s big secret….
So I get variations of a particular question/comment on a more or less weekly basis about my Wizard101 videos and how I play, and I felt like addressing that here, because it’s Friday and I just got one and it made me think about the answer, and I’m eating a bagel but there is no vegan cream cheese so I’m eating it without any.
The question/comment I’m referring to is, of course, about the speed at which I play, and they typically go something like ‘Wow Ditto, when I started playing Wizard 101 you were in Dragonspyre, and I’ve already caught up to you in Celestia, why are you so slow?’ (Usually typed ‘Y R U Slow???’) . I get this question once a week at a minimum, and I’ve spoken about it a few times in general terms, but I wanted to talk about it in more detail and give a little glimpse of how I create my blog and my videos, and my deep dark secret – alts….
It is true that I have been playing Wizard 101 for almost two years – I created Digby Hexcrafter on February 16th, 2010, and never, ever imagined I would be blogging about Wizard 101 this long! I love it though, and it’s one of my favorite things in the world! For many players, it certainly doesn’t take much more than a few months (a few weeks for extreme players) to complete all the current Wizard 101 worlds and make the top levels. With a few hours of play a night and decent guides or a few good friends, you can progress though the game pretty swiftly – that’s one of the things I like about it; casual gameplay, you don’t have to be uuber hardcore to get through the game, and you can do it at your own pace.
So why has it taken me two years to get as far as I have? Well, there are a few reasons really. The first is that, obviously, I like to play at my own pace, I read all the quest dialog, and I enjoy exploring all there is to see. I try to complete all the quests I can in any given area before moving on – I greatly respect the developers of the game and I truly enjoy all the little details they craft into it. If I were playing the game to make max level in 2 weeks, I would miss a lot of that.
This blog is another big reason, of course. I like doing this blog – love it, really – and people really love my gameplay videos. If I were to have rushed through everything in 2 months, then what would I do? There are other features to blog about, of course, like crafting and PvP, but I like doing the gameplay videos, and I know a lot of my fans like that too, so there’s no rush to get through everything – I take my time and try to record all I can, for the blog, and of course this brings us to the grand secret….
Pull back the curtain on my videos and you’ll see that, though it’s fun and causal and cute and funny, there is actually a lot that goes into making them. There is equipment to set up and configure, and it has to be done at a time where there aren’t a bunch of people around, when lighting is good, and when there isn’t a lot of background noise to interrupt. I try very hard to get video of all the quest and big boss fight dialog, too, which means I only have one shot at it – if I start a boss fight and something goes wrong, I’ll never capture that dialog exchange again, and I feel like the videos lose something if that happens.
When I’m set up to film, it’s all very carefully planned, and I have a ‘script’ of what quests or tasks I want to capture while I’m playing. This means that I will play Digby for a while without the camera, to get him into position and set up for the next batch of filming. That also means that once Digby is ‘set’ for the next recording session, I can’t do much with him, so it might be several days where I can’t actually play him at all – not until the camera is rolling. I can garden or do pet training, sure, or I can farm some lower bosses if I need to, but as far as actual questing time and moving the story forward, I can’t do much of anything.
So what do I do when I’m set up for recording on Tuesday but can’t pull the cameras out until, say, Saturday? Lately I’ve been doing Ravenscar, because the recent videos have been focused on Celestia, but I will try to record the big final battle there too, because I’m pretty sure it will be epic. I also have a few alts – there is Destiny, of course, and I do play her when I’m not able to quest with Digby (I should play her more often, actually, to see how this experiment plays out. That’s one of my New Years resolutions, actually.) I have a couple other alts as well – a storm and a life right now – that I play occasionally with different people for different reasons. My other ‘big secret’ is that I also have a Death grandmaster – I haven’t pulled him out in a while, he’s kind of my crafting guru, and he has a really amazing Death house; I let my decorating ‘wild side’ go crazy on that one.
We won’t even start talking about ‘other’ games I play in addition to Wizard 101, but let’s just say there aren’t many ‘Portal 2’ achievements I haven’t unlocked. Actually, I might have gotten them all by now…
So that’s it – why am I taking so long to get through Wizard 101? Well, because that’s what I want to do. I actually play more than you think, and I truly love every minute of it. I do want to finish up Celestia and Zafaria before the next world comes out, but I’ll be honest – if I don’t, I’m really not going to worry about it…