With the Four Dungeons update, Wizard101 surprised us with a new feature: Skeleton Keys. These rare drops opened new doors that hold chests and bosses with rare loot inside. See a guide HERE.
Skeleton Keys: Fun for All Levels
The beauty of skeleton keys is that just about any level can make use of them. At this point in time, you do need to be 25+, but that means that 75% of levels allow use of some keys. As of right now, the doors are only inside the four dungeons, but expansions are not only possible, but likely.
A Year of New Features
With Wizard101 between arcs, there's no better time to bring new features to players. This year, we got a bunch of big ones. Castle Blocks were the first major addition, which started out as being bundle-exclusive, but later showed up in packs and as crafted items. Later on, we got fishing, which was then incorporated into bundles and holidays, leaving plenty of potential for new fish. Finally, we got the four dungeons, along with Skeleton Keys.
Wooden, Stone, and Gold
If you haven't read my Skeleton Key guide, I highly recommend doing so. It'll explain the three types of keys - Wooden, Stone, and Gold. Wooden keys come from the level 25 and 40 dungeons, and go to level 25, 40, and 60 doors. Stone keys come from the level 60 dungeons and go to the level 60 doors. Gold keys come from the level 100 dungeons and go to the level 100 doors.
With locked doors and keys, there are limitless possibilities as to what KingsIsle could do with this feature, and, it being one of my personal favorites, I can't wait to see how it's utilized.
New Key Types
One of the easier ways to expand this feature would be new key types. Simply make bosses of existing or new worlds drop different keys that go to different doors. Maybe we have Obsidian Keys, Crystal Keys, or Bronze and Silver Keys. We might have keys made of different types of wood or metals.
Much like Pirate101 has multi-lock chests, Wizard101 could have multi-lock doors. These doors, instead of requiring one Wooden, Stone, or Gold key, could require two or three. Beyond the benefit of going with four people to potentially get more keys to run again, this also presents an option to split the key cost of the room, and forces Wizards to weigh options between two runs of a past room and one run of a new room.
Multi-lock doors wouldn't be limited to two or three of one type, however. It might also mean that a door could take one gold key and two wooden keys. This introduces yet another new dynamic, as it allows high-level players who have farmed the Malistaire dungeon and received gold keys to interact with lower-level players who have farmed the Kembaalung and Barkingham dungeons and have wooden keys. Believe it or not, I've heard from top-level players that there's more a shortage of wooden keys for them than gold. Low-level players would also have the problem of not having access to Darkmoor, and therefore no chance at golden keys. Teamwork here would be quite effective.
Old Dungeons, New Rooms
I think the easiest way for KingsIsle to expand this current system is to take doors in old worlds and place locks on them. From a game-building standpoint, it's easy to connect a new room to an existing door with a lock, and this also means that wizards of even the lowest levels could participate with the feature. Because of the drops contained in the rooms, it would also encourage end-game players to go and farm old bosses for keys to not only get access to these rooms, but to farm them.
Opening Doors for Players
Of all of the new features this year, this is probably the one I'm most exited to see updated.
What do you hope to see for locked doors and skeleton keys?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!