Karamelle Expectations: Met & Missed

Karamelle was not a completely unknown world. We'd heard of it before, and we even got a short pre-quest preview. Everything we knew about the world, as well as the trends we saw in arc three, led to certain assumptions about Wizard101's latest world. Here's a look at what Karamelle had to offer and the expectations it met and missed

Met: Sweets Galore

We absolutely expected, from everything we've heard, for Karamelle to be a world of sweets. And we weren't disappointed in that department - at least for the most part. Some of the stand-out sweet spots include the Black Licorice Forest and Gumdrop Forest.

Although Karamelle is quite corporate, its main products are all sweets - primarily Nana's Olde-Fashioned Karamelle Delights. And there are plenty of gummy creatures. They got inventive with a few of their mobs as well.

Missed: Gingerbread Men & Krampus

Although it's never explicitly stated, I fully expect that the Gingerbread Men and Krampus originate from Karamelle. We've seen a lot of gingerbread items and even gear with Karamelle in the name from winter packs, so it was a serious surprise to me that we didn't run into any gingerbread men throughout the whole world.

Met: Fairy Kind

Lydia GreyRose is the only character that comes to mind that we've actually met from Karamelle. Given that she's a fairy, it would make sense that we'd see other fairies in Karamelle. I'm a little surprised we didn't see more than we actually run into, but there is a handful. 

In some worlds recently, the world map has shown a fraction of the space available. In Karamelle, they leaned more into their older style of showing the entire world. But unfortunately, that means that there really aren't other locations for some of these things to exist - not gingerbread men or fairy kind.

Missed: Lydia GreyRose's Half-Sisters

Speaking of fairy kind, while we do get some in Karamelle, we never meet Lydia GreyRose's half-sisters. At least, not that we know of. It's possible that some of the fairies we meet in Karamelle are in fact the sisters, but that's never confirmed, so maybe this one comes with an asterisk. There's always an opportunity to learn more about this later!

Missed: Brothers BonBon

We learn in Lydia GreyRose's Ravenwood Roll Call that Karamelle is home to the Brothers BonBon, who trap Merle Ambrose there in some icy-looking environment (which must be somewhere in the mountains). Given that we explored all of Karamelle, I'm surprised we never met these characters given that they're some of the few that were mentioned in the roll call. There's certainly an opportunity to insert them in the future, perhaps as a Skeleton Key Boss in one of the caves in the Rocky Candy Mountains.

Missed: Cookie Roads, Chocolate Rivers, and Candy Cane Trees

The other thing we learn about in Lydia GreyRose's Ravenwood Roll Call is what some of the environments of Karamlle are like. It specifically mentions "cookie roads, chocolate rivers, and candy can trees." These descriptions led me to believe that Karamelle was a world that was almost entirely physically made of sweets. That's not the case. While some do grow on trees or in fields, the world itself is much more normal, with more of a focus on the corporation aspect than the environment aspect.

What's worse is that because, again, they showed the entire world map, there's really no room for the idea of a Karamelle expansion or many of these environments that were discussed. It feels a little bit like the storyline in Karamelle tramples on a lot of the lore already set forth. And given how sparse that lore and those backstories can be, upholding them should be a priority. In this way, I was disappointed with the scale, scope, and styling of Karamelle's environments.

Met: Nana & Maulwurf von Trap

GreyRose isn't the only Karamelle character we were expecting. The prequest in Wizard City and the Arcanum sets up two more characters that we expected to meet - Nana and Maulwurf von Trap. Although we never see either of these characters, we did get a peek at what Nana would look like with our Corporate Mascot Costume. 

The quest introduces us to the name Maulwurf von Trap, but we never actually meet him before our Karamelle storyline officially begins. He has become an unexpected favorite for sure.

Met: The Corporate Experience

It wasn't until the pre-quest for Karamelle that we started to get a taste of how corporate Karamelle would be. The pre-quest involved placing signs to advertise and a mascot costume, both of which are pretty accurate indicators of how the world operates and where the story is going to take us. It was a good teaser for sure and our expectations for its relevance have certainly been met!

Missed: The Lumi

The Karamelle pre-quest introduced us to an exciting new type of creature - the Lumi. There seemed to be a couple of different types and we even got one as a pet! Because we'd never seen these guys in the Arcanum before, I think we assumed they'd come from Karamelle, which was not the case. So what exactly are they? Where do they come from? And why introduce them in such a random way if they don't have any relevance to the storyline at the moment?

Met: Humor

There's no denying that Karamelle is funny. There are some real, laugh-out-loud moments. Karmalle's story is a lot lighter than most of arc three and that's a largely welcome change, though the plot line feels a little out of place after their direction in past worlds. But humor has always been a staple in Wizard101 worlds, and I feel like they're getting a little bit better and sharper with each new world and story that gets released.

Missed: Roaming Bosses & Pet Drops

One of the things that were noticeably absent from Karamelle was roaming bosses with pet drops. We saw these in Polaris, Mirage, and Empyrea parts 1 and 2, so not to see them in Karamelle was kind of surprising. They make things a little more interesting when questing. You have to choose whether to try and avoid them when doing your mob fights, or to include them for a chance at the pet, or just to pop into a battle and see if they join or not. 

The lack of roaming bosses means that's not an option in Karamelle and it also means we miss out on whatever set of pets the bosses might have dropped, which is a particular shame given that this is the first world to integrate pet mode as part of the storyline quest.

Met: Difficulty Level

Arc three was plagued by overly-difficult end-world bosses which stood in stark contrast to the rest of the world. How does one fight a major storyline boss that's 4,000 health, and then the final bad guy that's 125,000 health plus big minions? That's insane and it makes no logical sense. There's no consistency. Karamelle doesn't do this. While parts of Karamelle do feel a little bit easy, there are a handful of more challenging fights where one might find themselves dealing with Earthquakes or creative cheats. The final battle is tough enough that things can certainly go wrong but it tends to be doable with a full team. That, to me, feels a lot better than something like the Storm Titan.

Did Karamelle meet your expectations?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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