It’s summertime and that means a hot new update to Wizard101! We’ve been working hard at continuing to improve the beginning areas of the game and refining the quests along the way. Many ‘quality of life’ improvements have been made that you may notice on your journey across the Spiral. If you enjoy participating in the monthly calendar events, Beastmoon are being updated to include a new Beastmoon Hunt map and beastforms.
“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)!” - Renee Wooften
One of the biggest changes in this update are new socialization features, built upon an initial feature set we added in the Spring Update. This time though, we’re expanding them out to support more ways to group players together for questing and events.
“Artie Rogers and Gary Smith are the masterminds behind these socialization updates, and they've been meticulously planning and discussing all these potential features for months. In our first kickoff meeting, we realized we had a LOT we wanted to do, MANY updates worth of content, and we had to figure out how to tackle it.” - Professor Falmea
Ratbeard also has a ton to talk about with his recent dev diary, seen below with PvP balance changes and matchmaking improvement highlights.
Last but not least, we teased another peek into the upcoming world of Lemuria!
FIRST TIME USER EXPERIENCE (FTUE)
In this update, we finished polishing the quest content for the First Time User Experience (FTUE). We focused changes on these four zones: Firecat Alley, Cyclops Lane, Dark Cave, and Nightside. After the Wizard Art team put in so much work to update Wizard City’s appearance for the tenth anniversary, the writing department is following suit and updating the Wizard City quest content. We’ve added tons of context, some updated cultural references, and lots of humor while keeping the core of the old story intact.
Don’t worry – Professor Drake still has errands for you, but now you’ll learn which show Alicaine Swiftarrow and the Fire Elves were putting on in the Fire Globe Theater, and get a proper introduction to Bartleby in the mainline story. You’ll see old familiar faces (including Malistaire himself) and meet a bunch of new friends... and enemies!
For players at the other end of the mainline the search for Lemuria continues with another preview quest! If you missed the first one, seek out the Old One in the Arcanum.
One other item of note: Vanessa Mythdust, pillar of the Wizard101 community turned KI team member, makes her VO debut on Cyclops Lane and Firecat Alley! Can you pick her out?
MEETING YOUR FELLOW WIZARDS
Groups in Wizard101 are a temporary collection of players that can adventure and explore together. We’ve had groups in Wizard101 since the beginning, but the feature continues to grow. This effort to improve groups and beyond is especially true since our Spring Update earlier this year. Have a look below at what groups and our socialization efforts are evolving into!
These are things players in a group can do:
But groups have been kind of awkward to form and view, so we’ve made forming and viewing groups easier. There’s a new tab on the Social UI for groups. It shows the name, location, level and current main line quest of each player in the group.
- Have a spot in a combat sigil reserved for them if another group member starts combat
- Ride a multiple player mount
- Queue for Beastmoon together
- Chat with other players in the group in a separate chat channel
You can use the Invite Friends to Your Group button to quickly invite any of your online friends. If you click on an open slot in the group, you can click on any player to invite them to your group.
We’ve added some new perks for being in a group:
While there’s plenty of changes here that you’ll notice, we left in the original Group UI as a sort of minimized way to view your group.
- When players in a group defeat a monster, they have a better chance of collecting quest items. Completing Defeat and Collect quests is even easier in a group!
- When 4 members of a group join a combat sigil, they always get to act first when combat starts.
Adventure Parties are permanent groups (they are NOT guilds!) that create an association between players, gives tools to help those players to synchronize their quests, and gives them a sense of identity. They are for players who want a bit more than what groups currently provide. You may belong to up to 3 Adventure Parties at a time and can have up to 12 players in each one of them.
Here’s how to create an Adventure Party:
Adventure Parties display their name, the owner’s name, the date that the party was created, how many members it has and how many members are currently online. The latest message is also shown. Click on the Adventure Party Details button to see the information about the party’s players and messages!
- Form a group with at least 4 players
- Each player in the group must be at least level 30
- Each player in the group must have a free Adventure Party Slot
- One player must click the Create Adventure Party button
- The player that clicks the Create Adventure Party button is the owner of the party and they first must choose a name for the party.
- Once the owner chooses a name, an Adventure Party invitation is sent to all other members of the group. Each member of the group must agree to join the party, or its creation will fizzle.
Adventure Party Details
Adventure Party Details displays information about the players in the Adventure Party. Each player’s name, school, level, join data or last logon date are displayed. Icons for online players and players in a group are also displayed.
On the bottom of the Adventure Party Details display is a button to leave the Adventure Party.
There is also a button to Create a Group from Online Players in the Adventure Party. The online players are displayed, and you can choose which players to invite to your Group.
There are two ways to invite players into the Adventure Party: by clicking the Invite Friends button or by clicking on an open slot and then clicking on any player. Players that you invite into the Adventure Party must be at least level 30, have a free Adventure Party slot and must be your friend. If you select a player that isn’t your friend to invite into the Adventure Party, you will be prompted to become friends with them first.
Adventure Party Messages
Players in an Adventure Party can send messages to the other players proposing various activities. To send a new message click the New Message button. Then select the activity, the location for the activity and the time to meet. You can propose any time in the next week. For now, each player is allowed one Adventure Party message at a time. You may delete your own message by clicking on the Delete Message button.
When you create a new message, you are added to the list of players planning to attend the message’s appointment. Each player may add or remove themselves from the list of players planning to go to the appointment. There is also a message whenever a new player joins or leaves the party.
Adventure Party Rules
Adventure Parties have a few rules:
- To stay in an Adventure Party, you must login at least once every 30 days.
- If the Adventure Party ever has just one player in it, the Adventure Party is disbanded.
ANOTHER PEEK AT LEMURIA
The Wizard City early story revisions aren’t the only quest content in this update: the search for Lemuria continues! The first Lemuria preview quest drew a strong response from fans and we can’t wait to see what you make of the second part! What is Lemuria? We’ll do you one better – where is Lemuria? We’ll do you one even better – WHY is Lemuria? Answers are coming. Also more questions.
If you missed the first Lemuria pre-quest, make sure you finish Karamelle then seek out the Old One in the Arcanum.
NEW BEASTMOON EVENTS
New Beastmoon Monster Mayhem Avalon Map
We added the Avalon map to the Beastmoon Mayhem rotation! This map requires a bit more mastery to move through without getting turned around, so take a few rounds of play to learn the best ways to quickly dominate the new layout.
We have three new Beastforms to spice up your Beastmoon Game. The first up is the Death Draconian with a unique special ability that places cards in the opponent’s deck. Your opponents would be foolish to try to front a Life Beastform against you while rolling the Death Draconian! Negative Charms? We got that. Stealing HOTs? We got that. Stealing Health? We got that too.
Easy there wizards, it’s time to cool things down! The Ice Fairy is ready to join the fray and working down the damage in style. She is ready to Pacify even the most turbulent Storm Beastform that crosses her path.
Not feeling the Death Draconian? How about a Fire Cyclops? I think we can all agree this is one toasty companion on any Beastmoon battlefield. The Fire Cyclops uses the power of fire (duh!) to generate pips for himself and his team. He can Taunt the enemy, the opposite ability that Ice Fairy has with Pacify.
New Event Rewards
We’ve got new event rewards too for both Beastmoon Hunt and Monster Mayhem! For the Beastmoon Hunt there are new gold idols, pets, and of course added Spellements. Pets and craftable gold idols will be released in the coming Beastmoon Monster Mayhem events.
We’re sure you are eager to get a hold of these precious rewards. All release dates are tentative but check out below when some of the new rewards are expected to become available.
Beastmoon Hunt Rewards
Beastmoon Mayhem Rewards
- Gold Beastform Idols: Myth Ninja Pig, Ice Colossus, Death Draconian, Death Ninja Pig
- Progress Bar Pets: Myth Ninja Pig, Ice Colossus, Death Draconian. Death Ninja Pig
Beastmoon Spellemental Rewards
- Progress Bar Pets: Balance Krokomummy, Myth Rat Thief, Ice Wolf Warrior, Life Fairy
- Craftable Gold Idols
- AUG: Balance Cyclops, Balance Fairy, Balance Krok
- SEP: Life Colossus, Death Fairy, Myth Rat Thief
- OCT: Fire Minotaur, Storm Rat Thief, Ice Wolf Warrior
- NOV: Death Fairy, Myth Rat Thief, Life Fairy
And here are new Spellements that will become available for both Beastmoon events! As mentioned earlier, all dates are tentative:
- AUG: Balance
- SEP: Spiritual
- OCT: Elemental
- NOV: Spiritual
NEW SPELLS AND COMBAT CHANGES
Combat Sigil Changes
We’ve made a few changes to improve players’ combat experience:
New Spells and Minion Changes
- If you join a combat during the planning phase, you can now select your card right away. You no longer must wait an entire round of combat before you have your turn. Some time is added to the planning phase timer so you can select your card.
- Players can no longer join a combat sigil during the final round of combat.
- The player that summoned a Henchman or Minion can now dismiss them by clicking on their red X button. You are not refunded the mana or Crowns you may have used to summon the Henchman and Minion.
- When multiple players join a sigil, they’re rewarded after combat with bonus wisps.
New Monstrology Extracts
- Visit your Ravenwood Professors to learn a brand-new trainable spell!
- Taunt and Pacify spells have newly updated mechanics first seen on Shatterhorn and Grrnadier.
- The Water Elemental and Sprite Guardian minions have been updated with new spell decks and behavior
- Added “Wyldfire” to the Fire Elemental minion’s spell deck
- The Spectral Minion and Sprite Guardian spells have been reduced in cost from 4 pips to 3.
- The minion summoned by Golem: Taunt functions differently in PvP and PvE
- Animate spell redesigned with new functionality, minions, AI, and cards
- Animate TC spell made “No PvP”-TCs retain Animate’s original design
- Dark Pact TC now correctly shows it providing one blade instead of two
- Sprite Guardian TC set to correct cost
- The Spectral Minion and Sprite Guardian spells have been reduced in cost from 4 pips to 3.
We have added Extract Dinos, Extract Draconians and Extract Insects for your Monstrology pleasure. You can purchase the extraction spells from Monstrologist Burke in Azteca for Dinos, Monstrologist Burke in Grizzleheim for Draconians, and Monstrologist Burke in Zafaria for Insects.
As the march continues towards 5th Age, we continue to tweak matchmaking to provide the best possible experience. Many of the changes are made with an Elo rating system in mind (yet to be implemented) as well as looking to address some of the issues that plague the current and former Ages: boosting, sniping/setting, and farming rank from less experienced players. Players who ask, “Why change it?” need only look back at 4th Age (and earlier) to see these issues and understand what we’re trying to put into place for 5th Age.
We have changed the matchmaking sort order to prioritize Level Band over Rank. This is a change to address current matchmaking, and it may or may not extend into 5th Age. We intend to closely monitor the ability for more skilled players to farm rank from higher level (but less skilled) players. As long as this sort order does not manifest such problems, we can extend it into 5th Age.
The matchmaking server will now sort players as follows:
The two biggest issues we had with our new Matchmaking system (since before Test Realm and the subsequent update and hotfix):
- Tier, Level Band, Rank, Rating
As of Ratbeard’s latest dev diary (and hotfix) we believe both issues to be fixed. Players have reported greatly improved queue times and almost no mismatches.
- Long queue times (including the “ghost queue” issue)
- Mismatches (matching players of the wrong Tier, Rank, or Level Band)
This change affects mostly low level PvP, though because spells become available at all levels of play, it has the potential to affect any level of PvP below max.
This change affects PvP only and prevents players from drawing treasure cards from the sideboard if a player is below the minimum level for the TC.
To determine the level of a TC, we started with the level of the learned spell (if any), then set other TCs of similar rank to the same level, and then we made a pass to deliberately set some essential TCs (blades, traps, etc.) to a lower level in order to provide more diversity in play. Last but not least, we set each TC to the minimum level for its Level Band, in order to allow players to use TCs that might be slightly out of reach. For example, a TC that matches a spell learned at level 18 would be pushed down to level 10 for the purposes of TC Gating.
We will be listening closely to player feedback on the Gating system and can adjust the required level as needed. Although it is unlikely that we will restore all TCs to the “anything goes, Wild West” that we had before, we are certainly receptive to widening the pool of available TCs at each level to keep PvP varied and exciting.
One of the benefits of our recent stat audit was building in “dashboards” to allow us Devs to tweak combat settings without relying on new code to do it – easy to change, easy to change back. With that in mind, we’re going to try just a couple of tweaks to “speed up” this meta.
First, we’ve increased the PvP Damage “intersection” from 100 to 125. This means that all schools will now get 1:1% damage increases up to 125 damage stat, with the drop-off curve occurring only after that point. Players should not expect any dramatic damage increase from this change, nor do we expect it to “fix” the slow meta – but with these new limit parameters available to us, it’s worth tweaking a bit to see if it moves things in the right direction.
Second, we’re adjusting the Crit damage multiplier, raising the potential damage of a crit. This will not change your chance to crit or block in any way, but it will add value to successful crits.
PvP Temporarily Free To Play
We do intend, and are still exploring options, to open 5th Age PvP in some fashion to Free to Play players. However, we have concerns about the quality of players this will bring into the 5th Age, both in terms of “unearned” rank farming from unskilled players as well as possible issues around boosting. Most importantly, because PvP is still very much “under construction,” we have concerns about ushering players into an unpleasant experience. But there are some good reasons to get players into PVP now – mostly to improve matchmaking, but also to widen our pool of feedback to include those players we’d like to win over for 5th Age.
So, although the exact terms of Free-to-Play for 5th Age are still under discussion, we have decided to immediately but temporarily open free PvP to all players of L20 and above.
Read more about upcoming changes to PvP Combat in Ratbeard’s Matchmaking, Maycasts, and Meta Dev Diary!
CROWN SHOP ADDITIONS
The Crown Shop now includes a per-character wish list feature! Click on the heart icon to add items to your wish list! Wish lists can be made private, friends only or public. If a wish list is set to friends or public, anyone inspecting you can see your wish list and buy something for you from it. Items on the wish list can be marked to be saved even after purchase, or to be removed if purchased.
- Search now searchs everything, not just the tab you are on.
- For your Wizard section at the top of each category has been removed.
- Items can now be shown or hidden based on account age, character level, character class, previous Crowns purchases, and more.
- Added Battle Ready toggle. Click the Battle-ready Button on a henchman and it will automatically be selected when you open the Crown Shop while in battle.
- Added new Bundles section.
- Friends List and Inspection button mouse overs have been improved.
Combat & Spells
- Players should now receive the proper mainline quest after speaking to Talbot in the Oasis
- Players should no longer get stuck in the Arena after completing the Advanced Combat Tutorial quest
- Fixed a rare instance of the quest ‘Trip to the Library’ not being acquired
- Quest helper now shows when playing as your pet after defeating Judd
- New Krokotopia teleporters
UI & Animations
- King Borr SKB now includes the wooden and stone key requirements
- Tweaked difficulty balance of Storm Rat
- Added recipe to TC vendor for Apex Wolfen Spear
- Updated Text Chat options for Monstrology
- Corrected an issue which allowed players to train the new spells at earlier levels than intended
- Improved some player animations for gear and when on mounts
- Camera angle tweaks during certain scenes like when speaking to NPCs
- Corrected some display issues on pet damage stats
- “Z” and “Print” buttons should now work properly when using Photomancy
- Various other UI and dialog fixes and tweaks
- Added a diversity of new emojis!
- Castle Tours apartment teleports should now be more reliable
- Two new housing art book items will come to the Crown Shop in the next few months.
- We’ve also added new housing sign options!