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Summer Test Realm Changes

Jun 13, 2009
When I read about the facial animation update, I was excited to see what improvements were made to how characters would look but, after experiencing them first hand in test realm I have some concerns. The most prominent thing I noticed was that the eyes of the characters compared to the old painted on eyes look way too similar to one another. I could barely tell which eyes were which in the magic mirror because most of them look like these huge duplicated anime eyes that lack the personality of the old faces. However, I think it was a good idea that the player is no longer restricted to having a rigid facial structure. For future updates on faces more variety to how the eyes and other features look would greatly enhance the personality of wizards appearances.

Mason Greenbane130
Talon Skysword130

Jul 02, 2009
First I am going to state the obvious. First rule of the buyer/seller relationship. The customer is always right. The customer determines if a problem exists. If it is not broken don't "fix" it.

Are the Bosses and minions complaining? I think not. Who needs the game re-balanced? PvP players.

Simple fix: Make shadow spells unusable in PvP. Keep PvE the same. Everyone has access to all the regular level spells and they can run Darkmoor if they want to better shadow spells. Make accuracy bonuses irrelevant. The classes were given accuracy based on their power, Storm had the highest damage and least accuracy to balance out the risk. Life has the most accuracy because of the damage it does.

Shadow magic is not supposed to be equal to normal spells regardless of their pip cost. That is why it was introduced near the end of Morganthe part 1. They made the spells you had more powerful. In PvE the mobs have more advantage than the players. The players can be beaten in a single round.

Darkmoor takes a long time and needs to be farmed for the gear drops. The robes are the best in the game to this day because of what they can do for the players.

Players accept the way things are in PvE. The bosses and minions cheat, the players gain more power,

May 07, 2010
new pupil options are a nice surprise! these additions are a good sign, i hope this means more options for the other features will be on the way too

nonetheless, ill admit i was expecting a bit more in improvements for week 3. the changes so far have been excellent, but there are still a few more things to look at:

the mouth movements. im still really hoping they'll get toned down, its weird seeing my mouth constantly warp, at times even showing my teeth for some reason...

our posture is still off, by this i mean the way we hold one-handed wands, and some others i think (ie. when we spin with one-handed wands, our free arm is bent in a weird way)

our neck. this might just be me, & im sorry for repeating myself, but i feel like itd really look better if its width was adjusted to be more "even" instead of starting thick up top & thinning going down, which is the opposite of what most real necks are shaped like. again, im bad with words, so i did another series of edits focusing on the necks to try & show what i mean. i also tried to explain my thoughts more in detail there. sorry if its long, i just want to be as clear as i can. you can view my edits here

other than that, i only have some minor gripes. i still wish smile lines werent as visible, at least on girls, they age us a bit too much to me. and i do hope we can either have our current skintones adjusted to look more like they do on live, or that (better yet) we get more skintone options for a wider, more inclusive spectrum. youll see a few examples of how some skintones got altered in my edits above. all in all, major props to the art team so far. the models have come a long way, & are really close to being perfect!

i know i havent really commented on spell changes yet. this is mostly because others give feedback better than i could. i judge spell balance more on intuition, how things "feel." even then, im sort of a "hardcore" player, mainly a soloer. so whatever spell changes come to live, ill adapt to, no matter what. i understand the reasons for the audit & fully agree; its just the execution that can be questionable. still, i can tell the devs are listening & will make adjustments. whether we all agree or not is another story of course i think ill be able to best judge the spell changes when i can test them against readjusted mobs & bosses, which i know is coming soon, & i look forward to that. until then, thanks for your consideration

Jan 09, 2015
End of this week and storm is sitting in a great place as far as the updates I believe, sirens is again worth it's use, even against glowbugs, which is a nice option to have. Moreover, levy has a great utility making it competitive with king art (assuming 6 pip is a bug). Awesome job! However, may be nice if one of storms AoE's destroys one charm on all enemies, similar to that of the myth pierce.

Sep 05, 2009
I am extremely excited about all changes! Being able to make wizards look more unique, balancing all schools and scaling worlds. It truly does feel like a pre-patch to a big expansion as that is what other MMOs do before releasing something big.

I have one really hopeful idea for accessories, we have the glasses, BUT I must ask if there could be a monocle added? I'd love to make my wizard look extra classy with a black, copper, or silver monocle for one eye!
Other than that I was happy to see rank 7 spell changes, Power Nova is my favorite change so far next to Orthrus, but I will miss the weakness it gave.

Sincerely from the Sorcerer,
Rogan Light

Apr 06, 2010
Today, I logged in and noticed the Summer Update had been implemented. I can't express enough my disappointment at the Spell changes that have been forced upon us. I thought you were going to just rebalance the Shadow Spells which I thought were a huge mistake (and I'll address later), but I see that several other spells are affected too (especially to one of my favorite spells - Efreet). I am trying to understand the logic here. These are spells that you implemented many, many years ago. YOU created the parameters. YOU created the environments and YOU created the game's opponents (including their abilities and cheats). Why now after years of implementation have you changed the game, particularly for those who do not do PvP, and frankly for those forced into it (tickets for crafting), still don't like it, but endure it.

You said you were listening to feedback, which appeared as I read, was overwhelmingly negative concerning the spell changes. I do not see any compromise on your part, just a unilateral decision to massively change the game.

I started to play this game with my children shortly after you started advertising it. When they grew up, I left the game. I was gone for more than 5 years. COVID-19 brought me back because of the very pleasant memories I had of this game. What struck me when I returned was how much more difficult the game was, especially for me a solo player. I was very happy to see the "Join a Team" Battle Kiosk. This seemed to be a reasonable work-around those very difficult bosses and fights that quickly overwhelmed a solo player, like myself. However, forgive me (I don't mean to be anti-social, but I am much older than most players), but I still enjoy playing solo more often than not. These changes to spells, but not changing the stats of the bosses or their cheats (not to mention the overwhelming MOB fights), makes it VERY difficult and VERY disheartening to play this game. I agree the game should be challenging, but you have now alienated a whole group of solo players by changing the Rules that YOU created. I do not see where you instituted any changes to accommodate solo players, if fact, just the opposite with these changes to the spells.

I do love this game. You have created a beautiful game. I recently became an annual member again. I love to see you write things like "we made changes to affect the game for YEARS to come." I love the promise of longevity, but I am so sad that you have ignored a sizeable population of the game. Please reconsider the Spell changes, and look for alternatives that do not penalize players like myself.

Thank you for reading.

Oct 23, 2009
OK- I'll be the one to mention the more driving reason for these changes- The game has been stalled for years without a new world and drifting creative direction. A lot of effort put into selling card packs and cosmetic stuff.
Weaker wizards mean more opportunity to sell gear, which just brings you back to about where you were before the nerf. The same logic happened with the big critical nerf a while back. So now they will "rebalance" leaving you weaker, then offer you the chance to spend real money to improve.

Apr 24, 2010
I feel like I'm missing something here; did you push the spell updates and not also do tweaks to mobs' health and abilities and shadow pip rates? How long are we supposed to struggle through that all then until those things do get altered?

Since the majority of cheats now on bosses are meant to counter the absurd power of shadow spells that we used to have, you're surely going to edit some of those cheats and high resist/pierce/damage combos out right? Not just a simple health reduction? Is Trident's shadow version of Glowbugs altered too to be in line with the Storm one?

I was okay with the changes and the team was super receptive to the feedback. But I can't even fathom rolling out an actually incomplete patch to the game. The spell/power audit doesn't just affect us, it also affects the mobs. However, I don't think the tinkering and tweaking with the mobs is complete. So just half of this project was patched which means we'll be playing at a disadvantage for ??? what? 4 months until a big Fall rollout at the earliest?

I kind of can't believe this. I think these things needed to sit in the lab longer until the entire overhaul was ready.

Oct 20, 2013
I will stick with the shadow system change. The problem I was facing is that the new shadow meter system doesn't help to obtain a shadow pip. This filling the meter system itself is inconsistent. Just now I was doing the dungeon to enter Inner Athanor in Empyrea with my sister. As per the new system her shadow pip rating is 85 and mine was 103. However the meter filling to obtain the pip was completely inconsistent. Even though my rating is higher, her meter was filling faster than mine sometimes and in some rounds my meter didn't even move. Meanwhile the rank 16 boss obtained 2 shadow in just 3 or 4 rounds. We are both storm and the higher level attacks needs more pips. Even before we were able to hit the boss, that Rank 16 boss attacked us with Nested Fury on 2nd or 3rd round with blade, feint and critical, dealing 4k-5k damage. We 2 storms got killed 3 times and we barely killed the boss when it has 11k life only. Before I was able to solo this. Either the system should be consistent about filling the shadow meter or pips needed for higher attacks of storm should be reduced. With the least life among all the wizards storm simply can't stand that long to gain the pips needed for regular attacks without getting killed because the new system benefits the bosses more than the wizards in terms of obtaining shadow.

May 18, 2012
I spent time in the Bazaar looking at faces, I love the animations. I was amazed at the variety, the frowning, the narrowing of eyes, the smiles. You did some fantastic work since the test realm in smoothing the shadows, I appreciate all that hard work. The guy that frowned, closed his eyes and turned his head was like magic. KUDOS

Jan 29, 2016
I have been playing your game for many years and have followed up to many to all major updates. The spells nerf weren't all that groundbreaking but a little for Balance. The main focus of the reply would be to talk about our wizard's faces. I opened up Test realm to see what they would look like just to maybe get used to it. When I saw my main death wizard. Before he looked quite cool nothing really to complain about. The changes in my opinion make the player look a lot more younger then before and give off a kid feel. I don't understand he reason behind this when there were no complains or disagreements with the past faces options. I was really attached to my wizards and it really just makes you think what's next. I understand that you can't just change the game over one reply but man of my friends and people on Discord are agreeing with me. I was really hoping for a classic mode where the past faces were a thing. If it is still possible. I and many more who aren't using Message Boards to share there voice would love to see a classic mode. This might be insulting to ask for a change in update right after one but Nathaniel GhostBreath Isnt hitting home for me. I would really wish for at least one Mod or Community Member to really read this and think about the people who are struggling to get used to these updates.

Nathaniel GhostBreath 130 Death

Oct 06, 2011
Love how you guys keep creating useless spells for storm. The change to bugs as far as damage makes it so that tempest is now more powerful so why would any storm bother with bugs? If you do the math a full pip tempest does 1120 damage vs bugs now 960, I don't tend to hit before I'm at full pips anyway so why would I bother with bugs if tempest does more damage; so as I said it is now useless. If you wanted it to at least still be useful it should do at least 1160 damage or so. I never cared about the blade removal as when I hit I want the battle to be over.

Alexander Stormweaver
Level 130

Mar 27, 2012
Re: faces
Never did get to see the originally changed look, but today I wonder why the girls all look like they are chewing gum? Irl people do blink occasionally (more often if they are telling a falsehood), but why are our mouths working out like we have candy or gum as we cruise through the game? Which cause our expressions to change - maybe its the shading? Spent a bit of gold to get a happier face, never did find one

My first impression of the faces was that they all look like a well know political figure named Hillary.

Sep 01, 2008
Hi - this is the first time I've posted on forums. There's a lot of room for improvement, so I want to throw in my two cents since this is a huge update.

The nerfs: I don't mind them, though they will take time to get use to. The way that I interpret it is that future spells will gradually be more powerful moving on, so that's something that I look forward to.

Are the changes perfect and even? I honestly don't know, because ask five people on here and they'd give you five different answers: there's no consensus. Again, I hope that future spells will make up for the changes that were implemented.

Wizard customization: I think a lot of people had wanted this for a long time. I love that you can now make changes using gold instead of crowns so that everyone has a chance to express themselves.

Detail wise, I think the shadows are harsh around the nose, and I'd like to see them softened. The chin and mouth bounce-thing is weird as well.

And how we hold wands now looks stiff and unnatural. The pre-summer update original pose looks relaxed with our arms down to the sides. Now, it looks like we're holding out our wands like it's infected or something.

All around, it's the start of something new. There are going to be mistakes and errors of course, but I hope that these changes is for a sustainable future, if the game wishes to continue for the years to come, which I hope it will.

Feb 28, 2012
Why was the shiny pip hematite nerfed? It used to have value similar to a piece of gear. Now it's worthless.

Aug 01, 2012
Here are some of the current issues with the character models I have gathered from me and many other players:

Our characters still make the often complained about "chewing gum" gesture with their lips. Idle expressions on the face still vary way too much as well. Serious face types shouldn't be forced to smirk almost every second.

We still lack many animations in where we should blink. On mounts, walking, turning, in combat, and during several idle stances. Missing blink cycles can also cause faces to get stuck.

Several weapon types are held improperly. Before we held them more relaxed in front of us, but now we hold them seemingly uncomfortably to the side.

Male characters holding floating orb type wands unsettlingly hang their mouth open and move their iris around their eye socket. Female characters hold it just fine.

Some of the updated wizard city gear have seen guys lose broadness in their shoulders. (Specifically the daredevil robe) This makes them appear less masculine and more feminine.

Jester and Daredevil gear should be looked into as many people don't like that the belt, ropes, and other features don't match the dye color as it did prior. This can be said for the less popular insignia / wizard city gear as well.

Feb 25, 2009
It did no good to reduce Boss/mob HP if you don't nerf their spells across the board as was done to wizard spells. Their number of Pips/Power Pips and Shadow pips are still as they were before the updates. The Shadow Pip rating system is worse than what we had before making Shadow Enhanced spells virtually useless. There is no point loading a spell that we can't use because of Shadow Pips.

Boss cheats are still just as many as before updates. A few cheats are fine now and then but when it becomes a standard, it is no longer fun. The very few bosses than have had a couple of their spells nerfed still cheat just as much as before.

You didn't make things easier for casual players but instead harder and longer. This just makes the entire update look even more like it was done for PvP.

If your intent was to actually balance the game, then please address CREATURES in the same manner you did wizards.

Feb 13, 2014
Emmaline Iceshard on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
With respect to the updated character models, I have posted an extensive thread in the Discussion section where many players have chimed in. It appears that our suggestions of a "classic" mode face cannot be enacted at this point, given the animation updates and your suggestion that you can't "half-and-half" the update. I would like to know however, if it is possible at all to allow players to retain their old faces.

Attached is a link to the difference between my current and updated face model when I logged into test. It is truly a stark and shocking difference, even with adjustments in the magic mirror shop!


If there is no possibility of retaining our old looks at all, I have some specific feedback on the faces: the shading is off to me and many others. It makes our characters look tired and old. Additionally, some smoothing could be done around the nose area. The facial brightness looks fine up close in the magic mirror, but in-game, its too bright and makes our characters look washed out. This is especially evident in the character select window, where I feel the faces look the poorest.

I believe there are some great threads on twitter of fan edits to the new looks, here is one: twitter.com/LastSpellbinder/status/1278571467815280640. The changes made here include slightly enlarging the head and eyes, and smoothing out nose and eye line, as well as making the skin tone "pop" more.

I think there needs to be serious work done making the magic mirror view (i.e. the up close view you see in the mirror) translate with integrity to the actual game, i.e. when you're running around different areas, in combat, etc.

I appreciate the new animations though, especially the talking and emote ones. As well as the addition of freckles, and the eyeglasses. Those look great to me.

Do please consider how radically altering the wizard faces will impact the nostalgia factor which keeps many older players around. I myself can barely recognize my new wizard and cannot model a look in test that comes close to the youthful face I currently have in live!
kingslsle work with sea of thieves wizard101 and yall games soooo bad fix your games right!!!!!!

Apr 08, 2010
shadow pip terrible, just fought shredder 6 to 8 rounds no shadow just sat here and watched my wizard get beat down, this game is not fun, cant fight back, you sit there round after round waiting for pip,
well ill keep my money, when my member ship runs out, I'm a solo player so I cant move forward by myself,

just wanted wizard to know

Aug 17, 2014
drumss423 on Aug 25, 2020 wrote:
shadow pip terrible, just fought shredder 6 to 8 rounds no shadow just sat here and watched my wizard get beat down, this game is not fun, cant fight back, you sit there round after round waiting for pip,
well ill keep my money, when my member ship runs out, I'm a solo player so I cant move forward by myself,

just wanted wizard to know
This game is about strategy

If you are not going to change up your strategy for a battle, even after figuring out it doesn't work - that's on you.

Instead of relying on the one spell, try using a spell that doesn't rely on the pip? Experiment with different TC's? Analyze all your spells and see if there isn't a different way of surviving until that pip comes?

I'm also a solo player, and I revel in the losses, where I have to re-tune my deck. Like a puzzle!

Aug 28, 2011
I'm sorry to say I don't like new girl face. I think it was aim to look more 3 dimensional, rather than cartoony. But it was definitely cuter than way.
it would be great to have an option to go back to previous look. Thanks.

Oct 27, 2019
i love new shadow pips it good for wizards and it will be fun thank you for tell us i hope see you soon