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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Future of Wizard101 - Part 1: Merle's Crystal Ball


Remember when you first typed in "wizard101.com?" You saw Merle, gazing into his crystal ball, at what would soon be you. You're the reason for Wizard101 - the players. If you want to be direct and say "money," you can take that route, but without YOU, Wizard101 could not properly function. To get your money, though, KingsIsle has to constantly update the game and its features to gain new players and keep old ones entertained. For the first part of "The Future of Wizard101," a four part series, we'll take an in-depth look at where our in-game future is headed based on what will be added because of player feedback.

We obviously know that KingsIsle views their community very highly, and spends a great deal of time reviewing discussions, blogs, fansites, and Central for opinions and potential solutions to in-game problems, and ideas for new content. They've already made several changes based on community feedback.

They once changed chat options to how they were originally supposed to be - you had to maintain membership with a valid credit card to have Open Chat, verifying that you were 18 years of age or older. Without it, you revered to "Text Chat" with filtered words and no numbers allowed! Because of community feedback, they changed their changes back to requiring only one month of membership and credit card registration to activate open chat.


The same thing was true with our REAL last major update, Zafaria. We gave feedback on spells, and three were changed according to that feedback. Read more about the level 68 spells and their changes in our most popular post, Analyzing the Level 68 Spells, Plant-A-Palooza, and December Newsletter.

Based on this, wizards have to realize that their voices matter, and every contribution counts. While KingsIsle certainly doesn't add or change everything suggested, we can predict some potential changes based on what people are saying now! The question for most of the reasonable update suggestions is not "if," but "when."

One of the best places to get some ideas is to take a look at the Wizard101 Feedback section of their top fansites - Wizard101 Central!

Here are some of the current discussions.

Idea: Topic
Thread: [Link]
Potential Changes: What is being suggested


Idea: Menu Chat Phrases
Thread: http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269168
Potential Changes: Some of the following phrases added to Menu Chat:
Sorry, my friends list is full.
Do you want to see my other wizard?
Sorry, my pet's not an adult.
Let's go farm [boss].
Switch to [name of] realm.
Sorry, I don't have enough gold.
Sorry, I am logging off.
Please don't join my dungeon.
Please don't teleport to me.
I don't have any crowns.
No, don't use that!
This boss cheats!
Wait here!
Follow me!

Someone even suggested, "No, I won't be your husband." Seeing that there is no negative impact to adding to  the Menu Chat phrases, and it wouldn't be the first time, it isn't unlikely that KingsIsle would add these in time.


Idea: Balance Specific Shield/Blade/Prism/Etc.
Thread: http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132101
Potential Changes: It has long been debated that Balance has its own dispel, and by the same measure, needs its own trap, blade, and shield. This not only benefits Balance, but other schools who train the shield. The largest shield for Balance is a 50% Tower Shield, unlike other schools who have shields up to 90%, and some versions sold right in the Wizard City Library. Balance has an easy time with Judgement, after all, but players can also use a variety of other spells to down-power a Judge, although they aren't as common.

There have been many, many suggestions like this one. Originally, KingsIsle added Unbalance, but it never made it past the Test Realm, but now, they've added it back. Is it possible that we'll see these in the future?



Idea: More "Rides"
Thread: http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270892
Potential Changes: The idea is to add more "rides", or transportation, like the Krokosphinx Boat, Marleybone Blimps, and Dragon ride to Malistaire. We've seen a lot of different elements added in as far as how we view the game lately... remember that fantastic cutscene when Grandmother Raven emerged in her full form? Perhaps we'll be seeing more of these "rides" in future worlds, especially now that KingsIsle knows we're interested.


Idea: No more "This world is in trouble"
Thread: http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212166
Potential Changes: Merle no longer calls us to his office to tell us that another world is in trouble. We discover other worlds and areas on our own, or at least some of them. This potential change, in one form or another, must eventually happen. That, however, is a discussion for next month.

With this first part of the series, I suppose I'm really hoping to expose all "young wizards" to figuring out some of what may be released themselves. If you decide to journey into this oftentimes crazy section of Wizard101 Central, let me know if you find anything worth mentioning. I think I've given you the basic idea of going to find information on the future... at least through this method.

Remember, however, that when writing to KingsIsle, there are some definite "do's" and "don'ts." Sandy has some great advice HERE. If you're ready, start posting or reading HERE.

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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