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The Karamelle Story Thread (SPOILERS)

1
AuthorMessage
Developer
Karamelle is finally out, and people have had time to play through it. The writing group is very happy with how the world turned out, and it definitely went on a long and interesting journey from conception to live. From a personal point of view, this is the first full world I've developed from a blank slate (Wizard City Underground wasn't a full world, and a lot of Empyrea had been defined by the arc before, which I was involved with but didn't "own"). It was very rewarding to make, and the response we've had from players so far has been extremely gratifying.

So, what did y'all think? Any questions?

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
985
The Curator on Nov 25, 2020 wrote:
Karamelle is finally out, and people have had time to play through it. The writing group is very happy with how the world turned out, and it definitely went on a long and interesting journey from conception to live. From a personal point of view, this is the first full world I've developed from a blank slate (Wizard City Underground wasn't a full world, and a lot of Empyrea had been defined by the arc before, which I was involved with but didn't "own"). It was very rewarding to make, and the response we've had from players so far has been extremely gratifying.

So, what did y'all think? Any questions?
I've been expecting a thread from you! I would love to share my thoughts on the subject.

Karamelle managed to make an amusing candyland into a place that provided enough thrill and activity to effectively introduce Arc 4. I'm sure others will talk about the story itself, and I want to make this post quick (I have a lot to talk about so I'll talk some more later) so I'd just like to point out elements that were left to build into future worlds:

We do not recover the Old One. While we able to successfully find and escape with the other Cabalists, the Old One has not been seen since he fell into the Cavity in the Von Trap Estate. While I do not know where he is, how he is faring, or even who he is, I have a feeling we'll see him again in the future. I have high hopes that you'll build upon this in future.

We meet a dark reflection of ourselves inside the Cavity. This being, who I have dubbed the Anti-Wizard, is a shocking reveal for a major villain. How could we be in two places at once, and what does it want? I have my suspicions about what might be influencing the Anti-Wizard (I'll talk about them later.) And may I just take a moment to say how well-structured the reveal was? Very shocking and effective.

Bartleby speaks about what we've experienced. I can tell you took a lot of effort in making these words! They give a lot of veiled warnings and reflections to what we are going to be facing. Amazing, well-structured cliffhanger.

Survivor
Jan 26, 2017
23
Always love these story threads! I first of all want to thank you and the rest of the team for being able to get this update out this year.

My Thoughts on Karamelle...

I honestly think this is the best written world in all of wizard101. The way the writing team was able to have such a goofy and silly story but still have things feel like they matter is quite impressive. The story of Karamelle mostly focuses on comedy but it's done in such a way where it still feels like everything matters.

The musical cutscene was amazing... I think that's all I need to say on that it was just that good.

The side quests are so good. I'm thinking of three off the top of my head I really loved. The one with the Nana slideshow that teaches you about witches. The one where the gobbler ate the factory. And my favorite has to be "The Wizardful101" with quotes such as... "Grr, I'm malistaire and I miss being married" and the "Singing dinosaur concert"

Also I felt the ending was also amazing. Finding out the wizard had something to do with the cavities was such a good reveal. It gave me the impression that the wizard is going to struggle greatly in determining how to solve new issues that arise this arc. Almost like... there's NOTHING they can do about it.

When it comes to things I disliked about the world. It would mainly be the small amount of gross out humor. It was used so little through that it's honestly a nitpick.

I think that's all I had to say in terms of my feelings on this world!

Questions

So... about the old one. I saw a post pointing out that a character looking quite a bit like him appears in multiple pirate101 puppet shows. And the one that really got my attention was how he seemed to be annoying Marco Pollo in some way during the first El Dorado puppet show. Considering the old one moves history along... That would make sense for him to have an interest in a lot of the events of pirate101. My question would be, was that the old one in those puppet shows? Or did the team just really think the design fit and went with it.

Actually... Speaking of El Dorado. Is there a chance we could get some El Dorado lore in wizard101? Or is that world too closely connected with pirate101 for it to really make sense?

Is Von Trapp the next Mellori? (A character who will have a major role to play the entire arc)

One thing I found strange is how there was no discussion about finding the old one at the end of Karamelle. Will this be discussed early in the next world?

Will the next world be much more serious compared to this one?

This might be telling... But are you interested in exploring worlds outside the spiral? (If there are worlds outside the spiral?)

Has the 4th arc been 100% mapped out? Or are you still filling in some of the blanks.

Have you ever come across a piece of wizard101 lore that you really dislike? Something you wish could be removed from the canon?

My final two questions have to do with old posts I remember reading on the pirate101 fourms... I remember you mentioning that cool ranch was first developed for wizard101 but got moved over to pirate101. As far as you know are there any other worlds that have done this? Also I remember you saying the passive voice was bad for writing why is that?

Oh one thing I wanted to mention about the wizard city drains... The four horse men side quest might just be my favorite side quest in the game. It's such a good side quest.

Again, thanks for all you and the rest of the team do. It's always good to know this game is in such good hands.

Astrologist
Dec 16, 2009
1035
What a pleasure it is to join you for another story thread! First of all I would like to thank you and your team for Karamelle- it was such a great story, with well written characters that feel like real people. I can't remember the last world where I was as excited to do all the side quests and my only major disappointment is that there are so few of them to do- before I knew it- I had acquired the "Clean Plate Club" badge.

The world building is also exquisite, I really felt like I got a grasp of how the world works. From Nana's sugar-coated monopoly of the supply and demand chains of the world economy to the ubiquitous and mysteriously independent ratings board. I particularly enjoyed the explanation of the divergent evolution that led to the gobblers as a species: a stranded ancient Alphoi expedition that landed on Karamelle and fell victim to the world's tasty designs-brilliant! We knew of the Alphoi- gobbler connection from Byrin in Empyrea but this was an excellent way to flesh it out. How did you even think to use the mentos and soda reaction as the primary energy source of the world? And treacle as both a stealth weapon and treat that only the marleymite making Marleybonians would be able to wolf down- lol amazing.

I could gush on about this world for hours but on to the questions. First off the old one- I remember asking you in Pirate101 if the character that appeared in virtually all of the puppet shows would be important. At the time, you stated he was a running gag- a nod to Cthulhu. My question is: much like the concept of Karamelle itself- has The Old One been fleshed out? He seems the perfect candidate for major arc villain.

Speaking of the Old One- in that same thread years ago I asked you if the Cthonic Powers that slumbered in darkness were real and you responded in the affirmative. I have a sneaking suspicion that they're the true motivation of the Old One- with 2 of the 3 creation deities out of the way and access to a possible ally in the Aberrant Paradox...I do hope we get to explore some more Lovecraftian parallels...although a Wiz interpretation of something like Azathoth sounds absolutely terrifying(although I do think Cthulu himself is a stronger possibility)

Bouncing off the Lovecraftian parallels- I absolutely loved seeing them in Karamelle's sidequests. The color out of space and the case of Charlene ward are particular standouts. The Aberrant Paradox appears to have design elements reminiscent of being underwater which is coupled with Bartleby's dialogue attributing the "Nothing" to being under a vast sea. This leads to my next question: Is this a deliberate design choice and reference to R'lyeh or would that be telling?

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
985
I have some thoughts I would like to share with out about the Anti-Wizard (Aberrant Paradox). I can't think of any clue as to its purpose or intentions, but I instead have some theories abut its origin. I'll share my thoughts on where it may have come from:

The Anti-Wizard was birthed from the Paradox Essence we infused with the Chaos Heart at the end of Arc 3. At the end of Empyrea Part 2, we infuse our Divine Paradox essence to the Chaos Heart to hold it in place instead of the Paradox Chains. In our previous story thread with you, we asked you if it would be likely for us to assume the form of the Divine Paradox again. You responded in the negative because "Mellori and Bat gave up much of their energy to allow us to assume that form" making it a one-time event.

My theory is that the Essence has somehow taken a mind of its own, and has been warped by the Chaos Heart's cosmic energy to become the Anti-Wizard. But it doesn't have a true form or body of its own yet; if you look at the Aberrations that it sends at you they constantly warp and shift around as if they're a viscous gas. I believe that despite its seemingly phenomenal power, it can't survive in the Spiral's reality, so it instead dwells in its own little pocket dimension.

For whatever reason, though, the Anti-Wizard wants to see us, the real Wizard, really badly. So, it opens holes to its dimension (The Cavities) in an attempt to seek us out.

This is my best guess at the origins of the Anti-Wizard. I don't know if it will turn out entirely true, but it is the best guess that I can think of given the resources. Now I would like to ask The Curator: Is it possible for you to confirm (or deny) if any of my thoughts are accurate? Or would that be telling?

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
985
Alright, some more questions here. (Sorry if I'm overwhelming this thread with my questions I have many and I must speak them.)

When we speak with Bartleby at the end of Karamelle, he says the following line: "You are the terminus, Wizard, the shore between land and sea, between the Spiral and beyond." I have three questions relating to this:

.Could it be possible that the "Shore between land and sea" references Grandfather Spider's mention of the "Hidden Lands an Broken Shores" at the end of Khrysalis? Or does it refer to our position as the Diving Paradox?

.My most reasonable thought when thinking about being the connection "Between the Spiral and beyond" is of our Wizard's origins on Earth. To those unaware, our Wizard is from Earth and is not of the Spiral. This is acknowledged in two places, during our character's creation and at the end of Empyrea Part 1. The Curator has said in the past that Earth and the Spiral are connected in some way or other, but typically do not interact with each other. Does this statement by Bartleby reflect our Wizard's origins on Earth?

. The dictionary definition of a terminus is "A final point in space or time; an end or extremity." Does this mean tat our Wizard is supposed to signify the end of something?

Somewhat related to my second question above. In all of Wizard101's history, there has not, to my knowledge, been any reference to our Wizard's time on Earth. Our origins from there weren't even acknowledged until the end of Empyrea Part 1, and no point in the story has ever stated who we were or what we did before we came to Ravenwood. To our knowledge, we may very well also be the only individual in the Spiral that is from Earth (There was that time when Crab Alley was in Beta that Kingsisle partnered with Selena Gomez, but that was a short piece of history that was removed long before the real Crab Alley came out and has consequentially been erased from the game's canon.) Is it possible that Arc 4 will delve a little into our Wizard's origins/backstory?

The bosses in Karamelle seem to have an... abnormally low amount of health on its bosses. The average health for bosses is around 11,000, with even the final boss (The Aberrant Paradox) having little more than 12,000 health. This is much lower than bosses in the past, considering that even bosses as far back as Azteca and Khrysalis, to this day, approach 18,000 to 20,000 health. These bosses in Karamelle have much less then that, making them honestly not so difficult to defeat. Would you mind explaining why this decision was made?

Developer
Lookit Light on Nov 30, 2020 wrote:
I've been expecting a thread from you! I would love to share my thoughts on the subject.

Karamelle managed to make an amusing candyland into a place that provided enough thrill and activity to effectively introduce Arc 4. I'm sure others will talk about the story itself, and I want to make this post quick (I have a lot to talk about so I'll talk some more later) so I'd just like to point out elements that were left to build into future worlds:

We do not recover the Old One. While we able to successfully find and escape with the other Cabalists, the Old One has not been seen since he fell into the Cavity in the Von Trap Estate. While I do not know where he is, how he is faring, or even who he is, I have a feeling we'll see him again in the future. I have high hopes that you'll build upon this in future.

We meet a dark reflection of ourselves inside the Cavity. This being, who I have dubbed the Anti-Wizard, is a shocking reveal for a major villain. How could we be in two places at once, and what does it want? I have my suspicions about what might be influencing the Anti-Wizard (I'll talk about them later.) And may I just take a moment to say how well-structured the reveal was? Very shocking and effective.

Bartleby speaks about what we've experienced. I can tell you took a lot of effort in making these words! They give a lot of veiled warnings and reflections to what we are going to be facing. Amazing, well-structured cliffhanger.
Glad you liked it! It was definitely nice to be able to lay down a few loose threads instead of having to tie them all up.

The stuff you point out was definitely left to resolve in future updates. I look forward to your future comments!

Developer
@Alligatorman900:

So... about the old one. I saw a post pointing out that a character looking quite a bit like him appears in multiple pirate101 puppet shows. And the one that really got my attention was how he seemed to be annoying Marco Pollo in some way during the first El Dorado puppet show. Considering the old one moves history along... That would make sense for him to have an interest in a lot of the events of pirate101. My question would be, was that the old one in those puppet shows? Or did the team just really think the design fit and went with it.

That was indeed the Old One in those puppet shows. The real question you should be asking is whether or not we knew who the Old One was when we made the Pirate puppet shows, or if we thought the image was just hilarious...

Actually... Speaking of El Dorado. Is there a chance we could get some El Dorado lore in wizard101? Or is that world too closely connected with pirate101 for it to really make sense?

I'd love to, but it would take an awful lot of setup. As far as Pirate/Wizard crossover, I'm hoping we can keep it at the level of cameos and characters, with perhaps some tantalizing glimpses of Pirate worlds along the way (like Valencia).

Is Von Trapp the next Mellori? (A character who will have a major role to play the entire arc)

That was not an original intent, but he has proven so popular that he might. Maulwurf ended up becoming more than his original idea - the character grew and evolved as we wrote him and got the VO. I don't know if he'd have a role the size of Mellori, but future cameos are not out of the question.

One thing I found strange is how there was no discussion about finding the old one at the end of Karamelle. Will this be discussed early in the next world?

Yeah... we may have been a little hasty at the end there. Don't worry, the fate of the Old One is something that will be dealt with very quickly.

Will the next world be much more serious compared to this one?

It's hard to say until the actual quests are written, but I expect it will be less silly.

This might be telling... But are you interested in exploring worlds outside the spiral? (If there are worlds outside the spiral?)

That is indeed telling. We've established there are worlds outside the Spiral (Earth is one!), and the whole notion of the unknown is hard to resist.

Has the 4th arc been 100% mapped out? Or are you still filling in some of the blanks.

The general shape is mapped out. I find its best not to pin things down until you have to - if a great idea comes after you've mapped everything out to great detail, it forces a choice: do you lose work and redo that map, or do you pass on the good idea? So my goal is always to know as much as we need to know fir the task at hand. Back in the days of Lost and Battlestar Galactica there was this mystique about TV writers having multi-year plots all mapped out, but believe me, that's hype.

Have you ever come across a piece of wizard101 lore that you really dislike? Something you wish could be removed from the canon?

That's a tough one! I don't think there's anything I'd like removed, but I can say my biggest regret about the canon as it exists is that Grizzleheim wasn't part of the mainline. Grandmother raven was too big a thing to introduce in a world we can't guarantee players have played.

My final two questions have to do with old posts I remember reading on the pirate101 fourms... I remember you mentioning that cool ranch was first developed for wizard101 but got moved over to pirate101. As far as you know are there any other worlds that have done this? Also I remember you saying the passive voice was bad for writing why is that?

There aren't any other worlds that have directly shifted between games. There has been some influence - Skull Island owes a lot to the beachy side of Celestia, for example, but nothing as direct as Cool Ranch.

Passive Voice: it's weaker. Saying "the ball was hit by the boy" just isn't as strong as saying "the boy hit the ball." Also, when I'm counting every character in a text box, it's shorter too. If you're using it in character dialogue and trying to make them seem overly pedantic or wishy washy, I suppose it works, but in prose it never helps - kill it with fire.

Oh one thing I wanted to mention about the wizard city drains... The four horse men side quest might just be my favorite side quest in the game. It's such a good side quest.

I can't claim credit for that one - one of the writers loves to throw himself into the side quests, and the results in the last few worlds have been really stellar. I love it too.

Thanks for all the kind words!

Defender
Jul 26, 2012
131
Oh! I have a burning question! During a past KI live you mentioned you were initially on the fence about adding Karamelle as a world but there was a specific pun that finally sold you on it. Now that the Karamelle has been introduced would you care to reveal which one it was?

I also have a more general question about the future story and exploration. Do you think you would ever be interested in doing a main story expansion that involves going to a new area of an already existing world? Think what Wintertusk is for Grizzleheim but as main story content rather than a side world. How about something akin to Pirate101 where new story content involves exploring smaller sections of multiple new worlds instead of just one large world at a time?

Questions aside I would like to say that I really enjoyed the humor in Karamelle. Specifically a lot of the dialogue that poked fun at the game mechanics or story like Treemugger's line about "waiting for your spells to play out as per the ancient rules of magical combat" or Uwe's play about our wizard's adventures.

Delver
Jan 17, 2013
259
Great job with Karamelle! My favorite part of any world release is always the story and soundtrack, so I was really looking forward to what Karamelle would have to offer in terms of those two. While I disliked how silly the world could get at times, I did like how the cavities were interwoven into the storyline and I am certainly excited to see what comes next. I like how mysterious and intriguing the ending was; I am really looking forward to seeing how the story progresses, especially since I remember back in 2018 you were talking about there not being a major villain for this arc.

I was reading a comment where you said that the general shape of the fourth arc is mapped out, so here is my question. Do you know what the remaining two worlds in the fourth arc are? I don't want to know their names; I am just curious if they are already set in stone in KI's plans, or if the story is mapped out but not necessarily the worlds it will take place in.

Can you also do me a favor and let know whoever designed the Karamelle soundtrack that I thought it was really well done? The music in Wizard101 has been sounding more and more orchestrated ever since Khrysalis, and I really enjoyed hearing drums and violins used again in combat themes.

Survivor
Feb 20, 2012
47
I'm sad to say that I haven't really gotten started on Karamelle on any of my Wizards, but I've seen the beginning and end through other sources (YouTube) and I get the feeling it'll be a fun world. With this in mind, I have some questions about it, and some non-Karamelle (but still plot related) questions I hope you can answer. Apologies for getting a bit off-topic.

1.) Is it really so safe to say that the Divine Paradox that we encounter at the end is actually our "evil twin" - that is, an else-world version of the player? I'm not asking for direct confirmation (after all, wouldn't that be telling?), but isn't it possible that they simply took the appearance of the player?

2.) Might the "nothing" we encounter possibly have something to do with the Astral Plane? Qyburn does say that it's "the space between existence and nothingness".

3.) Going back to Arc 3, there's something that's been on my mind lately... We know that the Storm Titan embodies Storm Magic, and that without them Storm Magic can't function correctly (if at all). We also know that the Storm Titan's name is Storm... but my question is: Is the Titan named Storm after the thing he embodies, or is the thing he embodies named after the Titan?

4.) About the Lesser Titans, is it safe to say that they don't always have to be the same species as the original Titan? I'm asking because, on one hand, the original Storm Titan is a triton, but another hand, the Storm Lord is also referred to as a Titan (even by Aztecosaurs), the Ice Titan is a giant, despite there being Fiery Giants, and the Fire Titan is a dragon, despite there being both ice and storm-based dragons.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
985
Allow me to insert my praise about Karamelle's Side Quests and other things that aren't the main story.

Might I just say that the way that the way some of the side quests intertwine with the main story are spectacular? I must in particular praise the series of side quests involving the Burgomaster and the Good Will Ambassador. They give a sense of depth into just what Nana is willing to do to keep her corporation alive, and how badly Karamelle needs to be rid of her influence. Please pass my gratitude on to whatever writer of yours dedicates himself to the side quests. I also enjoyed how funny some of the side quests are, like the side quest involving the Treemugger. My personal favorite is Uwe's quest "The Wizardful 101" It offers a hilarious light on our past adventures, and Uwe's statement "You know me and I know you. For I am Uwe and I make the plays." is so nice sounding that I've started repeating it under my breath.

Questions may follow later.

Developer
@ Lookit Light

So many questions! Let me wade in...

My question is: much like the concept of Karamelle itself- has The Old One been fleshed out?

Not sure what you mean by "fleshed out." I will say that we know who he is, what's currently going on with him, and what his role will or won't be in the story going forward. So yes, I suppose he is - we have everything we need to know mapped out, and he's clear enough that it will be easy to spin more stuff if additional questions arise.

Bartleby's dialogue attributing the "Nothing" to being under a vast sea. This leads to my next question: Is this a deliberate design choice and reference to R'lyeh or would that be telling?

That would be telling. However, I will freely admit that some of us writers were indulging ourselves and letting our Lovecraftian backgrounds run wild. I'd say look at things in terms of concepts and feelings instead of specifics.

My theory is that the Essence has somehow taken a mind of its own, and has been warped by the Chaos Heart's cosmic energy to become the Anti-Wizard. But it doesn't have a true form or body of its own yet; if you look at the Aberrations that it sends at you they constantly warp and shift around as if they're a viscous gas. I believe that despite its seemingly phenomenal power, it can't survive in the Spiral's reality, so it instead dwells in its own little pocket dimension.

For whatever reason, though, the Anti-Wizard wants to see us, the real Wizard, really badly. So, it opens holes to its dimension (The Cavities) in an attempt to seek us out.

This is my best guess at the origins of the Anti-Wizard. I don't know if it will turn out entirely true, but it is the best guess that I can think of given the resources. Now I would like to ask The Curator: Is it possible for you to confirm (or deny) if any of my thoughts are accurate? Or would that be telling?

Of course that would be telling! However, this is a very well-crafted theory - it makes use of the evidence really well - you're paying attention to the details. But you are wrong on a key point or two. As to what the Aberrant Paradox is, we'll be getting to that in good time, don't worry.

Could it be possible that the "Shore between land and sea" references Grandfather Spider's mention of the "Hidden Lands an Broken Shores" at the end of Khrysalis? Or does it refer to our position as the Diving Paradox?

I'd put more credence to the second idea. The Wizard is a union of opposites, as we spelled out in Empyrea. So the union of land and sea, two metaphorical opposites, is what's going on here.

The Curator has said in the past that Earth and the Spiral are connected in some way or other, but typically do not interact with each other. Does this statement by Bartleby reflect our Wizard's origins on Earth?

Yes - Bartleby is pointing out that the wizard is, metaphorically, an intersection of Earth and the Spiral.

The dictionary definition of a terminus is "A final point in space or time; an end or extremity." Does this mean tat our Wizard is supposed to signify the end of something?

Oooooo! That's a very interesting question. There is another way to read Terminus - look up the Roman God of that name, and you'll possibly find more to think about.

Is it possible that Arc 4 will delve a little into our Wizard's origins/backstory?

I'd say no. Ultimately, your wizard's backstory before the game begins is exactly that - yours. Bringing up the Earth origin in Empyrea already stepped on some people's home made character backgrounds, and I don't want to do that any more than we absolutely must.

These bosses in Karamelle have much less then that, making them honestly not so difficult to defeat. Would you mind explaining why this decision was made?

That's systems stuff - the realm of Ratbeard and the horrors of math. I know absolutely nothing of their ways - definitely ask them.

Good questions!!!

Developer
Tanner Silver on Dec 3, 2020 wrote:
Oh! I have a burning question! During a past KI live you mentioned you were initially on the fence about adding Karamelle as a world but there was a specific pun that finally sold you on it. Now that the Karamelle has been introduced would you care to reveal which one it was?

I also have a more general question about the future story and exploration. Do you think you would ever be interested in doing a main story expansion that involves going to a new area of an already existing world? Think what Wintertusk is for Grizzleheim but as main story content rather than a side world. How about something akin to Pirate101 where new story content involves exploring smaller sections of multiple new worlds instead of just one large world at a time?

Questions aside I would like to say that I really enjoyed the humor in Karamelle. Specifically a lot of the dialogue that poked fun at the game mechanics or story like Treemugger's line about "waiting for your spells to play out as per the ancient rules of magical combat" or Uwe's play about our wizard's adventures.
The pun? Cavities. I was having a hard time figuring out how to weave the two plot threads together - Karamelle felt inappropriate for the ongoing mystery thread. But one word made it all click.

Exploring an existing world, like a return to MooShu or Marleybone? I really dig the idea. I'm not sure that it would be as easy as it might seem, though. Let me say that if the flow of the story pulls us in that direction, I'm all for it. But I can neither confirm nor deny that it has or will. ;)

When we built Pirate I had a lot of fun creating "premium" sidequests that let us riff on bigger story elements apart from the main line, quests that were more than just "get X widgets." So we've spent some good energy on side quests - the Four Horsemen are a good example of a very robust side chain. We love them - they let us get seriously goofy! We've been really pleased to see the community response. We loved writing the Uwe quest. It's a rather oblique reference, even for us, but even if you don't catch it it's still very very funny.

Thanks for the questions and feedback!

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
985
The Curator on Dec 7, 2020 wrote:
@ Lookit Light

So many questions! Let me wade in...

My question is: much like the concept of Karamelle itself- has The Old One been fleshed out?

Not sure what you mean by "fleshed out." I will say that we know who he is, what's currently going on with him, and what his role will or won't be in the story going forward. So yes, I suppose he is - we have everything we need to know mapped out, and he's clear enough that it will be easy to spin more stuff if additional questions arise.

Bartleby's dialogue attributing the "Nothing" to being under a vast sea. This leads to my next question: Is this a deliberate design choice and reference to R'lyeh or would that be telling?

That would be telling. However, I will freely admit that some of us writers were indulging ourselves and letting our Lovecraftian backgrounds run wild. I'd say look at things in terms of concepts and feelings instead of specifics.

My theory is that the Essence has somehow taken a mind of its own, and has been warped by the Chaos Heart's cosmic energy to become the Anti-Wizard. But it doesn't have a true form or body of its own yet; if you look at the Aberrations that it sends at you they constantly warp and shift around as if they're a viscous gas. I believe that despite its seemingly phenomenal power, it can't survive in the Spiral's reality, so it instead dwells in its own little pocket dimension.

For whatever reason, though, the Anti-Wizard wants to see us, the real Wizard, really badly. So, it opens holes to its dimension (The Cavities) in an attempt to seek us out.

This is my best guess at the origins of the Anti-Wizard. I don't know if it will turn out entirely true, but it is the best guess that I can think of given the resources. Now I would like to ask The Curator: Is it possible for you to confirm (or deny) if any of my thoughts are accurate? Or would that be telling?

Of course that would be telling! However, this is a very well-crafted theory - it makes use of the evidence really well - you're paying attention to the details. But you are wrong on a key point or two. As to what the Aberrant Paradox is, we'll be getting to that in good time, don't worry.

Could it be possible that the "Shore between land and sea" references Grandfather Spider's mention of the "Hidden Lands an Broken Shores" at the end of Khrysalis? Or does it refer to our position as the Diving Paradox?

I'd put more credence to the second idea. The Wizard is a union of opposites, as we spelled out in Empyrea. So the union of land and sea, two metaphorical opposites, is what's going on here.

The Curator has said in the past that Earth and the Spiral are connected in some way or other, but typically do not interact with each other. Does this statement by Bartleby reflect our Wizard's origins on Earth?

Yes - Bartleby is pointing out that the wizard is, metaphorically, an intersection of Earth and the Spiral.

The dictionary definition of a terminus is "A final point in space or time; an end or extremity." Does this mean tat our Wizard is supposed to signify the end of something?

Oooooo! That's a very interesting question. There is another way to read Terminus - look up the Roman God of that name, and you'll possibly find more to think about.

Is it possible that Arc 4 will delve a little into our Wizard's origins/backstory?

I'd say no. Ultimately, your wizard's backstory before the game begins is exactly that - yours. Bringing up the Earth origin in Empyrea already stepped on some people's home made character backgrounds, and I don't want to do that any more than we absolutely must.

These bosses in Karamelle have much less then that, making them honestly not so difficult to defeat. Would you mind explaining why this decision was made?

That's systems stuff - the realm of Ratbeard and the horrors of math. I know absolutely nothing of their ways - definitely ask them.

Good questions!!!
Thanks for giving some insight into my questions! Though I can't claim responsibility for the first two; you appear to have put Eric Stormbringer's thoughts under my name.

I'm sorry if this is inconvenient for you, but I have two closing questions that have been in the back of my mind. I swear I'll stop flooding this post afterwards (fingers crossed).

Are the Gummy creatures in Karamelle inspired by chemical robots (i.e. soft robots that function and perform tasks using chemical reactions rather than machinery)?

Given the existence of Scholar Zander, and more recently Judge Veg, is it likely that we will see an Australian world sometime in the future?

Thanks for giving us such insightful answers into Karamelle!

Developer
FusionSun on Dec 3, 2020 wrote:
Great job with Karamelle! My favorite part of any world release is always the story and soundtrack, so I was really looking forward to what Karamelle would have to offer in terms of those two. While I disliked how silly the world could get at times, I did like how the cavities were interwoven into the storyline and I am certainly excited to see what comes next. I like how mysterious and intriguing the ending was; I am really looking forward to seeing how the story progresses, especially since I remember back in 2018 you were talking about there not being a major villain for this arc.

I was reading a comment where you said that the general shape of the fourth arc is mapped out, so here is my question. Do you know what the remaining two worlds in the fourth arc are? I don't want to know their names; I am just curious if they are already set in stone in KI's plans, or if the story is mapped out but not necessarily the worlds it will take place in.

Can you also do me a favor and let know whoever designed the Karamelle soundtrack that I thought it was really well done? The music in Wizard101 has been sounding more and more orchestrated ever since Khrysalis, and I really enjoyed hearing drums and violins used again in combat themes.
In answer to your querry, yes, we know where we are headed. And no, I won't say where. ;)

Thanks for the praise on the music - over the last few years the sound department has been working hard to find new ways to enhance the music, and the game experience with it. I've been thrilled by the results - I'll let them know you are too.

Developer
BenStormDust on Dec 6, 2020 wrote:
I'm sad to say that I haven't really gotten started on Karamelle on any of my Wizards, but I've seen the beginning and end through other sources (YouTube) and I get the feeling it'll be a fun world. With this in mind, I have some questions about it, and some non-Karamelle (but still plot related) questions I hope you can answer. Apologies for getting a bit off-topic.

1.) Is it really so safe to say that the Divine Paradox that we encounter at the end is actually our "evil twin" - that is, an else-world version of the player? I'm not asking for direct confirmation (after all, wouldn't that be telling?), but isn't it possible that they simply took the appearance of the player?

2.) Might the "nothing" we encounter possibly have something to do with the Astral Plane? Qyburn does say that it's "the space between existence and nothingness".

3.) Going back to Arc 3, there's something that's been on my mind lately... We know that the Storm Titan embodies Storm Magic, and that without them Storm Magic can't function correctly (if at all). We also know that the Storm Titan's name is Storm... but my question is: Is the Titan named Storm after the thing he embodies, or is the thing he embodies named after the Titan?

4.) About the Lesser Titans, is it safe to say that they don't always have to be the same species as the original Titan? I'm asking because, on one hand, the original Storm Titan is a triton, but another hand, the Storm Lord is also referred to as a Titan (even by Aztecosaurs), the Ice Titan is a giant, despite there being Fiery Giants, and the Fire Titan is a dragon, despite there being both ice and storm-based dragons.
Hey there!

1) I am not going to say anything at all about the Aberrant Paradox - its identity, origins, and place in the story will become clear over time. I will say, however, that there are lots of potnential things it could be, and it's good that you're looking for other possible explanations.

2) Well, for it to be the space between existence and nothingness that sure implies there's a nothingness, doesn't there?

3) Wow, nifty question! That's so metaphysical, I think I'm going to leave it as a chicken/egg thing and say that scholars and authorities have hearty debates on the subject, and so far none have been proven right.

4) The progeny of the Titans (ie the lesser peoples tied to them) do indeed have a lot of variety. I think it is safe to say this, yes.

Developer
Lookit Light on Dec 6, 2020 wrote:
Allow me to insert my praise about Karamelle's Side Quests and other things that aren't the main story.

Might I just say that the way that the way some of the side quests intertwine with the main story are spectacular? I must in particular praise the series of side quests involving the Burgomaster and the Good Will Ambassador. They give a sense of depth into just what Nana is willing to do to keep her corporation alive, and how badly Karamelle needs to be rid of her influence. Please pass my gratitude on to whatever writer of yours dedicates himself to the side quests. I also enjoyed how funny some of the side quests are, like the side quest involving the Treemugger. My personal favorite is Uwe's quest "The Wizardful 101" It offers a hilarious light on our past adventures, and Uwe's statement "You know me and I know you. For I am Uwe and I make the plays." is so nice sounding that I've started repeating it under my breath.

Questions may follow later.
The writer who led the charge on the side quests (not me) thanks you for the praise. Sometimes there are story ideas like the Goodwill Ambassador that are too good to miss, but would bog down the mainline or don't have an obvious place within it - so they're perfect for the more robust side quest chains. It helps make the world feel even more cohesive if all the side quests are related to the main story even if they aren't part of it.

I love side quests, and we've been working to make them as diverting and enjoyable as possible - they also are a good place to cut loose and get really zany. Glad you're digging them!

Developer
Lookit Light on Dec 7, 2020 wrote:
Thanks for giving some insight into my questions! Though I can't claim responsibility for the first two; you appear to have put Eric Stormbringer's thoughts under my name.

I'm sorry if this is inconvenient for you, but I have two closing questions that have been in the back of my mind. I swear I'll stop flooding this post afterwards (fingers crossed).

Are the Gummy creatures in Karamelle inspired by chemical robots (i.e. soft robots that function and perform tasks using chemical reactions rather than machinery)?

Given the existence of Scholar Zander, and more recently Judge Veg, is it likely that we will see an Australian world sometime in the future?

Thanks for giving us such insightful answers into Karamelle!
Oops you're absolutely right! Apologies to you and Mr. Stormbringer for the confusion.

As to the gummies, we weren't thinking to far into the hows, whys and wherefores - we knew we wanted gunnies, but they didn't seem to fit in a world that also had flesh and blood inhabitants. So having them be creations/golemy things was the best we to go. You give us too much credit!

As to Wallaru (the name we dropped for an Austrailian world) I won't talk future worlds. No comment.

Survivor
Feb 14, 2009
8
A world I've always thought was important but we haven't seen much of yet is Darkmoor. Do you think we will ever visit Darkmoor again sometime in the next arc or at all in the near future? Or would that be telling?

Survivor
Aug 02, 2014
7
The Curator on Dec 7, 2020 wrote:
The pun? Cavities. I was having a hard time figuring out how to weave the two plot threads together - Karamelle felt inappropriate for the ongoing mystery thread. But one word made it all click.

Exploring an existing world, like a return to MooShu or Marleybone? I really dig the idea. I'm not sure that it would be as easy as it might seem, though. Let me say that if the flow of the story pulls us in that direction, I'm all for it. But I can neither confirm nor deny that it has or will. ;)

When we built Pirate I had a lot of fun creating "premium" sidequests that let us riff on bigger story elements apart from the main line, quests that were more than just "get X widgets." So we've spent some good energy on side quests - the Four Horsemen are a good example of a very robust side chain. We love them - they let us get seriously goofy! We've been really pleased to see the community response. We loved writing the Uwe quest. It's a rather oblique reference, even for us, but even if you don't catch it it's still very very funny.

Thanks for the questions and feedback!
Let's talk hypothetical for a minute...

Let's say that Karamelle just straight-up didn't fit the plot, and there was no word to make it "click." What world would you have used then? Additionally, would you attempt to craft a new world that hasn't been mentioned by name yet, or a previously mentioned world like Yago or Wallaru?

Additionally, could you provide any hints for the next world? Not anything too obvious, but would it be a world that was mentioned in Pirate or Wizard? Is it the world of an NPC we know of? Does it have historical connections to another world? Or would that be telling?

Champion
Feb 06, 2010
414
The Curator on Nov 25, 2020 wrote:
Karamelle is finally out, and people have had time to play through it. The writing group is very happy with how the world turned out, and it definitely went on a long and interesting journey from conception to live. From a personal point of view, this is the first full world I've developed from a blank slate (Wizard City Underground wasn't a full world, and a lot of Empyrea had been defined by the arc before, which I was involved with but didn't "own"). It was very rewarding to make, and the response we've had from players so far has been extremely gratifying.

So, what did y'all think? Any questions?
Hello there, thanks for stopping by!

I like Karamelle; it's a refreshing new start from the Raven and Spider war. Though I have to admit, I do miss the suspense Khrysalis created with Old Cob. I loved that we got to go back there too, very nostalgic! I enjoyed the Theater in Sweetzburg; that made me laugh - I enjoyed the art that made it look like an old clip! Greta and Samantha were hilarious. Hans, I think, got the short end of the stick, poor guy. Judge Veg was interesting... CASE CLOSED! lol

I have some tough questions if you don't mind.

  • I love learning about the cabal, but at times I feel as though it's losing its intriguing glow. We have defeated many of the prominent members and have been pursuing them since Mirage. Is this the arc we focus on them, and all of that ends?

  • I love Wizard101, and I certainly hope it lasts a very long time. The story is the heart of this game! I sometimes reflect on the entire story. The second and third arc has some awesome vibes, but it feels that our Wizard is entirely invincible, perhaps so much that our existence destroys the Balance of the Spiral. We are the scion of Bartleby; we defeated the ancient witch (and Merle's apprentice) Morganthe, beat Malistaire three times, defeated a titan, defeated grandfather spider, won the spiral cup, fought by the ancient council of light, and possibly defeated a coven of Ravens. I am concerned about where we go from here. Do we have enough ideas? Also is there enough ideas for themes? (Marleybone is old London, Celestia is Atlantis.) I have a hard time thinking of others. It was nice to see you guys branch out and use Star Track for Empyrea, but is there enough of that to pull from something else? I have thought about the hint we receive about other worlds "outside the spiral". If our Wizard travels outside of the Spiral, are we not as powerful? Does that also open an opportunity for a fresh start? We don't want to lose our friends from the Spiral if we leave it, but I hope you understand what I mean. Restore my faith o wise Curator, lol.

  • My final question is this. I love FTUE; please keep that going for as long as you can!


Have a great day!


Survivor
Feb 12, 2009
40
Just realized I can actually use the forums right now, so I wanted to take this opportunity to ask a few questions of my own.

  • Could you talk about how COVID may have impacted the writing process, if at all? Given Karamelle's modest length, I've wondered if perhaps the story is shorter than intended and/or had to change due to the need to adjust to work-from-home.

  • Is 3 worlds a new standard arc length, or are you open to giving an arc as many worlds as it needs? I loved looking forward to 5 worlds in an arc back in the Malistaire and Morganthe days, but it was pretty clear that 5 worlds (especially in arc 2) may have led to too much story padding and/or incoherency at times in order to stretch things out. Still, if there's a story that has enough to tell that it can fit well into more than 3 worlds, I'd hate to see it squished into 3.

  • It might be far too telling to give any response to this, but I did want to try to ask. Whether it be the 4th arc, 5th arc, or the 20th arc, the gated door in the Arcanum with the Cabal emblem is a thread that has been mysteriously left hanging for 5 years since it was introduced in Polaris. Are there plans to EVER open that door, however far out that may or may not be? I guess I'm just curious whether or not it's a dropped plot point.

  • Is there a list somewhere at KI containing all of the worlds that have been mentioned in-game, but have not yet been ventured to? In speculating about what comes next in this arc, it's become apparent that there's a lot of confusion about which places are actually implied to be worlds vs smaller zones in existing worlds (such as Albion, which could either be a zone in Marleybone or a world of its own based on what little we know of it; the same extends to Nodor in relation to Polaris and Alissar in relation to Zafaria, among others). I'd love to see an internal list if one exists. I don't *think* it would spoil anything if we only had worlds we could have seen mentioned already.

  • You mentioned earlier in this thread that the Old One is indeed (at least retroactively) the same character from the Pirate101 puppet shows. So my question is, if were were to look back at those puppet shows, is there potential to find anything useful to speculate on from that character also retroactively?

  • Personally, I feel that Karamelle was the perfect world to introduce the concept of the cavities in, before pulling the rug and giving us the explanation that they weren't caused by Karamelle at all. I can't imagine any other world being more effective at the idea. What I'd like to know is, if Karamelle had NOT been the first world, would these cavities (perhaps under a different name) have shown up in the arc's first world based on a different explanation? If so, I'd be really curious to know what that original idea for introducing the cavities or the arc's antagonist was.

  • Will we get more time to talk to the various Arcanum scholars eventually? In Karamelle's storyline, we really only saw Ione and the newly revealed Maulwurf. The way in which we got our spell via story bypassed the other scholars, which I was a bit sad about because we still know so little about them (Baba Yaga and Ione aside) compared to the time we spent with the Ravenwood professors prior to the Arcanum. I'd love more lore and in general just more interactions with them.

  • This might not be your area, but I've been curious for awhile about a statement made on KI Live (I forget who said it) that Greyrose would have a "peripheral role" in Karamelle. Do you know anything about this, and what it meant, given that Greyrose doesn't have any part in the plot?

  • To close off, I'd also like to ask about the actual writing process. Did you start writing Karamelle prior to the release of Empyrea and/or the Catacombs? Is a world's script something that's finalized long before a world is ready to release, or do you work with art and other departments to mold the writing throughout the stages of development (such as the final design for an environment giving you a new idea)? I love hearing how aspects of game development operate behind the scenes, so I'm just hoping this is a good place to ask about it.

I'll probably think of more questions, but I think that's enough to bombard you with all at once lol. Thank you for taking the time to respond to us!

Survivor
Sep 05, 2016
21
Hello

First of I'd like to say I've loved the start of Arc 4. Karamelle was amazing! I have a few questions

1) Is this Divine Nothing that we fight at the end equal in power to the Divine Paradox? It seems to have taken the form of the Divine Paradox so I'd assume so

2) When the Wizard is the "union of opposites"- is this in general terms. As in, they are the union of everything that has an opposite/union of all opposites (such as life and death, space and time, good and evil, etc)

3) This is more so an interpretation than a question: From my understanding, this "Nothing" is a force that has no oppositions or duality to define it, as in they transcend the idea of duality itself. I look forward to seeing where this particular part goes!

Survivor
Feb 20, 2012
47
I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to our questions, Curator. You've helped to clear up some misunderstandings I've had for years about the game. If you don't mind, I have one last Arc 3 question before moving on completely into Karamelle and focusing on that.

How is it that we are able to use Shadow Magic against Grandfather Spider, and Storm Magic against the Storm Titan? It always struck me as odd to me, how we can actively hurt cosmic beings using the very thing that they embody.Up until now, I've only been able to think of two possibilities: the first being that it's only through game mechanics, and not actually possible in lore, and the second being, that it has something to do with our connection to Bartleby as his scion, since Bartleby is the stated source of all magic. Do you have any words on the subject?

P.S, my favorite part about what I've seen from Karamelle has to be the Monstrology entries for the various NPCs (they're really funny). I'm curious, did you write those two, or is that a task for somebody else?

1