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An Open Letter to Kingsisle

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Mar 05, 2009
1
This is a [long] open letter to Kingsisle with my current opinions about this game, one which I have played since 2008 consistently.

A few prefaces:This isn't meant to target anyone at Kingsisle and is meant to be taken as suggestions, ideas, and criticism. I absolutely love this game and I do want to see the playerbase increase to levels where it used to be, but personally I don't think that will happen with the current trajectory KI seems to be on.

1) Everyone who plays this game is obviously fine with the pay to win aspects, but maybe tone them down. The main things I have a problem with is jade gear and may-cast wands. As an owner of both of these things I can say that it 95% of the time is necessary if you want to win in PVP, jade for team and may-cast wands for 1v1. Jade gear is also extremely helpful in PVE content and if you're a support wizard without this, good luck finding teams for dungeons which are competent. There used to be a post on the Wizard101 forums where I remember them saying that they plan to make all gear obtainable in the crowns shop, also very rare drops from monsters. It would obviously be cumbersome to implement all crowns gear now since there is so much but should definitely include jade gear, may-cast wands, critical wands from the Halloween packs, and other useful gear in boss rare drop tables.

2) Focus on PVP as well as PVE, specifically:

Shadow spells: These are just way too strong in PVP. I've been in many 4v4 tournaments where games have ended in 2 rounds because one team is lucky and goes first while getting shadow pips. Creates more RNG-based wins in a system already cluttered with RNG. Either remove them altogether or nerf damage values.

Overpowered/underpowered spells/schools. Just going to give a list with what I think should be changed (Not going to include shadow spells because those are mentioned above).: Loremaster: Make 5 pips Storm: Decrease base damage% from gear. Ice: Does too much damage for being a "tank" school. Smokescreen: Disable the stacking of different kinds of smokescreens, same with black mantles, and this includes from spells like loremaster. X pip spells: These should not be able to be enchanted. I know this would make them obsolute so just increase the damage per pip instead. 400+ base damage tempest every round doesn't feel good for the game. Cards from gear: Allowed to be enchanted

The contrast of the lack of the above with the ideas of "ages" or seasons: I'm perfectly fine with rank resets and different season but to me they're very pointless if only one or two things are changed. Impliment multiple balance changes then reset a season.

3) KI employees (mainly people on the community team) clearly do not play their own games, or play very little. This became very evident to me when one of the community managers has all worlds unlocked except Celestia. They very obviously just gave him a max-level account and forgot to add Celestia to the list. They basically just brushed it off as "that's weird".

4) Stop introducing more RNG-based combat elements. We already have power pips, power pip conversion, critical hit, critical block, shadow pip chance, going first or second, gear may-casts, pet may-casts. The more they add the less enjoyable the content is.
5) Make levels 1-50 free. Getting to the sub only content literally takes 15-30 minutes depending on the experience of the player, which the game is still advertised as "free to play".

6) Create harder optional bosses for the older and more experienced players. They tried this with the beastmaster fight club but it really wasn't a challenge at all and didn't give any good rewards.The main thing that I think they need to realize is random cheats doesn't equal challenging content, it just makes you bring specific deck setups and strategies, but once you learn it, it's insanely easy. Bosses with high damage boost, enchanted spells, more health, etc, those would be challenging.

7) Make events less lackluster. Start with giving out and selling items that aren't useless, 10th aniversary was a major letdown. Even if it's not challenging or high level, at least something to do during the even that maybe gives a cool hat, at least SOMETHING.

8) Make badge collecting rewards. My main idea regarding this is to have a vendor that sells exclusive things like gear you can stich to, housing items, pets (not able to be traded to others via hatching) that's only available after completely certain badges. Basically, just make badge collecting worth it.

9) Better looking clothes like from mooshu. The fact that 95% of wizards all wear the same 5 pieces of gear is quite bad for a game that has thousands of pieces of gear.

10) Have a defined schedule for members benefits, or have them alternating all throughout the week with the more popular ones on weekends. Along with this, make daily rewards more worthwhile, give people a reason to log on daily.

11) Not towards Kingsisle, but towards popular Wizard101 personalities: Stop being afraid to criticize the game. Kingsisle clearly values your opinions (inviting people to appear on KI live, inviting people to PAX south, etc.)
11a)
Now towards Kingsisle: Stop brushing off any criticism as "haters". Alot of people have many good ideas and I feel like none of them are being heard or taken seriously. Also, the sweeping under the rug of things which went very poorly needs to stop, for example, the $700 mount. I do think crowns rewards are a very good idea, but should be for the lifetime of the account, not just 1 weekend, and should include past purchases.

12) 7th character slot. 7 schools, speaks for itself.

What I think Kingsisle should do moving forward: I personally believe that the reason the playerbase is decreasing is because of the core aspects I mentioned above, and not a lack of content. I think Kingsisle should spend the next several months collecting player feedback, working on the things I've mentioned in this post, rather than a new world, especially if they take the "add better drops to current end-game bosses" seriously. Many of the things are just increasing/decreasing values, and adding things to drop tables, it's really not that hard to do compared to coding a new feature.

Lastly, all suggestions and comments are more than welcome.

Squire
Aug 10, 2009
541
I get where you are coming from.. I would like to add that for your #6, creating harder bosses... I would also like to see them create a weaker boss also.. Hear me out, I like to solo.. some of the bosses with their cheats and stuff is just too hard to solo. Of course I expect there would be less phat lootz once the boss is defeated.. Sometimes I dont care about the loot, i just wanna get past that boss..


Survivor
May 21, 2011
40
I agree with all of your points Merciless Matthew. I would like to add my own comments on your points as some extra info to highlight:

1) Currently I am running experiments with dual school statistics on gear and the ones available for crafting are very underpowered compared to their crown shop pack counterparts. I would like to see better high level crafted gear as an available option next to rare boss drops. Spells are set up like this - do the same for gear.

2) Shadow spells definitely broke the game and need a huge rework. All wizards do now is use them instead of their regular spells. Prayers out to all the pre-darkmoor spells that never find a place in decks anymore. This current "increase damage" meta is getting boring. Make spells more creative instead of increase pip chance and increase damage.

3) I think the issue here is that KI is constantly working on making max level worlds as interesting as possible for their current players while new players play but don't stay as the lower level worlds are incredibly dull in comparison. I didn't start this game when Dragonspyre first came out, but I hear veterans say that they were completely in love with the world. Try to bring back the wonder with your lower level worlds and you will keep players. Play through them and see for yourself what can be changed. The graphic update with Wizard City is a start, but you can do more than just make it look better. Make the worlds feel more alive like Mirage did.

4) Power-pip conversion should be introduced earlier with critical in my opinion. Not enough people care about conversion in PvE when there is critical in my opinion.

6(5)*(You skipped the number 5 ) The Mysterious Well in Avalon has a neat system where you will randomly get 1 of 2 possible bosses to fight, each with different cheats. This forces groups to work together to figure out strategy on the spot instead of preparing before. Maybe implement this mechanic at higher level?

7) There has been so many copy and paste of old in game models with different looks and that adds to the dulling of events.

8) Badges are such a great part of the game, but it would be even cooler if players received stats while wearing certain ones. e.g "Blood of the Giants" +25% damage against Giant type creatures. Why not add icons next to rare ones as well like the PvP Badges? I loved to display my Commander or Warlord badges, but having icons for PvE players would influence them to work on them.

9) School design gear, commander robes, and dungeon gear is all I see at high level. Pack gear offers some alternatives, but those are almost always stitched because YEESH it ain't pretty. Need a fashion tip? Try to make gear sets actually blend together. The school design gear and dungeon gears do this well. Celestia and Zafaria gear pieces, in my opinion, is so incredibly awkward looking that I'd rather wear weaker gear to not burn the eyes of my enemies with my appearance.

10) I do not like it when I don't have enough snacks and it's double pet xp. Please give us dates to prepare for and players can work together to make sure they are prepared for these events.


11) Spend $700 crowns in three days. I screamed. Longer time limits for higher crown rewards sounds a lot more reasonable.

12) 7 character slot would be amazing and tons of players requested this.


Responding to feedback is ideal so wizards feel like their ideas are being listened to. Falmea's Friday forum threads are great, but I'd like to see a live Q and A be put into place so we can really get an idea to what is going on with different aspects of the game and so everyone on all sides can be clear on what everyone has on their minds. I see many people talk about the Dorms category being the place to state your dream and have it die because we have no clue what KI thinks about them.

Perhaps the issue is that they don't play their game enough to understand the concepts we are suggesting.

Like I commented before in point 3: KI is constantly working on making max level worlds as interesting as possible for their current players while new players play but don't stay as the lower level worlds are incredibly dull in comparison. I didn't start this game when Dragonspyre first came out, but I hear veterans say that they were completely in love with the world. Try to bring back the wonder with your lower level worlds and you will keep players. Play through them and see for yourself what can be changed. The graphic update with Wizard City is a start, but you can do more than just make it look better. Make the worlds feel more alive like Mirage did.

Start with the big fixes at the foundation of Wizard101 with the lower level worlds and work your way up with players feedback and your own ideas by playing and understanding the different worlds before creating a new world.

- Noah SilverBlood

Defender
Jun 03, 2017
154
Merciless Matthew on Mar 1, 2019 wrote:
This is a [long] open letter to Kingsisle with my current opinions about this game, one which I have played since 2008 consistently.

A few prefaces:This isn't meant to target anyone at Kingsisle and is meant to be taken as suggestions, ideas, and criticism. I absolutely love this game and I do want to see the playerbase increase to levels where it used to be, but personally I don't think that will happen with the current trajectory KI seems to be on.

1) Everyone who plays this game is obviously fine with the pay to win aspects, but maybe tone them down. The main things I have a problem with is jade gear and may-cast wands. As an owner of both of these things I can say that it 95% of the time is necessary if you want to win in PVP, jade for team and may-cast wands for 1v1. Jade gear is also extremely helpful in PVE content and if you're a support wizard without this, good luck finding teams for dungeons which are competent. There used to be a post on the Wizard101 forums where I remember them saying that they plan to make all gear obtainable in the crowns shop, also very rare drops from monsters. It would obviously be cumbersome to implement all crowns gear now since there is so much but should definitely include jade gear, may-cast wands, critical wands from the Halloween packs, and other useful gear in boss rare drop tables.

2) Focus on PVP as well as PVE, specifically:

Shadow spells: These are just way too strong in PVP. I've been in many 4v4 tournaments where games have ended in 2 rounds because one team is lucky and goes first while getting shadow pips. Creates more RNG-based wins in a system already cluttered with RNG. Either remove them altogether or nerf damage values.

Overpowered/underpowered spells/schools. Just going to give a list with what I think should be changed (Not going to include shadow spells because those are mentioned above).: Loremaster: Make 5 pips Storm: Decrease base damage% from gear. Ice: Does too much damage for being a "tank" school. Smokescreen: Disable the stacking of different kinds of smokescreens, same with black mantles, and this includes from spells like loremaster. X pip spells: These should not be able to be enchanted. I know this would make them obsolute so just increase the damage per pip instead. 400+ base damage tempest every round doesn't feel good for the game. Cards from gear: Allowed to be enchanted

The contrast of the lack of the above with the ideas of "ages" or seasons: I'm perfectly fine with rank resets and different season but to me they're very pointless if only one or two things are changed. Impliment multiple balance changes then reset a season.

3) KI employees (mainly people on the community team) clearly do not play their own games, or play very little. This became very evident to me when one of the community managers has all worlds unlocked except Celestia. They very obviously just gave him a max-level account and forgot to add Celestia to the list. They basically just brushed it off as "that's weird".

4) Stop introducing more RNG-based combat elements. We already have power pips, power pip conversion, critical hit, critical block, shadow pip chance, going first or second, gear may-casts, pet may-casts. The more they add the less enjoyable the content is.
5) Make levels 1-50 free. Getting to the sub only content literally takes 15-30 minutes depending on the experience of the player, which the game is still advertised as "free to play".

6) Create harder optional bosses for the older and more experienced players. They tried this with the beastmaster fight club but it really wasn't a challenge at all and didn't give any good rewards.The main thing that I think they need to realize is random cheats doesn't equal challenging content, it just makes you bring specific deck setups and strategies, but once you learn it, it's insanely easy. Bosses with high damage boost, enchanted spells, more health, etc, those would be challenging.

7) Make events less lackluster. Start with giving out and selling items that aren't useless, 10th aniversary was a major letdown. Even if it's not challenging or high level, at least something to do during the even that maybe gives a cool hat, at least SOMETHING.

8) Make badge collecting rewards. My main idea regarding this is to have a vendor that sells exclusive things like gear you can stich to, housing items, pets (not able to be traded to others via hatching) that's only available after completely certain badges. Basically, just make badge collecting worth it.

9) Better looking clothes like from mooshu. The fact that 95% of wizards all wear the same 5 pieces of gear is quite bad for a game that has thousands of pieces of gear.

10) Have a defined schedule for members benefits, or have them alternating all throughout the week with the more popular ones on weekends. Along with this, make daily rewards more worthwhile, give people a reason to log on daily.

11) Not towards Kingsisle, but towards popular Wizard101 personalities: Stop being afraid to criticize the game. Kingsisle clearly values your opinions (inviting people to appear on KI live, inviting people to PAX south, etc.)
11a)
Now towards Kingsisle: Stop brushing off any criticism as "haters". Alot of people have many good ideas and I feel like none of them are being heard or taken seriously. Also, the sweeping under the rug of things which went very poorly needs to stop, for example, the $700 mount. I do think crowns rewards are a very good idea, but should be for the lifetime of the account, not just 1 weekend, and should include past purchases.

12) 7th character slot. 7 schools, speaks for itself.

What I think Kingsisle should do moving forward: I personally believe that the reason the playerbase is decreasing is because of the core aspects I mentioned above, and not a lack of content. I think Kingsisle should spend the next several months collecting player feedback, working on the things I've mentioned in this post, rather than a new world, especially if they take the "add better drops to current end-game bosses" seriously. Many of the things are just increasing/decreasing values, and adding things to drop tables, it's really not that hard to do compared to coding a new feature.

Lastly, all suggestions and comments are more than welcome.
1. PvP is not P2W. I do just fine with Malistaire Gear.
2. PvP is pvp. Spells should not be banned just because they are too op. They are a part of PvP and they are still a valid way of winning pvp.
3. They help make the game, so why would you have a problem with that?
4. That’s definitely an opinion.
5. Levels 1-50 should not be be free. They need money to continue to make new content, if they don’t bring in more money.
6. The Beastmans give the really good cabalist boots and hats.
7. The tenth anniversary was great. Mega pet snacks and packs, presents, celebration and energy elixirs. Perfect. What’s not to like?
8. There already is. There is Blaze in olde town, and a cat guy in mirage.
9. No, it means a lot of people have the same type of fashion, or really likes the look, out of thousands of gear.
10. I agree.
11. This whole letter is a criticism, and people have done more.
11a. Agreed.
12. Agreed.

Survivor
Nov 09, 2018
9
The only thing I agree with you on is 8 and 10. Everything else literally is the game and if you don't like the way the game is set up, then don't play. I have also played consistently since 2008/2009 (different accounts) and I can tell you that most of these issues you have are so ingrained into what the game is (i.e. your complaint with the storm and ice schools, RNG elements in battle, not giving a 7th school slot) that they'll never change.

I agree that they could expand the free to play content to the whole of Wizard City. I think they've built an area conducive to that especially since they have 13 main worlds (2 of those with 2 parts) and 3 side worlds, but levels 1-50 though is way too much especially compared to games like World of Warcraft (level 20 doesn't get you very far) and ESO (free trial periods get you through the first area).

You also seem like you believe PVP should be easily obtainable. It's built to be end-game material for hardcore players to have a reason to play the game between world release/other content. While I agree it should be more accessible, taking a hardcore element of the game and bringing down to the same level as 13 worlds of content is not a good model because that aspect of the game would have to be replaced by more hardcore content. Besides, it's already levelled so you can face others your level.

I could go into more, but there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what the game is and what Kingsisle is attempting to accomplish with this game. The original post was obviously crafted from a place of discontent and had an inflammatory goal. While it's okay to file grievances, I think some of these points have no legs to stand on existentially or ideologically.

Survivor
Sep 07, 2017
4
I agree with every single tip, by far the best post on fixing this game i've ever seen. How about for membership players you pay like 40 k gold for a pack like you do with a mount in the crowns shop? and that's a member benefit I think that could make the game a little bit less p2w gear wise.