Tales from a Nigerian-American Teen (Malorn WillowSmith), playing Wizard101, an MMO from KingsIsle Entertainment.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Producer's Letter: August 2013

My Dear Wizards, 

The days are long, and so is the mercury in the thermometer – just how I like it! I just wanted to take
 a few moments out of enjoying my favorite time of year to drop everyone a line about the new hot happenings in the Spiral since we’ve last spoken. 

The newest hotness is Aquila, a series of dungeons, and a test of your battle prowess from the immortals, which has just hit our live servers. We’ve had lots of folks send in feedback saying that it’s hard to keep up with the level cap increases, and also that they’d love more challenges like Waterworks, so we think that Aquila will be right up your alley. Mount Olympus is for Wizards level 30 and up, Atlantea is for those who have reached level 70, and the deep abyssal dungeon of torment, Tartarus, was designed for level 90 Wizards looking for a tough, new challenge. Additionally, each dungeon has an optional boss geared towards our Promethean Wizards. 




Each dungeon will have rewards worth the risks. In Mount Olympus, you can get one of the spark-iest weapons we've created: Zeus’ lightning bolt wand (either the level 30 version by fighting Zeus, or the amped up level 90 version by fighting the optional boss Dimachaerus, the greatest gladiator bear of all time). In Atlantea, you’ll battle the mighty Sand Squid to rescue trapped adventurers, and have a chance at a new, unique pet. In Tartarus, you’ll traverse the river of souls to confront dire Hades and his brethren for some new spoils that are some of the best in the Spiral! 

Also, the team had a lot of fun putting some extra touches into the world of Aquila. You’ll notice that some of the bosses have new, amazing cinematic attacks. For example, let’s just say we had some fun trying to get a battle going with the ARMS of the Sand Squid as four separate targets. We’ve also not done many multi-level worlds before, and we are excited to create an area where folks that are in the middle levels and maximum levels can both be engaged in fun and challenging adventures. Lastly, we’ve introduced the ability for Crowns players to rent the dungeons to try them out before making the commitment to fully own them. Not sure you want to own it for good? Rent it for 6 hours! 



Earlier this year, we took a focused look at PVP and made some changes and improvements. Now, let me just say that any time you start talking Player versus Player, it brings out a little bit of everyone’s wild side. I’m sure if you’ve frequented our message boards, you’re very aware that PVP is a fiery topic… there are a lot of differing opinions on strategy, technique, and what should (and shouldn’t) be changed. 

The same could be said about our meetings discussing the creation of tournaments and debating changes to PVP. Typically, we’re a bunch of civilized and calm Professors. However, we all had fiercely combustible opinions about how things should play out, and the meetings ended up being far more passionate and animated than normal. In the end, I think we were able to come together and agree on some great changes to PVP. Please keep in mind we’ll continue to monitor PVP balance as we continue to add to the game – there’s some really interesting stuff that’s still in the “discussion” stage that could make things REALLY fun. 

What’s the next evolution of PVP? Well, that would be tournaments! It’s long been a feature we wanted to do, and with this year’s focus on PVP, it seemed like a natural time to do it. While we’ve had some challenges getting Diego Santiago Quariquez Ramirez III to focus properly and judge the match, we sure had a lot of fun getting there. I’m not sure if we’ve had a more blazing, smack-talk filled, or fun playtest company playtest than when we tested tournaments. The folks outside my office are generally mild mannered for the most part, but during these tests, there was lots of banter about who owned whom, and it was a grand ole time. 

Not a PVPer? With our new spectator mode, you can watch matches in a much more informative way. While I enjoy getting in the ring to duel, I sometimes find it more fun to cheer on dueling Wizards, and we’re finding that quite a few of you out there like to do the same thing! 


And that’s not all… here are some highlights from the May, June, and August releases:
  • Want to change up your ‘do? We’ve released some new Hairstyles! You can find even more new (but familiar) ones as rewards from boss duels, which will be coming soon to the Crown Shop! We’ve got lots of fun and funky ideas for future ones, so stay tuned if you’re looking for a particular style.
  • Wizards had a lot of fun with the limited time Lost Pages quests – chasing possessed students around the Spiral in search of top-tier rewards from the Dragon’s Hoard Pack.
  • Is your Wizard a natural musician? Showcase your talent with musical instruments. I’ve even heard of some music festivals out there in the Spiral!
  • Feeling lonely in combat? Then go seek out your level 75 Minion Quests!
  • Never lose your hard earned treasure unintentionally again – now we have Inventory Sell Lock.
  • Deck Renaming is here, so you can keep your decks better organized.
  • Two new houses – the Avalon Bog Witch House and the Red Barn Farm Gardening House.
  • New world themed furniture sets (there are more of these to come)!
  • The logical progression from Stitching… Unstitching!
  • Hungry for housing game fun? Then the Food Fight Minigame is for you.
Finally some clues as to what's to come:

  • Our 5th birthday will bring a major flashback for our earliest players, but with a twist – not to mention a lot of fun for everyone.
  • Something new and spooky this way comes -->
  • What you find in the next major world after Azteca will rock Wizard101, and things will never be the same.
I’d love to chat more about these, but we’ll have to save that for the next Producer's Letter. 
Lastly, we are still on the Official Message Boards doing Feedback Friday each week, and a while back I asked for questions. As promised, let me pick a few this time to answer. 

Question from A Friendly Quest Helper
My question would be for the Headmistress of Pigswick Academy Belladonna Crisp. I would ask her how old she really is. But that probably wouldn't go over to well. So then I would direct my question to the Ancient Matriarch in the Drake Hatchery. I would ask her what's it like to be a dragon and soar across the skies? 

Answer from Headmistress Crisp:
What a clever child, who understands the virtue of good graces, and knows when to stay silent.
Answer from the Ancient Matriarch: 
I wouldn’t know anything else, as I am and have always been a dragon. It must be very… limiting… to be trapped inside your small, land-bound, fragile bodies. Soaring across the skies is a gift of utter freedom and ultimate majesty. 



Question from Blue Dragon Riders:
I would probably ask our Headmaster Ambrose how hard his job is and how he feels with everyone coming up to him all the time. 

Answer from Headmaster Ambrose
Oh… yes… my. Some days it is a little… distracting to have so many students asking questions. I suppose it is my own fault for summoning them to my office so much... but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The students are what makes Ravenwood so special! Now… what was the question again? Hmmm? 



Question from SXSST02:
For Moolinda Wu did you know the former life teacher had died and how did you feel about taking her place?

Answer from Professor Wu
I knew right away that I would be taking the place of someone very special, someone who had left an indelible mark upon Ravenwood and who could never be replaced. I simply tried to make sure I stayed true to the teachings of life: the ebb and flow of the moon, the tides, and the seasons. My goal was not to replace her, but to continue her important work, and I think that’s what Professor Sylvia Drake would have wanted. 

And with that, I shall leave you until next time. Hope you are having a fantastic summer!

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

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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/producers-letter-august2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Shark Week!

It's Shark Week, and we're celebrating in Wizard101 with all things sharky! To celebrate Shark Week, we're giving away a free seven day shark mount rental in both Pirate101 and Wizard101! Get Free Mount Rental »
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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/news/august2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Challenge the Immortals!

Win unimaginable riches in the brand new Aquila Dungeon Zones for level 30+, 70+ and 90+ Wizards! The Games will push a Wizard to the limits, and are an excellent test of determination, wit, and fortitude. Read Update Notes »
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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/news/august2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ravenwood Bulletin - August 2013

01 August 2013 - LX


Wizard101 Explorer

Welcome to our 60th Newsletter!

My goodness time flies in the Spiral - doesn't it, young Wizards? Old Prospector Zeke here to tell you that this is our 60th Newsletter and there's still so many exciting things to talk about! Next month will be our 5th Birthday, and there will be so many surprises ...oh but I'll save that for next month. 

August, of course, brings with it Aquila, House-a-Palooza, Shark Week, and much more...so read on my intrepid adventurers and I'll see you throughout the Spiral!


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Get Geared up for Aquila


Aquila Opens Soon!

Get ready for a whole new experience! Aquila and the Immortal Games are opening soon! 

Aquila will be an expansion of Cyclops Lane for level 30+ Wizards. You will be able to take part in the Immortal Games, an epic challenge hosted by the magical Immortals. The Games will push you Wizard to the limits, and are an excellent test of determination, wit, and fortitude.

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House and Home on our Fansites

House and Home Contests!


Many of our official fansites will be holding contests through out the month of August that celebrate House and Home!

Visit each site, listed here to the right, to see what contests they are offering and how to enter to win prizes like new teleport tapestries, and even entire houses!

Paige's Page                          Ditto Wizard 
Stars of the Spiral                  Valerian's School
Ravenwood Radio                 
Petnome Project
Mercenaries For Hire            
Legends of the Spiral
Friendly Necromancer
Duelist101
A Mythspent Youth
Wizard101 Central

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Central Celebrations!

Birthdays!

Wizard101 FansiteIt's that time of year, time when we look back on how far we have come, and we couldn't have done it without our amazing fansites. This August, our number one fansite, Wizard101 Central, is celebrating their birthday, and we're so happy to celebrate with them! 

Join in on the fun and all the amazing activities and contests they have for this very special party at Wizard101 Central

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Sharks!

Sharks!

Did you know there are more than 250 species of sharks!? Well we've got two for you - the Swift Shark is a mount in Wizard101 and the Hammerhead Shark is a mount in Pirate101.

Watch for the chance between August 5th and 11th to obtain your free shark mount in both games!
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Blog

Read More

KingsIsle Entertainment now has a blog where we talk about what it's like to make our games. 

You can learn about how to become a programmer, what an artist does all day and what we do for fun around the office. Read more from our team at http://kingsisleblog.com/ 
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Facebook

Join Us

If you're over the age of 13 and have permission to be on Facebook, join us on our official Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/wizard101 for news, comics, art and photos.

Accept no imitation sites and always confirm that a site is official by looking for a link to it on the Wizard101 site at our Fansites Page.

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Harold Argleston's Book of the Month Club
Harold Argleston, Librarian
Harold Argleston here, and this is the August installment of my Book of the Month Club. These books have been suggested by a fellow Librarian from Earth, her name is Kit Ward-Crixell and she is a librarian in New Braunfels, Texas, USA. 

This month we begin looking at books that remind us of the world of Azteca. Our first selection is The Aztec News by Philip Steele

Aztecs didn't have newspapers, but if they did, this is what one would look like! The Aztec News has newspaper sections about politics, city life, and even fashion and sports, all made up as if they were written by ancient Aztec reporters. Even though the articles are made up, they have lots of real facts about what life in the Aztec empire was like. If you like this book, check out the other books in the History News series, like the Roman News, the Viking News, and the Egyptian News! 



Look for this book in your school or local library and enjoy reading, young Wizards!



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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/community/newsletter/august2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Writing Engaging Fan Fiction!

Game Fan FictionDo you like to write fan fiction? Today on the KingsIsle blog we've featured some Pirate101 fan fiction as well as given you tips for writing an engaging story! Read Blog Post »
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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/news/july2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Music Festival Giveaway

Party BalloonsMMORPG.com has been given a large amount of special gift keys for Wizard101! These keys will grant you special music festival items such as a music box, and a special random playable instrument! Get your key now while supplies last! Enter Giveaway »
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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/news/july2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Invitation to Play Wizard101!

Horse MountThis month we asked players to write an invitation for parents or other adults to come play Wizard101. Have a creative story to share? Tell us here. You could be featured on Ravenwood News! Read other cool Wizard stores over in the game fan fiction.
Fellow adults, Wizard 101 is a great to stay connected to your children in a fun and whimsical world. You can meet up with them in the realm and play together having wonderful chats about the game or about life. With text chat you can talk with them even if you are not playing it the same area. As an added bonus Wizard 101 is a great way to relieve stress from your day. In the spiral as you fight gobblers, elephant soldiers, or sanzoku bandits to complete your quests your stress melts away for in the spiral you are in control and you are saving the worlds of the spiral. So as a fellow adult I am asking you to play Wizard 101 to get closer to your kids and relieve your stress so you can enjoy life outside the spiral to its fullest.
Rowan Windwhisper

Do you ever wish that you could spend more time with your children? Perhaps you are feeling that their online activity isn't being monitored sufficiently? No matter what it is, there's one solution that can help you and your child bond more on a safe, online environment: play Wizard101 WITH them!!
You're always your child's companion, but you can be their best friend in the game, too! You can give them an extra hand in battles (those Fire Elves and Gobblers can get a bit tough!) and be there for your child whenever they need it. Advice can be given about how to set up their deck, equip their gear, strategies, and so much more!
And, don't worry - you won't feel alone out there in the Spiral! Out of the 30 million players, there are plenty of other adults to have a great time with, too!!
Steven SpellStrider

Mum,
I think you should play Wizard101 because it is a very educational experience. There are many opportunities to expand your vocabulary and improve your maths skills. (For example, a 715 base damage Storm Lord + 70% feint will do how much damage?)
Also, the graphics use a multitude of colors and different movements (crackling, smoke). The game has a variety of tasks. If you find quests too difficult, try gardening or crafting! I'm sure you'll find something you'll enjoy.
I'm recommending this game to you because I think it will help us bond if we spend more time together, and this game seems like a perfect way to do it.
From Alex ThunderShard

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Site Credits: https://www.wizard101.com/game/news/july2013