Producer's Letter


August 2016

My Dear Wizards,

It’s my favorite time of year! That’s right, it’s the middle of the super hot and sunny summer! Most Pyromancers are at their best this time of year, and do some of their best work. It’s a good thing too, because we’ve got a lot going on around here, and there’s even more to come before it gets chilly in these parts.

We led off this year in April with our Spring update, with Daily Assignments as its biggest feature. Our inspiration for these came about when we considered that quite a few of our most dedicated Wizards can chew through new content WAY quicker than we can create it. So, we decided to give everyone something interesting and new to do every day, something that helps earn something small your Wizard can use to progress – some gold, arena tickets, loot, and sometimes even Crowns. Aegon Statz isn’t just sending you on random missions and giving out Crowns for no reason – every so often, he’ll have a quest that lets you in on why you’re going on all these missions.

I’m also incredibly excited about the Arcanum offering more off-class spells. I have a hybrid character I’ve been playing, and I’ve noticed that it’s a little challenging once you get up in levels. Anything that gives Wizards the freedom to customize their characters and play the way they want to play (without breaking the game, of course…) is something we’re all about. So if you have access to the Arcanum, you can grab Nature’s Wrath, Forest Lord, Orthrus, Power Nova, Ice Trap, Frost Giant, Fire Dragon, Triton, Storm Lord, Death Trap, and Skeletal Dragon with your training points!

There were so many other cool features the team was excited about in the Spring Update. Here are just a few more:

  1. New Skeleton Key Bosses! You can face off against Ra in the Krokotopia library, battle Ixcac Cursedwing in the Black Sun Pyramid, and Omen Stribog at the River of Frozen Tears.
  2. Gear Vault! We did something new this time… with a customizable way to store 100 gear items. You pick what goes on the platform and POOF, it becomes your vault.
  3. Devotion! Speaking of spells, there’s also a new spell at the Star School Trainer in Azteca. Devotion increases Life Damage by 25%, increases Power Pip chance by 5% and increases incoming Death damage by 10% for 4 rounds.
  4. The Road Warrior’s CCG Pack featuring the super cool 50% speed boost fiery chopper mount, biker gear, and much more.
  5. Crafting! We distributed many more crafting slots with crafting levels and lowered a lot of crafting timers.
  6. Fishing in Zafaria! Fish, including some never seen before, can be caught in Zafaria as of this update.
  7. Spring Cleaning! We added more cinematic camera angles to Wizard City, Krokotopia, and Marleybone, Khrulhu’s attack has been greatly shortened, and we generally polished up a lot of small things that needed tidying.
If you’re interested in the full and complete list, you can check it out here.

A short time ago, we released our second large update of the year – our Summer Update!

One long-awaited change was the level 50 elixirs. That’s right – if you purchase this elixir from the Crown Shop, you can skip ahead to Celestia, and score your level 48 class pet, a mount, some pretty powerful gear, all your spells (and quest spells) and training points. The catch? You must already have a level 50 character on that account. We put this requirement in place because we wanted to prevent new players from skipping the tutorials and the formative years of class where you really learn how to use your talents. Plus, we LOVE the first fifty levels of the game. We just realize that you may not want to play through them the second, third, or twelfth time, so we’ve provided an option for you.

Plus, for ALL players, we streamlined things in Celestia and Zafaria. In Celestia fights should go faster and be a little less deadly. In both areas we’ve made improvements to the defeat and collect quests. As mentioned in the update notes, you should probably have to spend a little less time around the Fire Lion Ravagers and the Greyhorn Mercenaries, and this is good for all of us!

As for the rest of the update, this is the one we tend to call our “fan service” update over the last few years. Why? Because we try to cram in as many feature requests from the community as we can before we go full swing into the final preparations for our next update. I think we accomplished a lot this year, so if you have been away on summer vacation, let me list some of the fun stuff that came out this summer:

  1. Tournaments now cost gold for members. This is something that we (and our partners overseas, Gameforge) have wanted to do for a while, but the work was much more complicated technically than you might expect. Regardless, it’s now a PERMANENT member benefit for gold, and boasts a roll again button at the end so you can get a few more tickets for your tournament entry.
  2. Speaking of PVP, we have changed crits to 1.25X in PVP ONLY, instead of doubling the damage as in PVE. We also removed a few pet spell cards from PVP play and gave you the ability to block both text and menu chat from onlookers.
  3. The Immortals Lore CCG pack will grant you the power of Hesphestus, Athena, and Queen Calypso, plus a lot of other new, unique, and powerful items.
  4. If you didn’t get enough spells last update, there are new Astral Magic spells from Qyburn Stellargaze in the Arcanum.
  5. Friends list updates – this has been a big request for a while, so we overhauled the friends system. There’s a lot to this one, so definitely take a tour in game, but generally, you should have a much easier time telling your friends apart and seeing who’s been around recently.
  6. Confused in combat? We have made things easier by adding a list of all charms, wards, and other effects. Mouse over the character label to see what’s been applied (and the order it’s been applied).
  7. Have a large monitor and been plagued by tiny text? We’ve now added a font size option.
  8. If you had already caught all the fish we released in the Spring update, never fear! We’ve added more in the magic-school-themed houses, and also some new fishing quests.
  9. We were honored to work with Brandon and Make a Wish to create some new content – a Polaris quest called Trial by Dragon’s Fire, which grants the sweet new Dragonborn Helm.
  10. Shadow creatures just became even more scary. They have reduced rounds before the payoff (which is also now more powerful), and less backlash. And, they’re a little less mysterious about what they like and what they don’t.

I mean, there are SO MANY, I couldn’t even begin to talk about them all. Thankfully, Dworgyn has done it for me. Here’s a complete list if you’ve missed it.

Interested in fabulous costumes, constant silliness, answering your #askki questions, and much more? Then join us for KI Live! Dworgyn has roped me into cohosting and we’ve been having a blast. We’ve met and interviewed Kane from Pirate and celebrated Christmas in July. We’ve revealed cool factoids like what state has the most Wizard and Pirate players, and the most items crafted by a single Wizard in game (I’m going to make you watch to find the answer). We’ve played through content and also held parades all over the Spiral. We’ve even given hints and clues about what’s coming up next. The next one should be happening soon, so stay tuned for the announcement and come play with us Live!

Speaking of what’s next… well, many of you have asked when the next new world is coming out, and I’m super excited to announce that we’re full speed ahead, working on the creation of it. We’ve got some really neat, unique, and interesting things that we’re doing with this one, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but we’ll have to save that for next time.

See you in the Spiral,
Leah "Professor Falmea" Ruben
Producer, Wizard101