Enter the Dragons in “Wizards Unite”

Up in the sky! Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s dragons. In the real world – a real world that includes dragons, that is – that announcement would have people fleeing for cover, but Harry Potter: Wizards Unite players will be rushing out (safely!) to search the skies instead. For the first time since dragons were introduced to the game, all four breeds will be up for grabs during a recently added special event. Will it be enough to make us forget the Great Nerfing of 2020, wizarding world gamers? We’ll get into that below. You can also take a whirlwind trip with us through the recent story line in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, check out a few Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells tips, and catch up with the latest Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Niantic news. Phones at the ready!

Wizards Unite Update

Only those gamers who were lucky enough to attend the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Fan Festival last year in Indianapolis, Indiana, have ever had the opportunity to encounter all four of the game's dragons. It's a bit mean, to be honest. Niantic always says it does these things to encourage travel, but who the heck can pop over to Oceania for the day just to prestige their flippin' Oddities III registry page? Forget the fact that we barely ever see a dragon in the wild as it is.

But Depulso our griping! Because for one week, beginning today, everyone everywhere will have access to each and every scaly beast: the Peruvian Vipertooth, the Common Welsh Green, the Chinese Fireball, and the Antipodean Opaleye. Dragon Week is underway and will conclude at 9:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 15.

 

Pictured are the four breeds of dragons featured in "Wizards Unite".

 

You'll definitely want to brew up as many Tonic for Trace Detection potions as you can. And since dragons offer up greater-than-average amounts of Wizarding XP, try to throw a few Baruffio's Brain Elixir brews on the fire as well. You don't have to worry about Exstimulo Potion or Dawdle Draft this time around; since dragons are of the Oddities Family, they can't bug out on you. You'll also want to focus most of your attention on the dragons that aren't native to your region. To refresh your memory, the Vipertooth dwells in the Americas and Greenland, the Welsh Green calls Europe and Africa home, the Opaleye is specific to Oceania, and the Fireball flies the skies in Asia, the Middle East, and India.

Also included in this event will be 1 km dragon-specific Portkey Portmanteaus, which you can see in the photo below from Wizards Unite Hub. These contain the dragon eggs you'll need to prestige your pages: red for the Fireball, opal for the Opaleye, blue for the Vipertooth, and green for the Welsh Green.

 

Pictured are the four dragon-specific Portkey Portmanteaus available during Dragon Week in "Wizards Unite".

 

At this point, you may be thinking you missed something on the September events calendar, but you didn't. Dragon Week is a peace offering of sorts from the game developers in response to delays with the Version 2.15 update. The addition of Dragon Week will push Part 1 of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries Brilliant Event back one week (it will now run from 11:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 15, until 11:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 22) and will bump September's Community Day into October. Part 2 of this month's Brilliant Event will remain as scheduled.

Dragon Week may be doing double duty as an apology for another recent controversy as well. Can we all take a moment to imagine how fantastic it would have been to have had access to the original Trace Charms during this particular event? *sigh* But as many of us expected, those fabulous bits of magic that had rare Foundables popping up all over our screens were nerfed and nerfed hard. We're pouring a bit of our butterbeer out in your memory, old Trace Charms.

Needless to say, Wizards Unite gamers were not happy, and their displeasure has been expressed far and wide. As such, we don't really feel the need to enter the fray, but it does warrant saying that the onus is now on Niantic and Warner Bros. Games San Francisco to up the fun ante. Because dropping Trace Charms and encountering Foundables we hadn't spotted in the wild for months made the grinding fun again, and pulling that rug out made going back to the mundane feel so much more... mundane. We completely understand that it's no small task to keep games like this exciting and challenging for daily and occasional players alike, but the recent cycle of Brilliant Events, Community Days, and mini-events - with nothing changing but the Family of the Foundables we have to collect - needs something to break up the monotony. With no boring tasks to complete and Foundables we hardly ever (or never) see on offer, Dragon Week sounds like a good time. If it is, we hope to see more like it in the future.

Hogwarts Mystery Update

We've at least been able to live vicariously through our Hogwarts Mystery characters during this period of social isolation. Going to school, businesses, and illicit club meetings - all without wearing a mask - has served as a small, animated reminder of better times, and Jam City is teasing that another remnant of the past will be coming soon: romance!

If you and your significant other have been waving from across the room and surreptitiously spraying one another with Lysol at night for the past six months, you'll want to keep an eye out for this lovey-dovey side quest.

 

 

Elsewhere, we're all caught up with the story line, so journey along with us as we visually recap that process!

 

Beatrice Haywood is becoming a less-annoying version of herself in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

This was a most excellent first step. A less-annoying Beatrice? Yes, please. Never mind that the person she's become is literally Ismelda Murk - as long as she's not throwing tantrums anymore, we can live with that.

 

Your character wonders what sort of dangers they'll encounter in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

Well, this is Hogwarts we're talking about, so... anything from rabid Murtlaps to homicidal maniacs doubling as professors? Who doesn't love a surprise? We're down to confronting "R," the Dark wizard cabal itself, so the hope at the moment is that it's a very exclusive cabal with limited membership.

 

Chiara Lobosca is as averse to people as we are in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

Never has a statement been so relevant. Now to put our plan in motion without arousing suspicion...

 

The Weird Sisters are suspiciously lurking around the Three Broomsticks in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

The Weird Sisters certainly arouse suspicion in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

THEY'RE BACK!! And they've brought with them a reminder of another joy from days gone by: concerts.

 

The Weird Sisters fondly reminisce about your epic concert in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

We did rock Hogwarts in live-at-the-Budokan levels of awesomeness that night. Anyway, back to the story.

 

Ben Copper has issues with the moon in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

What the actual hell, Ben? Remind us to get Copper some anger-management treatment when this is all over. We're starting to miss the old Ben.

 

Ben Copper makes his patented Ben face in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

Okay, we take that back. Moving on...

 

Professor Sprout tells you to stay away from the Whomping Willow in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

Yeah, that's the correct way to get people not to do something. But sure, Professor Sprout, we'll stay away from the Whomping Willow. We totally promise.

 

You fail to follow Professor Sprout's advice to stay away from the Whomping Willow in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

So after we went to the Whomping Willow with Merula Snyde, we learned that "R" is planning a secret rendezvous. We need to be there. If we could only think of someone who could help us formulate a strategy to infiltrate the meeting...

 

Barnaby Lee is less than pleased to see Argus Filch in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

No, definitely not him.

 

Your character receives a visit from Mad-Eye Moody in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

There we go! Much like every other adult in the wizarding world, Mad-Eye clearly has no problem whatsoever with sending teenagers into potentially deadly situations, so he was quick to offer a course of action.

 

Your character accepts that they must become Patricia Rakepick in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

At least this means we'll finally get to grow taller in this game! Next on the list is gathering the ingredients Penny Haywood will need to brew Polyjuice Potion. Have you ever picked fluxweed with Talbott Winger in the pale moonlight?

 

Your character picks fluxweed under a full moon with Talbott Winger in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

Now you have, complete with a cameo by Chiara Lobosca, though Talbott doesn't know that yet. The most difficult part was finding a piece of Patricia Rakepick.

 

Bill Weasley is somehow adept at identifying ginger hair in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

You of all people would know, bro. Hair in hand, we also consulted with Professor Snape for a little insight on Rakepick's demeanor.

 

Professor Snape continues to hold his grudges in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

One guess as to which wizards rank first and second on that list. From there, we paid a visit to Andre Egwu to make sure we had Rakepick's distinctive style - unpleasant chic - down pat.

 

Your character does a spot-on Patricia Rakepick impersonation in "Hogwarts Mystery".

 

We feel ya, but alas, the next chapter has yet to be released. So we'll have to be content with wasting time and energy on the dreaded events until our quest for love rolls around. You can also kill a few moments by watching the game's new trailer!

 

Puzzles & Spells Update

Puzzles & Spells is still in preregistration mode, but while you wait, we can address a few common questions that will help you hit the ground running.

There's been a bit of confusion about the function of creatures and whether unlocking new ones removes access to your previous furry and feathered friends. As you solve puzzles, you automatically collect cards that will eventually fill out albums in Hagrid's Hut. Completing an album earns you a creature - everything from rats, toads, owls, and cats to Pygmy Puffs, phoenixes, and knarls - and that creature will then be available to offer you a bit of in-game assistance. Making matches fills up your creature's meter, and once it's full, a medallion will become available that can be used to blast out large sections of the board. Different creatures deliver different levels of boosts, and you can change your creature at any time by visiting your profile. In some versions of the game, the creature medallion automatically appears on your game board and jumps from place to place until you tap to activate it. The Zynga team has said a new version will improve upon that, allowing you to decide when you want the medallion to appear on the board.

We previously let you know about asking for lives within your club (once you join one), but some gamers have had trouble finding those lives once they've been gifted by other members. The gifted lives won't flow directly into your active life count at the top of the screen. Instead, check your inbox - which appears as a Hogwarts letter - on your Play screen. You can store up to 15 gifted lives in your inbox and activate them whenever you like. Another fun sidenote is that, unlike in other Potter games, you can actually chat with your club in Puzzles & Spells.

You should consider using that chat function to motivate one another. If your club starts outperforming others, you'll find it climbing up the leaderboard, which can lead to some helpful perks. Placing in the top five in your current tier in a given week will advance your club to the next tier. The higher the tier, the better the rewards. You can click the green circle in the top right corner of the shield that denotes your club's current tier on the leaderboard to view the different tiers and their associated perks.

 

Pictured is the leaderboard in "Puzzles & Spells".

 

You'll also find classes - Charms with Professor Flitwick, Potions with Professor Snape, etc. - on your Events screen a few times a week. These are separate from the standard gameplay and allow you to work progressively toward a rewards chest, earning spell upgrades and power-ups as you go. Failing a puzzle in these classes won't subtract from your lives, but it will cost you the quills needed to participate in these weekly events. Quills are some of the items earned by moving up the leaderboard with your club, so there's another reason to be sociable!

It should also be noted that Zynga posted in the game's support forum Monday that customer service will be slow to respond due to reductions in operations as a result of health precautions. There's no word as to whether that might delay the game's wide release.

Other Gaming News

It was of great interest to gamers and gaming companies alike when AT&T listed Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for sale as part of its attempt to minimize losses incurred during its acquisition of Time Warner. But Bloomberg reported last week that AT&T has removed WB Interactive from its sale list, keeping titles such as Wizards Unite with Warner Bros. The publishing company also includes such developers as Rocksteady Studios, Avalanche Software, and Monolith Productions, so as you can imagine, it was generating a lot of interest on the market. It's rumored that one of the factors in AT&T's decision to keep WB Interactive was the impending release of the long-rumored Harry Potter RPG and its potential to be a very lucrative title.

Moving on, we let you know about Niantic's partnership with Qualcomm back in January, and things are starting to happen there. Niantic announced last week that it has also partnered with such mobile networks as Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe, Orange, SKT, SoftBank, TELUS, and Verizon - spanning Australia, parts of Europe, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States - to form the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance. These cellular partners will help the company distribute exclusive 5G-ready augmented reality (AR) content and demonstrate 5G AR experiences to the public. Niantic's ultimate goal is to make AR products and experiences available to consumers at affordable prices.

There are many advantages to players with 5G-ready AR content, including sub-millisecond low latency and high bandwidth. For our Niantic explorers, this means that any number of players can collaborate or compete in the same virtual space in real-time on their respective devices.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg also announced that Niantic is in the process of being sued by NantWorks, LLC, a multinational conglomerate holding company that deals in AR technology. NantWorks is alleging that Niantic infringed on three of its patents while developing new AR features for Wizards Unite and Pokémon GO. Niantic has not commented on the suit, but we'll keep you posted.

 

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Brienne Green

I'm a passionate journalist, feeding my wizarding world obsession on MuggleNet by night, forever trying to find ways to work "Potter" references into high school sports stories by day. When not writing, I can be often be found making quiche at 2 a.m., playing Queen tunes on the piano, or talking (and talking and talking) about Sirius Black.