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Friday, October 31, 2014

Wizard101 Teasers Hint at Spiral-Wide Update


Wizard101 has recently released a series of teasers, and when they do this, it usually means that updates are close behind - VERY close. But this confusing set of images makes determining exactly what's in this update difficult. Let's decipher some clues and learn what we can.

Wizard101: Darkmoor Coming Soon?

I had always envisioned Pirate101 getting this world first, but Darkmoor seems to be making an appearance in Wizard soon. We got a little bit of a tease from the B.O.X.E.S. event quest with Dworgyn's portion, and we knew they wouldn't make all of those new textures and such for nothing.

It was this image, that Wizard101 posted on Twitter for Halloween, that seemed to confirm Darkmoor. If you take a close look at the castle in the known Darkmoor concept (HERE), this seems to follow the same structure and has the same, big moon behind it.

Further confirmation arrived when the fansites each received two concepts today. The first was of a sort of shadow warrior - if you have any doubt that it's shadow and not just Darkmoor, take a look at the fading of the cape. This one looks to be a new Shadow Spell, since knights don't really fit the classic Gothic/Transylvanian feel of Darkmoor. He is pictured further down.

The second, however (pictured to the right), is of a Gargoyle. If you look closely, you'll notice that he starts out as a stone statue on the bottom, and then transitions into a live, purple creature that we're sure to see in Darkmoor. You can see similar statues in the castle concept art. I'd guess that the Gargoyle is a Kevin Chin concept.

Believe it or not, this isn't the first Darkmoor concept art we've seen outside of the one skyway. I also shared a few pieces back HERE from a long time ago. Having been in development so long, this ought to be good.

This Update is NOT Darkmoor

Not exclusively, anyway. While I would love to see this as a full world, I just don't think it's going to happen. It's too soon since the release of Khrysalis Part 2 to begin a full, new arc. Wizard101, before releasing Celestia, inserted a number of major updates first, including Grizzleheim, and full side world. Besides, when you take the other teasers into account, you must realize that it can't just be one area.

Further down, you'll see some Marleybone and Mooshu images with a very clean, new look. While I (and others) would love to think that this is a re-work of the first few worlds, which would draw customers in much further when the first few worlds are made to be as awesome as the later ones, this isn't profitable for KingsIsle. It's an idea they've essentially tossed around, but ultimately thrown out.


Mooshu Mystics

Yesterday, the fansites received two pieces of concept art that are most definitely from Mooshu. The first, labeled "Boar Boss," seems to be a clan leader judging by the fact that they not only used a hoof print logo, but also developed it separately and applied it to multiple objects in the concept.


The second is labelled, simply, "Temple." Already suggestive of Mooshu, the architecture and curves of the building roof appear to further confirm that this is indeed a Mooshu location - one that appears to be underground or in a very large cave. The fact that we've seen the boar above seems to indicate that it's an entirely new location. This looks to be a Billy George concept.


Throw Me a Bone

Wizards will soon be returning to Marleybone as well. This majestic new area seems to mimic the Monquistan royal hall, but the bones in the chandelier make it clear that it's Marleybone. This throne room was determined to be within Barkingham Palace, a location wizards have long stated that they want to venture into. In the words of Wizard101, "Who could sit on the throne in this royal hall?"


Heard it Through the Grape-Vine

So we know that we've getting new areas, but what else? There's another thing confirmed - new dances and emotes. Wizard101 has been posting a number of new Vines - short, 6-second GIF-like videos that loop. There have been three so far (click HERE to view them).

One features a sophisticated cat in what is presumably the new Marleybone area. One depicted a wizard dancing Gangnam Style in front of a Marleybone dungeon which seems to match the real-life Barkingham Palace perfectly. This would suggest that we'll enter the courtyard, then do the instance, making this a side area. The final one is in Ravenscar, Grizzleheim, and has a wizard doing a dance currently known as "the Raven."


Our In-Game Shot

We have a single picture of one of the new areas. It could be Darkmoor or a river to the Mooshu Temple. I'm not quite sure. This was posted on the Mystic Fishing Bundle page on the official website. It advertises the boat, but, as you can see, the boat is simply rendered and placed on top of the image.

The river looks a lot like Avalon - the Wyrd or Dun Dara. But after checking and double checking, it seems that this is not a possible shot, even with developer tools, so it must be a new area. The haze and effects present would corroborate that opinion.

The question now is this: Where is it?



Developer's Corner

One of the wonderful parts of having a Twitter account is getting relevant information almost immediately. This is just the case with Wizard101 Senior Software Engineer Gary Scott Smith. He's the Ratbeard of wizards. What he tweets about can sometimes hint at what is to come.

He has confirmed a number of small updates coming in this next Test Realm, some more notable than others. It also appears that the Test Realm could open at any time; there are multiple tweets suggesting this, and it's also what the fansite owners were told when they received their emails with the concepts.


Update Notes

While this is only what we've gathered from these hints, it seems pretty logical that we'll receive the following in this fall update. Keep in mind that nothing is 100% certain to arrive in the live game, even if it's released in the Test Realm.
  • Darkmoor mini-story / side world
  • Barkingham Palace Dungeon
  • New Mooshu Temple area
  • New dances and emotes
  • New shadow spells?
  • Updates to Castle Tours
  • New mini-game in some Silver Chests
  • Hair will show with the Harrowing Pack outfits
  • The backwards fish bug will be fixed
  • A new button displaying total fish caught will be available
  • New musical scrolls will be available

Yet to Be Seen...

So what exactly is this update? No one is quite sure, but these are my best guesses. What do you think? What's coming to Wizard101, and when? Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

3 comments:

  1. According to my talks with Gary, we're going to be seeing a return of the Pigswick Academy Tapestry Recipe and we're also going to be seeing new crafting recipes for Tapestries that were only available from the 2013 House-a-Palooza codes, which are the Death School Tapestry, the White Owl Tower Tapestry, and the Wizard City Library Tapestry. He also promised to add in the Cailburn Tapestry since it went into retirement with the Majestic Bundle, so that's 5 Tapestry Recipes :D I also got that he'll add tabs for Castle Blocks everywhere, and he replied to a tweet asking for a Nerf to Loremaster, saying, "I believe some tweaks will be made in the Fall Update." One big thing he constantly mentions is all the minor bugs he's fixing :D

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    1. I think they may also add an Aquila Tapestry since those have been highly requested! :D

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  2. I also think that the Shadow Knight will be a Shadow Spell. But Darkmoor in general will be a side world. Hopefully one for Wizards 50-60+ yet there will be Shadow spells for Wizards 90 or a 100(+). And even though I'm an Exalted Wizard my reasoning as to why I hope Darkmoor is for Wizards 50-60 or up is because they've focused to much on elevating our Wizards level with content for the Morganthe Arc as well as side worlds for Wizards 20+ that we need to see a side world for the Wizards in between. Plus, Darkmoor being a dark, magical kind of place it seems fitting that we get it before Pirates would.

    As for Barkingham Palace. I truly hope that it's for 100+ Wizards even though we already have Tartarus the attire wasn't all that good. And the attire that we receive from this Dungeon is bound to help us in the Third Arc. Hopefully though the attire does contain a decent amount of Resist, Block Rating, (and Shadow Pip Rating) along with a decent amount of other stats. (Lastly, I wonder if they'll improve the drop ratings for this Dungeon and if we will have to pay for it. Because if so it better be cheaper than Tartarus ever was because that place was a huge mistake with the way the Dungeon was long, the drop rates little, and the pricing of the area high.)

    And that Boar Boss. Personally I think that "Temple" as well as himself will be apart of Darkmoor. Like a lost sanctuary.

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