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Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Commons Makeover: More to Come?


In the past couple of Wizard101's most recent updates, and now on the current Test Realm, we're seeing some slight changes and adjustments to Wizard City. We're pretty sure there's more to be done around town, but could this also be the beginning of bigger changes?

What's New?

We recently got a new NPC and quest in the Commons that directed us to take measurements and help with preparations for construction in Wizard City. The quest is currently still available, but supposedly only for a limited time. Completion of the quest awards a unique Range Pole wand. Frostcaller wrote about it here.


In the current Test Realm, we've seen lighting and sidewalk adjustments to both the Commons and the Shopping District, as well as the addition of a dock for fishing in the pond, and several new NPCs around the commons appearing to cut logs or hammer or work in some other capacity.

Long-Awaited Updates

Wizards, myself included, have talked for a long time about updating early worlds to Wizard101. If you look at the most recent worlds in the game, they've got entirely unique locations and fantastic textures and details. In the early days of Wizard101, nearly a decade ago, they used a street formula with a unique center area in each location and the textures weren't quite as high of quality.

The problem with updating past worlds is that even if it was only a texture update, that's a lot of work for no immediate reward. Players have already purchased and quested in these areas. If they - KingsIsle - instead devoted time to working on a new world, there's a clear payoff - new content for players that will bring about crowns and membership purchases.


My argument was always that updating past worlds was a great long-term investment; if, in an industry full of beautiful graphics, your game doesn't visually please the player early on, they might never get to those beautiful, later worlds. If you open with a gorgeous city and world to explore, they're more likely to keep playing.

Hints of the Future

The Test Realm update notes and newsletters seem to be hinting that this is only the beginning for Wizard City updates. But how much more is there? It does look like we're getting some updated texturing and from the changes in the sidewalks we've seen already, we may even see some model changes. 

I wouldn't say it's too much of a stretch to say that this would eventually extend to all of Wizard City. That would be pretty crazy! What about other worlds, though? Could Krokotopia and Marleybone (especially having a lot of updated Pirate101 textures) be next?

One of the other new things on the Test Realm is an introductory skeleton key boss in Olde Town. Check out the interior of his house! I could see some of these same new textures being used throughout Wizard City. 


What do you think we'll be seeing in Wizard City?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


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