With the holidays over and December winding down, it's that time of year for reflection and hope. Overall, I thought 2015 was a great year for Wizard101.
Kingsisle squeezed in a lot of big changes and new features that will continue to make a lasting impact in the future, including:
- Jewel Socketing - The addition of jewels was one of the biggest changes to date. Suddenly already existing gear could be improved upon by adding stats of your own choosing. Although the new system had its flaws and frustrations, it largely impacted and enhanced player gameplay customization.
- It's All About The Ultra - Ultra pets, ultra dungeons, ultra seeds, 2015 was full of ultra! Followed by their one-shot dungeon predecessors, ultra dungeons packed a punch with battles that could only be played through once. The ultra dungeon bosses (especially the exalted duels) have some of the toughest (and annoying) cheats in the game thus far. I thought they were fun to play through, and having them dropped from various bosses around the spiral was an added bonus.
- Polaris and Critical/Block Changes - The long anticipated world of Polaris hit the live realm in 2015 with plenty of new elements including bosses with pets, new camera angles, and less mob "grinding." The most controversial change that came with the chilliness of Polaris was an alternation to how critical and block are calculated. The new system ended up applying to players of all levels and aimed to create a more balanced, fair, and surprising gameplay.
Although Kingsisle has improved a lot this year, there are still a few things that I feel need to be addressed. Here are my top 5 things that I'd like to see for Wizard101 in 2016.
1. Pet Vs. Item Cards - To this day I'm still surprised that this hasn't been addressed yet. Pet cards and item cards are identical. This is a huge problem because pet cards and item cards stack in battle. When you can't tell an item card from a pet card, you run the risk of playing a duplicate buff that could have otherwise been avoided. To remedy this issue, I think something very simple could be done such as adding a small icon to one of the card types. How about adding a little piggle icon to all pet cards? I imagine it could work similar to how TCs are labeled when they come from different packs. A change like that would be very subtle, but also make things ten times easier and less stressful for players.
2. Donate Shadow Pips - Shadow spells are all the rage these days. The problem is ... players just can't seem to find shadow pips when they need them. I've lost count how many times the hitter on my team was waiting for a shadow pip while I was sitting there pretty with a whole rack of them. What if I could donate my shadow pip(s) to my hitter in need? Imagine a spell like Donate Power but for shadow pips! Having a spell like that handy would make battles much more efficient in team play. Even if we didn't get a donate shadow pip spell per-se, how about a shadow pip version of Power Play which would increase everyone's shadow pip chance during the battle? Hmm ...
3. A Buff List - I admit this one would take a bit more tinkering than the rest, but it would be helpful nonetheless! As it stands now, players must say what buff they're playing aloud in order to keep track of what buffs are currently on the hitter. A feature that I think would be beneficial in the future is a buff button. This buff button could be found where each player's name and pips are. When hovered over, the buff button would list each blade that is currently on that particular player. Each enemy could also have a buff button to determine which traps are currently on that opponent. Something like this would allow players to easily check up on buffs and avoid duplicates in both a solo and team atmosphere.
4. Mount Stitching - One of the many additions that took the community for a whirl this year was the addition of mount stats. For the longest time, mounts were looked at as just a mode of transportation and a way to express yourself in game. Mounts still do that, but I fear that mount stats may overpower player creative expression. The Battle Narwhal mount for example supplies a 2% damage boost. To some, a 2% damage boost is nothing. To others, it's a must have. But if a mount is out there that gives a damage boost, why wouldn't you want it over a mount that doesn't? And if you already have it, why wouldn't you equip it? Aesthetically, the Battle Narwhal is not my favorite mount. Yet I use it anyway because I find the damage boost helpful. I'm caught between choosing the mount I really like and the mount I feel I really need. Why can't players have the best of both worlds like hats, robes, boots, and wands? If mounts will continue to have stats added to them in the future, I think mount stitching would be a great thing to implement.
5. Derby Updates - Give derby some love! With some needed nurturing, derby could be a much more popular and powerful aspect of the game. There are still glitches that need to be fixed like the deadly third lap glitch, and there are so many ways to expand derby in ways PvP already has. For example, derby wasn't given a leaderboard or in game tournaments when PvP received them. Not to mention that in game derby tournaments would work even smoother than PvP ones. Derby races are fast paced and over in five minutes or less. With such short matches, rounds would fly by, and Diego wouldn't even need to decide a winner.
Hopefully 2016 brings just as much magic to Wizard101 as 2015 did. Do you agree with my list? What's on your 2016 wish list? Let me know in the comments!