Before you get started, you must choose a school of magic to study. Though you'll be able to learn bits of other types of magic, the school you chose here will reflect your primary area of expertise.
You can either pick a school by directly selecting one or by taking a quiz that assigns you to a school based on your answers. In this screenshot, we've chosen the school of Storm.
We start with the basics: boy or girl.
Now you can chose from a variety of appearance options.
Now that you've picked basic appearance, you can customize your clothing, picking from a range of colors and styles. (Though armor drops throughout the game will have stats -- which you may want! -- you'll still be able to customize your clothing with dyes.)
Once you've picked your look it's time to select a name. Though you cannot freely type in a name (part of making the game kid friendly -- this naming system keeps inappropriate names out), there are numerous options in their name generator, where you select a first name, the first half of a last name, and the second half of a last name. (You'll also be able to e-mail in requests for custom names.)
Another shot of the naming options.
Combat in Wizard101 is played like a card game. Each spell you have is a card you can add to your deck. You draw cards at the beginning of combat and play them to summon powerful creatures.
Because Wizard101 aims to be a kid-safe environment, chat options are restricted, with different levels of chat access set by the parent.
Easy Chat allows you to communicate basic messages from a drop-down menu.
As you can see, Easy Chat has a variety of options that allow the player to communicate sufficiently to group up and play with others.
This classroom is devoted to the study of Fire Magic. If you decided to study the School of Fire during character creation -- or even if you didn't! -- this is where you will go to train Fire spells. For those not choosing to specialize in Fire, however, the spells come at a cost!
The ability to customize your appearance and outfit right from the start should mean that no two characters will look alike.
Higher level characters show off their garb.
No MMO would be complete without a way to find out where you are and where you're going. Wizard101's maps are full of doodles along the margins. Some doodles help you find your way around while others are just for fun.
This map of Unicorn Way -- one of the first zones you'll explore -- notes locations of key NPCs and monsters.