It’s summertime and that means an exciting new update is coming soon to Wizard101!
Currently on Test Realm, we’ve been working hard at continuing to improve the beginning areas of the game, refining many quests along the way. Many ‘quality of life’ improvements have been made as well that you may notice on your journey across the Spiral. If you enjoy participating in the monthly calendar events, Beastmoon events are being updated to include a new Beastmoon Hunt map and beastforms.
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 for the Summer Update we’re expanding them out to support more ways to group players together for questing and events.
Ratbeard also has a ton to talk about with his recent dev diary on PvP balance changes and matchmaking improvements.
Last but not least, Lemuria is becoming a force in the Spiral with a new teaser quest!
As always, we appreciate your feedback on all the new content during Test Realm. Please report bugs via the in-game interface and in the Discussion Forums. You can also post any feature suggestions and any other ideas you may have in the Test Realm Forums.
Thank you, Wizards!
Before diving into the newsletter, a quick look at recent news activity:
Keep updated on the latest news for next month on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, including special announcements from community fansites! Read on for more fun happenings with the community and their Spiral activities.
KI LIVE: SUMMER UPDATE TEASERS
We let slip a couple of exciting new things coming to Wizard101 on this month's show! Special guest and now Producer for Wizard101, Renee Wooten, also hung out with the community to chat about him taking over the Producer's Letters (don't worry, Professor Falmea is now on dev diary duty).
Throughout the show we answered your questions, gave away multiple game items (see below!), and much more. It's always a fun time hanging out with the community, and so we hope you enjoyed our banter and repartee.
Missed the show? Watch it now YouTube!
Secret Reader Bonus - As of this newsletter's announcement, for those who didn't get a chance to redeem the KI Live giveaway code yet, we opened it up again (KILIVEXPBOOSTELIXIRS) for another 500 redemptions!
A great gameplay tip submitted to KI Live comes from Mark DragonHaven:
"If your wanted beast form has already been chosen by someone else, pick a form that complements the forms of your team members or has an advantage over your enemies! (Applicable for both regular and mayhem)." - Mark DragonHaven
A NEW LETTER FROM RENEE WOOFTEN
“Renee Wooten here! Some of you may know me as Renee Wooften from The Commons back when we updated Wizard City, and more recently from inspecting the suspicious tunnels of the Wizard City Underground. I have somehow been working at KingsIsle Entertainment for nearly 8 years and now am the Producer for our MMOs. I started in Customer Service, became Associate Producer in 2017, and recently was given the reigns as Producer.
Many of you might be wondering where Professor Falmea is but have no fear: she’s still doing magical things around the Spiral as our Game Director and just recently released a Socialization Dev Diary. As we announced earlier this year, KingsIsle was acquired by MGI/Gamigo, and with it came some exciting structural changes!
I can assure you that we are still committed to bringing great updates to the Spiral, and the pace of our updates has not changed. We’re also committed to staying in touch with you, our community: we have Ratbeard and the design team providing updates and behind-the-scenes info through Dev Diaries, Sparck has revived the Community Livestreams, and some exciting plans for future charity initiatives are in discussion. Our continued open dialogue with you all has brought a lot of refreshing opportunities to make the Spiral feel like home, and that will not stop any time soon!” - Renee Wooten, Producer
While Renee is leading the Producer’s Letter now, you haven’t seen the last of Professor Falmea! Her command of a fiery word or two has only translated to a new developer diary series she started.
“Why is it so important for MMO players to socialize? I could get all analytical and talk about engagement metrics but let’s keep it simple – it's simply more enjoyable to be part of something. Being part of a world, part of a community, part of a like-minded collective of humans... err... Wizards, it’s gratifying to share an experience with a group. We want to be where our friends are because it’s more FUN and we are all about fun in the Spiral.
In the olden days before Wizard101 existed, I played a ton of different MMOs. I can give a few anecdotes about most of them, but the ones I have the fondest memories of – the ones where I can talk for hours about my adventures a decade or more later? These were highly social experiences I couldn’t have begun to replicate while playing solo. Maybe you start a friendship by joining a group to defeat a boss you couldn’t solo, then you start logging on regularly to quest together with your friend, and then years later, you’re inviting each other to your respective weddings. I’ve made lifelong friends because of MMOs, but only in the types of games where I got a bit of a nudge to play with other people.” - Leah Ruben, Game Director
MATCHMAKING AND META WITH RATBEARD
Not only was last month jam packed with content for both Wizard101 and Pirate101, we had not just two but three separate developer diary/producer letter releases! Not to be outflanked on the battlefield, Ratbeard finishes off June’s series with a matchmaking bang made in maycasts. Have a look:
“As we continue our march towards 5th Age, we also continue to tweak our Matchmaking Server to provide the best possible experience. Many of the changes in the matchmaking system are made with an Elo rating system in mind (yet to be implemented; more on that below) 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.
The two biggest issues we had with our new Matchmaking system (since the last update and the last hotfix):
Long queue wait times (including the “ghost queue” issue)
Mismatches (matching players of the wrong Tier, Rank, or Level Band)
Adam has been busy creating more cool new art! In June we released several news packs and other items you can now get in the game. Check out a few of the concepts below!
“Here's the Corgi pup pet, and its fur variations. Corgis are one of my favorite dogs, so I loved working on this!” - Adam Roush
"Here's the Fjord Dragon mount from the new bundle. I REALLY like this one: a mix of Norse dragons, sharks/fish, and nature. Had so much fun with the design and this painting :).” - Adam Roush
"Here's some old ones: Trash Boss concepts from the Catacombs. Started life as just a bigger trash mob, but had to redo it to make it more unique & exciting. It's better, but I still kinda like the blob version :).” - Adam Roush
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO WIZARD101
By: Adventures of the Spiral
Adventures of the Spiral has come to the rescue for young Wizards with an updated guide welcoming new wizards to the Spiral!
Since most of you reading this newsletter will likely be a veteran player, if you see a new player in need of advice on how to get started, please share this guide with them!
BOWLING IN WIZARD101
By: Valkoor DrakeRider
We are in complete awe each time the next level of Castle Magic construction surpasses our previous amazement at what the community has accomplished with it. A new level was reached this past month with community member Valkoor DrakeRider’s release of his Bowling in Wizard101 overview describing in detail how he went about creating an entire bowling alley with Castle Magic.
Yes, you can now bowl with a complete bowling alley in the game. Have a look!
“This time, I made a bowling alley and functional game in my Metropolitan Manor on Wizard101! This home is listed on tours by Valkoor Drakerider in the Magical section. Important notes for the game: The ball's direction and resulting pins vary by the perspective of each player.
Each player must keep track of their own score; the far leftmost button (during scoring, which occurs after rolling a ball) will add 1 point to your score per button press. Input your points scored before hitting the spare or strike buttons, as they themselves will not add points and will only grant their bonus.” - Valkoor DrakeRider
COMMUNITY ART SPOTLIGHT
For this month’s art spotlight, we are showcasing Lenora SilverCloud’s character drawing!
“I was always inspired by the artwork of Wizard101 ever since I was in middle school, and the promotional card art was one of my favorite pieces of work. I created this piece as a homage to the artwork created by the talented creative team at Kingsisle.” - Lenora SilverCloud (@la_nochee)
We would love to see more screenshots and art from the community for next month’s newsletter. Do you have something amazing to share? Send it to us in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re always interested in showing off more fan art, gameplay guides, videos, and other content.
Keep updated on what’s happening in the community right here in our Community News section! For every newsletter, we receive direct from the community links to new gameplay guides, exciting upcoming contests, and much more. Thanks to the following fansites and other community leaders for their contributions this month!
BULLETIN ALERT: National Video Game Day is coming up on July 8! Are you a livestreamer or would like to start livestreaming? Play on this day and @Wizard101 your stream on your favorite social channel so the community sees it!
The unaffiliated-with-KingsIsle “Community Newsletter” had a great selection of Wizard101 links this month from around the web. NOTE: Follow their Twitter page for more information. To subscribe to their newsletter, send a DM to their Twitter asking to be added or email them at email@example.com. You can unsubscribe at any time by sending them an email with the phrase “UNSUB”
Question for our readers - is there a section we should add? Tweet your suggestion to @Wizard101 and we’ll select the top idea we can implement to win 5,000 Crowns!
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If you didn’t yet read our article on online safety, please take a moment to stop by our KingsIsle Blog and read the post titled Account Security Best Practices. There’s important information in the article to manage and protect your entire family’s accounts.