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Summer Test Realm Changes

AuthorMessage
Administrator
Thanks all for the feedback so far! We're working hard on additional updates to Test Realm content for you to check out. We'll keep you updated when they are ready to review.

Astrologist
Feb 28, 2014
1112
Continuing: After reading all posts about spell changes, I can see why players are unhappy about the nerf even I am unhappy. It's like we been down graded. Example: You did a project that you worked so hard on and took it to the Fair. You received a gold ribbon or medal for putting time and good effort in it. You earned it. Then someone comes along and complain saying it's over rated. Guess what, the judge took away that gold and gave you a red or bronze instead and says there's more room to improve and exspand your growth. Try again next year, OUCH! I can see where Kingsisle is coming from. However, I think maniy players will agree the nerfed spells will became useless in strength wise when it goes live. For Life School that was already weak in damaging spells, Kingsilse took away the only good lower pip attack spell Life Wizards have making them weaker, Perhaps Scoin Of Life should now become a whopping damaging attack spell to make up the loss of strength. Hungery Catepillar is one my main attack spells but may not anymore. Why cast it when a higher pip spells do more damage. So I wait another round or 2 for a spell that have a more guaranty to kill in one hit like Gnomes. As for my Myth Wizard, I'm only keeping it because of the Mystic Colossus does 880 too all enimies and takes away shields. I'll will no longer want my Myth after the nerfed spell goes live. Myth doesn't have any other high damaging AOE as a learned spell.

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
Sparck on Jul 6, 2020 wrote:
Thanks all for the feedback so far! We're working hard on additional updates to Test Realm content for you to check out. We'll keep you updated when they are ready to review.
Wizard101 has lasted more than a decade! And is all thanks to the amazing commitment.

You guys are truly amazing! Thank you for listening. Wizard101 is a testament of ingenuity and creativity.

You guys are the Pixar of MMOs!

Survivor
Jun 13, 2009
1
As someone who’s been a player for over a decade, I do have nostalgia attached to the old faces, but I do understand the need for updates. I like the ideas from others on here about having the option to use the old face looks. That’s really all I have to say on that point.

I have been playing on and off for a long time but since COVID has happened I’ve recently become very invested again, spent many crowns since March, and finally got my first wizard to max level (Molly, ice). It would be a shame to see everything I’ve worked for these past few months (getting shadow spells and finishing Avalon, Azteca, Khrysalis, Darkmoor, Polaris, and Mirage) to feel less exciting? I remember staying up way too late just trying to get to the next level to get weaver and snowball. The weaver damage diminish in ice basically makes snowball the only exciting ice spell at the higher levels. Nothing is more fun than teaming up and showing some storm or fire wizard a strong weaver and that ice isn’t 100% useless Ice is probably one of the least affected schools by these nerfs, so I don’t have as much to complain about. I do have mid and lower level life and death characters, so knowing what’s to come for them makes playing them less exciting. Like some have voiced before me, nerfing the shadow spells this hard makes them barely useful and less exciting. Why level up if there’s no better spells to come? Maybe a slight power reduction is needed for storm, fire, and ice but I don’t think myth, death, or balance need a nerf. Something I saw online discussed having bosses resist shadow spells more as the game moves on. I already like how Empyrea has a lot of critical blocking bosses that make storm and fire slightly more on par. And again like others are saying, I don’t PVP but if that’s where a lot of the unbalanced-ness if the shadow pip spells is coming from then there should be different damage levels for PVP and questing.

Sorry that was a bit rambley, I’ve never posted on here before but the new changes didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to voice my thoughts!

Best,
Molly

Survivor
May 07, 2010
22
hi again, great improvement on the models so far! good to hear more tweaks are on the way as well, im glad we're being heard. i think the models are really close to being perfect, i only have a few minor observations & suggestions.

for girls: proportions look good, but theres still a bit too much definition making us look slightly too old. the nose & nostrils are slightly oversculpted and the smile lines are still a little too strong. this is possibly what makes our cheekbones a bit too prominent, which ive heard players comment on. i think a bit more softening will work wonders. please soften the neck as well, it is also a bit too defined (the muscles that form the "V" being too prominent).

for guys: its seemingly the opposite problem -- the definition looks age-appropriate, but proportions are very odd, especially the eyes. many are huge compared to before, which seems to make them look almost a bit too young. though it would take work (i assume), proportion adjustments could help a lot.

without the intense shading in the way, some of the skin tones look a bit... desaturated? flat? something like that. ill admit this was an issue before the new models i think, but its easier to see now. particularly the tans and darker skin tones look greyed-out -- "faded" was the term i got from players in-game. upping the saturation a tad would probably be enough to fix this, and improve a LOT of players' models.

ive mentioned it before, but reducing mouth movement while in idle would be another great way to make these models look more natural instead of "creepy" as many put it.

ill admit, i have trouble with words and worry that im not clear enough. so, to try and show what i mean, i made a collection of edits to my own characters, one npc, and a random male player. changes are minor, showing what i explained. im not the best editor... but i hope it helps clarify what im saying! you can check them out here

other than that, i can only humbly request some QoL additions, like a more even spectrum of skintones, a few more diverse features, updated hair, a few fixed bugs (ie duplicate lip colors in magic mirror), and anything else that allows for more customization. overall, well done! thank you for working with the players to get these models the best they can be

Survivor
Sep 12, 2015
15
oop im here yet again
Anyway, I think that the new noses really need either more options or more work put into them. It stands, we have 3 nose shapes, 2 of which are rather round and flat, and 1 which is Voldemort tier. I think we could use with one or two more nose shapes- in more angular/ less flat structures. pointier noses, more angular noses, thin and sharp noses would help make the faces feel less same-y and round. I already harped on this yesterday, but the roundness of every face both male and female is weird. Adding more angular face shapes/jawlines, angular and lower eyebrows, sharper noses etc will add visual interest and create more variety. Right now, I find everything to still be a bit too round, or a bit too flat. Angles add interest, especially in a face. Would it be possible to incorporate more variety in facial structure either soon in PTS, or around the fall update? I really think the different facial shapes and just more angular/sharper options will be a great addition in general.
So far, great job art team!

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
megalithia on Jul 7, 2020 wrote:
hi again, great improvement on the models so far! good to hear more tweaks are on the way as well, im glad we're being heard. i think the models are really close to being perfect, i only have a few minor observations & suggestions.

for girls: proportions look good, but theres still a bit too much definition making us look slightly too old. the nose & nostrils are slightly oversculpted and the smile lines are still a little too strong. this is possibly what makes our cheekbones a bit too prominent, which ive heard players comment on. i think a bit more softening will work wonders. please soften the neck as well, it is also a bit too defined (the muscles that form the "V" being too prominent).

for guys: its seemingly the opposite problem -- the definition looks age-appropriate, but proportions are very odd, especially the eyes. many are huge compared to before, which seems to make them look almost a bit too young. though it would take work (i assume), proportion adjustments could help a lot.

without the intense shading in the way, some of the skin tones look a bit... desaturated? flat? something like that. ill admit this was an issue before the new models i think, but its easier to see now. particularly the tans and darker skin tones look greyed-out -- "faded" was the term i got from players in-game. upping the saturation a tad would probably be enough to fix this, and improve a LOT of players' models.

ive mentioned it before, but reducing mouth movement while in idle would be another great way to make these models look more natural instead of "creepy" as many put it.

ill admit, i have trouble with words and worry that im not clear enough. so, to try and show what i mean, i made a collection of edits to my own characters, one npc, and a random male player. changes are minor, showing what i explained. im not the best editor... but i hope it helps clarify what im saying! you can check them out here

other than that, i can only humbly request some QoL additions, like a more even spectrum of skintones, a few more diverse features, updated hair, a few fixed bugs (ie duplicate lip colors in magic mirror), and anything else that allows for more customization. overall, well done! thank you for working with the players to get these models the best they can be
That's amazing! Characters are starting to look more like the originals but much better definition and animations. I also like your edits they look even better. Thank you!

Survivor
Aug 01, 2012
7
While the girl models after the first update seem to be getting to the point where there are minimal complaints, please review how the guys look. I cannot stress enough how many guys I've seen who despise their faces even when attempting to try out all the other ones. The same thing goes for me.

I went from this: https://imgur.com/a/oh9IdUK to this https://imgur.com/a/l0EvjLO

The eyes have gotten further apart. The skin tone seems to be a tad darker than before. The jawline for guys have lost a little bit of length, it shouldn't be as rounded off as it is.

In addition to that, my character shouldn't be smiling. An idle animation has been added to all mouths which makes you vary between several expressions. The animation also has the constant "chewing gum" issue as most people call it. Our lips should stay nearly static with maybe only a *tiny* amount of movement, but no emotion change.

Also please add blinking to walking, turning, idle combat, and mounts. It's jarring to go from blinking only in certain cases, but not everywhere else. Aside from consistency issues, not having blinking in certain scenarios can cause your eyes to get stuck in the middle of a blink. This mostly occurs when walking, turning, or equipping a mount.

Astrologist
Feb 28, 2014
1112
Face revamp does not really appeal to me. Too much eyebrow, nose is too narrow and lips look like the wizard swallowed a canary making them look somwhat ugly. Howevery I like the blinking eyes and it's color is more lively. I think it would look better if the eyebrows, nose and lips are left alone.

Survivor
Sep 06, 2010
34
I’m happy that you’re listening to the advice from the players, but something about these new faces are still jarring to me, and they come off as a completely unpolished/unfinished product. I definitely think there needs to be much more work on the faces (especially male) before they’re released. Somehow, the characters come off as much younger than they ever have been, and while yes, this is a kids game, the audience is not the same age that these new models are trying to appeal to. The large eyes, alien noses, lips, brows, and shadowing distort the faces and make the wizards appear inhuman. The skin tones also look like thick layers of single color foundation were applied, and are totally unnatural, not counting the pale skin shades.

As others have echoed; these drastic changes 12 years into the game should’ve been addressed with the community before it was proposed to be a permanent change. It feels as if the concerns to keep the old faces are falling on deaf ears, and it’s disappointing to see a request for higher quality models be misconstrued into the test realm changes we see now.

I’ve said it time and time again but the changes are disturbing and need so much more work before they are released. The best products aren’t rushed in my opinion, like these new faces clearly appear to be.

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
I have noticed our Wizards look more skinny, any option to add a bit more muscles? How else we can save the Spiral without some magical muscles? hehe

Please take a look into that, specially the neck looks very skinny.

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
I want to add the skin tones are darker compared to live realm. Male faces are still a bit off from the original.

Survivor
Mar 16, 2009
3
gummy1775 on Jul 6, 2020 wrote:
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.
This ...

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
Apr 14, 2017
9
characters
as far as the characters go, i feel like the eyes are a bit too cartoony for the rest of the body? it kind of makes it pop out but not in the good way yknow
i feel like they need to be a tad more narrow and more blended in and shaded like the nose and the face for it to really fit properly, and less bold outlines that really dont fit well with the rest of the skin.
i also feel like it really isnt proportionally correct? im pretty sure its because of the massive eyes, so that should definitely be changed.
however, i love how you animated the blinking! that was a really cool addition
perhaps the blinking animation could be a bit faster? i might just be nitpicking lol
also the necks on the characters are a bit too long as well, it looks really unnatural

overall, it feels like the faces had a lot of potential, but they were sloppily made and rushed.

shadow spells
as far as the shadow nerf spells go, i'm extremely diappointed. i don't understand your reasoning behind revamping the spells. if they weren't supposed to be the most powerful spells in the game, why were they given to powerful and high levelled characters? it really makes no sense
if this update goes into effect onto the live realm, there really is no reason to use shadow spells at all, which makes them practically useless, especially with the new shadow pip rating, because now there are spells that do more damage that you have already gotten, and take less time to get because you're not waiting around on shadow pips
which begs the question: why were they given to us so late into the game if they weren't gonna be powerful and useful at all? do you just not want us to use the shadow spells? what's the point in using them now?

as far as each school is concerned:
glowbug squall is now less powerful/just as powerful as: storm lord and sirens (aoe)
mystic collosus is now less powerful/almost just as powerful as: earthquake (aoe)
fire from above is now less powerful/almost just as powerful as: helephant, efreet, rain of fire, king artorious, etc
abominable weaver is now less poweful/almost just as poweful as: collossus, frost giant, snow angel, wooly mammoth, king artorious, etc
caterpillar is now less powerful/almost just as powerful as: centaur, forest lord, gnomes, king artorious, spinysaur, etc.
khrulhu is now almost as powerful as scarecrow. (aoe)
gaze of fate is now less powerful/almost as powerful as: hydra, ra, and even using one of the attacks does less than LOCUST SWARM.

if this update goes into effect, we would have to use these spells instead of the ones that SHOULD be more poweful because we got them so late in the game and they are given to powerful players. yes this may take a bit longer to use the other spells, but keep in mind that the new shadow rating changes the rate at which we get shadow pips, so we may even be waiting longer to get shadow pips for spells that are no longer worth it.

we should also take into consideration classes that don't have as much damage as fire or storm do, and classes that have hardly any aoe spells. these are mostly the spiritual schools, aka life, myth and death, however this applies to ice struggles as well. they struggle a lot with damage and the spiritual schools have very little aoe spells that they can use. their aoe spells are also typically very weak, for example, life's forest lord is 540-620 damage, myth's earthquake is only 310 damage and death's scarecrow is only 400 damage. weakening their shadow spells so that they don't do pretty much any damage is a huge slap in the face to them, and doesn't help them AT ALL. this puts the spiritual schools and ice at such a huge disadvantage, and they NEED that high damage in order to be able to succeed well in pve. not to mention the bosses in the higher levelled worlds are INSANELY hard, and they have cheats, etc, we need high damage spells in order to defeat them.

in regards to bosses, i think that not messing with the spells is still a better option even when it comes to the enemies. as high level wizards, the bosses and mobs should be pretty challenging, so when i say that the bosses are insanely hard, i dont mean it in a bad way.

also something i would like to point out that others have pointed out as well, there are already disadvantages between schools that i believe may be even more relevant if the shadow spells update goes live.

storm: they're known for having a low amount of health, which means they rely on high damage spells in order to defeat the bosses quickly before the bosses deal a lot of damage on them
ice: like i said before, they have honestly the worst damage out of all the schools, they need high damage spells to deal a good amount of damage
life,myth,death: not that much damage, hardly any aoe spells to use, so they should deserve higher damage spells as well.

overall, i sincerely hope the KI team reconsiders these changes. i understand that they are trying to even things out and make things more balanced, however i think this does more harm than good.
i believe that if they really want to update the spells, make it pvp only. that way its more forgiving towards other wizards, but doesn't affect how people play pve. they did it with bad juju, why can't they do it with this?

Survivor
Jun 22, 2010
1
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!

imgur.com/a/nYKiQp5

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!
Tbh I prefer the way the new characters look. I feel like many people, understandingly, are letting nostalgia get the better of them. Your old wizard barely resembles a female, while in the update the femininity is present. Also your suggestion of just enlarging the eyes and such makes the character look even more unnatural. I suggest to focus on the weird aspects of something looking just plain wrong, rather than trying to keep things in a state of normalcy.

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
I really like Male Eyes #12 but not the angry eye brows, the eyes size are better than the rest because the other ones look too big.

Screenshots

Maybe add another option for this model but without angry eye brows, normal eye brows?

Thank you!

Explorer
Oct 11, 2010
59
Personally my only issue right now is the shadow spells. It feels like if they get nerfed, a lot of arc three is going to be really difficult, especially for Myth. If mythic colossus gets nerfed, then like what a lot of people have said Myth will be rendered useless. Ice also doesn't have a lot of damage either so they'll struggle a lot as well.

I think if you're going to want to nerf some of these spells you should rework some of the classes, specifically Myth. If you're going to debuff some spells on schools that aren't very good to begin with, then what's the point of even using the school, you know?

That's just my two cents on the issue though.

Explorer
Nov 21, 2011
51
It took me a while to get a good look at all of the current spell changes in this release of test realm. I thought i might as well list what i feel are the 'Problem Children' in this version, and see if anything changes

Fire

Fire From Above: 960-1080 dmg + +25% to next 3 spells
Not sure if this is currently bugged or not, since on Test Realm it says it puts on 3 Fire Traps, but upon using it, i've found it to only leave the one. If the single trap is intentional, i personally think it should be restored to a Fuel, if not, have a higher percentage Fire Trap be placed down (40%?). As it is right now, this just feels like a Brimstone Revenant with more alpha damage. (Not exactly a bad thing, but still..)
Verdict: Buff It.. Maybe?

Raging Bull: 705-825 dmg + -40% Smokescreen to all enemies
Bull has always been the Marmite for Fire Wizards. Some people dislike it for being too weak, other people think it's fine where it is. I personally always thought the Smokescreen should be higher (40-50%), and this release of Test Realm has done just that! But still, being a 6/1 Shadow spell, and Fire's high alpha damage in general, the damage on this spell could be a tiny bit higher.
Verdict: Give the damage a buff, keep the Smokescreen where it is

Storm

Sirens: 730 dmg + remove one blade
Ouch. What a fall from what this spell once was. I can't help but think that with the utility changes, this spell now feels too similar to a Leviathan. Most Storms i know used this spell more for the -50% Accuracy debuff.. maybe that's the one that should have stayed instead? It would certainly do more to make it feel different from Leviathan. The damage also feels outclassed by Storm Lord for it's cost, only having a 40 damage advantage over the latter. Not much improvement considering the 2 extra pip cost.
Verdict: Buff the damage, restore the -50% Accuracy debuff

Life

Wings of Fate: 50 + 400 damage to all enemies, 50 + 400 healing to all allies
This spell has been an issue ever since it's introduction, and many wizards found this spell to be either underpowered or useless. The introduction of an initial hit to this spell was nice, but the fact that the damage went down even more just amplifies the feeling of this spell's irrelelvancy. Wings of Fate had some potential to be viable with most other spells being nerfed, but if this goes through, it will remain mostly unviable for it's cost. The fact that the damage is overtime and can destroy trap setups does not help it's case. (Also think this is bugged atm, not sure.)
Verdict: Buff the damage/healing, make the damage a single hit instead of a DoT

Balance

Nested Fury: 805 dmg 970 dmg or 1050 dmg to all enemies
Ironic how Balance's 6/1 Shadow Spell feels the most unbalanced of all with this change! both the Fire and Storm hits can out-damage their same-school counterparts (Although i will give some leeway in Storm's case since Bugs is a 5/1 Shadow Spell and with the changes is honestly in a good place right now), and something about that doesn't sit well. If Balance is able to outdamage BOTH of the main alpha-strike schools, then something's wrong. It could be argued in the case of Bull that Nested Fury offers no additional utility, but is 270-ish damage REALLY equivalent to ONE pip (Smokescreen cost)? Hmm.
Verdict: Nerf the damage

ALL 4/1 DIVIDE SPELLS

Understandably, with many other Shadow hits being nerfed, it makes sense that the 4/1 Shadow spells would follow suit. The nerf itself is fine, but the issue arises from the fact that dividing the spell makes it increasingly ineffective the more targets you go for. I think a rework on how the damage is divided up is needed, so it becomes more worthwhile to.. yaknow, actually divide up the damage!
Verdict: Rework needed

As for the positive changes, i won't type all of these out, but..
Wow, Fire Dragon got superbuffed! Bow down to your draconian overlords!
Glowbug Squall actually seems to be in a good spot now! It felt too OP before, but now it feels perfect!
MYTH IS A VIABLE SCHOOL AGAIN! THANK YOU FOR THE ALL-HITTING ORTHRUS!
Interesting what you've done with Gaze of Fate! Pretty neat to have the randomized hit be the bigger one!

Survivor
Jan 09, 2015
4
Thank you KI! Honestly, the update as of July 8th is well received, as it should be, I think many of the proper balances to spells has been made. However, again as a storm, I immediately noticed the enormous nerfs brought across a ton of storm spells. In fact, as it stands, I think storm has only been nerfed by this update, whereas most other schools have actually now all received a buff in some way. For example, myth (Orthurus) will now be the highest base damage AoE in the game at lvl48, granted I totally agree with this being an AoE spell, I think myth was well overdue for a change like this. Additionally, balance now has the highest base damage AoE in the game with nested fury if it hits fire or storm (I do not know how it decides, assuming 1/3 chance of any one). Therefore, 2/3 of the time it will be hitting harder than storm, this may mean giving glowbug, sirens, and/or levy some of their effects back. Again, balance was also overdue for a buff like this and the changes to gaze of fate are appropriate. As it stands, glowbug has lost power and any charm removal (however, I think the base damage has been well adjusted at this point, maybe some inc. to 1000 is warranted with the new balance adjustments, but it should still have some charm removal or something). Additionally, sirens has now been demoted heavily in damage, loss of one charm removal, and lost its mantle, now it barely does more than storm lord in addition to simply using an alternate effect (charm removal vs. stun). With this in mind I think sirens damage has been too heavily impacted, and storm lord may even need a damage moderate inc. to compensate for buffs provided to a large chunk of 7-pip (lvl48) spells. This inc. would be something like sirens to 800-830 (still a 80 damage debuff from OG) and removal of one charm with a -50% mantle. Meanwhile, storm lord could even stay at 690, but maybe be inc. to 730 with a stun. Levy, could have honestly just stayed where it was damage wise (and removed 2 charms), his made a worthy option between using levy or king art in battle, did you want the pierce or the 2 blade removal, now I feel I would rarely ever choose levy for any task since it's base damage is over 100 lower than king art (please don't nerf king art). Lastly, storm owl, not sure of the necessity of this nerf, but I can totally deal with this one, but still, 300 damage seems excessive. Ultimately, my point is, that across the board storm is being nerfed heavily as this time, which in my opinion warrants some buffs somewhere along the line, whether to storm lord, or simply not nerfing storm as heavily across a bunch of their 8-pip+ spells. In my opinion, this round of changes has been very productive nonetheless and some of the changes players have been asking for have been adequately addressed, namely myth, balance, and death, but please consider how heavily storm will be hit with this update as is. Thank you for taking the time to read these suggestions and comments.

Armiger
Jan 11, 2012
2317
Mirandaassassin II on Jul 8, 2020 wrote:
It took me a while to get a good look at all of the current spell changes in this release of test realm. I thought i might as well list what i feel are the 'Problem Children' in this version, and see if anything changes

Fire

Fire From Above: 960-1080 dmg + +25% to next 3 spells
Not sure if this is currently bugged or not, since on Test Realm it says it puts on 3 Fire Traps, but upon using it, i've found it to only leave the one. If the single trap is intentional, i personally think it should be restored to a Fuel, if not, have a higher percentage Fire Trap be placed down (40%?). As it is right now, this just feels like a Brimstone Revenant with more alpha damage. (Not exactly a bad thing, but still..)
Verdict: Buff It.. Maybe?

Raging Bull: 705-825 dmg + -40% Smokescreen to all enemies
Bull has always been the Marmite for Fire Wizards. Some people dislike it for being too weak, other people think it's fine where it is. I personally always thought the Smokescreen should be higher (40-50%), and this release of Test Realm has done just that! But still, being a 6/1 Shadow spell, and Fire's high alpha damage in general, the damage on this spell could be a tiny bit higher.
Verdict: Give the damage a buff, keep the Smokescreen where it is

Storm

Sirens: 730 dmg + remove one blade
Ouch. What a fall from what this spell once was. I can't help but think that with the utility changes, this spell now feels too similar to a Leviathan. Most Storms i know used this spell more for the -50% Accuracy debuff.. maybe that's the one that should have stayed instead? It would certainly do more to make it feel different from Leviathan. The damage also feels outclassed by Storm Lord for it's cost, only having a 40 damage advantage over the latter. Not much improvement considering the 2 extra pip cost.
Verdict: Buff the damage, restore the -50% Accuracy debuff

Life

Wings of Fate: 50 + 400 damage to all enemies, 50 + 400 healing to all allies
This spell has been an issue ever since it's introduction, and many wizards found this spell to be either underpowered or useless. The introduction of an initial hit to this spell was nice, but the fact that the damage went down even more just amplifies the feeling of this spell's irrelelvancy. Wings of Fate had some potential to be viable with most other spells being nerfed, but if this goes through, it will remain mostly unviable for it's cost. The fact that the damage is overtime and can destroy trap setups does not help it's case. (Also think this is bugged atm, not sure.)
Verdict: Buff the damage/healing, make the damage a single hit instead of a DoT

Balance

Nested Fury: 805 dmg 970 dmg or 1050 dmg to all enemies
Ironic how Balance's 6/1 Shadow Spell feels the most unbalanced of all with this change! both the Fire and Storm hits can out-damage their same-school counterparts (Although i will give some leeway in Storm's case since Bugs is a 5/1 Shadow Spell and with the changes is honestly in a good place right now), and something about that doesn't sit well. If Balance is able to outdamage BOTH of the main alpha-strike schools, then something's wrong. It could be argued in the case of Bull that Nested Fury offers no additional utility, but is 270-ish damage REALLY equivalent to ONE pip (Smokescreen cost)? Hmm.
Verdict: Nerf the damage

ALL 4/1 DIVIDE SPELLS

Understandably, with many other Shadow hits being nerfed, it makes sense that the 4/1 Shadow spells would follow suit. The nerf itself is fine, but the issue arises from the fact that dividing the spell makes it increasingly ineffective the more targets you go for. I think a rework on how the damage is divided up is needed, so it becomes more worthwhile to.. yaknow, actually divide up the damage!
Verdict: Rework needed

As for the positive changes, i won't type all of these out, but..
Wow, Fire Dragon got superbuffed! Bow down to your draconian overlords!
Glowbug Squall actually seems to be in a good spot now! It felt too OP before, but now it feels perfect!
MYTH IS A VIABLE SCHOOL AGAIN! THANK YOU FOR THE ALL-HITTING ORTHRUS!
Interesting what you've done with Gaze of Fate! Pretty neat to have the randomized hit be the bigger one!
I'm happy for Myth getting another AoE, but I wish they didn't do it to Orthus, as I enjoyed the double-tap nature of the spell. That was one of Myth's signature functions (though rarely used, now down to 2 spells). I think making Medusa the AoE with ONE stun round and keeping the double-tap nature of Orthus would have been fine.

Armiger
Jan 11, 2012
2317
So, here's another question. While looking at the power curve and nerfing spells, will Death school finally get a single target X-pip life sap spell and a set minion versus a variable minion? This is something that needs the "revamp hammer" for balancing purposes.

Explorer
May 06, 2013
54
I can go on with how upsetting I am with the shadow spell nerfing. Instead I will say I am in favor of those who are against the nefting and their good reason. Some people on this forum made very good points why the intense nerfing was unstisfactory. Far as I heard I thought shadow spells were given a higher DPP level by the devalopers for it's own balance before they where put in the game making shadow more powerful than regular spells ( any pip after shadow pip is shadow) and was a good to go. Now suddenly that changed and spells became unbalanced after 30 levels? why now? Hmmm.I think maybe pvp had something to do with. If spells are overpowered in pvp are over powered in pve? Not true. Pvp is not pve. Players in pvp gives it all they have causing frustarations by not giving fair chances. Enimies in pve don't give it all they have so players are not getting defeated near as much. So why nerf spells when the challange is still there? unless enimies and their bosses are complaining? My point is please separate pvp from pve on spells to save to prevent too many people leaving the game.

Explorer
Apr 27, 2011
79
As of 7/8/2020

Storm is getting damage nerf while everyone else gets a boost. How come there’s no boost to our health? Fire is doing more damage in gear and spells wise and they have more health. I have feeling this is going to be healing current all over again.

I’m not happy about these changes at all, it is unfair to Storm.

We now have weak damage, we barely remove blades and we die very soon because our health is so low.

Why does it always come to us getting nerf or useless spells? Before you guys wanted to make Storm a self destruct school with very awful and useless spells such as insane bolt. Eight years ago I had to literally campaign in order to defend the integrity of Storm. Healing current was a self destructive mechanism. I just feel this is just another attempt to destroy Storm in the process. These changes are very bad for Storm.

Please reconsider such changes and take into consideration the values, fundamentals and principles of Storm.

Survivor
Apr 14, 2017
9
ArrenX on Jul 9, 2020 wrote:
As of 7/8/2020

Storm is getting damage nerf while everyone else gets a boost. How come there’s no boost to our health? Fire is doing more damage in gear and spells wise and they have more health. I have feeling this is going to be healing current all over again.

I’m not happy about these changes at all, it is unfair to Storm.

We now have weak damage, we barely remove blades and we die very soon because our health is so low.

Why does it always come to us getting nerf or useless spells? Before you guys wanted to make Storm a self destruct school with very awful and useless spells such as insane bolt. Eight years ago I had to literally campaign in order to defend the integrity of Storm. Healing current was a self destructive mechanism. I just feel this is just another attempt to destroy Storm in the process. These changes are very bad for Storm.

Please reconsider such changes and take into consideration the values, fundamentals and principles of Storm.
i second this.

as a positive though, i am very happy with the new buffs to the other schools. you definitely did them some justice there, and i feel like, with maybe a few more buffs, this update won't be so bad.

however, there is still a lot of work to be done. as a storm main, i'm really disappointed that these changes have basically ruined the foundations of storm.

one of the reasons that i'm not happy with how nerfed storm is getting is because damage is literally the main advantage to storm. until now, storm wizards have been excellent hitters, the disadvantage of it being low health and low accuracy. that's just what storm was.

however, now with these changes, storm is no longer the best hitter, as the other schools (especially fire) are starting to do more damage than storm spells.
the main area which this affects are the aoe spells. some aoe spells from other schools are doing better than storm lord now, and sirens, a spell thats 2 ranks higher than storm lord, does as much damage as that. that doesn't really sound fair, does it?

one of the things that i argued in my last post is that the higher levelled wizards get, the more powerful our spells should be. i feel like for storm, basically the opposite is happening. as we level up, we get the same amount of damage each spell. sirens is basically rendered useless now because we can use a spell that's two pips lower than it and still does around the same damage.

so what i'm trying to say is, buff some storm spells again pls

p.s ice could use some buffs too

Survivor
Feb 06, 2010
1
So, I posted my thoughts earlier on why I wasn't a fan of what was going on with the shadow spell nerfs. But I don't think I'd be doing due justice here to stay silent after the next round of tweaks to them too; the short-and-short of it all is I am EXTREMELY happy with the chages to Myth. The face edits also look great, and I'd like to send my thanks to the team who worked on all of that. My characters look not only more unique and invidualistic, but they all look significantly happier. I know loading up that start screen once I tweak all their faces is also going to make me happy to play too. I still have to report back on shadow pip pacing, and I would really like to do that; but I am very happy with the non-shadow pip damage of the level 48 spells. I think giving some weight back to those spells, too, is meaningful and important. That is the threshold moment of the first arc. It's not a spot in the story that I want people to gloss over and take lightly. Those spells used to be THE spells, and I am happy to see some of that same vigor and importance given back to them. I am particularly interested by what the devs mentioned on Twitter, in commitment to try and allow all schools the opportunity not just for decent AOE hits, but for varied playstyle. I am so, so glad that that has been heard and recieved well. It means the world.

I know some people were curious about taking away the double hit, and the devs trying to find a new spot for a double-hit. I honestly don't care that Orthrus isn't a double-hit. Use Minotaur, which is only about 10 levels lower to learn, if that's the case. It also shield-breaks for less pips. I think Orthrus as a single-hit AOE with no added effects is a win-win that reduces the redundancy of Minotaur and Orthrus in close sequence, and also remedies the problems that originally occurred with Mystic. If you really want that double-hit in there and are seeking to eradicate redundancy, look at Humungofrog and Earthquake, and maybe only one of those needs to be an AOE clear all wards, and the other could be a double-hit. Earthquake could have an aftershock or something. But I'm not too set on this as a necessity. I LOVE what was done with Orthrus, and I am now comfortable with the changes to Mystic, knowing Orthrus is back in the spellbook. I want to create a new Myth wizard just for this experience. Other than WOF for Life, I like the updates and that Forest Lord is a heavy AOE spell, since Life has no other native AOEs in it's training path.
I find everything with Fire to be fine. I am not more or less interested in playing my Fire wizard than I was before the summer Test was announced. Ice, I get, and I still think there's some work to do. If keeping the damage adjustments are necessary on the shadow spells, then I hope for a look back at some non-shadow spells for a damage boost. I think Balance might still need a little bit more of a buff on Ra, because I honestly do think a buff on Sandstorm is out of the question; that's so early in the game and before the power creep that I don't think it should be touched. So with Ra as the only other AOE in that range with in-school damage, I think that might need another look. I'm okay with Gaze now. I still don't think I'll ever use it in PvE. I am very interested in the Celestia spellaments spells, specifically for the Balance spell, however. That in conjunction with everything else seems fair. I like the Death nerf now. Lulu reminded me a lot of Skeletal Dragon when it first came out, as an overpowered AOE that was ridiculously unfair and a team wiper. I'm happy with it here now.
The only other school I have three wizards in outside of Myth is Storm. I enjoy playing Storm. And I am comfortable and happy with the changes that have been made there. The only point of feedback that I would perhaps want considered is that Storm might need a slight base health boost, maybe 200 points or so. I don't think I want to see the damage returned to them, if it is what helps keep everyone else in check. Here's why:
1.) Storm wizards also get the highest base damage and base critical boosts on gear; the net-net of the DPP lost versus the naturally higher damage on the gear ensures that Storm is still the best hitting school, without making Fire redundant. People aren't happy with this, but I like it a lot and think this is fair. It helps the other schools maintain spell integrity, reduces the very wild storm hits from bosses, and causes no real forseeable change in the meta of who's going to play "hammer" in a team. If people want to complain about "weak damage", play a Life or Ice wizard and farm for all the same kinds of gear, then get back to me.
2.) I remember very distinctly the graphic on KI Live a few years ago showing the most popular school in every state in the US; Storm was the overwhelming majority. The majority of players are Storm wizards. This gets into two areas. The first is that the reason Storm "is at a disadvantage" for PvP is because PvP is oversaturated with Storm wizards. I don't remember who it was, but someone showed statisically the number of warlords per school is about even, even though the proportion of Storm wizards that are warlords is lower because there's a larger pool to draw from. Don't expect it to be easy when there's 20 million other Storm wizards out there that learn the same spells. The second bit is, the majority of people play Storm wizards as main wizards, farming on them for the full max gear sets. It's possible to become kitted enough to account for the minor downward tweaks in damage by farming for the best gear for your school, which has the naturally highest damage and critical boosts, just like everyone who farms for the best gear for their school that doesn't have the naturally highest damage and critical boosts.
I would enjoy not getting my blades rattled off in every major boss fight ever. I also don't think it's essential for PvE, since I imagine most people using Bugs are hitting to defeat, not debuff. And if we're tinkering with spells, sorry, PvE comes first. PvP strats are built around what's acquired in PvE, spells, gear, and hyrbidized pets included. That's it.
My last bits on spell tinkering for what was done is that nerfing Wings of Fate is like nerfing House Call. They're both joke spells, why bring them lower? Finally, if a boss has a shadow-version of a shadow spell, I fully expect the nerfs to apply there too; I expect to see Trident using a lower-damage Glowbug Squall in line with the Storm version.
But, you know, overall, I am thrilled about the changes to the mid-game play. Arc I has always been a fast run for me, Arc III has always been at least interesting, if slowed. Arc 2 has been a drag. Always. My favorite worlds are in there, and it feels like combat is tedious, boring, and unnecessary there. I look forward to a changed mid-game now, with some new things to look forward to and potentially make it less of a drag. If people are worried about PvP and Jades, a strategy that is undeniably useful in PvE and essential for some places until the correct gear is acquired (ahem, Darkmoor, ahem), then just make Jade gear No PvP. It really is that simple.

I like the direction. I hope these spells are given some minute balance updates to level everything out, but then afterwards, I would like everything to stay relatively where it is so far. This looks like a great opportunity to play a wizard of ANY school through ALL levels and have a fun time.