So Pottermore finally has been released to the public. I signed up last night. It’s not quite what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be an online environment of Hogwarts where me and everyone else online would cast spells and brew potions. Instead most of it was much closer to us going thru the Harry Potter books once again.

And there is no reason that it should have taken so long to be released. Exploring each scene is incredibly basic stuff. You can zoom in and out (which just sets different things in focus) and then collect stuff for your trunk of take a closer look at things.  The closer look is very nice, it is JK Rowling sort of talking about what she was thinking when she was writing. Like she explained why the Dursleys lived on Privet drive in Little Whinging or the Original 40. I didn’t really read many of those, I’ll go back and read all them later.

Spells could be a whole lot better. That mini game is not that much fun at all. Potions would probably be the most fun of the minigames I’ve encountered. Problem is that it can be rather frustrating. When I was making the practice potion I kept messing up. At frist I didn’t know how to wave my want (it was hiding behind my potion ingredients. They should tell you where it is or make it easy to see). And then I had trouble stirring. I followed the icon that appeared when I clicked the spoon, but the counter didn’t go up. That caused me to fail many times. Turns out I was stirring it counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. I blame the icon as it indicated clockwise on one side and counter on the other, and when you first click it, the counter-clockwise side appears so I followed that.

But that was just in practice potions. I eventually finished that and I started brewing others. I have to keep going to Diagon Alley to buy more ingredients, and some of them are expensive. It might be because I’m thinking of how much they should cost. A small box of bezoars should cost what? 11 sickles? Here it costs 10 galleons!! For one! It’s just the mechanic. They didn’t want to have three types of currency so they choose galleons and then priced things according to how they are in the game instead of the book. But still, it kind of bugs me. Like when I went to Gringott’s and opened an account they gave me 500 galleons. It’s normal for banks to give you a bit of money for opening an account, but really? 500 galleons transfers to about 5,000 dollars.

And yeah. Potions are difficult because any little thing can make you have to completely restart. And the worst part is that there is a brewing time where you have to wait and let it sit. For the potion I was working on that was a waiting time of an hour. If I waited and hour and then messed up in the second half of the potion, I’d have to completely restart. I messed up in the first half though. And then my cauldron exploded. And it was my good one too! I went and bought a copper cauldron and it just blew up! That’s 25 galleons I’m not going to see again.

And here is the thing that bothed me when I got to the end of exploring. I explored thruought the first book, but then it ended. It says come back later and we’ll have more. It was released into beta August 1st of last year! 7 and a half months of working on this (after the released it to beta) and they don’t even have anything past the first book? Why the hell did this take so long!

That’s my thought about the game. Here is a little about the character I have. My name is HawthornMarauder25971. Please add me! I wanna know what friends are like in this game. I sent a request to a friend but she never replied. My want is 10 inches, Red Oak, Unicorn hair, and is quite flexible. The wand chooses the wizard, and thus your wand is a reflecton of you. I could never remember all the details in wand lore, so I always pictured my ideal wand as different.

The length of the wand is a reflection of your size. I’ve always been on the shorter side, so it makes sense to have a smaller than average wand. The flexibilty of the wand reflects on one’s ability to adapt. The more flexible the wand, the more change is possible. The stiffer, the less.

When JK Rowling was assigning wand woods to characters, she used their Celtic Zodiac to help her decide. I looked up this zodiac (which uses trees along with your birthdate). Mine was hawthorn (why I chose the name I have). I read the description of it, and that was the most accurate zodiac I have read. I was a little disappointed when I saw I didnt’ get Hawthorn. I don’t see any real meaning in that. The site I’m doing research with says that Hagrid is the only one with an oak wand, and that is due to the celtic zodiac. Which is wrong for me as it’s a week off. I was born June 3rd, not June 1oth.

The magical core is what I was most excited for. I was really hoping to get a phoenix feather wand (obviously). The wand core talks more to the personality of the wand than the personality of you. However, you’d need personalities that get along obviously, so it does say a little bit about your personality as well. I’ll talk breifly about the three main cores that are used throught the series.

Dragon heart string is said to be the most powerful of the three cores. They are supposed to learn spells faster than others (which is probably why Hermione has dragon heart string). They are however the least loyal of the wands. If lost in a duel they will gladly bond with their current owner.

Phoenix feather is the one I was wanting. They have the greatest range of magical ability. But many people aren’t too pleased with phoenix feather wands as they are more likely to take the inititive when casting spells thus have it acting of its own accord. I believe this is one of the factors that lead to the moment of Priori Incantatem in book four. That and the wands were brothers, that was the biggest factor. They are difficult to control which makes their alligence hard to win, but having a phoenix feather on your side is incredibly helpful.

Then there is the core that I received. Unicorn hair is said to be the most balanced of wands. They are the least likely to be affected by fluctuations and blockages. They are the least likely to fall into the dark arts, and they are the most faithful of wands. As a dragon heart string will bond with it’s current owner, a unicorn hair will not. It bonds most with its original owner.

After doing my research into wandlore, I’d still have liked a phoenix feather, but I’m very happy with my unicorn hair. That just really fits me.

Oh! One more thing I forgot to mention. I am in Gryffindor. No real surprise there. Every test I’ve taken has placed me into Gryffindor. And I’m very happy with that. I’m a Gryffindor at heart and so happy to be there.

The quzzes in Pottermore are very interesting. I want to find a site or whatever that has those two quizzes (for wands and houses) and just play around with them. Trying to force different outcomes. Back in the old days, like when the first movie came out. I went to the Harry Potter website and it had a quiz for your house. I did it once, and got Gryffindor. What annoyed me though was that I could always tell what house each answer was leading too. I could not tell that from the house quiz. I mean, one of the questions was Heads or Tails. I was going thru it and I was starting to be afraid I’d get into a house I didn’t wnat (which is any outside of Gryffindor). But I got in. That made me amazingly happy. And it just goes to show that I truly am a Gryffindor. And that quiz is really impressive. I highly reccomend it.

Anyway, now it’s time for you to go onto Pottermore and give it a try. Let me know your name, house, wand, and what you think of the game in general. Hope everyone enjoys it!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeyna Grace
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:13:51

    Yea, there are alot of things that needs to be improved in PM.. but they are still trying. At least it is now opened to public.


  2. slightlysmall
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 10:10:18

    As far as I can tell, it’s not even the same quiz every time for houses. I didn’t have a “heads or tails,” I had “moon or stars” and “left or right” to choose from. I was so disappointed that I am not in Ravenclaw… but Gryffindor is okay, I guess. Like Hermione and McGonagall. I have a really strange wand. 10 inches, spruce, phoenix feather, hard. Basically almost every factor of my wand makes it moody and difficult to control but potentially very powerful.

    I’m not sure yet about the whole experience, but I love the extra information, which is what I wanted in the first place. The very long explanations on wand woods are interesting, and I loved getting McGonagall’s history. Hopefully we’ll get the Dean Thomas story she’s told us she wrote in the next few books…


    • Ian
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 16:34:01

      Yeah, it is randomized between a number of questions. I also had Moon or Stars but not Left or Right. I really like how abstract they are as it makes it harder to force your house. And how they were rarely just 4 possible answers. I had one that had 6 answers. What would your favorite super power be I believe. Yeah, I forgot about the extra information until I started playing. I’m definately going to go thru and try and find everything.

      And yeah, while talking to my friends and looking at a number of people online, it seems most people have gotten into their correct house. I’m gonna guess about 25% of the time it messes up and puts you in the wrong house. If you are truly offended (like I would be) then you could make a new account and try again. It all comes down to what you want.


      • slightlysmall
        Apr 17, 2012 @ 16:49:38

        I wish forcing your house was easier, though… I had two questions with six answers, and I think it was one of those that made me Gryffindor rather than Ravenclaw. I’m not opposed to Gryffindor, so I’ll be staying, but when I make it out to The Wondrous World of Harry Potter this November, I’ll probably buy Ravenclaw gear. Gryffindor is just too… mainstream. 😉

    • Ian
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 22:38:20

      You’re going to The Wondrous World of Harry Potter? You have no idea how jealous I am of you right now. And yeah, it kind of upsets me how people kind of default to Gryffindor. But I don’t find it that big of a deal, I’m totally Gryffindor. I bleed red and gold. Or at least red….


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