Wizard 101 casts “Sleep”, achieves Critical Success.

So last night, after I get the kids to bed, I come tromping downstairs, anxious to strap into my ship and began the long haul to the nearest corporate office and my new home base for operations.

And I find my wife in the office, work laptop up and running.  “I’m sorry,” she says, “I’ve got to work tonight.”  We have family coming in for Easter this weekend, and her boss dumped a  truckload of reports on her, and life is easier if she can use the big monitor to see all the information rather than cramming it on a 15″ screen (note to businesses: buy 17″ laptops for the sake of your employees’ sanity).

I’m understanding, but now I’m in limbo.  I have a laptop, but it doesn’t run much.  Okay, well, it doesn’t run anything except WoW, and that ship has sailed, despite a few friends nagging me to re-up again this week.  So I talk to my brother for awhile on the phone, who has called wanting to LotRO, and like me, is disappointed that we won’t get to play.  And I talk to an old friend who tells me he and his daughter have been playing Wizard101.  Now I’ve heard mixed reviews from the blogging community, but I wonder if, being kid-friendly as it is, it will run on my half dead laptop (1.6ghz, 512 ram, 32mb ATI).   Turns out from the FAQ that it will, though I will need half of my remaining hard drive space to do so.  Well…why not?  Especially since they promise I can be playing within 2 minutes and the rest will download in the background.  Now that is a nifty feature, so I’m in.

I read the guide, decide I’ll try a Conjuror and/or a Necromancer.  Being a sucker for a good Necro class, I pick one over the objections of the little quiz you take.  And I think, this will be cool.  I played alot of Magic the Gathering in my early years, and still have a half dozen well-polished decks that I occassionally pull out to mop the floor of these kids decks today (sadly, the great art of creative deck construction seems to be lost on them).  And I see on the main page that Tipa from West Karana  is quoted as saying that deck construction is muy cool, or something to that effect.  And Tipa knows her stuff, so I’m excited to try it out.

Folks, I never even finished the tutorial.  I literally was nodding off during the first fight.  Now, I’m going to give the game the benefit of the doubt and try it again at some point (especially since its A – free, and B – able to be played on my laptop).  But I have to say, I’ve never nodded off in a game before, unless it was WoW or EQOA at 3am and I’d already logged 5+ hours and was desperately trying to grind something before I passed out.  And this was 11pm-ish, and I am the quintessential nighthawk.

I think that owl may be the culprit.  If he says “whoooo” in response to a question one more time, I may go rogue like the main villain whats-his-face.

Also, just to throw it out there, while I like the hybrid RMT/Subscription policies they have set up, as well as the family plan, which allows for great flexibility and affordability, I have no idea why the subscription would hold value over the RMT for anyone planning playing long term.  Is there something I’m missing on that?  I imagine that’s one reason why the hybrid model is not being used much, despite its practical applications for appealing to a broad base of people.