Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Producer's Letter January 2011

Producer's Letter - 2011 January


My dear Wizards,

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? The last time we spoke, we were getting ready to don our snorkels and fins and dive into Celestia, but now there is a chill in the air as the holiday season has come and gone. We want to thank everyone for helping KingsIsle give a little magic to charity with the Giving Tree! We were able to donate a sizeable amount (we’re still tallying!) to the Austin Children’s Shelter and the Children’s Medical Center of Plano, and wanted to thank all you Wizards out there for your support!

It’s been a whirlwind around here for the past few weeks. We released Celestia and then dug right back in and got back to work on more changes, most notably the new Gardening system! If you haven’tread the news yet, Gardening is the most exciting new addition to Wizard City and the Spiral. Any Wizard of level 12 or higher can get started by talking to Moolinda Wu in Ravenwood.

 The plants in the Gardening system aren't your plain old garden variety veggies or flowers, either. Our plants have personality!   Your garden can be filled with plants like the Fickle Pickle, the Ninja Fig, and Baby Carrots (they wear diapers and cry)! Plants have definite likes and dislikes, and will do better or worse depending on their environments. When plants mature, they yield many different rewards: gold, treasure cards, new seeds, etc. Just make sure you take care of your garden, because plants can wither and die, though since the Spiral is a magical place, dead plants can be revived as seedlings, ready to grow again.

There are a few other odds and ends in this release, as well. Though the path to Malistaire is still difficult, you'll find that fewer Wizards are required to defeat him. There are new decorations for your house—Celestian and otherwise—to win and discover in the Spiral.

In addition to those improvements, we’ve done a bit of housekeeping and general polish:
  1. We’ve added new menu chat items
  2. You’ll keep your name when you polymorph
  3. Stone and sunstone reagents can be found on some boss fights
  4. ...and even more!
Don’t worry... we’re already hard at work on new and exciting stuff for next year and soon we’ll be able to talk about it!

As 2010 has drawn to a close and given way to 2011, I want to take a few moments to thank all the devoted folks out there who enjoy their time in the Spiral. We wouldn’t be where we are without you! A special "thank you" goes out to those of you who play on our External Test server and post issues and feedback: our updates go from "good" to "awesome" during that few weeks they stay on test, and we can’t thank you enough for being part of the process. Another special "thank you" to those who have spent time with me in my Feedback Friday threads. Since the beginning of December, we’ve been concentrating on “year in review” opinions. We voted for our favorite update in 2010, which was Celestia by a landslide! The rest of this month, we’ll be discussing positive, as well as negative issues about the updates, and after that, we'll look towards the future. Come hang out in the Dormitories with me if you’d like to participate!

  Anyone else started on their New Year’s resolutions yet? At KingsIsle we certainly are. Aside from asking the Gobblers to try to eat less and (for goodness' sake) get some exercise once in a while, we’re continually working on ways we can improve Wizard101. We want to continue to make Wizard101 the game that you love to play in 2011, and to help us do that, we'll be working closely with our community. We’re paying close attention to your feedback, to make sure that we’re on the right track with our plan to make some amazing additions to the Spiral over the coming months!

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday season. Here at KingsIsle we enjoyed our break, but we’re excited to be back to work on all the great updates planned for 2011!

See you in the Spiral!
Leah “Professor Falmea” Ruben
Producer, Wizard101

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