Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, My Initial Thoughts!

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It’s here! It’s in beta, but it’s here! (in AUS and NZ anyway.) I have been waiting for this game for forever! I enjoyed Pokemon Go for a while, but my enjoyment of the game slowly fizzled out as I haven’t been a huge fan of Pokemon since I was about 9 years old, playing Pokemon Red on my brothers old clunky Nintendo Gameboy! But as anyone who has been reading my blog or following my Instagram for any length of time will know, my love for Harry Potter knows no bounds!

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is something else all together! Game play is fairly consistent with what it was like in Pokemon Go, only it’s so much more MAGICAL! Once you’ve created an account on HPWU, you’re quickly thrown into the Wizarding World, which is under threat of being exposed due to a strange event called the “Calamity” causing magical creatures, items and locations to pop up all over the Muggle world!

Now, I’m sure you’ve guessed it! It’s your job to stop the Calamity from exposing the Wizarding World through using magic spells and completing quests. There is also a brilliant overarching storyline that reveals itself the more you play and the more mysterious items you encounter. But lets not get too deep into that, I’m sure more than anything you’re probably interested in what this game looks like and how it feels to play, so here’s the low down from one book nerd to another!

Profile Customisation 

I know this will be important to any Potterhead! When you start the game, you’re able to fill in your Ministry ID, which consists of your name, Hogwarts house, your wand preference and, once you hit level 6, your choice of profession! There are a few other fun customisation options on your ID such as adding achievement stickers and changing your title. These are presets that will unlock the more you play. You don’t need to antagonise over what you choose for any of your ID customisation though, as it appears you can change these at any time, including your house and wand preference.img_2814

One thing I’ve been a little disappointed with so far is the lack of customisation when it comes to your avatar! I want my character to look like me, all decked out in robes and maybe a fun hat! However, I presume this will change. Pokemon Go has extensive options when it comes to customising your avatar, some that you can even pay real world money for to apply to your character, so it would be silly of Niantic to not include these options in the game at a later date. Until then, it appears your avatar is just a nondescript wizard that changes colour based on which Hogwarts house you assign yourself.
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Professions

I was very excited to get to level 6, only because I really wanted to choose a profession for my Witch. It looks like there are three professions to choose from so far which are: Auror, Magizoologist and Professor. Each profession has it’s own unique set of abilities and attributes that you are able to build upon as you progress through the game and gain experience!

Aurors are best at spell casting and defeating dark wizards, Magizoologists are best at tackling magical beasts and acting as a support character in team play and Professors are all rounders with a deep magical knowledge.

Each profession brings something different to the party when taking on a Fortress. These are much like raids in Pokemon Go, where you work together as a unit to defeat the Fortress level by level and gain experience and cool magical items!

Overall Gameplay & Fun

The game so far is incredibly fun and interactive. Casting spells, brewing potions, using Portkeys and completing quests will have any Harry Potter fan jumping for joy. I’m sure the more I play there will be things that will need improvements, just as there was with Pokemon Go. But the game has already got a really incredible, immersive base that will likely only get better with each update!

So those are my initial thoughts after one day of playing. So far so good! Will you be playing when it makes it to your country? Or maybe you’re in AUS or NZ and are already playing! Let me know in the comments or find me on Instagram @readingsumpton and let me know how you’re finding it! Until then, I’ll leave you with this cute picture of a Mooncalf I encountered and saved by casting Alohomora!

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How To Gain Followers On Bookstagram

I am sorta new to Bookstagram. If only because most of the time I have had a Bookstagram I was also pregnant with my daughter and had a heck of a lot to think about, which means instagram went by the wayside for a little while. But! If you are completely new to Bookstagram (hi, lets be friends!) Bookstagram is an Instagram account dedicated to, you guessed it, books! My account grew from 0 followers to 600+ within the first month I started. I am in no way an expert and there are accounts with tens of thousands of people following them that probably know a lot more than I do. Below are just a few tips I picked up along the way. Had I been more consistent in my first year I would probably have had more growth than I do now. However, below I will discuss my first few months on Bookstagram and things I learned when I got started.

Choose A Theme By Letting It Come Naturally

When I started my Bookstagram or even my personal account (years ago) I never really decided on a set theme which made it hard for me to dive right in and decide what I wanted my Bookstagram to look like. However, I encourage you to take a look at your personal account, if you have one. What colours do you favour? Do you use a particular filter to make all your photos look similar? I went into Bookstagram with an aim of creating photos I enjoyed the look of. For me that means a lot of neutral tones, natural light and a little bit of what feels like ‘home’ when I look at them! For others, it can mean the total opposite. But I encourage you to let your theme develop naturally. You don’t want to be half way through posting and realise you aren’t enjoying your content at all because it isn’t really “you” in any way! Your style may slowly change over time, but as long as you are focusing on what you like and not trying to determine what other people want you to create, you’ll do just fine!

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Your theme will change and develop over time. (@readingsumpton)

Interact With Fellow Bookstagrammers

This one’s easy and in my opinion, the most important! Talk! Comment, message, like people’s content, but above all, be sincere. Don’t just comment “great pic :)” on every picture you see. Be engaging! This platform is as much for making friends as it is for getting your content out there and seen! I know I have made some wonderful friends on Bookstagram and you can too!

Don’t Ask For Shoutouts, But DO Ask For Advice

Don’t go to big accounts asking for a shoutout, they won’t like it. These people have worked damn hard to get that many followers. But if you have a question for them, whether it be “How did you manage to expand your follower base? Do you have any tips for someone starting out?” or “I love your photos, just wondering if you could let me know what camera you use?” most people won’t mind this at all and it builds relationships with more successful bookstagrammers! I have been lucky enough to have some of my more successful friends give me shoutouts and its honestly, the most wonderful thing in the world when it comes naturally and they are not feeling forced into it!

Camera Or Iphone, It Doesn’t Matter

I know a lot of people use DSLR’s to capture their Bookstagram content. You want to know what I use? Well it’s your lucky day because Imma tell you! I use an iPhone 7 Plus. Yep, I use an iPhone! I have even had people ask me what camera I use for my photographs before! So don’t be hesitant to start your gram purely because you feel your camera isn’t good enough! I would however, get accustomed to using the iPhone camera settings! Make sure you learn how to control the exposure and focus of your iPhone camera (its as easy as a tap on the screen, but get friendly with it and learn how to capture the best photo you possibly can)! I started my Bookstagram with the intent of it being fun and easy, this meant, pointing and shooting with my iPhone!

Make Good Use Of Hashtags

If you look at any number of accounts with a higher follower count, you will notice that nearly all of them use hashtags to ensure their content has a wider reach. Below are just a few of the tags I have seen and used! By using hashtags you are expanding the amount of people who can see your content from just the people who follow you, to people who browse and follow certain hashtags!

#bookstagram, #bookstagrammer, #bookish, #igreads, #yareads, #reader, #bibliophile, #booklover, #booktography, #instabooks

You can find the more popular hashtags by checking out the accounts of Bookstagrammers you follow and seeing what they are tagging their pictures with. This really helps expand your reach.

Host A Giveaway (Optional & Not Necessary)

When I got to 500 follows, I decided to host a giveaway! This is totally optional, but it is a huge part of why my follower base climbed from 500 – 800 in about 2 weeks! I will organise another post on how to run a giveaway later, but if you plan to do one, I encourage you to research as much information as you can before you decide to open a giveaway! Look into other peoples giveaways and check out some bookish blog posts about it. It can be tricky to strike a balance as you don’t want people outside the Bookstagram community entering, only to unfollow you when the giveaway is over! So as I said, I highly recommend doing your research before you host a giveaway!

Most Importantly, Just Have Fun

So those are my tips for anyone looking to join the Bookstagram community! My follower count is still steadily growing, but above all I am having fun. Bookstragam should be a way to get to know more people who enjoy the same things as you. Don’t obsess over the number of followers you gain or lose. Just focus on creating content you are proud of and make some friends! If you are interested in following my account, I am @readingsumpton.

See ya round friends!