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Summer Test Realm Changes

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Dec 22, 2008
7
While I'm not keen on the Shadow Spells updates, others have already spoken very plainly about it and there's not much more to be said.

My main concern comes from your very first sentence regarding the character revamp: "Ever since the Wizard City revamp, our characters have stuck out like a sore thumb against the updated game graphics." However, for these updated graphics (at least for the locations), you all provided Classic Mode for those who are unhappy with the changes, those like me who still play on Classic. Currently, the only things sticking out like "sore thumbs" to players like me are the newer NPC character models that can't be reverted. Once this update goes live, those who consistently play on Classic Mode will be the ones feeling odd as now even their Wizards don't meld with their surroundings, and our Wizards themselves will be "sore thumbs" sticking out in worlds like Krokotopia and Marleybone (unless they get updated later...).

I'm not a game developer, a 3D modeler, a coder, or anything that would be associated with developing a video game. However, if the updated animations are the issue with adding things like Classic character models and Classic Wizard faces, then I don't understand what would be so hard about simply disabling those newer animations when Classic mode is on while enabling them when it's off. Despite assurances that the art team has done what they can to preserve the integrity of our Wizards' appearances, they have gone way off the mark on my opinion; many of my characters and the characters of those close to me are completely unrecognizable. Directly comparing the Test Realm versions of our characters to Live Realm is... jarring, like its own kind of uncanny valley jarring. It's all too smooth, too shiny (two traits that have ruined many of the graphical updates in my opinion), the contrast of the lighting is too much, and the animations aren't subtle enough; they're overt to a point of uncomfortability. If it's truly impossible to implement a Classic option for our Wizards, then I really hope that the adjustments that are being made are significant. I will be very upset playing this game in the future if our Wizards' faces continually fail to be faithfully redesigned.

Survivor
Jan 27, 2011
1
I posted earlier on this thread about how I think some of the rebalances were falling short of what the player base wanted to see. This got me thinking and I did a lot of evaluation of the current shadow spells and their per pip damage. As soon as I started looking at them for the numbers, rebalancing got much more difficult, so I sympathize with KI even more.

One initial thing I noticed was how the use power pip cost of the shadow AoEs, 5 or 6, makes a big difference in the strength of the spell. This got me thinking, why can't the 108 spells also be 5 pips? That way, each school has a 5 pip shadow AoE and single target hit. It is only 8 levels since darkmoor, so I could see the case being made for the base power pip cost of a shadow spells remaining the same. In addition, it would make the spells much easier to balance against one another and it would put all schools on an even playing field when it comes to the base rank of the spell. This was just a thought because I notices that Nested Fury, Raging Bull, and Snowball Barrage all had significantly higher per pip damage values than the dark moor AoEs, excluding storm. Wings of fate is the exception which shows how much reworking that spell needs.

In addition, I was thinking about the predicament Myth would be if should the current test values go through to Live- I'm not saying they are but they are all I have to work with currently. So, Myth is the only school to not receive an AoE damage spell from level 48, 58, or 68. Death and Life each receive one, and Storm, Fire, and Balance all receive 2. Myth had already been at a huge disadvantage AoE-wise before getting Mystic Colossus. To compensate for this, maybe they can be the only school to receive two AoE spells at 100 and 108? Or maybe one of their previously learned spells can be converted into and AoE?

Survivor
Jul 23, 2009
27
Professor Falmea on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Wizards,

I wanted to address two of the features from the Summer update that have been getting a lot of feedback.

Character Revamp

Ever since the Wizard City revamp, our characters have stuck out like a sore thumb against the updated game graphics. We’ve wanted to do an update on our characters and character system for quite a while now, and we knew that something so near and dear to you as your own Wizard’s appearance needs the utmost care. The art team is very committed to keeping the charm and personality of your characters intact as we translate over to the new character system. Some broad initial adjustments addressing comments about your Wizard aging have already been made and will be in the next Test Realm update.

We realize you like some of the changes more than others, and we’ll continue to listen and review feedback and make adjustments throughout the next few weeks. We invite you to check out the new, improved Magic Mirror in the Shopping District (for gold now!), and take a look at the new customization options. The faces cannot be exactly the way they were before, but we want to be diligent about coming as close as possible to what you know and love. We cannot take half measures, incorporating some updates and not others, but we want to make sure that the magic remains that made you choose your Wizard’s look in the first place.

Details and descriptions help communicate opinions on visual feedback – the more, the better. What specifically about the looks of your new character do you like or don’t like? Do you like the new, more realistic size of the pupils or the previous cartoon-y pupil eyes better? Do you like that your characters blink? How about the new animations? What options in the magic mirror do you like or don’t like and why?

Shadow Changes

Let’s talk about those shadow spells. One of the reasons that these power reductions are so noticeable is that these spells were hands down the most powerful in the game. In fact, in their current state, they are entirely unbalanced. This has created a growing problem with game balance and power progression, which will only compound in the years to come as the level cap increases. With this initial pass, our goal was to see what these spells would look like balanced only for their pip cost. Of course we realize there are many other considerations, such as the value of pips themselves (both power pips and shadow pips), the pacing of pip generation, time spent in combat, the other tools each school may or may not have, and the overall "feel" of combat. Our systems designers are immersed in Shadow, reviewing and discussing feedback as we speak.

We do want to reassure you of our commitment to PVE – our goal is NOT to significantly increase the difficulty in high level content, so there will likely be other changes needed to bring the game in balance going forward.

Details over generalities are valuable here as well, as we’re looking at a lot of interconnecting game systems. Are there are specific situations where the current reductions in Shadow Spell power would invalidate combat strategies? How will these spell changes make specific bosses unduly difficult?

The common thread here – we’re listening, and constructive feedback with specific examples helps us greatly! Test realm is precisely for this type of feedback and we appreciate those of you who have taken the time to do so. Thanks for being part of our community, and working with us to make sure the Spiral is a magical place for all of us for many years to come!

----

Copying my latest response from in this thread:

"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."
About the Shadow Spell Changes: Hey I don’t know what made you do that or why you had to do it but I’m gonna Get To the bottom of this. You’ve Ruined PVE

Survivor
Oct 31, 2009
4
With regard to the new character looks, I like some of the new changes. I like the hands better and the added options to change eyes, lips, colors, etc. It's the shading and size of eyes and mouths that are off. While I don't feel like my character at first, I could adjust to it. The changes in shadow magic however is where I am mostly upset. I understand that the game changes and tries to adjust for the future and I saw the "YET" comment. So that means to me that the future of the game will no longer have anything recognizable or nostalgia for me. I will only be able to really play my ekemental characters or face more bullying from other characters. I will no longer be able to solo as a hardcore PvE player. I stay away from PvP. I don't like the bullying. So I feel like the fun is gone.

Survivor
Dec 26, 2008
33
I haven't had the chance to test it yet but I imagine Corporal Tennysin might need special consideration when the Shadow Pip conversion happens. I'm going to assume that being a late game boss his shadow rating will be high? I bet he'll be using his Ultimate hit way more frequently

Illuminator
Mar 31, 2009
1290
Hi there,

As far as character models go some to most are fine, but there are a few that seem to fall into the uncanny valley a bit. I would recommend doing some market research and just generate a bunch of the faces. Show them to some random people (basically not the people who made them) and weed out the creepy ones. That way you can focus on the severest offenders. I will admit I think it has a bit with the mouths being too wide/creepy.

I understand the need to rebalance. I feel that the FB guide kind of explained it to make more sense. I will say that I would rather that Weaver’s shield went back up to 75% even if the damage was less.

It also might be good to look at how to make secondary effects more valuable? If alpha striking is the primary strategy, why would I want any affects if all I am looking for is damage and feints? I.E. maybe a double hit like gaze of fate can overcome guardian spirit. Or clearing all wards causes the minions to flee in terror? Maybe shadow spells do double damage to the opposite school?

Finally, if the nerfening is inevitable. Please nerf the mobs sooner than later for us.

Just my thoughts....

Survivor
Feb 04, 2020
1
About the change in the appearance of the characters, I thought it was cool, I like the graphics well elaborated and the shading made the expression of each avatar better. About Nerf in shadow spells I think it will end the gameplay of some weaker schools. We understand that they want to improve more and do not see this change as positive. Myth was formerly excluded from teams, a outdated and weak school that was useless and for that reason was forgotten. Death always had a single spell, the scarecrow. Despite being a school with a flashy theme, it was weak until Khrulhu left. Death became more independent and started to appear in teams more often. Honestly, these nerfs will drive them into oblivion, making new players choose Fire and Storm. They are the strongest among schools but they were not created to be the only ones in the game. Do you want to make everything more balanced? So it's time to bet on higher levels and launch new worlds and different spells. If this BACKDROP occurs in the game, I abandon the Wizard forever.

Survivor
Jun 14, 2009
17
In response to the Shadow Spell Cheats.

I would like to mention that some bosses with an ungodly amount of health (i.e. the storm titan) where you need to dish out like 30,000 damage three times or whatever will likely be ignored in the reduction of enemy health that you all plan on doing. Strategies in the past 3 years are a little too reliant on dishing out multiple hits - which is fine, but relies on some big hits that were previously best used by shadow spells.

This includes damage-cap bubbles like Fellspawn too. Maybe double it to 19999 instead and nerf their health. Also, if storm is getting Bugs nerfed, I think it's only fair Shadow Squall gets nerfed too.

In my opinion, now is an excellent time to nerf the Catacombs and increase the drop rates a hair. Most people have the gear already, but it's need to be more approachable and farm-able for casual players.

Additionally, if shadow spells are supposed to be more risky (and since players start with more backlash and have a higher backlash cap), creatures that use shadow spells should start taking more backlash too. I'm tired of seeing them get +15 backlash when we have double that (30). It would be a nice play-style shift if they actually damaged themselves more than 5-15%

Survivor
Mar 27, 2012
1
As a long time myth wizard, I can say that Myth desperately needs a powerful hit all. We are supposed to have the 3rd highest damage in the game behind Storm and Fire. As it stands with the changes, every school has an hit all that does more damage than Mysic Colossus. Ice has Frost Giant which does more damage for fewer pips. I understand that the removal of a shield first costs pips, but it seems to be costing a lot of damage for little utility. First off it is only useful if a monster shields which is not the majority of the time. Second it is only useful if there is a single shield. This makes it useless against spells like spirit shield which are commonly used by enemies. Arguably, the utility of a steal health spell like Khrulhu or a stun spell like Frost Giant is greater, yet they do more damage for equal of fewer pips.

I understand that these spells are effectively costing fewer pips. However, in most pve situations, that does not matter. By the time I've put on a few blades, I have enough pips to use any spell in my deck. I already start a fight with five pips, by the time I put on two blades I'm already at nine pips. Pips are not limiting power in any way, but damage is. We have traded damage which is useful, for pips, which really aren't.

This change would not be so terrible if Myth had another high damage hit all to fall back on, but we don't. Our hit all damage output has been cut nearly in half. I would suggest that Basilisk, a nine pip spell that is rarely used be converted to a hit all doing around 700 damage. This would still be less than we can currently do with Mystic, but it would ensure that Myth still has a viable hit all. Another option would be to convert Humongofrog or Earthquake into a per pip spell doing around 75 damage per pip. Frog currently hits for an average of 295 for 4 pips. That makes it 73.75 damage per pip.

Wizard101 strategy relies on alpha stacking. That means that, higher base damage allows players to do exponentially more damage with blades and traps. A standard Mythblade on the old Mystic adds 208 damage. On the new mystic it only adds 150. These differences become far greater the more blades are stacked. This means that with the same number of blades, and ice wizard could do significantly more damage than a Myth wizard since their spells have higher base damage. A Myth might have more critical, but most bosses have a high chance of blocking so that cannot be relied upon. Myth wizards do have a higher damage character stat, but an difference of 30 or 40 % damage does not outweigh a spell, like snowball barrage, that can do nearly thrice the damage. A max life wizard can get 140 damage with 100% critical. A myth wizard can get 160 damage with 100% critical. Mystic Colossus and Forrest Lord both cost the equivalent of 8 pips. With these stats, a life wizard with with Forest Lord will do nearly 100 damage more than a myth wizard with Mystic. Life is now better at hitting all than Myth and that is not even taking into account that Lifeblades increase damage 5% more than Mythblades.

Higher damage spells are exponentially more powerful than lower damage spells. Schools like life and ice can now do more damage with a hit all than Myth for the same amount of pips while having significantly more health. This is not balanced at all.

Survivor
Mar 07, 2009
1
Hey Falmea i believe making reshuffle no pvp can eliminate certain game play styles that cause players to shield spam and heal spam in order to make thier opponents run out of cards

Survivor
Jul 05, 2009
3
Hello Kingsisle and thank you for finally deciding to update the character models but I believe what we want is something a bit closer to this. prnt.sc/tc1z2f and also prnt.sc/tc1zip. The jawline makes them look younger and less old. The face is also smooth looking which also helps.

Survivor
Oct 10, 2010
6
I am a casual player who, if I"m totally honest, am not the best player in the world, lol. I quest with my sister, and run two wizards to her two wizards, making a questing group that doesn't need to use team up. This way, we don't inflict our incompetence on anyone else, lol. That being said, we still managed to get to the top levels on our own, and using the shadow spells has helped greatly. The upper levels are full of bosses that are overpowered, overlifed, and full of cheats. Nerfing the shadow spells, especially the death and myth spells, will make fighting these bosses difficult, if not impossible for the casual players. Unless you are planning to nerf them. Greatly. I can see how this could work, but if you're nerfing both the shads and the bosses and mobs, then why not just leave them alone? This would accomplish the same thing. UNLESS, the reason for nerfing isn't just leveling things out, but if it is because the pvp community is calling for it to balance out their play. If this is the deal, just write a program that will nerf them for pvp play only. I'm sure that you have talented programmers that can write such a program. It is already getting hard enough to win against the mobs as they are now, but if you continue on with this nerf after the test realm is done, I don't think that the game will be worth playing, it will be just a lot of stress and disappointment.

Survivor
Jan 26, 2011
4
The problem with the spell changes is on the myth spell is its extreme. Frog king spell i got on my pet is way better and doesn't need a shadow pip. If you need a shadow pop the spell should have some extra pop to it and not be another frog as well all the shadow spells. Could we start with some damage drop off at first not an extreme make over and see what happens? Problem with all the games I play is that when something gets nerfed its like taking it way to the extreme side. Mythic needs a bit more damage otherwiseit's a frog spell.
Thanks for listening!

Defender
Dec 20, 2012
128
So, I've posted a few things about my critiques with Myth (there are a lot of them). I don't want to belabor the point, but KI if you haven't read it, it's called Why Myth? And I highly recommend you read it and see what the problems are with Myth top to bottom. Short rundown: the whole school from level 42 on, pretty much. It needs a top-down change. KI - please have the courage to confront Myth's problem and admit a mistake. Minions are useless now. Either change them to mean something, or change Myth's specialty.

Now it's time to talk about my own school: Storm. The whole gimmick of storm is it's a high attack, low resist, low health school. We are not meant to be the "most powerful" school as some have put it. We are meant to have the strongest attacks. That doesn't necessarily equal most powerful - that's a very important difference. Fire is meant to be a tick or two behind us in attack power, because they have slightly better resist and health - and have more hanging attacks. That's their thing.

This nerf makes the Storm shadow spell less strong than the Fire spell. Put simply, it makes Storm a weaker school than Fire. That's not how the school was intended. Storm should be a tad bit higher than Fire's attack - at least 900, perhaps 950-1000. If we make all the school's attacks all the same power, that eliminates the reason to have different schools besides the fact they look different.

It's a difficult balancing act to do - but we also need to feel like the game is progressing. No one will look forward to a spell that's less powerful than one that came before it. It needs to feel like it's better than what you got 60 levels ago. Unfortunately for some schools - like Myth, Storm and Death (and really Balance too) - it feels like their AoEs from level 42 and 48 got slight buffs but at level 100.
Thank you
Cheyenne StormHunter
Level 130

Survivor
Jan 09, 2015
4
With respect to the shadow spell updates,

Full disclosure, I am biased with a separate storm (lvl 130) and death (lvl 76) wizard, however, I think some of the nerfed shadow spells are significantly heavier than others as far as shadow spells, some of the heaviest hits being on gaze of fate (balance), glowbug squall (storm), mystic colossus (myth), and call of khrulhu (death). As it stands now fire will now have a better base damage AoE spell (raging bull) compared to glowbug squall for storm, however, storm was established under the principle of having the highest base damage and lowest base health. Furthermore, as it stands glowbug will become an almost obsolete AoE spell compared to others, such as sirens. Ultimately, this puts a huge strain on the point of shadow magic, a purposefully more powerful magic in the game, at least, that is how I understood its introduction to the game. Glowbug should be better as it is obtained later in the game. While I do agree a nerf is necessary I think the 390 base damage and only 1 charm removal nerf as it stands is excessive, more acceptably would be the following: a 160-200 damage nerf (1120 down to 960/920) and removal of 2-3 (like levy) charms on all enemies, powerful, but not as overpowered and not enfeebling everyone either. Otherwise, this spell has lost almost all utility in any PvE setting as it will simply not be worth waiting for the shadow pip. Additionally, the secondary effect of rusalka's wrath with the damage nerf should be reconsidered to something actually beneficial every time (like a +30% or +40% blade), otherwise, why would anyone use it over iron sultan? This may mean nerfing rusalka to less of a degree as well.

As for fire, I would agree the hit taken by fire from above was a little large since it is only targeting one person, therefore, this could be increased a bit more (e.g., to around 800-920). However, with the other nerfs in mind raging bull has been appropriately adjusted given the debuff/buff it received. Nonetheless, it should be lowered even further if you are keeping glowbug squall at 730 base damage because it should not be hitting a higher base damage than storm.

As for death, call of khrulhu, as it stands, is far too much of a nerf, it is barely better than a 7-pip scarecrow (from lvl 48!). Khrulhu is learned at lvl 100 and should be much more powerful and useful for death. While the healing facet of death here gives a great advantage, the damage nerf, again, does not need to be as large (maybe only down to 750 damage). Winged sorrow did not need a buff.

As far as for myth and balance I have not played these characters extensively enough and cannot comment on severity of these nerfs, but I have only heard that these nerfs are, again, far too big of a leap and defeat the utility of these shadow spells.

These spells have all been existent for 6 years, it seems unusual to heavily destroy their usefulness at this point, and for this reason, think only more minor adjustments (as commented above) should be made to a majority of these shadow spells.

Lastly, thanks for all the work put into the game and I hope time will be taken to consider recommendations from all players, including myself. Of course, it is unlikely everyone will be happy all the time, so I totally understand some decisions can be changed and others cannot. Additionally, anyone reading please understand that this is just my opinion and take on the current updates as they stand, and I expect that not everyone will necessarily agree with me by any means.

Survivor
Aug 20, 2010
2
my family and I have been playing since wizard101 first came out, but the new changes made on spells, seem to only help player who pvp. this changes should be for pvp only instead of the game as a whole. The events changed a lot also, which was very disappointing, but manageable and now this too, all because some can get the job done and some cant? I never needed to complain about how thing were, revamping is wonderful and pretty, we thank you for that. The changing of spells for pvp players make a lot of us sad and no one wants to say anything about it. I know this post might not mean anything to anyone and that's ok, I just figured ill say this anyway. i read the feeds on Facebook and Twitter and other KT platforms and I feel like the players who pvp are the only ones getting what they want, even in the Beastmoon. I love Beastmoon, I and others had no complaints. I lost some and I won some, it was awesome even with the changes I still love it, I am also still sad about it. Deckathalon, same thing there, players complained and got what they wanted, those who didn't complain about it loved it as it was. There are a few changes that help some and hurt others. No one I know will say this for fear of being Banded. Yes, I used Rank pvp, until the ages came out. Wizard101 is by far the best game around in all category, keep up the good work KI. From a Vet wizard.

Armiger
Feb 25, 2009
2405
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.
"""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."""

In going forward, it would be a better idea to do a FULL audit before making any spell changes at this time.....

Just do the audit and adjust what is needed THEN put the information out for all of us to review going into Test Realm..

But Please, no more events for a while......The game needs major fixes. Concentrate on that and balancing if that is what we are going to deal with.....

Armiger
Jan 11, 2012
2313
SUPER long post.

So, after reading THIS ARTICLE, my thinking on spells goes back to an old thought of mine, remove all of the effect spells from all of the schools, and make them all from a single school that everybody needs to spend Training Points on. Then, only have in school damage or healing spells and nothing else. This way, you can EASILY prevent the power creep, while also going part of the way to fixing PvP. Some specific (but nowhere near the only) examples that would help:

Life's Guidance spell would be GREAT for early Storm Wizards
Storm's Cleanse Charm would be great for Balance wizards

Things like that. Then you could easily remove many of the absolutely duplicated spells. After all, do we really need 14 Threat Reduction, 7 Minion Killing, 4 or 5 Stunning, 20 some odd minion spells? I would say to keep the various blade/trap spells where they are.

This change would also require certain lore reworking because now Myth wouldn't be "just about" minion summoning. You could easily rework the Lore to say that it's the Earth Element. You could even change some of Myth's spells to work on the Double Tap aspect and you could design more trap spells to work with that aspect. You would also need to change how Monstrology works, and there's a simple fix for this: PvE only, any school can have all the Monstrology Monsters it wants in a duel because it no longer caters to myth since it's now been repurposed. Monstrology now becomes part of the Utility School.

Then, you can concentrate solely on DPP spells. I think one of the biggest problems is balancing effects with damage on spells. So, let's take a good one, Earthquake. It currently does 310 Damage and removes all Charms and Wards.

Now, what if there was a spell from the Utility School (or whatever you want to call it) that removed all charms and wards, and nothing else. Then, you could take the damage of Earthquake, and make it 400 or 500 specific damage to all enemies. Not only would this make the new spells EASIER to manage, because they're just damage, but you also now are actually making it more team friendly. The person before the hitter casts the "remove everything" spell and then the hitter hits.

Now, as for PvP, I wouldnt even begin to know how this would affect it as I don't PVP. However, this would mean that KI could focus on the DPP based off of damage ONLY, and let the Utility School balance pip cost based off of the effect(s) it has.

Another perfect example of this is Sirens. Currently it does 880 Damage, Removes 2 Charms (and not necessarily the last 2 put on), places a 50% Accuracy Debuff, and reduces the threat on all (according to Central's website).

So, now, all of those spells that ave after effects are removed and rebalanced for DPP. Nobody can complaining about Sires, Earthquake, Efreet, Balance not have debuf busters, Storm not have a DoT, etc. All of those would now be relegated to the Utility School and cost every PC the same pips for the same effects. This way, if people have an issue with Sirens, or Glowbug, you only have to balance the damage and nothing else. Bad Juju too spammable? Just simply up the cost of it (whatever that means) and voila. Remove Stun from all the schools because except for PvP; it's a worthless spell (because of the monsters being mostly stun resist), but now you can ramp up the damage of Frost Lord, Storm Lord, etc because it can simply follow the DPP scale and be done with it.

Something else this would do is make it so anybody can have whatever spell they want for PvP effect wise. No longer will only one school spam a spell because now every school has access to it. I could care less if Bad Juju, or Dark pact get removed from Death school because as a PvE player, I don't use those (though Dark Pact has its uses every so often), but now everybody can learn the spells. This would mean that there would be no more tell tale spells for certain schools in PvP. Dark pact is now a universal spell, Stun would now be a universal school; it would up the challenge for PvP (thought I obviously can't swear to this, it's just an opinion). Now, for PvP, I would suggest making it so that you could only cast 1 instance of a utility spell every X amount of rounds so it cannot be abused as well.

Now, there would be some duplicate damage spells in the same school (damage per pip), and those could either be changed (attack one vs all, or all vs one), or simply removed from the game which would leave you more places and time to think of new spells.

Another thing this would do is show just how lopsided some schools are currently. It would give you time to look at each school individually and say, "Ok, what does the school NEED, and WHEN does it need it". It would also address the issue of (which would be unfortunate for their bottom line, I know) does X lore spell REALLY need to be released as a pay to win spell?

Why do spells NEED to have after damage effects? There's no NEED for it, and has been a HUGE sore point for PvP players. This removes that issue and when you nerf spells, now you only have to nerf 1 thing, either DPP, or pip to effect cost. Now it becomes a simple matter of, "Oops, the Darkmoor spells were set up to do too much damage, we're simply lowering them. Since there's no longer any effects, it's balance is simply a DPP formula.

Wanna know something else this does? It actually PROMOTES shared game play because now, you don't NEED a storm, life, death, and fire party ONLY to do an end boss or farming, now ANYBODY can do it who has the required spells. On my wizards, I have the following Spell Points just sitting around like lumps on logs:

123 Balance 23 Training Points
128 Death 43 Training Points
130 Fire 36 Training Points
31 Ice 8 Training Points
130 Life 41 Training Points
130 Myth 35 Training Points
128 Storm 35 Training Points

I would easily cash some of those in to get the new Utility School spells on some of my wizards. There is literally NOTHING more, as the game stands right now, that I would waste those training points on. So, for 7 wizards, I have 221 Training Points just collecting dust.

Here's a great idea to use those Training Points on (just thought of it). Ever think of allowing us to cash in Training Points for the in school Lore Spells? Keep the rest of the spell options the way they are, but if I want to learn a same school Lore spell, I can now go to a vendor and trade in a point for it. You want Pigsie as as Life wizard? Ok, wait a certain amount of time and you can spend 1 TP to get it. The same thing would hold true with R's Spin, or the Myth Healing, or the new Ice Healing, or Loremaster, or Deer Knight, etc. This gives a GUARANTEED spell be "learned from Loremaster". Keep them in Loremaster, but give us this other method and now you fixed Loremaster in a tangible way. Keep working on the fix, but this solves the problem for SOME of the spells. The Lore spells are not wanted only by same school wizards, but this would give an advantage to same school wizards. It would help all the schools get their "problem fix spells" at USABLE levels. Death would get Deer Knight, Ice would get Celestial Intervention, Life would get Ratatoskr's Spin, Myth would get Grendel's Amends all at usable levels. Now, I would put a time limit on it like this: Once the spells are craftable, institute this Training Point buying system. Now you ACTUALLY fixed schools' issues, at a level that makes sense, in a tangible way, without doing too much harm to the spell currency.

There are drawbacks to this post, with its ideas, and wold require a ton of recoding, but I think having only ONE measure for each spell, instead of multiple, would make things much easier for you, and give us a ton of utility spells we never had access to before (per school that is). There are soo many ways this can win for everybody involved.

Survivor
Sep 19, 2012
1
Professor Falmea on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Wizards,

I wanted to address two of the features from the Summer update that have been getting a lot of feedback.

Character Revamp

Ever since the Wizard City revamp, our characters have stuck out like a sore thumb against the updated game graphics. We’ve wanted to do an update on our characters and character system for quite a while now, and we knew that something so near and dear to you as your own Wizard’s appearance needs the utmost care. The art team is very committed to keeping the charm and personality of your characters intact as we translate over to the new character system. Some broad initial adjustments addressing comments about your Wizard aging have already been made and will be in the next Test Realm update.

We realize you like some of the changes more than others, and we’ll continue to listen and review feedback and make adjustments throughout the next few weeks. We invite you to check out the new, improved Magic Mirror in the Shopping District (for gold now!), and take a look at the new customization options. The faces cannot be exactly the way they were before, but we want to be diligent about coming as close as possible to what you know and love. We cannot take half measures, incorporating some updates and not others, but we want to make sure that the magic remains that made you choose your Wizard’s look in the first place.

Details and descriptions help communicate opinions on visual feedback – the more, the better. What specifically about the looks of your new character do you like or don’t like? Do you like the new, more realistic size of the pupils or the previous cartoon-y pupil eyes better? Do you like that your characters blink? How about the new animations? What options in the magic mirror do you like or don’t like and why?

Shadow Changes

Let’s talk about those shadow spells. One of the reasons that these power reductions are so noticeable is that these spells were hands down the most powerful in the game. In fact, in their current state, they are entirely unbalanced. This has created a growing problem with game balance and power progression, which will only compound in the years to come as the level cap increases. With this initial pass, our goal was to see what these spells would look like balanced only for their pip cost. Of course we realize there are many other considerations, such as the value of pips themselves (both power pips and shadow pips), the pacing of pip generation, time spent in combat, the other tools each school may or may not have, and the overall "feel" of combat. Our systems designers are immersed in Shadow, reviewing and discussing feedback as we speak.

We do want to reassure you of our commitment to PVE – our goal is NOT to significantly increase the difficulty in high level content, so there will likely be other changes needed to bring the game in balance going forward.

Details over generalities are valuable here as well, as we’re looking at a lot of interconnecting game systems. Are there are specific situations where the current reductions in Shadow Spell power would invalidate combat strategies? How will these spell changes make specific bosses unduly difficult?

The common thread here – we’re listening, and constructive feedback with specific examples helps us greatly! Test realm is precisely for this type of feedback and we appreciate those of you who have taken the time to do so. Thanks for being part of our community, and working with us to make sure the Spiral is a magical place for all of us for many years to come!

----

Copying my latest response from in this thread:

"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."
please no. the amount of damage and perks youre taking away from shadow spells is ridiculous. i would reconsider buying memberships if this happens. the character looks arent good either. im disappointed in the amount of stuff youre changing in this. the changed spells are trash to be honest, and the perks have gone down to little to nothing. i ask that you please refrain from doing this update or make kt into a different version of the game so those of us that like the good version can keep playing. i presume there will be many other players with the same mindset as me. i never thought my favorite game would disappoint me so much

Survivor
Dec 26, 2011
17
Hi KI!

I am just going to talk mainly about the shadow nerfs. I only play PVE the only time I PVP is in tourneys to get participation trophies for the revered crafter quest and I dont even try in them because they give like 200 tickets at last place. MAINLY GLOWBUGS because now that i recently got my storm to max level, I have been using him as my main wizard to farm. I will still try to refer to other spells that I saw mentioned in other posts.

First off glowbugs took too hard a hit in this nerf. The secondary affect after the hit is overpowered by sirens which according to what i read has more damage per pip than the bugs spell. I didn't even mention the insane amount of damage that was removed from glowbugs. The new damage makes glowbugs BARELY stronger than storm lord and weaker than sirens. I did hear that shadow pips are worth 3 pips in some posts so that makes bugs an 8 pip spell which is only one pip less than sirens. If you go with that amount of normal pips per shadow pip then what would be the point of having shadow pips needed to cast these spells? I would say you should make shadow pips worth 5 pips no more no less. This would make the darkmoor spells still have use in the game. If you nerf the shadow spells, the catacombs bosses will become overpowered because shadow spells are our main hope of getting out of there alive. Even nerfing mobs would revert back to the old ways(just no using shadow spells). This would mean there is no point in even doing the balance.

Now about the death darkmoor spell: I know about how this nerf will affect death because death was my first ever wizard to max or even pass arc 1. The spell for death(I call it lulu) got hit a bit too hard also. I would much rather just use scarecrow than use this spell. I currently use deer knight as my back up hit if I do not draw a shadow pip, but I take into account players who have bad luck in dropping spells or amber. This makes those players have to wait an extra turn to cast their scarecrow since that is their only non-shadow aoe other than deer knight and pet spells(death frog from gloomy eye). Why force us to wait another round when you can just let us do our normal thing by hitting when we feel fit.

Time for gaze: First off, why in the world is gaze becoming savage paw with shadow pip and bubble instead of a blade? This is completely weird. Also gaze is in a way a gamble spell since the second hit might not even do as much as the first hit because it may hit with the school the target is, making them resist lots of the damage(khrysalis). Gaze also had a weak amount of damage to start off with and was(as I said) a gamble spell. Why did it need a nerf? If this nerf was because of the PVP community, then just make it this way for PVP and not PVE.

Mystic Colossus: I do not have this spell yet because my myth is currently level 80 in Azteca. I was so excited to get this spell because of the animation and to have an aoe after earthquake. Now we are going to be stuck using earthquake again until we get the mirage spell. A solution to this is what i seen someone else mention: maybe make the 108 myth spell(witch house call) an aoe spell(reduce its damage but not significantly). This would make up for not having as many aoe spells as storm and fire. I know myth is supposed to be the third hardest hitting school behind fire and storm. So why do they get the big nerf on their mystic. Also I do not know if the secondary affect was changed, but if it was then this would hit hard on PVP players since currently it removes all shields.

Let's just not talk about the models because i trust in you guys to fix it. My main problem is the characters looking too old. I agree with past posts mentioning letting us use old character models in classic mode. The problem with classic mode is some characters still have their modern looks making look like a "sore thumb".

The last thing(not related to this test realm) is about the revered crafting quest. I do not like the idea of forcing people to get these participation trophies to move up a crafter rank. This is forcing people into tournaments, daily assignments, and PVP. There are lots of strictly PVE players(like me) that have been forced to do PVP related actions. This is because participation trophies require 800 arena tickets. A solution would be either reduce the cost again to like 300 tickets/trophy or make an alternate recipe we can do to get revered crafter. Another option is making revered crafter a PVP themed crafting badge then making another badge for PVE. The PVE badge would be the badge needed for future crafting recipes.

You should really try making PVE updates separate from PVP updates as much as possible I know it isnt always an option, but with shadow spell nerfs it is the best option. Some PVP people comp[lain about the shadow nerfs so try fixing that for them also

PVE and PVP LIVES MATTER #ReviveShadow

Glad you guys made this thread I know how much backlash you are getting from people who do not understand that this is only a test realm.

PRAISE THE

Explorer
Jan 10, 2012
61
If the shadow spells were in effect overpowered;
we would expect an across the boards n% reduction +-5% in their damage.
After effects of shadow spells are a spells bonus or penalty,
so we would expect some changes in them also.
Anything out the the ordinary must be for PVP balancing of schools.

One thing I find annoying is that spells that are in themselves
not overpowered, but are strictly being used in PVP in a caustic way,
leads to their nerfing, and this nerfing ripples through the rest of the game.
i.e. spamming of certain spells, shield spamming, ..., stalling
techniques.

In PVP I think KI should focus more on gear nerf not spell nerfs (for a bit).
Start out all players with 10% pierce and 5% accuracy buff.
Clamp (gear+pet) resistance to 65%.
Clamp (gear+pet) pierce to 20%.
remove reshuffles or make them very expensive pip wise.

Survivor
Jan 13, 2013
1
I've never commented before, but the shadow spell changes have inspired me despite apparently being on hold – much of this has been said before, but I thought I would add my own words.

First, no strong opinion on the art changes that other comments have explained better than I can, but I agree some characters do look a lot older or just off; mostly the mouth, eyes, and shading.

The shadow pip changes seem interesting and is probably good.

Finally, the spell changes:
The balance change is bizarre - Gaze was already a not very impressive spell, and it was cut in half? Balance has a couple of other lower-level spells as good as or better than the changed one. Maybe just delete the spell if you plan on this change. Player tip: “Hey balance folks, here’s a new high level spell! It’s a bit worse than your old spells!” probably isn’t a winner for keeping people interested in the game.

The Myth change to mystic is just as incomprehensible, and while degraded a bit less than balance it is probably worse for the class than any of the other spell changes. It isn’t just the absolute drop of almost 50% damage, but the relative comparisons:

- Devs claim myth is the #3 hitting class, but with the proposed change it has easily the worst AoE of any class. With the proposed change the best myth AoE spell is now something you get from a pet. The #2 AoE spell unenhanced is… also from a pet (the two humungofrog pet spells).

- Comparing myth to death, Mystic goes from 50 more base damage to almost 150 less damage. From personal experience with both, Khrulhu is easily a better spell (both old and new) because of its far more useful secondary effect. How much better? I’d estimate Khrulhu’s self-healing is a big benefit in minimum half to as much as 3/4 of all difficult battles, while any shield break is useful in less than one of 5 battles. The old Khrulhu spell even has the same damage as Mystic if just one regular school blade is added. Mystic should be doing at least 100 more damage than Khrulhu (not just 50) to even come close for overall spell strength.

- If myth really is a top 3 hitter class, it should be at least competitive (if not identical) with fire for damage. Myth has the same health and % blades and traps; you would reasonably assume a myth AoE would be roughly similar damage as fire; so maybe raging bull minus a pip or so (the secondary effects are about as useful as mystic, and assuming 1 shadow = 3 pips). The new stats aren’t even close. Taken with my comment above that Mystic should be 100+ more than Khrulhu, you (amazingly) get somewhere around Raging Bull minus one pip’s damage. Way more than 450

- Finally, it seems one of the two big “problem” spell was Glowbug. It gets a 35% damage hit to balance things, so Mystic randomly takes a 50% hit just because?

Simply put, the mystic colossus spell as proposed is not good. The changed secondary effect is marginally better but seems to be counted as hugely better. I’d bet most myth users would prefer a simple AoE spell with just 600 damage and no extra effects compared to this proposal, and 100% would pick 700 damage with no extra effect over the proposal - even though either of those would still be weaker than some other schools’ AoE spells.

An extra myth note - the roundtable video seemed a bit insulting to myth players. One developer went on about how he had been working to buff myth for a long time, yet somehow mystic gets the second (and maybe top) worst hit in this proposed change. Then to add insult to injury, with the change earthquake is now arguably as good a spell as mystic, but later in the roundtable someone suggests maybe earthquake should get nerfed too. Myth players are already sometimes actively excluded from teams in dungeons and PvP, especially at higher levels (weaker support spells and fire/storm are better hitter schools); you really need to give the school a purpose at level 100+ rather than further degrade it.

Life was also hit for no clear reason. I haven't gotten a life very high so I am not as familiar with the top spells, but life school at higher levels seems tough enough soloing without gutting the best attack spell (not even AoE) life has until level 118.

Rather than going through the rest of the classes, a couple of general comments.

First, when comparing secondary effects of spells, it seems the devs count them all the same: “this does any effect before the spell, so let’s blindly subtract one extra pip’s damage”. Different effects have different game value - as pointed out above, in my experience death’s self-healing is a big benefit most of the time, myth’s mystic colossus breaking shields is only an occasional benefit, and thus much less valuable. Hugely different value in gameplay but they appear to treated as the same. Even comparing old mythic shield break to the new, depending on the situation the new change isn’t always better (I's say it is mostly a wash) but it appears to be counted as hugely better. I'll admit I'm not sure how to capture that into a formula.

Next, when a character gets to be high level the game changes, yet devs seem to keep certain things fixed compared to lower levels. While kinda understandable, I think it can lead to absurd results (like Gaze or Mythic). At low levels the spells and relative benefits and damage between schools seem mostly balanced; but then even modestly unbalanced low level spells are not a big deal with maybe or two blades/traps. But big bosses at high levels you can stack blades, multiplying benefits or disadvantages in blade %; that doesn't seem to be accounted for. Then as levels get above 100, some disadvantages – esp. higher fizzle rates for some schools – start to go away due to equipment without any re-balance of spell damage. That unbalance is even multiplied with (for example) upper level storm equipment getting higher damage bonuses vs. other schools (I think storm maxes out at 175% bonus; I don’t think any other school gets close). On the other hand, some school benefits (like good minions) become much less useful at high levels, but the game stats are again not rebalanced to compensate. These proposed changes don’t help mitigate those issues, they make them worse by hitting weaker schools as much or more than stronger ones. Something to consider.

Survivor
Sep 12, 2015
15
Hi all, Im back for another letter yet again.
First off, well done art team. The feedback given was obviously recognized and the critiques helped improve the facial quality greatly. I mean honestly, what a well done transformation and a great step forward. I still have some critiques, but none as detrimental as previously.
- I think that the female eyebrows could sit a little bit lower on the browbone. Right now they are very high/ arched and the majority of the female eye options look surprised. I think having a few angular, bolder& lower eyebrow shapes would make the eyes a little more variant, and allow for just some more facial customization.
- Nose #2 is still a problem. It is going to sound weird, but it looks like Micheal Jackson's nose post surgery. Its weird. I get its supposed to be upturned, but its too... thin? the nostrils are too big? I don't know what exactly the problem is but I think MJ nose is the most apt critique I can give.
- Going along with nose critiques, the female faces need a bit more of a defined nose bridge. It looks like the dimension stops after the ball/tip of the nose, and makes the female faces look very button-nosed whilst the male faces don't really have that issue, at least it didn't stand out to me as much as it did on the female models.
- we need some eyeliner, for both male and female eye shapes. Not really necessary and can be added later, but adding eyeliner options could sleek up some eyes/ elongate them and give our characters fun looks.
- the nasal labial folds are greatly reduced but still a tad bit too noticeable, I think a bit more reduction and it will be in a perfect spot.
- I think we would benefit from an alternate jaw shape. Right now, we are mostly circular headed. I think adding in a V-shape face like present in a few of the OG faces will add visual interest and also just change it up a bit. I don't really know how that could be implemented, maybe like a chin/jaw add on? We only have round face shapes, adding V-line jaw, heart shape etc would just be fun
-Male mouths need a more neutral shape, most smile or are agape. a simple resting face shape or a frown would be welcome.
- Maybe add an option to bump up the highlights on the tip of the nose/ cheekbones? could be subtle or full drag queeny in contrast ( ie paint job sublte highlights or white dots for fun)
- the female eyelid/ eyesockets are really, really deep-set. Maybe adding some different eyelid shapes or even eyeshadow options could make them look a little less defined/ socket-y.
All in all, good job art team, It was clear our feedback was acknowledged and handled really prompty. The improvements are monumental and speak to both your talent and willingness to accept feedback in a healthy way. Great Job, well done.

Astrologist
Feb 28, 2014
1112
I just did test realm and; wait, what? timeout here! From all the spell nerfings, now it's the only good spells (1 shadow pip and 5 or 6 regular pip) the wizards have to get through the 3rd arc been nerfed? If these Shadow enhance spells are unbalanced, then why in the world did Kingsisle wait for 5 years to change them instead of when they where first introdused to the game? Now bigger problems accured and that the whole 3rd Arc has to be recalibrated for balance. How does balancing part of the game and finish the job at the later date is called keeping the balance? The game was caibrated for PVE play which is the original backbone to Wizard101 will be unbalanced when it comes to enimies matching their shadow strength with wizards when if the change goes to live real Many of us play the game almost everyday, How often do the devalopers play? do they realize the struggle alot of casual players have trying to get through the 3rd Arc often going solo or not playing because they can't get help when they need it? Now the game will be harder for Life, Death, Myth and Balance wizards. Why didn't Kingsisle Team raise the amount of pips at least by 2 then these Shadow enhanced spells wouldn't need to be nerfed so much and still be balance plus forked PVP from PVE? Not the greatest move Kingsisle

A+ Student
Dec 24, 2009
1868
Hi Falmea,

Thank you for taking time to listen to us. I'm coming out of "retirement" from these boards specifically to make this post. As background on me, my main wizards currently are Balance, Fire and Storm, but my very first wizard was a Myth. That's the school that taught me how to play this game.

A lot of people are saying Myth needs an AoE that is stronger than Frog and Earthquake, and that nerfing Mystic to 450 is a huge mistake. While I do agree with that, I also believe the problem with Myth is that you as developers didn't give it the tools it needed to succeed in the first place, based on it's playing style. Then, compounding that, you oriented this game towards mega cheating bosses. That was the death blow to the Myth school.

When I enrolled in Cyrus Drake's Myth classes, I learned that we were a school with powerful hits, who liked to play solo and call upon many minions to do our bidding. What we SHOULD have been able to do, from the beginning, was 1) Call multiple minions into the battle ring all at once, and 2) CONTROL our minions by selecting their cards. Then we would buff, shield and heal our minions, acting sort of like a Balance wizard with respect to them.

We should be puppet masters; instead, we are slaves to the will of RNG. Minions wreck traps and feints, for example, making them unpopular in a team situation and a hindrance for setting up a larger hit.

Into that harsh reality, you then insisted on pushing this game into cheating boss after cheating boss, with complicated rules that our minions are not capable of obeying. They move randomly. With your insistence on providing challenges in the form of cheating bosses, our supposed strength - minions - became an absolute handicap. Because we can't control our minions' moves, we are punished for the thing that is supposed to set us apart.

To make matters worse, Myth doesn't have a decent heal for its minions. The Grendel heal you recently released as a lore spell is nice, but at 5 pips it is more costly than a Satyr with Mastery. And ... it's still locked behind an RNG paywall. So, still pretty much useless.

TL;DR We are supposedly the expert minion school, yet we can't effectively heal our own minions, we can't control them, and we can't call on multiples.

Solutions?

Obviously it is possible to call multiple minions into battle for Crowns, since we can buy up to 3 henchmen at a time. That proves that programming is not the issue. So, why can't the Myth school put multiple minions into battle? If programming is not the issue, then there is no earthy reason to explain why you don't allow Myth wizards to put more than one minion into battle at a time. Yes, you allow that with Animus but come on.... Let us use our trained minion spells, not just treasure cards that we have to farm for endless hours in order to get.

Second, please consider changing Myth's relationship with its minions so that Myth, alone, has the ability to actually select and control the moves of their minions. That was supposed to be our special sauce. Without it, we are nothing and in a very bad spot compared to every other school. Especially in the gameworld where bosses constantly CHEAT, the one thing that made Myth unique and fun has become the thing that destroyed the whole school. We can't control our minions, therefore the minions wreck traps and trigger the cheats, therefore we are severely handicapped. It only got worse and worse as the worlds advanced. Our minions are not just wild cards, they're pretty much a death sentence in the higher levels of this game. They are worse than useless.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

With this recent pet update, you've again proved that programming is not the issue - since wizards can now control a pet by selecting a side pet spell in battle! If any school can control a pet spell, selecting where and when to cast it, then why on earth can't a Myth wizard control their own minion's spells....?

A lot of people are asking you buff Mystic back up to at least 600. For what it's worth, however, I would prefer to see Myth school given complete control over its minions, and be allowed to call upon multiple minions at once.

Thank you for listening,

Alia Misthaven
Miranda Willowglen