Karamelle: My Thoughts

Wizard101 Karamelle

Karamelle is a world full of surprises - in story, structure, and just about any other way you can imagine. There's a lot to like! And also a little bit not to like. Let's take a look at what's new and I'll share my thoughts on the world. Warning! This post will contain all sorts of spoilers for Karamelle. Proceed at your own risk.

The Test Realm

I can't get too far into Karamelle without talking about the Test Realm itself. The Test Realm often opens up on a Thursday (this time it was a Wednesday) and closes for the weekend, a practice started some time ago to avoid excessive reports over the weekends and prevent any player frustrations from bugs that might prevent progression entirely (I'm recalling one in particular with the release of Celestia on the Test Realm).

This is all fine and dandy except for the fact that so many are pretty busy during the weekdays. The weekend is prime time for testing, and additional feedback and bug reports shouldn't be something we're avoiding. Since this practice has been implemented, we've seen more bugs than ever sneak into the Live Realm. It also seems like the Test Realm is hardly open long enough to actually test. With Empyrea part 2, the spoiler wall went down and it's wasn't more than what? Three days later, or so that the world went live.

There were also some initial frustrations with Karamelle where crowns players couldn't advance to the new world. I'm unsure if this has been resolved. I ended up purchasing a membership despite being a qualifying crowns player simply so I could play the new world without having to wait several days. 

This is also a good time to talk about the fact that we have a limited number of crowns on the Test Realm and we cannot purchase any more. While they're periodically reset, we should definitely be able to explore a new world without the worry of not being able to buy new areas. For some reason, crowns players are required to purchase areas in new worlds on the Test Realm. That amounts to around 12,000 crowns of the 15,000 we're supplied with. Add to that the fact that we need to venture to the Arcanum and Bastion to make it to Karamelle, which will take an additional 4,000 crowns. That means that if a crowns player hasn't already purchased those areas, it'll be impossible for them to test and complete Karamelle until the crowns reset on the Test Realm. This simply should not be the way the Test Realm functions.

Wizard101 Karamelle

Journey to Karamelle

Before making it Karamelle, a lot of exciting things are happening already. We're hunting a mole who's a mole. Maulwurf von Trap is introduced as the Musicology professor, which sounds like it has a lot of potential for a side activity or some reward or progression system for utilizing the musical instruments Wizard101 has to offer. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards for this update. Instead, we'll need to defeat an angry treasure chest with some speakers - the Doombox! Doing so will award a new Karamelle-themed spell. I think it's pretty cool to get our spell this early on into a world. It means that players won't be rushing just to see the new spell (which is often a highlight of a new world), but also, they'll get to actually use their new spell in the new world, which feels really good. I won't spend too much time talking about the spell mechanics and power levels as I break those down in my linked analysis. I have also seen some posts on Twitter about potentially allowing spellement upgrade paths to alter the pip cost of the spells, which I think won't quite solve some of their issues but could help a lot!

On top of a spell, these Karamelle pre-quests award a new, school-specific gear set. Some of the items are pretty impressive and all of the gear is certainly usable. If your wizard doesn't have a good set of gear or is missing a piece or two, this set could fill in those gaps. I won't talk too extensively about the set here either because I discuss it in the linked post, but rest assured that I'm a big fan and I hope we see more items and sets awarded from quests that are competitive with other offerings. I wouldn't mind seeing some sets retroactively added in as rewards for quests at lower levels.

Wizard101 Karamelle

Integration of New Features

I have always said that world quests should make use of the game's side features. While there would be some challenges associated with requiring a particular fish to be caught or a plant to be grown, I think there are ways that it could work. For example, say you needed a particular item for a collect quest. Suppose you had two options - defeats enemies and collect them or fish them out of a nearby pond.

Karamelle doesn't integrate those side activities but it does utilize some of the game's newer features very effectively. For example, you'll need to use the game's feature to play as your pet to complete some quests. While some of these quests (like sniffing out the key) actually require you to be playing as a pet, others (like in the Nibbleheim Mines) only require you to be in proximity to the goal destination and not necessarily to be playing as your pet. It would be nice if those were consistent and did require you to be playing in that mode.

The other feature Karamelle utilizes is Photomancy. You'll be documenting wrongdoings across the entire world and collecting evidence using their feature. One note: I would like to see all of the Photomancy quests be independent of instances. By that, I mean that when you're in a dungeon, if the dungeon quest requires the use of Photomancy, only one wizard has to do it. And I think that is a missed opportunity for wizards to have cool photos of their Karamelle quests, so I'd rather it be tied to the non-instance storyline quest.

Wizard101 Karamelle

Karamelle's Story

Get ready to take on corporate greed in Karamelle. Nana's Olde-Fashioned Delights are not what they seem. I like the lightheartedness of the world, but I can't help but feel that some of its lessons and humor are better directed at Wizard101's younger audience. And given the difficulty of bosses like Medulla and the Storm Titan, as well as its placement so far into the game, I can't imagine very many young players ever making it this far. It's still a cool story, and there are surprises along the way. There were a variety of instances (I'm immediately recalling Samantha's familiars) where I legitimately laughed out loud. I wish the past corporate structure of Karamelle and the Witch's roles in advertising were played up a little bit more, as I feel that's a particularly fun part of the world. 

I certainly enjoyed the mystery of the cavities (and it isn't necessarily solved yet) and the whodunnit game involving the Cabal. It adds a little bit to the world and inserts a little bit of mystery. It also gives us three distinct bosses as milestones throughout the world. I'll tell you what else I appreciate about Karamelle. For the most part, Karamelle hasn't tried to make something bigger and scarier than before and leave off on a cliffhanger. I'm getting tired of that cookie-cutter approach that we have been seeing with some past arcs and worlds. I was a little frustrated when we were facing off against supreme beings of the Spiral from the First World and then Empyrea's ending hinted at something even worse - Nothing. 

At one point, the writer for Wizard101 said we would focus less on world-ending (or Spiral-ending) catastrophes and for that I am grateful. All of arc 2 was chasing down Spider's children who each miraculously found a new way to destroy the apparently infinitely-fragile Spiral. Karamelle is certainly that (again, so far). Maulwurf von Trap, one of the world's primary characters, makes note of it. Still, the story seems more whimsical than anything and might be more appropriate as a side world in all honesty.

Wizard101 Karamelle


One of my favorite things about any new world is its environments. This is one area where Empyrea part 2 really stood out - it had not only really exciting environments, but also a great diversity of environments. Karamelle has a lot of different locations, and unlike in many past worlds, you move through them very quickly. In worlds like Azteca, the progression of the storyline as it related to areas was very linear - you moved deeper into the world and did all of the quests in a particular location before moving on to a new one. And there's some merit to that approach, but I also like how Karamelle really keeps you moving through its locations, sometimes going back and forth to keep things interesting. While this can make it feel less rewarding to visit a new location, it does help retain interest in slower parts of the story. That said, a lot of Karamelle's locations are similar, and they're fairly small. Compare them to places like the Aeroplains, with wide-open swaths of land that are absolutely enormous and it's tough to be excited by the fifth small town you run into.

And Karamelle had a lot of potential for cool locations. I feel like we're missing some of the magical parts. I expected to run into gingerbread men and maybe even Krampus. I thought there'd be more snow and more candy or sweet-based locations. The mountains do have some scenic views but the rest of the world is fairly flat. This is a shame when you look at something like the new Candied Isle Village in the new bundle, where there's plenty of change in elevation. That would have made a cool location.

I think there were some missed opportunities with some of the environments, but also some of the transportation. In particular, there's a gondola lift to the von Trap Estate that really could have been an animated ride like in Krokotopia or Dragonspyre. It's been a while since we've had one.

Wizard101 Karamelle


The distribution of a couple things in Karamelle is a little confusing. For example, worlds tend to have three gear sets. In Karamelle, that's also the case. For about 95% of the world, though, the gear is all using one design. Then right at the end, two others are introduced. I think this could be switched up for sure. The other thing is experience points. There's a particular dungeon in Gobblerton that is only three fights but offers 1,250,000 experience - an entire level! That doesn't make much sense.

One of the cool things about Karamelle is that it introduces a lot of mundane, everyday things that we don't usually see in Wizard101. Karamelle, because it's a sort of amusement park, has bathrooms, for example. And water fountains. And trash cans. There are a lot of cool things like that happening around the world and many of these items are available for crafting from the recipe vendor.

Wizard101 Karamelle

The Ending

Having now seen at least part of Karamelle's ending, I can say that it does introduce some more big-picture elements. It's actually pretty funny to have Nana, the "big bad guy" of the world whisked away to a Spiral void. "What have you done to dear old Nana now?" We don't get a lot of answers in the finale of Karamelle as to what's happening, though. And Sybil's appearance in the final Cavity is left completely unexplained, which I don't necessarily mind.

The final battle is pretty cool. Unlike the Storm Titan, it's not wildly difficult, but it is a bit of a puzzle and it's still a fairly challenging fight for which you'll likely want four wizards. Without having yet completed it, I'll say that I'm impressed. I think this is a well-designed fight with epic animations and mechanics that are thematically appropriate. Although it can take some time to complete, I'd prefer a drawn-out puzzle that requires some strategy to some insane boss that you need to use some specific three-round kill to actually beat. Well done, KingsIsle. Love it.

What do you think of Karamelle?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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