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Summer Test Realm Changes

Feb 11, 2009
Readjust Mystic and Lulu. Massively. You're ruining the schools by ruining those spells.

Mar 19, 2009
Regarding the first set of questions, I'm not sure what specifically is wrong with the characters, but giving it my best shot: I think that people are more able to suspend their disbelief with a "lower quality" art style than a more "realisitc" art style. Additionally, male characters look like little boys now, and female characters look like older women. They look kind of embarrassing, like I wouldn't want to be caught playing as these characters. But most importantly, I feel like their appearance was changed too much. If the new models followed or matched the old appearances more accurately, I wouldn't be nearly as upset by the new appearances.

Regarding the second set of questions, I believe the shadow spells are just no longer usable in a PvE environment. Why should I ever use Glowbug Squall now that Storm Lord is basically the same, and Sirens is just objectively better in a PvE environment? My myth is pretty low level and my balance I play as a support with my friends, but I feel even worse for Myth and Balance wizards. A Myth PvE wizard's best AoE spell is now their level 22 spell, and Gaze of Fate is even worse.

I'm fine with nerfs, and I'm fine with reworking Shadow for the purposes of abating power creep. But now there's just no point in using them. The game will be in a situation where a level 130 wizard's best tool is for the most part, their level 48 spell. Storm is lucky that it's level 68 for them, but Myth is stuck at level 22.

Nov 08, 2019
Fred Frost on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Hey Flamea some concerns i have with the shadow spells power would be.
Gaze of fate is already really bad in pve being a double hit spell making feints be no use. On top of that it is so weak now no one will use it at all. It is weaker then the other shadow spells too. In pvp people have 100 flat resist and gaze hits twice which means it hits into flat resist twice. This means gaze is reduced by 200 damage while other spells that hit once are reduced by 100 damage. This two hit thing is a double edged sword in pvp and is bad in pve. I think the damage should go up a bit. Compare gaze of fate to the fire spell hephaestus a none shadow pip 5 pip spell. It does about the same damage and puts up a bubble like gaze. This makes gaze look like it shouldnt even need a shadow pip.
Glow bug squall hits for less then raging bull. The problem i see here is i believed storm cards always had a higher Base damage then fire cards (except overtime spells like fire dragon) With glow bugs 5 pip shadow compared to raging bull a 6 pip shadow spell i believe bugs should hit just as hard as bull bec storm should have higher base damage on their cards. Fire already has been getting more damage on their gear then storm, AND they have more health then storm. This makes it seem like storm gets the short end of the stick.
Mystic colossus is REALLY bad right now. 450 damage when frog a 4 pip none shadow spell does 325 max damage. I would never save up for a shadow pip just to do 150 more damage. The pierce part is ok but this spell is very bad imo. AND myth doesnt get an AOE from level 42-100. They have waited and gone through worlds like azteca without a good aoe which is really really frustrating. Myth needs a better aoe in general for middle level. Now that mystic is gone too this is very frustrating for myth wizards.
This spell i believe should have the shield moved up to 60%. Life pillar kept its 800 absorb and imo weaver should keep its 75 shield. The ONLY reason why its been nerfed to 50% is because of pvp players complaining. Efreet has been untouched so the school with the most damage gets the best defensive card. If weaver got its 75% shield back it would be more defensive like it should be but it wouldnt even have the most defensive card. Even a slight damage nerf like 50 damage for the 75% shield back would be ok with me. Ice is a defensive school and needs its defense.
Concern why does winged sorrow do more damage then resulka? Death is not supposed to be as strong as storm but its 6 pip shadow spell got BUFFED and makes resulka look like a joke? This is unbalanced.
since resulka got nerfed i do think the chance to get a weakness back should be removed. I think it should be a blade all the time.
Hi there Fred,

I understand your concerns of the players at pve level. Honestly speaking pve if affected only by AOE spells in game. reverting the shield for weaver would leave a catastrophic power unbalance in the arena for ice. Also the gaze is meant for the value of the actual bubble change in pvp. Balance already has a decent AOE hit "Ra" in game right now which is not gonna affect the pve for them. Ice is a defensive tanking school which is one of the schools who can tank and multi role in pve. changing Abominable is not gonna affect the pve for ice drastically in my opinion. After all this if you wanna still make the shield 75% then the damage will be scaled down drastically to balance the pvp. Its better this way especially when they nerfed the shrike in game right now. If you are both a pve and pvp player you would better understand this. I do both pve and pvp so here I share my opinion on the same. All shadow AOE spells need a buff especially storm and myth here should mention as they are main hitter schools in their respective elemental and spiritual clusters of schools also the point that Fred made above on rusalka's should be subjected under change as well as it makes no sense.Hope my inputs make a difference. Thanks

Aug 30, 2010
Thinking my previous reply may not go through because I did use all caps a couple of times. So...

Shadow spells: First, most of the response I have seen has been quite negative and mostly angry. These spells were intended to be more powerful than anything previously learned simply because they are infused with Shadow. The system has worked quite well since shortly after these spells came out,so to nerf them quite this badly at this point seems a big problem.
Most of the spell nerfs (somewhat arguably) take them to lower in power than something learned around level 48 or so and thus practically negate their being useful. When you make it so that Storm Lord is now more powerful than something learned nearly fifty levels later, you negate the use of the "more powerful" spell. If Bugs (for example) goes through this weak, what then is the incentive (outside of gear) of even doing Darkmoor, the excitement of the spell you wont use because it's too weak?
As for Myth's Mystic Colossus? We finally had a stronger aoe than Frog that did not also remove all traps. This made us useful in bosses like Omen Stribog, Where I would hit before a more powerful hitter (like a storm) in order to remove the massive number of shields that are spammed (seriously, there are a lot of shields spinning around those folks. And yes, I do know that not all of them stack, but wow). I love Myth and that character is usually the first one I Max out when new content comes out, but I would have to abandon my favorite spell (For graphics and for mythological ((Colossus of Rhodes)) reasons) because it would now be weaker than other previously learned basic spells, and not just for the shield stripping ability, but for it's base power)

I get that in an evolving game, something may need to shift, but dropping power on most of these spells by between four and five hundred points (if I'm remembering correctly), is too far of a shift. These spells are meant to be some of the strongest in the game precisely because they are backed with some of the primal forces of the spiral. So powerful is the Shadow that Ambrose himself doesn't use it...so powerful that the Shadow leaves a mark within the wizard who uses it...so powerful that until our wizard absolutely has to learn it, it's forbidden. But now, this extremely powerful force within the spiral that so much is made of...becomes weaker than some of the spells taught to us through normal means.

Feb 19, 2019
Professor Falmea on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
First of all, thank you for the detailed feedback on both fronts! This is the sort of dialogue that helps us make the Spiral awesome.

With the new character system, we had to rebuild the way the character models are constructed (we have to do this often when we update art that's well over a decade old, and the character models are one of the oldest things in game!). So, the answer is that we aim to keep the visuals as close to the original as possible, but we cannot retain the exact old faces, so giving us feedback like, "on this face, I don't like that my pupils are smaller, the shape of my face is not quite as round, and I have smile lines" etc. These specific critiques are super helpful for us to be able to tweak instances where the faces are drastically and unintentionally different than the original.

We'll take a look at all the links regarding feedback and fan edits. I think we're on the same page here, and this will help with the feedback on aging and shading. Definitely check out the next Test Realm update, and we can continue to discuss!

In terms of the Shadow Spells - I'll make sure Matnetic and Ratbeard and crew review all this feedback and wrap it into their ongoing discussions. The very next update won't have any Shadow Changes YET, but we will let the community know what's to come as Test Realm marches on.
Lol YET...

I would be more down for some of these shadow changes if this whole entire thing didn't feel rushed, sloppy, and downright inexcusable for some schools. What was done to death, myth, and balance is inexcusable.

Glowbugs needed to be nerfed, but not to the level that it is as no storm will ever use glow bugs again because Sirens is now far better. And there's no point in using Rusalka anymore since it does 10 damage more than Iron Sultan with no chance at applying a weakness on yourself and it saves you 2 pips.

As a fire main, fire didn't even get that hit that hard but Raging Bull already needed to be buffed, definitely not a NERF! And now there's no point in using FFA when one can wait just one more turn and use dragon assuming you even get a shadow pip with your new 3 turn shadow pip gain system.

I've never used Ice or Life before so I can't say I'm too familiar with how their changes affected their schools, but I can tell you that if this update goes live, you might as well kiss every single one of your Lvl 100+ people's memberships out the door cause I will quit the game, and you will never see another dime of my money come your way again. And I KNOW I am not alone in this. You have catered to PVP for too long and this is the end of the rope for not only me, but so many others.

Aug 14, 2018
From what I know, Shadow is meant to be powerful and corrupting. Shadow pops are infrequent, therefore their value and damage are increased. Not taking that into calculation made them heavily weak.

Jan 23, 2010
I know a lot of people are writing very long paragraphs so I will try not to repeat too much what's already been said in detail.

Faces: They aren't totally bad, but I feel like there is something wrong with the mouth/chin area, I'm not sure exactly what. It feels like the mouth is unnaturally stretching all the time, something similar happens with the updated Troll spell. (not super bad, just kind of weird) I really like anime eyes, and I'd love if we had more eye shapes.
also by the way, I still miss the old models for monsters like Evil Snowman.

Shadow Spells: I'm glad you are trying to improve things.

- FFA and Abom were heavily overpowered and it's good that they were weakened.

- I seriously do not think Khrulhu, Mystic Colossus or Bugs should have been lowered that much as other people have already said. I'd love to see how it will be when the shadow pips appear the way they should.

- Definitely strange to see that the other shadow enhanced spells weren't nerfed, which makes things seem meaningless kind of. I like that Winged Sorrow was buffed a little, that's not bad.

- I feel like Drains are really underpowered in PvP and they have such beautiful animations and mechanic that it's a shame not to see them used. (Vampire, Ghoul, Wraith, Lord of Night, and now Khrulhu, etc)

Possible suggestions if all else fails:
Idea 1: Making shadow enhanced spells have backlash when used but still strong.
Idea 2: Having other spells that specifically weaken shadow spells, such as gaining your own shadow pip because someone else casts a shadow spell on you (like empowerment) or shadow dispels, or shadow shields that work for shadow enhanced hits, endless options

Slightly off-topic:
- I'd love to see less used spells like Animate, Life Scion, Dimensional Shift, and a lot of others that had been stated in a thread on Twitter could be made a little more useful so that we can see their beautiful effects more often, and have more diverse strategies without using the same spells all the time.

- Manipulation/Utility spells are my favorite and I wish we could get more of that, especially if they are Shadow Manipulation, which means they could be more in terms of manipulating the rules instead of causing damage to the opponent. I've suggested a lot of these kinds of spells before. (or more useful Moon spells, for example being able to turn into your enemy for 3 rounds, and it's limited so it isn't overpowered)

- I wish there were ranked tournaments with more options for players, especially for 2v2 because most of PvP ranked now is 1v1, and team fights can be so much less stressful.

- PvP counting your wins more than your losses like before I think would be great. Also if we had the option to hide our rank from other players, would make things feel a lot less stressful and I don't think that would demotivate others. Because if you have warlord, you'd show it, if you don't you can hide your rank and not feel like everyone is judging you based on it, when there's so much luck involved in the game.

- Spellements should be dropped more often.

I wish that the game continues to grow and expand, to have more magic and endless possibilities!
Good luck!

Jan 04, 2013
Aug 01, 2015
Please add a classic mode for faces. I feel the need to cover up the new wizards' appearances due to this. I understand that the art team worked very hard for them, but I do not enjoy seeing them.

Nov 08, 2019
Professor Falmea on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
First of all, thank you for the detailed feedback on both fronts! This is the sort of dialogue that helps us make the Spiral awesome.

With the new character system, we had to rebuild the way the character models are constructed (we have to do this often when we update art that's well over a decade old, and the character models are one of the oldest things in game!). So, the answer is that we aim to keep the visuals as close to the original as possible, but we cannot retain the exact old faces, so giving us feedback like, "on this face, I don't like that my pupils are smaller, the shape of my face is not quite as round, and I have smile lines" etc. These specific critiques are super helpful for us to be able to tweak instances where the faces are drastically and unintentionally different than the original.

We'll take a look at all the links regarding feedback and fan edits. I think we're on the same page here, and this will help with the feedback on aging and shading. Definitely check out the next Test Realm update, and we can continue to discuss!

In terms of the Shadow Spells - I'll make sure Matnetic and Ratbeard and crew review all this feedback and wrap it into their ongoing discussions. The very next update won't have any Shadow Changes YET, but we will let the community know what's to come as Test Realm marches on.
Hello professor Falmea,
First I would like to Appreciate the wizard101 Art team for such a wonderful Art work that they have done,certainly its a huge upgrade to the old faces we had on the previous versions of the game. A few adjustments in the appearance would make it a master piece for the years to come.

Shadow enhanced spells (A step in the right direction but overshot the change)
I have a lot to speak on the shadow enhanced balancing, but I shall confine myself to the core problems here,
Some of the All hit spells in game have not been nerfed at an equal pace in the test realm eg- 400 damage reduction in bugs and just a 100 range to bulls,which is going to affect the pve experience of the players in game, Damage per pip is calculated and that's alright,but the role of the schools and unpredictable nature of the spell itself as intended in the game should co-relate to the actual changes in terms of damage addition more than the actual pip value for each shadow enhanced spells.

I also understand the difficulty faced by the wizard101 systems team on balancing on pve and pvp spell damages and utilities, but the all hit spells in pvp are being used just as a "minion killers" which wont drastically affect the pvp part in increasing the damage for the spells accordingly. Some of the spells like glow bugs and mystic colossus have been nerfed badly to the ground which are being rarely used in pvp. I am mentioning only these two because they are intended to be the hitter schools on the elemental and spiritual sides respectively.

Thank you for reading this and making these changes in the test realm for our feedback.Hope my feed back makes a difference.


Jack Titan-fist

Aug 06, 2009
First of all, let me start with the update to our facial features. I do like the animations with being able to blink my eyes and being able to move my mouth while I talk. I do like that shading has been introduced, however, I think it is very unbalanced. To me, it is similar to the contouring makeup we see being used today replacing traditional makeup methods but instead of flattering the face, it has gone horrifically wrong. Upon bringing up the loading screen as my faces load, I can see a light mask around my eyes giving my avatars face a raccoon like appearance. From there, I feel a combination that the shading makes my face look dirty and making me highly desire some sort of facial flaws to appear more real and not doll like. It’s confusing to me. This isn’t all so much the beautiful porcelain skin of a doll, at least not below the cheekbones. The oversized and poorly proportioned eyes and dark shadows below my nose make me feel like I am the bride or child of Chucky. To fix this problem, I think the contour shading should be taken down a few notches to be less dark and the area below the eyes and above the cheekbones have slightly more shading to not give so much highlight. The brightness just below my eyes makes me want to add some sort of imperfection like freckles or something to counter the harsh shade disproportions of my face. During test, I managed to correct the issues with my wizards with exception of one, my very first wizard I created. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get Scarlet to look like the Scarlet I have known for 11 yrs. Her eyes look far too big though I used the smallest selection, the skin is too dark and the shading of her face making her look haggard in her crown shop hairstyle. Aside from toning down the drastic shading discrepancies and eye sizes being too large, I think magic mirror could benefit from more facial options like the frowns, smiles and other mood expressions that affect our mouths and eyes. I think we should add facial imperfections as options too to show more facial detail, like wrinkles, moles, different choice of freckles. There are some of us that want our wizards to remain youthful, but there are some of us too that have literally grown up on wizards or are parents that play with our kids on here and would want to reflect more age groups to truly customize “characters” to look more real. We could also benefit from having more hairstyles. IMO, with more options, we can create exactly what we want our character to look like, young or old, and not feel confined with shadowing that makes us feel young/old.

As for the shadow pip spells, where do I start. Ideally, if any changes were made, I would prefer to make these changes PVP only since the differences in damage would make a drastic impact to questing or farming, especially for the spirit schools and balance that don’t really have that much damage in comparison to other hitting schools like fire or storm. I do agree that a couple spells could be nerfed as they are highly overpowered, like bugs. (sorry storm) The power behind bugs and the normal high damage of storm I feel adds to the arrogance and toxicity among many storm wizards that the game would be better off without. (you know who you are) While I think bugs should be nerfed, I DO NOT think it should be nerfed as much as it is in test. That’s hardly fair since storm can be somewhat of a delicate school if they do not take out their enemy quickly. Also, the reduction of damages on spells are far too much of a difference (nearly half) than their previous versions with all being nerfed but for death’s winged sorrow spell that gets an increase from 850-1030 to 940-1120. Why?! This spell does enough damage without an increase while myth’s mystic gets decreased from 880 remove all shields to 450 and removal of one shield. Myth has mediocre damage and not so easy to solo with unless minions are used, has really only 3 AOE spells to use with mystic being their only wild card with a good amount of damage to use. Leave myth alone. I can say the same for death since it takes a long time to get an AOE spell, their best options are scarecrow which takes quite a few pips, deerknight if they are lucky to have it and Lulu. None are highly impressive or overpowered. Then there is life, another low damage school that gets the short end of the stick for hitting and AOE spells. The average life wizard one can run into on a daily basis only has 100 - 110 damage and KI is concerned about the damage power of any of their spells?! If anything, life wizards need better AOE options and a damage increase to their spells to balance out for their lower amount of damage in comparison to other schools. Balance, the most difficult school to play and solo on, gets a hit to gaze of fate. Now I personally have always hated this spell for being impractical and never used it since I feel it’s useless outside of the PVP ring mainly to change the bubble, it has already been a low damage spell without taking a decrease. I can also ask if gaze of fate used that much to really care. I don’t but since balance is such a challenging school to play and they need anything they have to use which is little, they need to be able to keep it. Personally, I would like to see balance get a buff and not penalized. Fire can afford to lose a little bit from FFA, the bull I don’t really see much of a change to acknowledge, my fire can live with it. FFA still has too much of a damage reduction, I would be ok with a 900 - 1100 damage and one trap. (Not 720 - 840 and one trap) For weaver on ice, I think the damage needs left alone since normally, ice is the weakest hitting school. The reduction from a -70 shield to a -50 is fair. Cutting this shorter than I really need this to be to explain better options if there will be a change, I’ll just say that the damage reductions need to be better proportioned and in negotiation with their previous version to be a happy medium. Instead of losing 400 damage or half the damage on all spells, I think it is better to only focus on a select few spells that have the issues, more so the elemental school spells. Rather than losing so much damage, reduce them by 200 damage or just reduce the benefit using the spell would give them, like the loss of blades, shield, traps. I think we can all live with that considering the suggested changes that have been presented.

Sep 09, 2010
New character models:
The new gear is great! I think that the gear is ready for live even. The faces however need quite a bit of work. Making them more realistic is okay, but you walk a very fine line between good realising and the uncanny valley. I say make it a bit more cartoony and preserve the facial proportions of the old faces, while upping the polycount. Avoid too much facial detail, as adding more depth has a tendency to make characters look like they've aged. These are still "young" wizards. here is a mock-up a community member did that i think is a good middle-ground (old-mock-new left to right) preview.redd.it/nkyijoq19h851.jpg?width=1024&auto=webp&s=c4322a3dfcd850fd17dbf868d3f2ab01003b9dba

New spells:
I will post a separate thread about my thoughts on this, but I think that balance spells in general are thematically inconsistent. It's forgivable this time because of the immaculate animation and modeling on this spell, but I don't dig the celestian theme nor think it fits balance well. I am also not a fan of the gambling mechanic.
As for the ice spell, it's nice! Numbers might need to be tweaked a bit.
The new death spell didn't look too great. The models of the sail and pirates aren't detailed e nor animate enough. The spell feels empty, with not a lot going on to fill the empty space in between them. The damage should also be tweaked down.
The fire spell is cool, but doesn't feel like a fire spell. I believe it can be tweaked to express a bit more heat.

Shadow changes:
Rating is a step in the right direction but the community is rightfully upset that you've more or less ignored the poll that asked for the damage to remain high while taking a while to generate. Note that giving frequent shadow pips does not allow the player to DO more as you suggested. Players want to stack blades, buffs and debuffs to make their magic more impact. There is so much to be done whilst "waiting" on a shad that making generation frequent as you have just over-saturates the player with resources they cannot efficiently spend. Please go back to the old damage. I believe this will make the pve community happy and the pvp community will enjoy the lack of RNG that the rating system brings.

Jul 17, 2009
To me the old character design did not stick out like a sore thumb, I much prefered it. It was not outdated looking at all. The character design is a big reason I play wizards over WOW. I think the crown shop hairstyles needed to get updated and fixed way more than the character needed to be redesigned.
That said some of my biggest issues some have mentioned like the character looks too old now. And if you want an older look the girls should be more feminine in figure.
I personally would rather you guys scrap this character design update. I know you said you can't give us some of the new stuff without it all, but that is where I don't agree. I play games that you can change the eyes and some of them blink, some of them don't. So yes, you could do it if your designers and artists wanted too.
A few of my complaints are:
The constant moving of the face.
The lines in the mustache area.
When the face moves it gets lines and stuff and looks awful.
The eyes are not the same anymore and I don't see how you cant make them blink and keep them the same shape and size.
The character design in pirates is superior to this new look in my opinion right now, and I prefered the wizards design.
And a huge huge fear now is since KI has decided the old design was too outdated or whatever, you guys will next tinker with the pets and mounts. And you guys should absolutely NOT redesign those. I spent crowns on packs to get certain mounts because I LOVED the way they look. Don't ruin those too please.

Jan 11, 2012
Professor Falmea on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
First of all, thank you for the detailed feedback on both fronts! This is the sort of dialogue that helps us make the Spiral awesome.

With the new character system, we had to rebuild the way the character models are constructed (we have to do this often when we update art that's well over a decade old, and the character models are one of the oldest things in game!). So, the answer is that we aim to keep the visuals as close to the original as possible, but we cannot retain the exact old faces, so giving us feedback like, "on this face, I don't like that my pupils are smaller, the shape of my face is not quite as round, and I have smile lines" etc. These specific critiques are super helpful for us to be able to tweak instances where the faces are drastically and unintentionally different than the original.

We'll take a look at all the links regarding feedback and fan edits. I think we're on the same page here, and this will help with the feedback on aging and shading. Definitely check out the next Test Realm update, and we can continue to discuss!

In terms of the Shadow Spells - I'll make sure Matnetic and Ratbeard and crew review all this feedback and wrap it into their ongoing discussions. The very next update won't have any Shadow Changes YET, but we will let the community know what's to come as Test Realm marches on.
I think you would find a more pleasant response to the Shadow spells if 1) It didn't seem like the changes were punitive 2) we had other options (in some cases). Death NEEDED another, stronger AoE life sap and khrullu was it, just like Myth needed another AoE, and Colossus was it. EVERY school should be able to solo much of the game, but some schools will be better at it than most. Just because one school has X doesn't mean it shouldnt have Y.

I really think what you need to do is this:

Reevaluate ALL the spells in the game to see how they measure against what you feel the power curve should be (not counting spellements or Sun spell enchantments). Then, start at the bottom and work your way up. In the process, give every school a reasonable chance to Solo if we want to. Perhaps, you need to start making spells do more things based off of how many players are in the fight. We have spells the do damage based off of enemies, why not spells that do more damage based off of allies?

Also, you DESPERATELY need to reevaluate the gear. The way the game is set up, it screams for taking mastery (most dropped and crown gear in the game), yet there's soo little options for solo play. Also, taking a full secondary school in PvE doesn't really make sense as we have prisms except for Balance. You can't just say, "this is a cooperative play game" without acknowledging your LARGE solo play user base. I believe that is a HUGE disconnect. Many players do solo because that's their choice, and while you're trying to make the game more contributive play, many of us don't NEED that. We want the ability to do that, because it's fun and a social aspect, but there are other times we just want to kill stuff on our own. Diablo was awesome for this because each piece of gear had its own stats, not a combination of stats from all pieces of gear. Upgrading gear is very haphazard in the game unless you're always going fore the biggest and best.

Perhaps the reason why the community is so divided is because you don't seem to have a clear path. What's more important, hit or resist? Ok, now you're in the next world, so is it critical hit and block or healing? Ok, in the next world, is it damage output or healing? Every single world focuses on a different strategy. The ONLY central thought is to kill the bad guys, but every new world that comes out, you change how you want us to play. The gear we have to choose from is proof of that.

Also, something you really need to do, internally, is to come up with a road map of new spells..... now. Don't wait until it's time to craft a new spell. What will the next spell look like damage/effect wise? The one after that? after that? Does it follow any pattern or is it all willy nilly? There doesn't seem to be a cohesiveness in how the spells work in that respect. Like, we got these new rank 11 spells, but does anybody really use them? I can tell you, I haven't used it once outside of the "I got my new spell, go to unicorn Way to cast it", then stuff it away and never use it again. Perhaps you need to do survey threads for every single school, to see what the community feels it needs, and measure that against what you feel it needs. If there's synergy, then you did a good job of giving us spells that worked for the school. If it doesn't, why not? Did you not think of that play style? Are we playing it differently than you had intended? Can it be played "as intended"?

You might think of your user base as 2 styles, but really, there's many, yet you're trying to force us to play it how you think it should be played. It's a game, and everybody has their preferences. Nobody likes being told how to play a game, when there are no "rules" for how to play it. This would be like playing a TCG and telling people they can only use 50 out of 1,200 cards. Then why did you print the other 1150? See what I mean? This is how it feels like you are trying to railroad us into playing the game. The players, schools, and game have evolved, yet you're still trying to (or it SEEMS that way anyhow) shoehorn us into a play style that hasn't been in the game for 10 years or something.

Dec 08, 2008
I'll try to be short and on point here:

Character revamp:
  • Glad to see you heard our concerns on character's perceived age.
  • The shades in our faces look excessive.
  • I definitely would like some more cartoon-like eyes!

Wizard City gear revamp:
  • Please review the color scheme, some colors are way too bright and nothing like the old versions while others are nearly identical to another (like light and dark orange).
  • Consider offering a legacy set with the old textures.

Shadow Rating:
  • LOVE IT! Can't wait to see it fixed and running!

Shadow spells nerfs:
  • Great job! I only got a few pointers about them.
  • Don't forget the split damage spells from Mirage. All this balancing is meaningless if we can still get such a massive damage spike in these spells.
  • Something is wrong with Winged Sorrow.
  • Witch's Housecall doesn't lose damage from its minion effect. Intentional??
  • Mystic Colossus. Myth needs a stronger AoE!

Jul 17, 2009
In regards to nerfing spells... can you guys stop doing that just for PVP's are happier? I don't PVP as I play for the story. I quest alone the majority of the time I do play. I like the idea someone posted about spellements making it back to what it was. if you can do that maybe you can make the spellements not work in PVP? Kinda like how the decklaton works....If you can make it so you can only use TC's you should be able to do that.

Nov 26, 2014
luc172 on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Focusing more on the impact of Shadow-enhanced spells receiving a rebalance, I agree that it is the right course of action. While implementing a nerf is something that is never going to be met with the most acceptance, I think the community has done a poor job in reacting and telling the Devs what we would like to see- myself included. Condemning the Devs of W101 and threatening to cancel membership will not help anyone in this scenario- which is what a large portion of the posts I've seen on Twitter and Reddit have been doing. Instead, let me address areas in which I think the rebalance could be amended to the satisfaction of both the Devs and the player base.

*** before I continue I want to address the 4-pip shadow spells. I'm assuming those will, too, be rebalanced, because Iron sultan doing the same and Rusalka for 2 less pips doesn't make too much sense. The same issue exist for the other schools and their 4-pip shadow spells.

So the biggest issue I see with the shadow spells, nerfed or not is: the extent to which schools rely on them is not equal.

has the ability to use three other decent AoE options other than bugs. While bugs is still the preferred option in Live, if storm HAD to use Sirens solely for hitting it wouldn't destroy the functionality of the school.
and however absolutely NEED Khrulhu and Mystic to be able to be viable later in the game. more so than death, needs to have a good AoE because it is classified as a hitting school, that is apparent from the way in which myth gear has been separated from those of the other spirit schools. It is just below in crit and just below in damage (using the Dragoon gear for comparison). But now, Bull does ~69% more damage, on average, than Mystic and Glowbug does 62% more damage than Mystic. To me, that discrepancy is too great, even is Mystic removes 1 ward first. With that in mind, I have some ideas for rebalancing the AoEs that have been rebalanced in Test.

Bugs 850 base, remove 3 blades
Bull 700-820, -30% mantle (this spell I kept the same because I think it is the spell that got the most reasonable nerf)
Mystic 660 base, remove 2 wards before damage
Khrulhu 715 base, slightly higher than myth to account for 2/3 enchant on drains
Nested 600-650, I don't know why this was the best shadow AoE post rebalance
75 per pip, 1050 base at max pips, the benefit is this can get the highest base damage, but the draw back is that you have to wait for the pips, I think that's a fair mechanic
Wings of Fate 595 base, 225 heal, no DoT, HoT can remain if necessary

the single-target shadow spells then need to be balanced against these, but I think everyone nervous for the implications in PvE are mostly concerned with their AoEs.

I think that what will make the community happy is seeing their shadow AoE hitting that 900 damage mark after enchant. Anything lower seems too underpowered. Also, with less of a nerf to the spells, less work has to go into rebalancing the mobs. I think what doesn't sit well with the player base is having the spells nerfed to the point where the enchanted, rebalanced version does less than the base of the unenchanted Live version.
Absolutely no to that nested fury change you suggested. That only does 10 more damage than ra on the high end. Leave balance alone honestly. With the loremaster nerf, mana burn nerf, and now gaze nerf balance does not need anymore nerfs. Also nested fury has no side effect at all and it hits randomly so the damage should be higher. At the least the damage should be 700.

May 27, 2009
Hey there, I really hope a KI employee reads this, because I think it says what they need to hear the most. As a result, I have worked extremely hard to make sure this post's content is precisely what needs to be said in as few words as possible. Thank you in advance for reading.
This update is not the problem.
Myth wizards would not have cared about this update if myth had a good late-game AOE. The issue is that the best they had was STILL frog after all these years... until darkmoor came out. They finally had a decent-damage AOE. And it was annoying that it relied on a shadow pip, but it would do. It's fine to nerf colossus, but the fundamental problem is that myth has nothing else in the strong AOE department. If you ask me, keep the colossus nerf (maybe 1 tad more damage) and give myth a good high-pip AOE. You can do this a number of ways: you could change earthquake (for example, buffing the damage in exchange for making it only delete 1 charm/ward per enemy), OR you could add a new myth spell into the game with decent AOE damage OR you could change another existing spell like basilisk to be AOE (I mean come on, does myth REALLY need another high-pip single-target spell that stuns? No. I don't think so. And the DOT is something myth doesn't need, they have orthrus and minotaur to bypass shields anyway). It doesn't matter what you do but you HAVE to do something. And this spell doesn't have to be super high-damage but it's gotta be higher than colossus, like something with 600-700 damage. And sure, many people will say that myth shouldn't even have a good high-pip AOE, since not ever school has to because they're all different. This sounds great in theory: if you're on a team with 4 wizards of different schools, one of them can have more AOE potential and do the AOE hitting, while the others can do something else. There are 2 rebuttals I'd like to offer to this point. Firstly, getting a team is something you often only do for big bosses in the team up kiosk. For most people, a huge portion of the game is done solo: fighting street enemies and minor bosses. With this in mind, myth needs a good AOE for late-game plays. We all agree colossus had it coming, but there's nothing to take its place. Secondly, and I mean this in all seriousness, myth's niche is far too narrow. If you're going to argue that every school has a niche and that myth not having a good late-game AOE is just part of the school, then ask yourself what myth's niche actually IS. Multi-hit spells, minions, stuns, and shield deletion come to mind. But multi-hit spells aren't unique to myth (take fire's DOT or balance's multi-hits, for instance), also they're situational and hard to use because the 2 hits split the enchantment, making it harder for the second hit to deal any real damage (kinda like immolate). And remember, multi-hit attacks are meant to break shields: you don't want half your epic going into a hit that is weak and designed to use up a shield. As for minions, I shouldn't even have to say how useless minions are outside of pvp. Every major fight is already a 4v4, so they can't even be summoned, and the minions myth has are all useless in high-level play anyway. And again, this is a pve problem, so I'm ignoring the utility of minions in pvp for now. As for stuns, a huge portion of the game is fighting bosses, which are immune to stuns anyway. Plus, pretty much every school can stun anyway: myth just has it baked into a higher proportion of their spells for some reason. What I really find awful is that the best stun hits, like medusa (2-round stun is amazing) is just a single-target spell. Single-target spells are for bosses, right? But bosses are immune to stun. Yeah, that completely downplays its utility: it's essentially a pvp-exclusive spell at this point, though the damage is decent. Lastly, shield removal is situationally nice, but ice can steal shields, fire can DOT hit through them, and literally anyone with or without a myth mastery amulet can pick up shatter TC at the bazaar. Myth's niche is so narrow it might as well not have one. Contrary to this notion of AOE being "outside of myth's niche," one should instead consider the following: myth is the master of none: it can do everything decently but nothing exceptionally right now, because the things it really is exceptional at are very, very situational. But at least it was decent at everything before this update.
Now, with colossus nerfed, their foundation is beginning to crumble. Myth was already a bad school. This made it worse. Here's the most important part of this whole post: we know you're planning to rework myth to make it better. And we believe you. But you need to make that change BEFORE you nerf colossus, because, right now, myth is utter garbage. It can no longer compete with the other schools for the time being in pve. All you have to do is keep colossus at decent damage (not as high as it used to be, but higher than this), even if that means changing the shield removal to after the spell hits or even deleting it entirely. Myth wizards don't care what you do, so long as you leave them with any AOE that does at least 600 damage. It could cost 9 pips for that kind of pathetic damage and they'd be happy (or, I guess, happier). But they're back to having nothing: they no longer have no good niche, but they now have lost their foundation of being decent at best at most things: they're now actively bad at a good portion of the game. And that's a problem. That's why this is such a polarizing topic for myth wizards: you've effectively taken the school that needs the most help and nerfed them to the ground. Sure, plenty of them know change is coming eventually, but it doesn't always feel like it. You either need to change myth NOW or keep colossus at passable damage until you do have time to change myth, but either way, myth NEEDS to change. Period.
Death is basically the same issue. And yes, I know scarecrow exists, but its power is shockingly low and it only gets 200 added power from an epic. That's 600 damage to all enemies... AFTER an enchant. That's their only other option.
That's terrible.
For comparison, fire can do 1100 damage to all enemies BEFORE an enchant, and 1400 AFTER. That's literally more than double. Heck, fire is almost more than double death even when death is enchanted and fire isn't. The difference is just... way too much. Death cannot currently play the game. They need a good AOE that is NOT a steal. Khrulhu was their best bet, even though it was a steal (and thus doesn't get enchanted fully): it was at least something they could use that wasn't as pathetic as scarecrow. Sure, death has it better than myth, but not by much. They're angry for the same reasons myth wizards are. And, honestly, I don't blame them.
To discuss the actual nerfs, some of them make sense, but some of them simply do not. Gaze was just absolutely slaughtered to the point where it is, in my opinion, less viable than savage paw, a balance spell of the same pip cost but which does not cost a shadow pip. At least savage paw works with traps. At least savage paw puts up a blade instead of a bubble, since the bubble is easier to remove. I mean, 500 damage for 5 pips AND a shadow pip? When you can't even use traps on it because it's 2 hits? Come on. That's WAY too far.
And then there are the people complaining about bugs. I would have given it 100 more damage than it has in the test realm rn, but honestly that's fine. Storm has other options. Fire does too for ffa (bull is another story but I'm running out of characters that I can put in this message) so I will say this: before you do anything else, fix 2 things: 1. Make sure every school has a good AOE for late-game. Whether you want to revert the nerfs on the darkmoor spells or add new spells/adjust old spells to fit this need, it HAS to happen. This is not optional.
2. The gaze nerf was beyond extreme, to the point where I cannot comprehend what could possibly catalyze that decision. It does not need to be nearly as powerful as it was before, but it has to be better than savage paw.
Now even if you take my advice and change death and myth and fix gaze, some people are still going to complain about bugs, ffa, etc. I think those were hit slightly too hard, but those schools have other options. None of this takes away from those schools in a fundamental way, and people will have to accept the nerfs. I do NOT recommend giving in to the demands of those who want those spells back to their former power: it is detrimental to the game balance, I agree. And colossus and khrulhu also needed a rework, yes, but, and I am going to emphasize this as much as possible:
You cannot throw an entire school under the bus just to balance 1 overpowered spell. You need to look at the big picture of the changes you're making. If you've made it this far, I would like to thank you for reading, and I dearly hope that this has met the eyes of a KI employee somewhere in the world. I would write for hours here but I have a character limit to adhere to so I will wrap this up. This game has the potential to keep going for a long, long time, but it's not going to happen if you think about your decisions from a purely numerical standpoint. I feel like nobody on either side of the argument is saying what I just said, despite the fact that, in my opinion, it's the entire reason this update is so hated by the community, even if many don't realize the larger problems at hand. Please respond to this comment if you have any questions, any disagreements, or any elaborations on my points that you would like to make. And if you're reading this, make SURE KI sees this. It has to happen, because nobody is saying what needs to be said right now. Thank you so much for your time, and I dearly hope that however this turns out, it works in a way that balances the spells, fixes the schools, and allows the game to move forward.


Feb 25, 2009
I feel like this is an important thing to consider in the context of these updates: Is there any way PVP can be balanced WITHOUT hurting PVE players for no reason?

As a PVE death player, I find it so frustrating that Lulu got nerfed that heavily.

Death waited for over 52 levels to finally get a better AOE spell compared to scarecrow, and now it only does about ~150 damage more? I am not counting those that don't steal health because stealing health is death's signature. Any other AOE we get that doesn't steal health is immediately weaker as it doesn't play into death's main role/function.

Case in point: as a 10 year death PVE player we NEED Lulu's damage to be higher! Changes like this make me heavily consider dropping the game, because it would just become way to tedious to play!

Jul 17, 2009
It might help with the faces, if they can be made to look more closely to what we already have and love, the size, the shape and shading.

Apr 18, 2015
TheDustinSpirit on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Part of my issue with the Character Revamp is that the girls look a lot more faithful to their original designs when revamped while most of the eyes on the guys either look too big or there's something off putting that I can't quite put my finger on. Not saying the female revamp was perfect as there have been complaints from others and I have minor issues with it too, but they seem to look better for the most part. One thing I do like is that with many of the old emotes and premium/member ones have a lot more expressions. The new model update allowed for way more details in that area and it was both hilarious as well as genuinely nice to see.
I have to agree with this.

Whilst I was able to change my female characters back to looking like they were before, I cant seem to to get any of the male faces quite like they were before.

I think the eyes are good, but I think a wider variety of mouths would really help people redesign their character as they would like to.

Mar 27, 2014
Honestly the shadow spell changes are awful. change them for pvp but not pve. instead of bugs being garbage make it do like 960 damage. make resulka do 1440 and. myth is just absurd honestly, leave it the same. with this nerf that spell wont ever be used and myth is going to be so hard to play yet again. they are all bad. leave them as they were for pve maybe 100-200 damage less at most on like storm and that is it. bull should actually be stronger then it was. honestly if the game goes live like this i am sorry but i wont be purchasing a membership.

Jul 05, 2009
I truly believe that the new faces just need a smoother younger look..They look a bit too old in my opinion. For example, the laugh lines on the female wizards makes them look as if they are in their mid 40s.

Jun 18, 2011
I don't think it really matters what we say anyways, they're going to do what they want (in this case make the changes anyways) regardless of what everyones saying

May 02, 2009
Here are some suggestions for spell changes that would severely hurt pve especially for people that solo. based on this boss fights especially in upper worlds plus darkmoor would be severely longer hours

slightly increase shadow pip chance is really not that bad currently :)

make the spells: no pvp (like some minions, polymorphs. etc), change it for pvp (like juju) only allow 1 in pvp match (like reshuffle, daybreaker, nightbringer,)

or severely increase gear stats, other stats, spell drops and spellement drops -reduce the amount of spellements needed make spells easier to craft.

you could change pvp like MTG does a banned list or be like commander only 1 copy of a card exceptions gear, pet.
only allow basic gear no crowns gear, pack gear only pvp gear, dropped or crafted gear. do not allow enchants in pvp, no tcs

to make things challenging especially for teams. have a spell random cheat of monsters/wizards switching sides or random spell going off during a battle hitting random target(s) for solo people a spell that would switch minion to your side
could also make monstrology little easier gold wise and animus wise although its ok might get people to do it more or maybe add it to spiral showcase as a choice to do instead of energy using ones