A Tale of the Spiral - The Return to Ravenwood

September 02, 2018 Shadowhorn 0 Comments

A tale of the spiral. An interesting journey these past 10 years have been. The Spiral has changed so much. Alas, like every young Wizard, I have returned to Ravenwood to continue my studies.

Ten Years
Today is a very special day. Ten years ago today, Wizard101 and the Spiral came intro fruition. Ten years of lore, magic, mysteries, and adventures. Ten years of friendships, late-night dungeon grinds, and so much more. To everyone who has ever worked at KingsIsle, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Without you, I wouldn't be who I am today. I wouldn't have the friends I have nor be where I am in my career or have my career at all. I owe so so much to you and to that, I thank you.

I'm Back!
Now, Wizards and Pirates of the Spiral! I was originally intending for this to be a separate post but alas it seems like we'll be combining them. Yes, I am back. Tales of the Spiral is back. More surprises are here and waiting for you. However, before I get into why I've been gone and what's to come along with talking about Wizard101's 10th Anniversary, I have to first show my deepest appreciation to Tom and Leah from KingsIsle along with everyone there for allowing me to visit them and be apart of KI Live back during DreamHack Austin 2017. I covered my whole adventure with them on YouTube however I never got around to publishing another blog post following my visit. I apologize to you all for that. My work within esports took a turn and overwhelmed me and thus I wasn't able to continue producing content as initially planned. I once again, humbly apologize to you all for this.

Post Topics
Before I move on, this is a long post so here are the topics covered in the order they appear. I hope you chose to read it all but if not, feel free to just skip to whatever you find most appealing to you.

-My experience being a guest on KI Live and what it meant to me
-What's next for me in the Wizard101/KI community (NEW COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT)
-A quick Wizard101 10 year anniversary flashback

Visiting KingsIsle
Stepping into KI was a dream of mine ever since I was a 13 year old kid back in 2010. Fun fact, while writing this I was curious what my original blogaversary was because I actually had an original original site just days before this one. While I always celebrated September 10th as the blogaversary, turns out September 1st, 2010 was the day of my first post on mywizard101site.webs.com

Throughout the years, I used to plan with my old podcast (Spiral Live) co-host, Nicholas Lionrider, about how we would one day take a trip to KI together and meet everyone. It was like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for me and one day, that little 13 year old kid got his Golden Ticket.
Heads up, the next part turned into a lengthy rant. It would mean a lot to me if you read it. If you don't want to just skip ahead.

So I was writing something entirely different talking about KI and seeing all the things but I'm gonna change paths for a bit.The day I appeared on KI Live, I was approached with a lot of love and a lot of hate. People might have thought I was full of myself, just an old random blogger who came back and was stealing the spotlight, or just whatever was going through their heads. Honestly, they couldn't have been more wrong. I spent the past few minutes talking about this with Chrissy and that's what has led me to write this current piece.

When you work in esports and the gaming industry, you end up meeting a lot of famous players, youtubers and content creators of the sort. For me, they were just normal people. I hung out with them, we'd grab lunch, work together. They were like my friends. They just did cool things for work. I am honored to have so many of them as my friends. I know many people would bend over backwards to even get a photo with these people, however, I never "fangirled" once over anyone. Why? Because it's work and they were my friends or people from work. I see them all the time.

When it came to KingsIsle, it was a whole different story. I was honestly on cloud nine. My entire career started because of Wizard101. My friends, my skills, my identity all flourished because of Wizard101. It was my dream for so long to visit. When that day came, I was speechless. I was full of emotions I didn't know how to express. To me, visiting KI was how many people feel when they see my friends. That is why I was so flustered on stream. I just honestly couldn't believe I was there, with Tom who I'd known since I was 13 and was my mentor that led to all of this, and my life was just all the better because of Wizard101.

Now I know I'm going on a tangent, but I just want people to understand that all of the excitement or uncertainty I showed on stream, it was all because I couldn't even believe I was there. It was surreal. My childhood wish came true and I was forever grateful. It is honestly a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. I hope you can all see where I was coming from in that state of mind and that all of my emotions felt during this trip were ones I could express in words to you but honestly I'm unable to. What I can say was this.

I got to see some of the concept art and original sketches for Wizard City, see new surprises for W101, P101 and the new mobile games we now have and so much more. I got to see the D&D table, shake hands and meet some of the creative artists and devs who make it all possible and honestly I was so taken back and humbled that I was slurring my words. Dang, I've never fangirled once in my life but I guess that's it lol. Anyway, rant over, I'll move on.

The Future
"Shadowhorn is back? How long is it before he leaves again? Maybe this time he'll stay?"

I know I have a bad rep for getting super hyped about coming back just to leave after a few weeks or months. Work got crazy, I know, I'm sorry. I hated it too. This time however, we're gonna try something different.

I recently (again) postponed my college semester and put my full-time job to the side to focus on one of my life long dreams of competing in an esport title on the professional competitive level. The game I'm shooting for is Paladin's, a first person shooter similar to Overwatch. Once I get this post out of the way, my training regiment will finally begin tomorrow or the following day where I plan on practicing 10+ hours a day. Everything from studying maps, analytics, cooldown times, builds, my own vods and just hours of actual in-game practice on a daily basis. I already have a lot of connections within the scene, my biggest issue is my skill level which I hope to increase to the professional level. I'm thankful to have my family and friends support behind this endeavor.

What does this mean for Wizard101?
To me, Wizard101 is an escape. A happy place where I can come share my adventure with all of you. I plan on setting aside a few hours every week to put out (hopefully) at least two blog posts along with maybe a stream or two of Wizard101. In the past, I treated Wizard101 and this blog as a job. It still kind of is since it is tied to my brand, Shadowhorn® (see the fancy R? I got it trademarked ^^), however, I wish to keep it as more of an escape where I can connect with all of you. Because of this, I will not be stressing over it to get extreme pieces of content out or things of this nature that I don't feel I can commit to, hence only shooting for two posts per week.

You will be able to find my streams at twitch.tv/shadowhorngg and I hope I will see some of you in the chat! I will also be streaming Paladins a lot where you guys can watch my practice. It won't be as engaging during matches as I'm trying to focus on improvement and for me personally, if I focus too much on the chat, my performance declines. I will try to be as engaging as possible though during matches and a lot more in the breaks between matches. I do hope, once again, to see many of you there. It would make me very happy ^^

Got any other juicy info for us?
Why yes, young wizard, I do have more juicy info for you. Tales of the Spiral will be celebrating it's 8th anniversary on September 12th (10 days from now) and I am planning on hosting a party to celebrate that along with Wizard101's 10th anniversary. The date is TBD but I'm shooting for a weekend in the middle of the month (most likely the 15th or 16th). More details and excitement will be coming out in another post. I swear I'm excited despite the lack of exclamation marks. Does this make me sound happier now?!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope so. Eight years of memories and headers... dang.

In other news, I've been busting my hump over the past few days to launch a new community project for you all... NEWS TIME!

The Spiral Commons - New Community Discord Server
For years, I have wanted to see the community return to its former glory; back to the golden age of 2010 - 2013 when fansites, podcasts, YouTube and community-run events were all the hype - filling up realms by the dozen! By the community, for the community. With today, September 2nd, 2018 marking the 10th anniversary of Wizard101 (woot! woot!), I wanted to launch this server so we can all have our own Commons to teleport to to meet other individuals and find new adventures to go on in the Spiral. We are the future of KingsIsle. We are the community. I hope we can all enjoy their incredible games together and keep supporting all the amazing work they do!

The Spiral Commons is a community server home for all things KingsIsle. A community hub for all Wizards, Pirates and mobile gamers alike to meet new people, get help with quests, ask questions, find new friends to hatch with and pretty much anything under the sun that you can think of for either game. You will also be able to interact with others while at events, give us (the fansite owners) ideas and feedback for things you would like to see in the community or as events hosted by us. Whether you are a casual gamer, a pet hatching or castle magic enthusiast, an artist with a keen eye for fan art, a streamer, youtuber or anything in between, we want The Spiral Commons to be a home for everyone to share in what we love - the Wizard101, Pirate101 and mobile games KI community. This is by the community, for the community. We want to share this together with all of you.

If you would like, please come join us by clicking this link: http://discord.gg/mRxW7yy

A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane
I'm gonna keep this quite short (I'm drained from the long day) and I'll talk more in another blog post but honestly, Wizard101 has been great to me since I started in May 2009. Some of my fondest memories are from meeting friends like Edward Lifegem and hanging with him at the Diary of a Wizard Ball, running Waterworks with Tom, his wife, Bailey and Fallon. Pulling all-nighters as a young kid at my friends house while he was asleep (Ethan The Sound Guy for any of you OG's and Spiral Radio fans) trying to get the pets I wanted hatched. This game and community are like a family to me and I'm beyond blessed to have all of you in my life.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I truly appreciate each and every single one of you because you make this community what it is.

With that said and done, I am going to take my leave for this post. If you actually read all of it, thank you. If you read some of it, thank you. If you clicked the link to come here, thank you. Any and all support is appreciated more than you can imagine. Thank you for sticking with me through all these years. To all of you new readers, I hope you will find my content to your liking and I hope to meet you in game sometime!

I was gonna post about today's festivities at the Spiral Radio 101 party but I'll save that for another time. What was your favorite part of today though? Did you attend the party? Did you see me? What's your most fond memory of Wizard101? Let me know in the comments below! (oh god now this sounds like one of my youtube videos lol)

Anyway, thanks again for reading and I'll see you guys in the Spiral!
Shadowhorn out.


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