The only thing more distracting than virtual cats (and being an imaginary cat lady) are virtual dragons. Flight Rising is a game where players can breed, raise, and battle their very own dragons. I am fairly certain that everyone has wanted a dragon when they were a child at least once (a friendly, best friend dragon, of course). Enter a site that lets you have as many dragon as can fit in your lair, and lets you extend your lair size. How many dragons can you house, in total, at the biggest lair size? 175. You can have 175 of your own dragons.
I joined Flight Rising in July 2013, one month after it first opened to the public. I first heard about it on HubPages after reading an article from a writer I followed. I was instantly hooked; I’ve loved dragons ever since childhood, and Flight Rising seemed like a perfect match. I waited for the next registration window, and made an account. At the beginning, players are asked to join one of eleven flights: arcane, earth, fire, ice, light, lightning, nature, plague, shadow, water, and wind. Each flight has their own backstory, eye color, userpage and nest design, and flight forums. Each week, the eleven flights battle for dominance, and each month features one of the flights’ own holidays.
As much as I enjoy the game itself, what I have come to appreciate the most is the community. While no flight is inherently mean or unaccepting of new members, each flight has developed its own community reputation: for example, earth is known for its friendly nature, while plague is known for pushing for dominance. I can’t say for certain if all the stereotypes are true, as I have only been part of two flights; when I first joined, I chose arcane. The lore seemed to fit me well, though I was also partial to nature and earth. But as arcane grew bigger, I grew more distant; topics on the flight forum moved quickly, and I felt a little alone.
One day, Flight Rising introduced flight changes: users could change from one flight to another, once every six months, as long as their nests were empty. The first change was free, but the rest had to be paid for with in-game currency. After some deliberation between earth and nature, I chose earth. Earth is and has always been the smallest flight, and I *once again) chose based on the lore. However, I immediately felt more at home. The community was so friendly, sending me surprise gifts just for being a new transfer. I was offered free dragons, familiars, dragon apparel, and more. I felt like earth was the flight I should have chosen when I first joined.
I went on hiatus during the summer of last year, but that sense of community drew me back. Earth members helped me find the spark that made me love Flight Rising again, offering suggestions on how to love my lair, and create stories for my dragons. And I realized that, as a writer, this was what I wanted; I wanted my dragons, my clan, to have a story behind them. I love creating characters – why didn’t this occur to me sooner? Between the virtual dragons and the community, my heart was won over once again.
As of October 2016, I no longer play Flight Rising. I still encourage anyone interested to give it a try, though!