01 June 2010 - Volume XXII


Get Ready to Rumble

Are you ready for the perils that await you in Celestia, young Wizards?

Very soon you may have the chance to find out if you have what it takes when you begin the first of many trials that await you. Wizards must earn their entry into Celestia by completing a series of new quests that will begin late June, early July.

Watch the Ravenwood News for updates on these quests.


Harold Argleston's Book of the Month Club

  Harold Argleston, LibrarianWelcome to the June installment of my Book of the Month Club. These books have been suggested by a fellow Librarian from Earth, her name is Kit Ward-Crixell and she is a librarian in New Braunfels, Texas, USA.

Our third Book of the Month is Egyptology by Emily Sands. Intended for Grade 5-9, this thick book is a fictional Eygptologist’s 1920’s-era travel journal, with lots of detail on every page. Each section covers a distinct area of antiquity and is mainly factual in content. There are papyrus pull-outs, pop-up art, minibooks, and fold-out maps and an envelope in the back with period postcards, ticket stubs, etc.

Look for this book in your school or local library and enjoy reading, young Wizards!

What are Video Drivers?

What are Video Drivers and Why do I Need to Update Them?
Many young Wizards contact us to say that the game has 'white blocks' or 'red clothing', or just generally runs slow or 'choppy'. Almost all of these issues are cleared up with a Video Driver Update. What this means, is the Video card you have in your computer has software that it needs to run. That software gets out of date if you don't update it, and the Video card can't keep up with new games that you run.

It's very easy to update your Video Drivers but takes several steps to figure out what it is. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, have an adult or friend help you:

1. Determine the manufacturer of your video card > Open your Control Panel, click on "Display" > "Settings" tab > "Advanced" > "Adapter" > "Properties" > "Driver" tab.

2. Write down the Driver Provider and Driver Version. (Example: NVIDIA 197.16)

3. Go to the driver manufacturer's website and locate your particular computer and download the newest driver (you can check the latest driver they post with the driver version you have, if it's the same, then don't bother with the download - likely they've come out with a new one since last you updated though).

After updating the driver, reboot your computer and hopefully, all is right in Wizard City!

Update to Enchanted Treasure Card Trading

The Ability to Trade Enchanted Treasure Cards Removed from the Game
The following message is from J. Todd Coleman, Director of Wizard101 at KingsIsle Entertainment on the issue of Enchanted Treasure Card trading.

"The trading of enchanted cards was never intended; it was an error on our part that players were able to use this system to gain access to spells they were never supposed to receive. Yes, this has been an issue in PvP, but that's really a minor part of the overall problem (as PvP is a relatively minor part of the overall W101 experience.)

Please understand that we went to great lengths to craft and balance the difficulty and "fun factor" of our game. We spent thousands of hours pouring over spreadsheets, implementing, testing, and then repeating that process until we got it right. We planned for players to have "easy" fights and "hard" fights. We planned on solo zones and zones where we wanted them to ask other players for assistance, fostering social connections. As part of this process -- and to make each class feel special -- we created a handful of custom, unique spell that were restricted to each class. We wanted each player to feel like they could do something that other players could not. Each class was engineered to have areas of strength and weakness, so that the style of game play (and strategy) would different from one player to the next. We wanted to foster a sense of identity, to make the game interesting (and different) based on the path that the player chose to follow, and (of course) to make the game balanced across 300+ hours of gameplay.

After all that effort, we made a mistake, one which allowed player to use 50 gold enchantment cards to circumvent these class restrictions. Oops! I wish this mistake had never been made in the first place; had the class restrictions been properly enforced from the beginning, players would have thought "well, that makes sense" and not given it another thought.

The problem is, this may seem like a minor issue, but it is not. This one oversight fundamentally dilutes the unique nature of each class. Replicating these spells creates a huge imbalance in our system, not just in PvP, but in the overall play cycle and in the experience of the game we spent so much time and energy crafting. If everyone can cast everything, what's the point of having classes at all? To borrow a phrase from The Incredibles, "When everyone's Super, then no one is." In my eyes, being able to mass produce a collection of class-restricted, high level spells for a trivial amount of gold falls pretty clearly into the category of stuff we should fix. And so, we are fixing it.

I certainly realize that you may not agree with this decision. Much like a parent sometimes the "right" decision is not necessarily the most popular one. In this case, I recognize that some people will be unhappy with this fix. But as the director of the game, I have to look out for the health of the game as a whole. It's my call to make, and I stand by my decision. You may not agree, but I do hope you will understand."

KingsIsle in the News

Spotlight on KingsIsle
KVUE News dropped by the KingsIsle Entertainment office to talk with J. Todd Coleman and Josef Hall.

See some sneak peeks of the new world in the report: "Austin gaming company focuses on family fun". http://www.kvue.com/news/Austin-gaming-company-focuses-on-family-fun-95378704.html

“KingsIsle Entertainment is another Austin success story. Five-years ago, two friends got the idea for a different kind of online video game, and now the company has grown to over 100 employees.”

Pet Tips

   When should I jump?
To know when to jump over or under an obstacle in the Derby, we have included Jumppads!

These Jumppads tell you the spot to press the space bar for the best chance of clearing the obstacle ahead!