Wizard101
Producer's Letter

 

December 2018

 
 
 
 
My Dear Wizards,

As the winds grow colder and we Professors grade the final assignments for the semester here at Ravenwood, it’s time to reflect on the last few months. It’s been a whirlwind of a fall season here at KingsIsle, celebrating several holidays and new updates. In case you missed any of it, let’s travel back to September, shall we?

What a grand Decaversary!

While we celebrated all year with the Making Of (10 years later) videos (link to Part 1 and 2, the monthly KI department gift codes, and Gamma Plans the Party Storybook, we kicked it into maximum party gear in the month of September.


  • We released our Making of Part 3 video, talking about Whirly Burly, Empyrea Pt 2, and the process behind design.
  • Merle Ambrose sent you on a special Decaversary quest. We really enjoyed putting that one together, hopefully as much as you enjoyed the surprise!
  • New decade pets appeared in the Crown Shop with never before seen talents.
  • Member benefits and events ran aplenty all month
  • We gifted everyone 10 birthday presents
  • All your favorite items and decorations

September also saw us welcome the Steam community into the Spiral. If you’re new, welcome! We’ve been seeing new faces every day, and we’re beyond excited to have new Wizards to adventure with. This is a fantastic community full of helpful people, so if you find yourself stuck along the way, my advice is to (politely) ask someone for help. Chances are, you’ll make a new friend to journey through the Spiral with.

Also, make sure to check out our official forums and peruse our amazing fansites full of helpful information.

We also dedicated our last Making of Wizard 101 video to you, the community. This video is extra special to us because it looks back at some of our favorite community moments over the years, and we also got to include some of YOU as well. There weren’t many dry eyes around the office when we saw the finished product, that’s for sure. I hope this video shows how much we appreciate our dedicated and amazing Wizard community, because we absolutely meant it as a love letter to you, our fabulous fans!



The Thrilling Conclusion...

Perhaps our biggest news comes with the launch of Empyrea Part 2! We’re so excited to be able to let you in to play some of the coolest stuff we’ve ever done.

We aimed to continue down the path we’ve been on to make this the best story update ever. The landscapes are breathtaking – I could lay in the grass in the Aero Planes for hours and stare at the clouds. The sky in Samsara is incredibly striking, and how about that ending? Wow! The cast of characters are funny and expressive, while remaining complex and heartfelt. The story is full of twists and turns and you’ll find yourself facing some foes you never dreamed of, plus reconciling with some you never expected.

I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the work the team put into this arc 3 finale, but I don’t want to say *too* much and spoil anything, so just get in game and check it out!



We’ve wanted to incorporate the Magic School Trees into the story more, and we thought a great way to do it would be to have them aid you in battle as Spells! Over the years of development, many options were discussed, but we finally landed on the conditional Spells because we thought they were unique, and incredibly situationally useful. If you meet the requirements for the Spell to kick off its most powerful attack, they are without a doubt the most powerful Spells in game.

A big thank you to the Wizards that helped us evaluate them on Test Realm and provided feedback to make them into what they are now!

You can’t say Empyrea Part 2 without mentioning our new 3D multiplayer minigame, Whirlyburly. If you’re interested in how it was created, check out the Part 3 Making of Video! Design started early in the year with paper prototyping. That means that before we even wrote one line of code, we spent time play testing the game to make sure we liked the basic mechanics and that it was relatively balanced and fun. Once we were happy with it, we took it from paper to 3D.

I feel like a broken record saying this, but feedback from our community on what they liked and what was confusing really helped us make the game better!  When you’ve been staring at something for months, sometimes it’s easy to miss some obvious improvements, and we made the game much easier to understand as we approached the Live release.



Crowns Rewards!

Another new feature we were excited to launch was our Crowns Rewards system! The first weekend event – The Night-Knight Crowns Reward Event - showcased some extremely rare and premium items. We carefully considered all your comments – some of you liked it, some of you didn’t, and we understand your reasoning. We’ve taken that feedback and incorporated it into planned future events.

As you can see with the latest version of it – the Gingerbread Crowns Rewards Weekend – we offered a free Gingerbread Pack for every 10 you purchased (or equal amounts of Crowns spent). We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback on this event, so we’ll keep this mind for the future. We’ll continue to try new things next year, so stay tuned for more events to come!



Happy Holidays!

Speaking of the holidays, we’ve kicked off the 12 Days of the Spiral, and we’re incredibly excited for this time of year! First of all, we’re thrilled to have started this season with an epic Throwback (Giveback) Thursday where we’ve brought back two of our previous charity mounts – the Bah Humbug and the Noelephant! If you’ve always wanted to parade through town on a festive elephant, or crawl around on a holiday themed scorpion, now’s your chance! These mounts benefit both Creative Action and Children’s Health℠. More info here.



The 12 Days of the Spiral is in full swing! By this point you’ve probably ripped open a few Gingerbread Packs, seen our new Parade Truck and Ice Cycle mounts, and hopefully you’ve been able to participate in the other fun and games that happen this time every year. Everyone’s favorite day (the 13th day) is coming up as well!

What’s Next?

We’re already discussing what’s coming up in 2019. What lands will we take you to next, will they be near, far, high, or low? What challenges will you undertake and what adventures will you set out upon? How will you work together to better the Spiral and take competition to new heights? Only time will tell, Wizards, and on that note, I bid you adieu for now to continue to work with the team to chart the map and establish the plan.

I hope you and yours have a warm and happy Holiday season, whether you spend it in snowy Polaris or sunny Mirage!


See you in the Spiral,

Leah "Professor Falmea" Ruben
Senior Producer of MMO Content