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Developer Diaries


June 2021

Oh, hello Wizards!

Renee Wooten here! Some of you may know me as Renee Wooften from The Commons back when we updated Wizard City, and more recently from inspecting the suspicious tunnels of the Wizard City Underground. I have somehow been working at KingsIsle Entertainment for nearly 8 years and now am the Producer for our MMOs. I started in Customer Service, became Associate Producer in 2017, and recently was given the reigns as Producer.

Many of you might be wondering where Professor Falmea is but have no fear: she’s still doing magical things around the Spiral as our Game Director and just recently released a Socialization Dev Diary. As we announced earlier this year, KingsIsle was acquired by MGI/Gamigo, and with it came some exciting structural changes!

Keeping Close to You

I can assure you that we are still committed to bringing great updates to the Spiral, and the pace of our updates has not changed. We’re also committed to staying in touch with you, our community: we have Ratbeard and the design team providing updates and behind-the-scenes info through Dev Diaries, Sparck has revived the Community Livestreams, and some exciting plans for future charity initiatives are in discussion. Our continued open dialogue with you all has brought a lot of refreshing opportunities to make the Spiral feel like home, and that will not stop any time soon!


As you can see, Renee Wooften favors my dog Sadie a bit more than me!

The Year So Far

Anyway, let’s get to the details you clicked here for! It’s hard to believe that it’s already June and we’re fast approaching Wizard101’s Summer Update. Before I give you teasers about Test Realm, I want to highlight what we’ve added to the game in 2021 so far.

The previous Producer’s Letter by Professor Falmea said our focus will be on existing systems in 2021, and we’ve made some pretty big leaps in that direction. Between ongoing stat rebalances and upgrading the game's back-end systems to 64-bit, we are already seeing a lot of improvements as well as opportunities for growth. These changes will allow us to keep providing engaging and compelling content for years to come.

The Spring Update also brought new Skeleton Key Bosses to unsuspecting places like Grizzleheim and expected places like Karamelle! We also set our sights on improving the way we journey through the Spiral together, starting with Friendly Flag displays and Team-Up Volunteers that will help players of all levels come together to overcome difficult challenges on their journeys. There will be more social updates to come. For those who like to shake things up with competition, we are continuously making improvements to our PvP Matchmaking and balancing efforts in preparation for the 5th Age, coming sometime in the future!

On the Horizon

Another focus we’ve had is improving the self-expression of our wonderfully unique player-base. Our differences should always be celebrated, and we continually strive to make the Spiral a safe and accepting place. This month happens to be Pride Month, and we’ve expressed our support of all players as well as listening to valuable feedback about how we could better support everyone. Some things you can expect in an upcoming update are new Emojis that will allow you to add flair to any conversation.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our blog post expressing what Pride means to us!

Since I’ve shared a little bit about what we’re adding for chat options, I guess I could share a little bit about some content you can anticipate soon. We are finalizing the revamp of our First Time User Experience (FTUE) in Wizard City, which includes new quest and narrative content for Firecat Alley, Cyclops Lane, Dark Cave, and Nightside. There may be some lost pets to help find on your adventures, and I personally cannot wait for you to meet Lizzo FireSpitter in Firecat Alley (Clarification: Pop culture reference, not in collaboration with any real-life person or celebrity)!


Speaking of adventures, we’re also working on multiple improvements to playing together with your friends! I can’t let too many firekittens out of the bag or Professor Falmea may take away my writing privileges, but I’ll just say that many of you are going to be excited to quest together, whether it’s farming for new gear or helping a friend catch up to a new world if they’ve been away for a while.

In other news, the quest for Lemuria will continue! Will you find a new world, or will you just find Nothing? Could you find both?


In Conclusion

I’m honored to have the tradition of Producer’s Letters passed down to me and I’m excited to share updates with the community in a new way. Lastly, I wanted to make sure Professor Falmea had a chance to touch base with you all in this new landscape.

From Leah:
    “About a decade ago, I introduced the Producer Letters as a second way (besides the forums) for the game team to communicate with the community. Now, we’re all up in everyone’s Twitter, Twitch streams, Discords, and everywhere in between, so there’s certainly no lack of direct communication anymore. However, a periodic state of the game and a slight peek behind the curtain are time honored and useful traditions that Renee will now carry onward.

    Since this is called the “Producer Letter” and my title no longer has the word “Producer” in it, I thought it fit to hand it off to someone highly capable who does! You can’t get rid of me that easily, though. I’ll still occasionally take a cut at Dev Diaries (like the Socialization 101 with Professor Falmea Dev Diary published earlier this month), and I’ll still take up the proverbial pen anytime it strikes me to do so!”

    Leah ”Professor Falmea” Ruben
    Game Director

Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide you with entertainment and memories that will last a lifetime. Until next time, stay well!

Renee "Renee Wooften" Wooten

  • We’re rated E 10 and up for Crude Humor and Mild Fantasy Violence
  • We won the Massively Award for Best of the Decade

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