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Developer Diaries


August 2011 Producer's Letter


My Dear Wizards,

Summer is always a busy time here at KingsIsle. You know that super secret fun stuff that we release when you’re in your winter jackets? We were hard at work on that before the temperatures even touched 100° (and if you’ve been paying attention to Texas weather, you’ll know that was pretty early this year).

Creating a new world is sort of like making lasagna (I like mine with hot sauce, but that’s not the point). While it is delicious and worth the wait, there are a lot of steps that have to be followed to make it right:

- We have to preheat the oven (pre-production – coming up with the plan, laying the ground work so that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done),
- You have to get all the ingredients and mix it just right (the team spends months making the plan come to life),
- And then you have to bake for a few hours at 350° (test it, test it, test it!)

Dragon Magic Abracadoodle
...and then just when you think you’re done, let it cool so it doesn’t burn your mouth (i.e. put it on the Test Server, in front of real players, and see how it works in a live environment!).

In cooking, I’m always tempted to skip the last step (at the risk of burning the roof of my mouth), but never with making Wizard101 – testing is important!

Well, I am happy to report that things are definitely coming together and we can’t wait to serve you our latest concoction – but only when it’s properly cooled and ready!

While it's the big updates that get everyone excited, let's not forget about the smaller ones that can be just as engaging. By now you've all had a chance to take a look at Wysteria, our newest edition to the worlds of the Spiral! You can have a shot at winning the Spiral Cup and meet some new friends from abroad… you may have to win them over, though. Not everyone is friendly at first!

Pigswick Academy is an adventuring area geared toward Wizards who have leveled to their mid-to-upper 20s who want to take a break from Krokotopia or Marleybone, though anyone over 25th level can participate! If you’ve hit the level cap and are looking for a challenge, seek the Heart of the Helephant. Assuredly, you’ll find it of sufficient challenge... and to the victor go the spoils!

Also, there another couple of nifty smaller surprises in this update:
- We’ve had a lot of Wizards let us know that it’s too easy to accidentally ignore a friend – so we’ve added a confirmation window.
- Y’know how some of those bigger monsters like to hide their school affiliations? No more – they appear on the 2d Combat Menu.
- We've added a new collectible card pack to the Crowns Shop. The Wyvern's Hoard pack is FULL of cards for gardening, pet snacks, and great loot. Keep an eye out for one of five unique Wyvern mounts, epic creatures that can only be found in the Wyvern's Hoard card pack.
- We also added Teleporters for Housing! Now you can drop your own teleport pads, allowing your visitors to pop quickly around you Castle from one place to another. And, as a side note -- these teleporters can be used to link your Castles together, as well! Now your guests can pop between your Castles, and you can use Teleporters to turn your house party into a block party!

You can see the full update notes here.

Feedback Fridays are still going strong! About two months ago, we called for your questions. I answered a few of them, but I wanted to save them for a wider distribution (plus, I needed to track down some professors when they weren’t busy and ask them for their answers). I’ll be picking some of my favorites and answering them over the next few letters.

sara34 asks Professor Moolinda Wu “What is your favorite world? (besides Mooshu)”
Moolinda Wu: “I like Wintertusk. It has some snowy peaks where I like to sit and contemplate the Great Moodha. It is very peaceful and easy to clear my mind there.”

jason38 asks Professor Cyrus Drake “What is your favorite spell?”
Cyrus Drake: “Certainly nothing YOU could cast…” (Falmea note: Sorry, jason38! I asked him to elaborate and he started looking angry and muttering about pesky questions distracting him from his studies, so I just left.)

chill30461 asks me: “What drew you to the power of Fire?”
Dalia Falmea: What DIDN’T draw me to the power of fire? Fire is pure, combustible power. It can be harnessed all at once in a powerful explosion or summoning, or start small but cause great damage with a controlled burn. Its power is also very temporary – fire is only alive so long as it is fed and maintained, and a proper wind can extinguish it. It’s a great metaphor for life, don’t you think?

wisekitty200 (and quite a few others) asks Headmaster Merle Ambrose: “What school are you?”
Merle Ambrose: “Oh my! Haven’t I answered that question before?” (Falmea note: Yep! It’s been a while… almost three years, but we found it in our archives. You can read his answer here.

We’ll answer some more next time. Until then, stay fired up, and have fun exploring abroad in Wysteria!

See you in the spiral,
Leah “Professor Falmea” Ruben

Ambrose Abracadoodle Cyrus Drake Abracadoodle Moolinda Abracadoodle
  • We’re rated E 10 and up for Crude Humor and Mild Fantasy Violence
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